Dell 3007WFP Resolution Limitation

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Rhynri, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. Rhynri macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2008
    I recently purchased this display for use on my windows desktop, and decided it'd be nice to work in the crispness of OS X from my macbook. However, upon hooking the display up, I found myself unable to run anything higher than the built in's native 1280x800, regardless of whether i was using the external display only (using either the reboot trick or the unsleep trick). I can run resolutions below that don't scale as well (my monitor letterboxes 1024x768) so I don't believe it's that. It would be nice to run this monster of a screen at 1920x1200, which the macbook is supposedly capable of. Is there a way, or has Apple dropped the ball on this.
  2. SevenInchScrew macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2007
    This isn't entirely a MacBook issue here.

    There are some limitations to the maximun resolution you can output from a MacBook. Since they don't have a Dual-Link DVI capable output, you would be limited to only 1920x1200 as a maximum resolution coming from the MacBook. Let alone the fact that the MacBook's onboard graphics are only capable of that much anyway. And 1920x1200 isn't the native resolution of the 3007, so that "crispness" you want wouldn't be there anyway.

    The real issue is with the 3007 itself. The 3007, and revised 3007-HC both, don't have any sort of scaler built in. So, your only options are either 2560x1600, which the MacBook can not do. Or, you get 1/4 of that resolution, which would be the 1280x800 that you are getting.

    Its really a combination of things. The MacBook just can't output an acceptable resolution for a monitor with that large of a native resolution. And then, the monitor can't accept just about anything under its native resolution. So, both things are not in your favor. The MacBook can't output a high enough resolution. And those lower resolutions are not compatible with the 3007.

    You probably should have saved some $$$ and picked up the 2407 instead. It has a native resolution of 1920x1200, which the MacBook can drive. So, you would have a good signal to output. And monitor would be able to accept it and display it very "crisply" like you want.

    Hope that helps.
  3. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    Bay Area
    Macbook has integrated graphics. The GMA chip (950 or x3100) can only handle up to the 1900x1200 resolution, and without an internal scaler, the Dell can't handle anything except straight divided resolutions. You're SOL, I'm afraid.
  4. Rhynri thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2008
    Thanks for the answers. I did own, and still have, a 24". I'd imagine that the only reason that the 30" even supports mac native (which actually doesn't look that bad considering) is because the monitor only supports HDCP at that resolution, and issue that I'm bringing to Dell due to the fact that no where on their page does it list the monitor as being anything but fully compliant. I am hoping to have my cost refunded to me and trade the 3007 for the 3008 which does have more input options and a scaler.

    Either way, it would be nice for the mac to offer the external display only without using any sort of trick. But the best question of all SevenInchScrew is, if the screen doesn't have a scaler, how does it manage to display every resolution under 1280x800? :confused:
  5. SevenInchScrew macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2007
    Yes, the 3008 is a very nicely featured monitor. And yes, it will take many different inputs and reslolutions, and scale them up to full screen just fine.
    Well, when I said it didn't have a scaler, that wasn't the total truth. Every monitor has some form of scaler inside. It gets the signal, and spits it out to the pixels on the panel. But, that scaler has "Supported" and "Unsupported" resolutions. On the 3007, the only "Supported" resolutions you have are 2560x1600 or 1280x800. Basically, all the pixels, or 1/4 of them.

    Now, under that, they may support more and just not list them. I think the reason for that is just because of the size and native resolution. All flat panel monitors have a "Native" resolution. Meaning, they have a set number of pixels that can display the image. Any time you deviate from that, the image can suffer if not scaled properly.

    The new 3008, and the Gateway XHD3000 for example, both have pretty good scalers in them. So, they can take a resolution that isn't native, and scale it up to that full 2560x1600 resolution while keeping the image fairly clean and sharp.

    But, obviously, there is a limit to how well that works. With 1920x1200, you aren't talking about a lot of scaling, so the image still looks just fine. But, if you send the monitor 640x480, scaling that up to the full 2560x1600 will make that image look really blurry and messy.

    I think that is why the 3007 will display those lower resolutions. They aren't listed as being supported, but they probably just didn't think that anyone would try to run the monitor with them, so they aren't totally blocked. So, they can be used, but not with very good results.

