Weird docking station screen artifacts

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by jack574, Jul 15, 2020.

  1. jack574

    jack574 Notebook Consultant

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    Hi

    I've got a 7740 hooked up to 3 monitors via a WD19DC docking station.

    90% of the time, when I wake the PC up after the monitors have been asleep (the PC hasn't gone into hibernation - only the screens have switched off), I get these artifacts:

    upload_2020-7-15_21-50-41.png
    upload_2020-7-15_21-51-1.png

    What the lock screen should look like:
    upload_2020-7-15_21-51-22.png


    Could happen on any app on any monitor, and goes away once the mouse is moved over the affected area, or the window is moved or resized.

    Any ideas? I can live with it, but it gets a bit annoying...

    All PC drivers are up to date (latest Nvidia driver installed from their website a couple of days ago) and the dock firmware is up to date.

    Video card is RTX 4000.

    Thanks
     
  2. alexhawker

    alexhawker Spent Gladiator

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  3. jack574

    jack574 Notebook Consultant

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  4. alexhawker

    alexhawker Spent Gladiator

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    Drivers and firmware aren't technically the same thing. I know Dell's docks have their own firmware, which is why I suggested that specifically.
     
  5. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

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    OP states in the original post that the dock firmware is up to date.

    Do you have graphics switching enabled or disabled? If you have graphics switching enabled, try either disabling it or turning on the dGPU discrete output mode, so that dock displays will be driven by the NVIDIA GPU and not the Intel GPU. (Note, after enabling or disabling graphics switching you might have to also reinstall your display drivers.)

    Wondering. If you press
    Ctrl+Shift+Win+B
    Does that cause the artifacts to go away immediately?
    (That's the obscure keyboard command to reset the display driver.)
     
  6. jack574

    jack574 Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks for the reply, and apologies for not replying sooner - have only just seen it.

    From memory, without checking the BIOS, I have switching enabled.

    Is there any disadvantage to disabling switching so that the nvidia GPU is always used, and never the intel? If power consumption is an issue, that's not a concern to me. I almost never use the laptop on battery.

    I tried the Ctrl+Shift+Win+B and it did indeed make the artefacts disappear straight away! Excellent tip - I'll stick it to my desk on a post-it note. Thank you. I wonder if it might also work for this other graphics issue I see now and again:

    upload_2020-8-11_23-5-47.png

    It doesn't happen often, but when it does it affects all external monitors, but not the laptop's built in monitor...

    Thanks again
     
  7. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

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    If power consumption is not a concern for you, I'd actually recommend running with graphics switching disabled; power use reduction is really the benefit of using graphics switching. The drawback to graphics switching is the complexity of having two GPUs active at the same time; I've had a few apps behave strangely in this situation and also some apps have a performance hit when you are rendering off of the NVIDIA GPU but displaying the output on the Intel-GPU-powered laptop display.

    However...
    Since you are having the problem on external displays only, I am wondering if it is an issue that is specific to the NVIDIA GPU. This would only be the case if you have the discrete graphics display output option enabled in the BIOS... If you do not, dock displays are powered by the Intel GPU. If you do, and if you turn graphics switching off, then you might find the laptop display also having the same problem. I had similar trouble in the past with an ATI card and it turned out to be a vRAM issue or something, resolved by swapping out the card.

    Can always try it and see what happens. If you toggle graphics switching on or off you might also have to reinstall the graphics drivers afterwards, if your GPU is detected as a "basic display adapter" by Windows.
     
  8. jack574

    jack574 Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks again for the info.

    This is my setup for the 5 displays that I use:
    upload_2020-8-12_11-4-29.png

    I tried a few different scenarios (see below). It seems I need to have both options enabled to be able to use all 5 displays.
    upload_2020-8-12_11-9-42.png

    Is it worth trying Scenario 4 again, but reinstalling the Nvidia driver?

    The laptop has next business day warranty so if it's a hardware issue with the card I'll just get Dell to come and fit a new one - no need for me to have to mess around trying to get it to work if it's faulty.

    Btw, I use a different dock (same model) in another office, with different (older) monitors, and don't get these issues - I do however get this issue instead, on one of the monitors (after the monitor switches off due to inactivity, then switches on again):

    upload_2020-8-12_11-14-20.png


    Many thanks again for all your help.
     
  9. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

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    Reinstalling the NVIDIA driver won't do anything. The only reason that you would have to reinstall it is if it wasn't installed correctly to begin with (Windows was showing a basic adapter instead of the NVIDIA one).

    In situations where you could only use four displays, I think you might have success if you moved one of the external monitors from the dock to the mini-DP connector on the back of the system. I don't know though. I've never had so many displays hooked up :p

    I would be interested to hear if running with graphics switching on and discrete graphics output off fixes the issue. In this case, the dock-attached displays would be running off of the Intel GPU. (The Intel GPU can only drive three displays at once, including the built-in laptop display, so you would have to move one display off of the dock.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
  10. jack574

    jack574 Notebook Consultant

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    I reinstalled the Nvidia driver because you said " If you toggle graphics switching on or off you might also have to reinstall the graphics drivers afterwards, if your GPU is detected as a "basic display adapter" by Windows." - did I misunderstand what you were saying?


    "I would be interested to hear if running with graphics switching on and discrete graphics output off fixes the issue. In this case, the dock-attached displays would be running off of the Intel GPU. (The Intel GPU can only drive three displays at once, including the built-in laptop display, so you would have to move one display off of the dock.)"

    Due to my office setup, not the best option for me to use the mini DP port in the laptop and leave one of the dock outputs unused...

    Is there a reason why I should have any problems with my current setup? What do you think about getting Dell to replace the RTX card?

    Thanks again
     
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