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NSpre
Beginner
2,929 Views

Monitor with triple-monitor docking station is flickering

Hello,

I've been on this problem from severale weeks, trying and testing all ideas I found online or I can think of, so I'll try to explain as best as I can.

I have a ASUS NoteBook N580VD (Windows 10, Intel Graphic 630) and I'm trying to attach 3 monitors using a docking station with triple-monitor support.

The 3 monitors are all the same, HP 24w, all used at a resolution of 1920x1080 attached to the HDMI port (monitor-side).

This is my Windows version:

The triple-monitor docking station works attaching 2 monitors to the DisplayPort ports of the stations (with a DisplayLink chipset inside that manage those) and the third monitor is connected to the HMDI port using the USB-C port external display support.

I have a very uncomfortable problem of flickering related to the monitor attached to the HDMI port, the 2 connected to the DP ports (which are managed by the DisplayLink chipset of the station itself) does not have any problems.

Here a couple of video showing the problem:

- https://photos.app.goo.gl/Y63KRu6PoUnq8CRh9 https://photos.app.goo.gl/Y63KRu6PoUnq8CRh9

- https://photos.app.goo.gl/ri3B1HCuoCDmro6f8 https://photos.app.goo.gl/ri3B1HCuoCDmro6f8

- https://photos.app.goo.gl/Bgb9xFQiG9x5aLDi6 https://photos.app.goo.gl/Bgb9xFQiG9x5aLDi6

Here is the latest video I made, when I was writing this very thread: https://photos.app.goo.gl/nddxqEJb5J6YAkF49 https://photos.app.goo.gl/nddxqEJb5J6YAkF49

You can see the docking station under the right monitor. The left and middle monitors are connected to the DisplayPort ports of the station, while the right monitor is connected to the HDMI port of the station.

Let's start with the hardware attempts:

I tried 3 different docking stations, of 3 different brands (in order to determine the issue), which are:

- I-Tec CATRIPLE4KDOCKPD

- DELL D6000

- Startech.com DK30CH2DPPDU

Both I-Tec and DELL suggested me to return the item as "faulty" and ask for a replacement, which I did, so I tested a total of 5 different docking stations, all with the same exact problems.

I also opened a thread in DisplayLink forum (https://displaylink.org/forum/showthread.php?t=66317 https://displaylink.org/forum/showthread.php?t=66317), they helped me with some suggestions and analysis, but at the end the problem cannot be related to their chipset due to the nature on how the video signal are managed (the HDMI attached monitor is managed by the internal Intel graphic chipset, the DisplayLink chipset only manage the additional 2 monitors.

I also tried a very large set of different HDMI cables:

- sample AmazonBasic cables

- triple-shielded HDMI cables(of 3 different brands) certified for 4k (my hypothesis for the flickering was about interference or something)

- HDMI-DVI cables

- active/passive HDMI-DVI adapters with HDMI cables

- longer cables, shorter cables, ...

I tried all tests I found out reading online of similar problems.

About the notebook, I tried using a simple USB-C -> HDMI adapter (in order to test the usb-c port and is working very fine).

So using this adapter for one monitor and another monitor with the built-in HDMI cable is working fine, but not using the docking station.

I tried different monitors, instead of using my HP 24w, I tried other Samsung, older or newer, all with 1920x1080@60Hz

I tried different notebooks:

- The notebook using Windows 10 shows the flickering flickering issue

- The notebook using Ubuntu (live), does NOT shows the flickering issue

- Another 2 different ASUS notebooks which have an older Intel graphic card (one of them have Intel 620 card and the other have 591), show the flickering issue

- A ChromeBook does NOT shows the issue

After all this tests and all my attempts I focused the problem on Windows 10, because all the hardware is working fine with other O.S. (Ubuntu, ChromeOS), also other Notebooks with the same Windows 10 O.S. are showing the same problem.

Starting from there, I tried:

- Updating notebook BIOS (downloaded from ASUS website)

- Updating notebook chipset (download from ASUS website)

- Updating Intel graphic driver (the built-in was a driver of 2017, I tried the new version downloaded directly from ASUS website, ma also a newer driver downloaded from Intel...

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13 Replies
idata
Community Manager
1,161 Views

Hello nicola.spreafico

 

 

Thank you for posting in the Intel® community.

 

 

Bear in mind that the integrated GPU support a max of 3 displays, according to the information shared you are currently having 4 video outputs, I would recommend testing the configuration with a max of 3 video outputs, in this case, you could test disabling the built-in display when the laptop is connected to the 3 external displays.

 

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

Regards,

 

Leonardo C.

 

Intel Customer Support Technician

 

Under Contract to Intel Corporation

 

NSpre
Beginner
1,161 Views

Hello and thank you for your reply.

I tried as you suggested but the situation is the same. Here you can see the notebook monitor not active: https://photos.app.goo.gl/JDG5PC5gXVq2Ln9T6 Shared album - Nicola Spreafico - Google Photos

I don't know if the root cause here is the amount of supported monitor, because:

- 2 of the 3 ports of the docking station are managed by the DisplayLink chipset inside the docking itself, so is shown as external graphic card (see attached screenshot from the first message, you can see which graphic card is managing each monitor by the red box I added). The third port (the HDMI port of the station) is managed directly through the USB-C, so only this one is managed by the internal graphic card.