    I hope that makes sense. Kind of a long winded response, but its kind of a complicated problem. I haven't seen the 3008 in person, but a friend of mine has the Gateway. It is a fantastic monitor. He has a Mac Pro (2560x1600), Xbox 360 (1920x1080), PS3 (1920x1080), and Wii (852x480) hooked up to it, and it looks great with all of them. The Wii obviously doesn't look as good as the others, but it is totally playable.
  6. Rhynri thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2008
    That was very well written.

    It's interesting they would provide scaling capability under 1280x800 but not over it, but that really isn't my gripe with the monitor. My gripe with it is that Dell's page purports that the monitor supports HDCP, a necessity to watch HD or BR disc content on it. (and a good percentage of the reason for me buying such a monitor.

    (edit: I should note that I can run the monitor at 1920x1200 or any other 16:10 resolution under windows on my tower just fine [this just occurred to me] so maybe the problem lies with the monitors inability to report the resolutions to OSX, or even stranger yet, OS X only agreeing to operate on the HDCP compatible resolutions, which would be quite weird as well, but would explain things. I should also note that I don't believe my graphics card is doing any sort of scaling on behalf of the monitor. I shall check that setting when i return home.)

    *start rant*
    So you can imagine my horror upon discovering that it only supports it at the aforementioned resolution, a restriction not mentioned on the product page (nor anywhere in footnotes or whatnot), this of course restricts you to 720p content. I can only see that companies publishing such material are encouraging people to go and torrent the full 1080p rips of videos, since buying them and having the capability may or may not entitle you to the exalted privilege of viewing them optimally. I think I'm justified in seeking correction for this error from Dell. (not so much monetary as the ability to return the monitor for a full refund, or perhaps an upgrade to the 3008)
    *end rant*

    Thanks for all the great input, these are great forums. I suppose sooner or later I may seek a way to solve the keyboard hang glitch when i shift batteries while the MacBook safe-sleeps.
  7. SevenInchScrew macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2007
    It does. That much I know. I've seen a 3007 playing HD-DVD content from an Xbox 360 drive through a Windows PC. So, I know it will do the correct HDCP handshake.

    Your problem with that might lie with the MacBook itself. As of right now, Apple has a few devices that COULD output a HDCP compliant signal. But, since they have no official support as of yet for either Blu-Ray or HD-DVD, they have no need to enable those features. Until they have a drive that officially need HDCP compliance on its output, they have no need to enable it.
    That is very likely to be happening. I had an older Sony CRT monitor a while back. When I plugged it into my Mini, the Display Settings in OS X only showed about half of the actual resolutions that the monitor would run. It is possible that OS X has a different, or strange, way of reading and accepting the available resolutions from Non-Apple monitors.
    There technically isn't "HDCP Compatible Resolutions" by definition. All that HDCP means is that the output from the video card and the input connector on the monitor can talk to each other. Then the encrypted stream of data can be understood and played back correctly. It doesn't really matter what resolution you have, just that the monitor and video card can encrypt/decrypt the data properly.
    It shouldn't be. When you set a resolution on a computer, or Blu-Ray player, or Xbox 360, or whatever, that is the resolution that is coming out of the box. Its up to the display to take that signal, and get it displayed. The box sending it doesn't know what happens once its out there.
    I don't think so, actually. If you read the specs of the monitor, it lists 2560x1600 and 1280x800 as the only "Supported Resolutions" that the monitor handles. That monitor is built with a Dual-Link DVI capable intput in mind. It really isn't built for much else. Same with Apple's 30" monitor. If you don't have a Dual-Link capable output, able to output 2560x1600, which the MacBook won't, they don't work well. Yes, it is weird that you can get it to display images at other resolutions, but I don't think that is normal. And as I said, I do know for a fact that the HDCP works on the 3007, because I've seen HD-DVD played on one before.

