Question I can't get my new Windows laptop to output at max resolution to an external monitor via HDMI

FernandoRocker

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May 31, 2016
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So, I purchased a cheap laptop to use it exclusively as a personal Plex server. I had an older laptop with an Intel Pentium Gold that worked OK, but I needed something better, mostly Quick Sync to do hardware decoding in case it was needed.
I got a Gateway laptop that Walmart was selling for $250 USD (https://gatewayusa.com/GWTN141-3.html) and the i3-1005G1 with the G1 integrated graphics performs excellent for a Plex server. Basically, this is not my main system; it's just a Plex server 24/7. I also had a spare 1TB NVMe drive and an extra 16GB RAM stick.
The laptop has the following specs:
  • Intel i3-1005G1
  • UHD G1 Integrated Graphics
  • 4GB of RAM (soldered)
  • 128GB SATA SSD (M.2 slot)
But the laptop has an empty RAM slot and an extra M.2 slot. I added a single 16GB stick into the RAM slot, so now I have 20GB of RAM. I also removed the 128GB SATA SSD from the M.2 slot and installed the 1TB NVMe drive in there. The 128GB SATA SSD was reinstalled into the other M.2 slot.

But here is my problem. The laptop is connected to power always, and the lid is always closed. So, I use an external monitor for when I want to manage the Plex server. The monitor is a Dell S2718D and it has a max resolution of 2560x1440 @ 60Hz. But I can't get the laptop/external monitor to go beyond 2048x1080 (although the recommended resolution is shown as 1920x1080) so the external monitor looks very blurry.

I have tried every possible configuration in Windows: Extended, Mirrored, to only show Display 2... I have changed the refresh rate, I have tried to set custom resolutions in Intel Command Center. Nothing, nada. I already did a clean install (bootable USB) of Windows 10 (have not tried Windows 11 yet).



Of course I have the latest drivers. Even on the Intel Command Center software, the max resolution I get is 2048x1080:





The motherboard is a generic N141B REV 1.1 and it says that it is made by GPU COMPANY. Support is non-existent in both GPU COMPANY and Gateway's website. My older laptop that I used as a Plex server was a Lenovo Ideapad 3 with an Intel Pentium Gold 6405U and didn't have a problem outputting at 2560x1440 via HDMI.

What could be the problem? Any suggestions? Could the motherboard be limited to 1920x1080?

My next step is install Linux or any other OS just to see if the problem is Windows or the hardware, but I would prefer not to.
 
Last edited:

Vyrvelata

Commendable
I have idea for 2 things...
Either the HDMI Cable is really <Mod Edit>...
or the Laptop cannot recognize the monitor... is it possible to add custom resolution to you Intel Control Panel and check manually?
Also you can try search for a driver for the monitor.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

FernandoRocker

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May 31, 2016
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I have idea for 2 things...
Either the HDMI Cable is really <Mod Edit>...
or the Laptop cannot recognize the monitor... is it possible to add custom resolution to you Intel Control Panel and check manually?
Also you can try search for a driver for the monitor.
It is not the cable. I have tried several cables, and same issue. Plus, I connected my work laptop to see if maybe a cable was damaged or if the monitor was acting weird, but no problems there; it immediately went to 2560x1440 using my work laptop.

I have tried to add custom resolution, and it sticks and gets saved into the program, but when I select it, it reverts back to 1920x1080.

Monitor driver is also installed.
 

Vyrvelata

Commendable
Isn't that dictated by the integrated graphics? Honest question here, I'm not sure.
Wow.. I didn't notice it's some cheap... brand...
The resolution itself... is recognized by drivers and supported by the GPU (and much more) but apparently if they soldered older version HDMI to the MOBO (to cheap out)... it is possible it's really old HDMI version and supports max 2048x1080!
 

FernandoRocker

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May 31, 2016
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Wow.. I didn't notice it's some cheap... brand...
The resolution itself... is recognized by drivers and supported by the GPU (and much more) but apparently if they soldered older version HDMI to the MOBO (to cheap out)... it is possible it's really old HDMI version and supports max 2048x1080!
That's what I'm afraid of. That would be really scummy.
 
Wow.. I didn't notice it's some cheap... brand...
The resolution itself... is recognized by drivers and supported by the GPU (and much more) but apparently if they soldered older version HDMI to the MOBO (to cheap out)... it is possible it's really old HDMI version and supports max 2048x1080!
HDMI "versions" don't come from the physical connector...
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
It is not the cable. I have tried several cables, and same issue. Plus, I connected my work laptop to see if maybe a cable was damaged or if the monitor was acting weird, but no problems there; it immediately went to 2560x1440 using my work laptop.

I have tried to add custom resolution, and it sticks and gets saved into the program, but when I select it, it reverts back to 1920x1080.

Monitor driver is also installed.
I wonder if you need to go into the BIOS and allocate more RAM to the integrated graphics to enable higher resolution ...
 

FernandoRocker

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May 31, 2016
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I booted Linux Mint from a USB, and the maximum resolution I'm getting is 2048x1080 (same as the maximum resolution I'm getting on Windows).



So, I think this is a hardware limitation.

For example, there are some Dell laptops limited to Full HD (1920x1080) by the motherboard: https://www.dell.com/support/kbdoc/en-us/000126548/resolution-on-external-monitor-limited-to-1920-x-1080-using-hdmi

The BIOS of the laptop is an American Megatrends, unlocked. It has hundreds of options, but I'm not quite sure if there is something that can be fixed on the BIOS. Look, this laptop is used as a Plex server only, so I don't interact with it too much, but it just doesn't feel right to not being able to use external monitors to its maximum resolution.

I need to find a fix.
 

FernandoRocker

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May 31, 2016
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the fix is return this cheap one and get a better laptop
I would if I could find an i3-1005G1 with a 1080p IPS display for $250.

The 10th Generation i3 is excellent as a Plex server. It doesn't use too much power, and Quick Sync can decode/encode multiple streams without breaking a sweat.

Most other laptops in the range price use less powerful processors and really awful 720p TFT displays.

I'm open to recommendations.
 

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