- If i connect 2 monitor to the docking station and one monitor to the built-in HDMI of the notebook, all 4 monitors are working very fine, so I'm not sure that the problem here is the "amount" of monitors.

Regards

idata
Community Manager
1,161 Views

Hello nicola.spreafico

 

 

Thank you for the information.

 

 

Please test setting the configuration having the three video outputs going out of the docking station, because at this point this behavior could be related to a laptop hardware design, what I mean is that the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) design might be focusing the video output to the docking station.

 

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

Regards,

 

Leonardo C.

 

Intel Customer Support Technician

 

Under Contract to Intel Corporation

 

NSpre
Beginner
1,161 Views

Hello,

Please test setting the configuration having the three video outputs going out of the docking station,

The video I posted you in my last message was made using all 3 monitors attached to the docking station (and also having the notebook monitor deactivated), so I think is the proper test you're suggesting.

As side comment, I pointed out that using 2 monitor with the docking station and 1 monitor directly attached to the HDMI port of the notebook are all working correctly.

because at this point this behavior could be related to a laptop hardware design, what I mean is that the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) design might be focusing the video output to the docking station.

Are you suggesting I need to contact ASUS for additional insight on this problem?

Sadly, all the notebook I can use as test are all ASUS notebook, so I'm unable to test the station with a different brand/manufacturer. All other notebooks I have (of different brands) do not have the USB-C port.

Do you exclude by any chance that this can be a problem with the Intel Graphic Card drivers and/or Windows 10 OS?

As mentioned in my first message, I tried booting a live Ubuntu on the same notebook and I did not see any flickering problem, this is why I'm not sure can be an hardware issue.

Regards

idata
Community Manager
1,161 Views

Hello nicola.spreafico

 

 

Thank you for the information.

 

  • Please bear in mind that Intel® does not recommend the use of any kind of adapters and docking stations. This is because we cannot test all of them, so we cannot guarantee that these are going to work.
  • I would like to confirm that the docking stations tested on the system are connected by USB-C? After doing research on the notebook specifications I am noticing that this port works as a Type-C USB 3.0 (USB 3.1 Gen 1) with display support therefore since the output is all being done on this port there could be a bandwidth limitation; for more detail about the capacity of the ports on the notebook you can contact the OEM (contact support: https://www.asus.com/us/support/ https://www.asus.com/us/support/).
  • For testing advice the customer to test an active adapter (USB-C to DP) connected to the USB-C on the notebook and the HDMI® port to set the Three displays this is to rule out if there could be a comparability/bandwidth problem.
  • In relation to the statement that the behavior is not present on the different OS bear in mind that the Intel® graphics controller is intended to be used with Windows, also the notebook manufacturer recommend Windows® 10.

 

Regards,

 

Leonardo C.

 

Intel Customer Support Technician

 

Under Contract to Intel Corporation

 

NSpre
Beginner
1,161 Views

  • Please bear in mind that Intel® does not recommend the use of any kind of adapters and docking stations. This is because we cannot test all of them, so we cannot guarantee that these are going to work.

I understand your point, but I'm keeping being redirected to other brands but I'm not getting a proper answer.

Like DisplayLink tells me to contact StarTech, which tells me to contact Intel, which tells me to contact ASUS... But at the end I'm unable to find a straight answer, I did all the tests and trying (I'm on this from several weeks) and I tried all I can think of or I found online.

  • I would like to confirm that the docking stations tested on the system are connected by USB-C? After doing research on the notebook specifications I am noticing that this port works as a Type-C USB 3.0 (USB 3.1 Gen 1) with display support therefore since the output is all being done on this port there could be a bandwidth limitation; for more detail about the capacity of the ports on the notebook you can contact the OEM (contact support: https://www.asus.com/us/support/ https://www.asus.com/us/support/).

Yes, I confirm you that, right now I'm using the StarTech docking station, which is connected to the USB-C port of the Notebook (as I did with the other 2 models of docking station)

I already contacted ASUS, they replied me that the notebook only supports ONE external display, but this is totally false because I can effectively connect one monitor to the HDMI and one monitor to the USB-C port, and they both work fine. So I'm not sure I will have a useful support from them...

  • For testing advice the customer to test an active adapter (USB-C to DP) connected to the USB-C on the notebook and the HDMI® port to set the Three displays this is to rule out if there could be a comparability/bandwidth problem.

I already something similar, I used an active HDMI->DP adapter, connecting 2 monitors (HDMI port) to the relative DP ports of the docking station, but did not solve the problem.

Connecting one monitor to the HDMI port of the Notebook and another monitor to the USB-C port (using a USB-C/HDMI adapter), both monitors are working fine. But this is w/o using the docking station.

  • In relation to the statement that the behavior is not present on the different OS bear in mind that the Intel® graphics controller is intended to be used with Windows, also the notebook manufacturer recommend Windows® 10.