    You can try, but I'm guessing that will be what they will say, or something along those lines. If you CAN get them to take it back, or charge you just a little extra to get the 3008, then great. I just wouldn't hold my breath.
  8. Rhynri thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2008
    You seem to be entirely missing the point my friend. Do not mistake me as being less intelligent than I am, being distinctly aware of HDCP - High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection - and how it functions. A closer reading of my previous posts makes it rather clear that my gripe is not with the monitor's lack of scaling, it is due to the fact that the monitor will only support an HDCP connection at 1280x800, any higher resolution and it does not allow HDCP. Which goes contrary to what is stated in their product page. A simple but obvious test which proves my point is to go to Cyberlink's site and download their HD/BR Advisor. The test will fail at every resolution above 1280x800. Feel free to try this yourself. Any HDCP content will thusly display at 720p instead of 1080i/p.

    This is my gripe, as the product page makes no such notice that the display will not accept HDCP at above 1280x800, which is ridiculous on this size screen.
  9. rogersmj macrumors 68020


    Sep 10, 2006
    Indianapolis, IN
    No, you're incorrect. HDCP has nothing to do with this. The fact that the MacBook does not have Dual-link DVI has everything to do with this. Let's try again:

    This 30" monitor requires dual-link DVI to display at its native 2560x1600 resolution. The way dual-link DVI works is it sends half of the lines over one DVI channel and half over the other. If you only have ONE DVI channel, like on the MacBook, iMac, Mac mini, etc, then you only get half of the lines -- 1280 horizontal and 800 vertical. THAT is why you're getting 1280x800. It's not HDCP, and it's not false advertising. It's just the way dual-link DVI works. You might be able to get Dell to give you a refund, but there's nothing to argue other than you misunderstood. You're not the first person to do this either -- someone posts something similar a couple times a month around here I think.
  10. SevenInchScrew macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2007
    No, I get it.
    Then you would see that this is NOT an HDCP issue, which you claim it is.
    No, it actually DOES allow this. As I said before, a friend of mine has this very monitor for use on his Windows PC, which he runs at 2560x1600 resolution. He also has the XBox 360 HD-DVD drive hooked up to it, which plays just fine.
    Maybe you missed this part, and I quote...
    That is the part that you don't have, and is the problem. You don't have a Dual-Link capable DVI output on the MacBook, for one. Let alone the fact that the DVI output that it does have IS NOT HDCP compliant. So, you are using a non-recommended connection, which can't output the recommended resolution, and then complaining about HDCP compliance of the monitor, when it is the MacBook's lack of DL-DVI and HDCP that is the problem.

    I'm sorry about your troubles. But, you really are using the wrong monitor for your needs. That monitor WILL do everything you want it to. But only if you have something that can output the correct resolution and HDCP signal in the first place. You don't have that with a MacBook. Best of luck.
  11. Rhynri thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2008

    I will be happy to provide another at 1280x800 that shows all green, if you wish.

    The 7950GX2 was one of the first, if not THE first fully HDCP compatible card. As you can see it fully passes the test. The monitor, however, does not. This screenshot was taken at native resolution.

    Somewhere in your apparent rush to prove me wrong, you missed all the times I mentioned running the monitor on my tower.
    An even bigger clue, is that i mentioned running Cyberlink's program, which is windows only to my knowledge. Even more so, is there even capability in Mac for playing HD/BR? I do know that the 360 drive works fine on it. Your friends drive may work fine with his pc (my borrowed drive does) but if you were to actually try to play a restricted disc (Transformers, as my example) you would fail. I've since found many articles lamenting this monitor's ability to use HDCP at anything but?/over? 1280x800. You can search them yourself. I'm dismayed at Dell for not making the buyer aware of such a limitation.

    Now, I apologize for any lack of clarity I may have had, but it is fairly apparent, as I have mentioned, that you were so aggressively pursuing means to discredit what I said, you failed to actually read it. No harm done, as long as you now are able to understand why I'm upset at dell.
  12. SevenInchScrew macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2007
    There is your answer, and I'll explain...
    Quick Synopsis:

    Dell 3007 = Full Dual Link DVI HDCP compliance
    nVidia 7950 = Dual Link Capable, but only Single Link HDCP compliant
    ATI 2900XT
    = Dual Link Capable, and Dual Link HDCP compliant
    MacBook = Neither HDCP nor Dual Link capable

    MacBook --> 3007 = 1920x1200 max res because of Single Link connection
    7950 --> 3007 = 2560x1600 max res, but only 1920x1200 HDCP compliant
    2900XT --> 3007 = 2560x1600 max res, and full Dual Link HDCP compliant

    On the MacBook, you only have a Single Link connection, so the max you can get out of it at all is 1920x1200. And that is only if the MacBook allows it as a possible resolution based on the monitor reporting availability to it. It might not, and that could be why you only get 1280x800 as a maximun with it. And no, there is no HD disc playback software yet for Mac. So, no luck there either.

