Windows 10: Multi monitor DPI scaling issue

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  1.    06 Sep 2015 #1

    Multi monitor DPI scaling issue


    I've got a 4K monitor and a 1920x1200 monitor hooked up but the current "solution" for separate DPI scaling seems flawed.

    If I set the 4K monitor as my main display and set it to 200% scaling with the 1920 display set to 100% what seems to happen is that windows also draws the 1920 at 200% internally and then scales it down resulting in a slight blur on everything.

    If I set the 1920 display as the main display then the UI elements for the 4K screen are rendered at 100% but scaled up to 200% for display, so I effectively have a 4K screen behaving like a 1920 display - although there seems to be selective awareness that it's a 4K screen. Eg, Photoshop/Lightroom render the images at 4k resolution. Unfortunately desktop menus are also drawn at 4K but without the scaling, same for icons and file requesters and various other things.

    Does anyone know if there's a way to get Windows to render each display at the correct scale rather than at same DPI as the main display?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    06 Sep 2015 #2

    I can confirm this behavior with a UHD monitor and an HD monitor
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    07 Sep 2015 #3

    I have been working with this issue for about a month now, and as near as I can determine, Win10 will set all of the displays to the same scaling factor. So using a 4K display with another monitor with a lower resolution, or using two different sized monitors, means that you will have to make some serious compromises. Some applications are also not playing well with the higher resolution displays.

    My new Lenovo laptop has a 4K display and my second display is 24" HP running at 1920 x 1200. The HP looks gorgeous when running by itself, but when I run the 4K at 2048 x1152 and 100% scaling, the HP runs everything about 50% too large. Who knows why the HP looks so bad: it shows the same settings that it normally would run at. And at the same time, everything on the laptops's display is teeny! The laptop looks better at the 2048 x 1152 resolution with 125% scaling factor, but then the second display is horrible.

    I have been unable to get most of my important programs to play well with the higher definition display. My drafting program would have dialog boxes that were truncated, with many choices not displayed, and Quickbooks would display icons at 1/16" tall. So setting the resolution down to about 50% of its native state seems like one of the better compromises.

    Unless a 4K display is quite large, it will be necessary to run it a a high scaling factor. Otherwise most things will be too small to be legible.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    07 Sep 2015 #4

    NotSoFast, are you saying that you can't set the DPI scaling per monitor? That was added in Win10 but that's what introduced the issue I'm having. Windows 10 scales (and draws internally) all displays to match the scaling set for the main monitor and then scales the secondary monitor back to their individual setting for displaying the result.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    07 Sep 2015 #5

    Hi pxl8, I haven't been able to set the two of them independently. Whichever scaling factor is set last applies to both monitors. If you have found a way to set them differently, please let me know how to accomplish that. Because I've had no luck with it so far.
    The resolution can be different, so you can have different dpi, but there is only one scaling factor for all displays. It appears to set them differently, but it doesn't.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    08 Sep 2015 #6

    It sounds like you've got stuck setting somewhere. To set individual scaling I right click on the desktop go to Display Settings and when the window opens click on the numbered monitor set the scaling, click on the next monitor and set the scaling again, then click apply.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    09 Sep 2015 #7

    I've done that dozens of times. At least on my Lenovo laptop, when you set the scaling for one display, the other display will assume the same scaling percentage.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    01 Oct 2015 #8

    I'm having the exact same problem as pxl8. I have several "HD" monitors an a single UHD monitors. I set scaling to 100% on the HD monitors and 150% on the UHD monitor. The UHD looks fine, but all the "scaling aware" applications look blurry on the HD monitors. Whenever I use an application on those HD monitors that isn't scaling aware, it looks perfect.

    It seems pretty clear to me that Windows is actually scaling those other monitors to 150% then scaling back down to 100%, and the results are very poor. Anyone have any idea how to just disable scaling on a per-monitor basis?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    01 Oct 2015 #9

    Try rechecking the scaling factors. I think that all monitors will run at the last scaling factor selected. That has been my experience, where my primary monitor is UHD and secondary monitor is HD.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    01 Oct 2015 #10

    The HD monitors are obviously scaled to 100% - the size difference of the applications would be very noticeable if they were scaled to 150%.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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