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4 Posts

09-30-2008

California

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W500 Auxiliary VGA Output is "Soft"

2008-09-30, 1:50 AM

I have a W500 which is great in every respect except that the video output via the VGA plug is "soft". Edges that should be hard appear to be dithered/blurred/softened.

 

If I use the 2nd monitor as an extension of the desktop and drag a window half into each display (external monitor and the laptop screen), the difference is dramatic. This is the case regardless of which external monitor I use, and I have only used new, high-end monitors.

 

What is puzzling is that, on an older T61, I did not have this problem.

 

Has anyone noticed this issue? Is it something to do with the W500's in general or just my unit?

 

I suppose I can order a Display Port to DVI/HDMI adapter and see if going with a fully digital signal will fix the issue, but I'm concerned it might have something to do with the graphics controller...

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32 Posts

08-28-2008

North Carolina

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Re: W500 Auxiliary VGA Output is "Soft"

2008-10-03, 23:45 PM

A couple quesitons:

   Are you in ATI or Intel mode?

   What resolution are you running the VGA monitors at?

   What monitors do you see this on?

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4 Posts

09-30-2008

California

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Re: W500 Auxiliary VGA Output is "Soft"

2008-10-04, 0:14 AM

Resolution on the laptop and the external monitor was set to various different resolutions, including 1920x1200 full resolution.

 

Monitors used were a couple of different new Samsung LCDs and a couple random old CRTs.

 

As for ATI/Intel mode...not sure what that means. Is that about using different driver sets? How can I switch mode?

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218 Posts

09-05-2008

Cleveland, OH

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Re: W500 Auxiliary VGA Output is "Soft"

2008-10-04, 4:36 AM

AFAIK, he has to be in ATI mode in order to use two displays.  At the very least, I know the DVI port (on a docking station) doesn't work in Intel mode.

 

To the OP: if you're running XP, you're probably in ATI mode and that's all you can do short of going into the BIOS and flipping it.

 

In Vista you can switch which video card you're using using software.

 

It's not the display controller itself.  DVI is fine through the dock, I'm using a Lenovo L220x and it's super crisp.  Makes the W500's LCD look like complete trash.

 

Good luck finding a DisplayPort adapter, I've yet to see one for sale.

Message Edited by ZPrime on 10-04-2008 12:38 AM
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32 Posts

08-28-2008

North Carolina

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Re: W500 Auxiliary VGA Output is "Soft"

2008-10-04, 19:58 PM
The VGA port on the W500 is connected to both the intel integrated and the ati discrete through a mux.  DVI on the dock and display port on the laptop are connected only to the ATI GPU.

I checked on mine and notice that in intel mode text was a little soft.  If you are in XP you are probably running in ATI mode but you can check by seeing what graphics adapter is running:  Right click on the desktop and go to display properties and see what display adapter it says.  If you are in Intel integrated mode you can change it by going into your BIOS menu by hitting F1 when the computer boots and then go to display settings and select discrete graphics.

The other thing than can cause soft text is font/DPI scaling setting- i have mine at 106 and it is definitely causes some menus to be blurrier than when i have it at default (96 DPI).  Because the screen is so much smaller on the laptop I just don’t notice it as much until i use an external monitor.

If you are in discrete mode and are still seeing blurry through the VGA it could very easily be the cable you are using or a faulty connector on the laptop.
 
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4 Posts

09-30-2008

California

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Re: W500 Auxiliary VGA Output is "Soft"

2008-10-10, 1:59 AM

Sorry for not replying earlier and thanks for the detailed responses.

 

I just tested out the system with a Display Port to DVI-D connector, hooked up to a 26" Viewsonic with max 1920x1200 resolution. Now the external video output is very crisp, as it should be. Very stark difference compared to the analog VGA output.

 

The system is running Windows XP, so I presume it has been in ATI mode throughout.

 

And I'm actually a retail store troubleshooting a system for a customer -- trying to make sure the W500 does what he needs it to do. We have ready access to Display Port adapters right now and are importing more economical ones within the next few weeks. So if you need an adapter, feel free to send me a message.

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