I understand, this test was made in order to discover if it is an hardware problem (which is not seems to be) instead of a O.S./Driver which is the best hypothesis so far.

Thank you for assistance.

idata
Community Manager
1,161 Views

Hello nicola.spreafico

 

 

Thank you for the information.

 

 

Bear in mind that the Intel® HD graphics 630 present on your system configuration supports up to 3 displays as we both have talked about, I this case if the OEM I telling that it only supports one external display this is due to of their hardware configuration/design.

 

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

Regards,

 

Leonardo C.

 

Intel Customer Support Technician

 

Under Contract to Intel Corporation

 

NSpre
Beginner
1,161 Views

Bear in mind that the Intel® HD graphics 630 present on your system configuration supports up to 3 displays as we both have talked about,

I can relay on this, the built-in monitor + 1 external monitor on HDMI port + 1 external monitor on the USB-C port with an USB-C/HDMI adapter, this configuration is working w/o problems.

I this case if the OEM I telling that it only supports one external display this is due to of their hardware configuration/design.

I don't know why thery are telling me this, considering the previous point. But at the end, considering how the docking stations works:

  • The notebook need to handle the built-in monitor and only ONE external monitor (the one connected to the HDMI port of the docking station). So in this case I'm remaining on the scenario with one external monitor
  • The other 2 external monitors are managed by the DisplayLink chipset of the docking that is working as external graphic card (so I think it do not count on external monitors managed by the notebook)
idata
Community Manager
1,161 Views

Hello nicola.spreafico

Thank you for the information.

As this point as mentioned previously all that we can say is that the Intel HD graphics support 3 displays, this behavior on the set up is due to of split signal on the configuration (laptop design, docking station comparability).

I would mark this as correct answer but this thread would remain open for the community to assist or share experiences.

Regards,

 

Leonardo C.

 

Intel Customer Support Technician

 

Under Contract to Intel Corporation

 

NSpre
Beginner
1,161 Views

From first tests with the StarTech USB3DOCKH2DP I just bought, I can say that all 3 external monitors are working fine, even with the notebook display enabled: https://photos.app.goo.gl/s5p6UEZcY5nW5Jnf8

The difference here is that is an older model which use only the USB3.0 port and not like the newer model which uses the USB-C port.

From Control Panel of Windows I can see that 3 monitors are managed by the external station (instead of 2+1 like other model) and only the built-in monitor is managed by the internal Intel chipset.

Also, just for test purposes, while the dock was connected I attached 2 additional displays on the built-in HDMI port of the notebook and on the built-in USB-C port of the notebook (with a simple adapter), and all 6 monitors are working correctly.

And in this case, 3 monitors are managed by the Intel chipset and 3 monitors are managed by the external station.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/T3P83vCFZzhnmH3FA

After all this tests and this success, I'm willing to consider an USB-C incompatibility problem or something related to the notebook hardware or Windows drivers.

I will try a couple of days with this station but for the moment is seems the problem to be finally solved.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,161 Views

In the case of the StarTech USB3DOCKH2DP, you have a full graphics solution implemented within the dock and this solution supports three monitors being connected. The output to these monitors will not be the fastest (certainly not good enough for high-intensity gaming), since the bandwidth of the USB 3.0 port is all that this graphics solution has for communications with the PC.

In the case of a USB-C dock, the graphics ports on the dock are offering some portion of the DisplayPort (DP) channel that is made available through this USB-C connector. That is, one of the three DP output channels from the processor is routed to this connector and it is the graphics solution in the processor that is supporting the monitors connected. Note the following:

  • The processor's graphics solution will only support a certain number of monitors (typically three but emerging processors may support more). What this means is that, despite having three DP output channels and support for multiple monitors on each of these channels, some of these connected monitors will not work if the total number of monitors exceeds this maximum.

  • The number of monitors that a processor DP channel can support is also limited by the bandwidth of this channel. For example, three 1080p monitors running at 60Hz can be supported but only one 2160p (i.e. 4K) monitor at 60Hz can be supported.

  • When the bandwidth of the channel is being stressed, it is not uncommon to see flickering, pixels changing colors and other effects occurring. In cases like these, I recommend that you increase the quality of the USB-C and/or DP cable(s) being used. If the device (or adapter) connected to the USB-C port is converting from DP to, for example, HDMI, then increase the quality of the HDMI cable(s) being used.

Hope this helps,

...S

NSpre
Beginner
1,161 Views

Thank you for further explanation, I give up on make the USB-C port working, I will stay with normal USB that is currently working.

KenleyGalven
Beginner
1,156 Views

I felt compelled to create a username just to reply to this thread. I'm copying and pasting this on multiple sites, because it seems this is and has been a common problem for years that absolutely nobody has an answer to.

If someone already found this, I apologize, but I've found that opening up the laptop and having one of the external monitors' images duplicated on the laptop screen makes the flashing stop.

I've also noted that it changes the order of the screens when it's flashing. If you selectively disable certain screens, it will actually turn them back on because evidently the software can't keep the screen order straight.

I'm not sure if any of this helps, but I would have thoight after 2+ years, someone would have figured it out.