What happens if I connect a bad laptop to a good monitor?

Discussion in 'Computer Monitor Forum' started by theclarkofben, Feb 2, 2021.

  1. theclarkofben

    theclarkofben New Member

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    I'm thinking of buying an ultrawide monitor with a high resolution (i.e. 4k or 5k). I'm going to build a PC that will be capable of using that monitor.

    I also want to be able to use the monitor with my work laptop as a second or main screen and so will my wife. My work Macbook Pro has USB-C and my wife's laptop has DisplayPort so I know they will both be able to connect to the monitor as I will buy a monitor that has those connections. But if the graphics card of my wife's old HP Elitebook can't handle the native resolution of the monitor then what happens? will it simply not work at all and nothing will be displayed on the monitor? or will the display work but just at a lower resolution (the max the laptop's graphics card can handle)?
     
  2. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    If videocard does not support native resolution of monitor then the picture will be scaled either by videocard or by monitor.
     
  3. theclarkofben

    theclarkofben New Member

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    Apologies, I don't understand exactly what that means. Does that mean that what is displayed on the monitor will be scaled down to the graphics card's max resolution? or does it mean that the graphics card / monitor will do some clever trick to scale up the resolution to match the monitor's native resolution?

    Let's say that the monitor's native resolution is 3840 x 1600
    and the max resolution that the bad laptop can handle is 1920 x 1200

    what resolution will I see when using the bad laptop?
     
  4. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    Depends on manufacturer of videocard, but typically you have following options:
    - do not scale - so picture will be rendered at max supported resolution and shown as it is; on monitor you either select native resolution (with blank black spaces around smaller picture) or you select resolution equal to maximum one supported by videocard;
    - do scale by videocard - so picture will be rendered at max supported resolution and shown scaled to native resolution;
    - do scale by monitor - so picture will be rendered at max supported resolution and shown scaled to native resolution.

    In all cases if videocard does not support native resolution the picture will be far from ideal.
     
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  5. theclarkofben

    theclarkofben New Member

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    Thank you mbk1969
     
  6. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    @theclarkofben

    I just remembered about the utility Custom Resolution Utility (CRU). Maybe it can help you to create a custom native resolution...
     
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