Multiple Display Scaling is Blurry

I have a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro which has a resolution of 3200 x 1800 which I run at 200% scaling.

I have just bought an Asus PB278Q which has a resolution of 2560 x 1440 which I run at 100% scaling, and which I want to use for development.

However, all content on the external display is blurry.

So I tried the option for setting one scaling of 100% for all displays and now the external display is sharp as it should be, but the internal display is obviously useless in desktop mode because everything is too small. I verified that the external display is being driven at the correct resolution via the monitor's own information option which says 2560 x 1440 at 60Hz (I was at least pleased that the Intel HD 4400 graphics were able to drive both displays at their proper resolution with 32-bit colour and at 60Hz). I have a fully updated version of Windows 8.1 Update 1.

So my guess is that Windows is rendering my external display off-screen at 200% and then crunching it down to 100% via bitmap processing.

Surely Microsoft have not implemented multiple display scaling like this? If they have then in my opinion it's useless, There is no way I can tolerate such blurriness on the external display at 100% scaling especially as I intend to use it mainly for development so clarity of text is important.

Can anyone help me fix this, or have Microsoft really made such a bad implementation of 'independent' scaling for separate displays?

Edit: Added comparison screenshots of external display showing File Explorer and Visual Studio 2013:

Mixed scaling - internal display at 200%, external display at 100%

One scaling at 100%

Comparison Picture

 

Question Info


Last updated February 16, 2019 Views 6,663 Applies to:

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Hi Andrew,

 

This is by design. The update adds a new, higher dots-per-inch (DPI) setting of 250 percent for Ultra High Definition screens. This changes the settings options from four different DPI levels to five. Depending on your settings, the DPI settings may be set one level higher after the update than they were previously.

See: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2957105/en-us

 

Hope it helps. Get back to us for any issues related to Windows. We will be happy to help you.

Regards,
Anil

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Hello,

I know what you mean about the update switching my system from 200% to 250%, however this is not the problem. I switched it back to 200% before I bought the external display and even after I plugged-in the external display, the internal display is definitely still at 200%. The external display is also definitely at 100% because the size of text, icons etc is the same as when setting all displays to 100%.

If you look at the comparison screenshots of the external display, the screenshot where all displays are at 100% is sharp, but the screenshot where the internal display is at 200% and the external display is at 100% is unusably blurry. The result is that the external display is useless when using per-display scaling.

If this is how Windows per-display scaling has been designed to work I am going to have to return the monitor.

Andrew

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Thank you for the response. I would suggest you to post your query in TechNet Forums. Here is the link: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/home?category=w8itpro&filter=alltypes&sort=lastpostdesc

Hope it helps.

Regards,
Anil

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Hi thanks for the suggestion,

I already have posted to TechNet in the hope there may be others with similar setups. However it looks like this is how per-display scaling in Windows 8.1 has been designed unfortunately. Microsoft need to change it in my opinion.

Andrew

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I have a Yoga 2 Pro and have the exact same issue. It's almost impossible to use in multiple monitor mode, but there is one trick if you have another computer or a copy of Windows running on a VM.  The second monitor works fine if you bring up a remote desktop copy of Windows on it, as the remote copy does all the rendering. 

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I second this!  The multiple-mon with different DPI's is horrid!  Once again Microsoft needs to rip-off Apple and redesign it to something like their Retina scaling feature!  10.9.3 in OS X can offer separate DPI scaling options for each monitor without the blurriness or objects being so tiny!  I have a 4K 24" Dell 60Hz monitor next to a 1440p Thunderbolt Display.  I love both monitors as they are good for separate workflows, but under Windows it is an unfortunate tragedy how Microsoft has set up their scaling options.

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I am having the same issue. 27" 4k primary, 24" 1080p secondary, and everything on my secondary is blurry and too large. I should have known that this was the way Microsoft designed it, non-functional and broken.

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This is due to display scaling.  On your primary monitor, windows has to double everything to make it appear a reasonable size.  On your side monitor, windows has to keep everything it's original size.  It splits the difference by doing some uneven divisions which makes things look blurry.

To fix, set the laptop resolution to something you can live with - 1600x900 or 1920x1080, and on "Make text or other items larger or smaller", set the scaling to its lowest level.  You'll probably have to log out and log back in before things look good.

You can go back to the native 3200 res when you aren't plugged in to an external monitor.  Again, it usually takes logging out and logging back in before things look good.

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Of course, reducing any display to a non-native resolution renders the whole idea of multiple-display scaling pointless. I found the best workaround was to set all displays to 100% when using multiple displays, I even created a script with AutoHotKeys to automate changing the resolution between 3200x1800@200% and 1600x900@100% and then sign-out to help make the process more fluid. It's crazy that even when using a nice round display scaling of 200%, the results are still unusable on the 100% display.

It's stupifying that Microsoft have implemented multiple-display scaling in such a poor way. They should just have not bothered. In fact it's very misleading to say they provide multiple-display scaling when actually it's just bitmap crunching, leading to unusable results.

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Your autohotkey script sounds pretty useful.  Would you mind sharing it?

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