    With your 7950, you DO have a Dual Link capable output. So, you can run the monitor at 2560x1600 if you wish to. But, the 7950 does NOT have Dual Link HDCP compliance, only Single. So, if you want or need HDCP compliance, you will be limited to Single Link resolutions, thus 1920x1200 max.

    My friend is using an ATI 2900XT in his machine. That card has FULL DUAL LINK HDCP compliance. Meaning that even if he runs it at 2560x1600, which he does, it still has HDCP capability. So, when he watches HD-DVD movies, even at full resolution, he gets playback just fine.

    Get it?? I'm not rushing to try to prove you wrong. I'm just trying to help you understand what is going on here. Yes, it is a little sketchy with the Single/Dual Link HDCP issue. But, those are the facts. Full Dual Link HDCP cards didn't start coming out until fairly recently. Older cards, like your 7950, are HDCP compliant, but only at Single Link resolutions and lower.

    If you try that test again, with the 3007 and your 7950 at 1920x1200, I bet you pass, just like you say you do at 1280x800. Its not a fault of the monitor, which IS compliant with DUAL LINK HDCP. It is a limitation of your card, which only has SINGLE LINK HDCP compliance.

    So again, best of luck with your situation. Hopefully you can find a solution that works for you.
  13. Rhynri thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2008

    Anything else you'd like?

    I had already tried that guessing that it may be the case, but this time I took a screenshot at your request.

    Oh, and when I said earlier "i don't believe my card is scaling it", I wasn't wrong. Contrary to what you have indicated, it's perfectly possible to have the card scale the OS supplied image (say, from a full screen game or lower resolution full screen video player) and scale it to native for things like dumb televisions and projectors.


    What this tells me is that the monitor can indeed run 1920x1200 without my card doing any work and sending the signal at the native resolution to it. But as I note later, there may be more to it than this.

    This directly contradicts this information from AnandTech:

    So, upon basis of this, I maintain that your friend is NOT watching HDCP content on this display running any resolution over 1280x800. It's also a flaw not mentioned anywhere on Dell's page, I can't imagine they'd want to advertise that their premier (at the time) display is incapable of modern resolutions for HDCP. I should not have to search around the net to find these limitations out, they should be listed on the product page, hence my gripe.

    Also, if AnandTech is to be believed, it is impossible to run dual-link HDCP on any combination, something I believe (but, I do not know, and do not purport to know) DisplayAdapter will fix.

    @mrogers - dvi is a data connection, containing twisted pairs like an ethernet cable, dvi link's resolution being limited by it's bandwidth. While it is true that it does split things, it is alternating pixels, not lines, as the citation below indicates. From Wikipedia:
    NOTE section and emphasis added by myself for clarity.

    It is interesting to note that the AnandTech citation does accord with the display running at 1280x800 in single link mode. But as we can clearly see from my included media, it is also capable of running at 1920x1200. Additionally, it is capable of running at resolutions under 1280x800, all of which disagrees with it's own product page. A consumer should not have to search Google and have a technical knowledge of HDCP functioning on single link DVI, and have to understand that as well, to understand that the display will not run HDCP at native res. This all raises an interesting question. If the Dell is incapable of 1920x1200 on a single link, but displays the resolution on a Dual Link connection, then is it not out of specification for DVI? Again, it is worth mentioning that none of this is on Dell's product page.

    I try the best I can to fully qualify everything I say, if there have been any errors, omissions, or grammatical mistakes, I apologize, it is a late hour here.

    If you have any further questions or things for me to do with any combination of my two computers and the display, please ask.
  14. SevenInchScrew macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2007
    That wasn't what I was getting at. I mean, why would you set the video card to one resolution, only to have it scale it to something else? Thats silly. With LCD monitors, you have a fixed set of pixels, so ideally you set the video card to that resolution, and then your done with it. I have no idea why you would have the video card do any scaling like that.
    Next time I talk to him, I'll have him get a picture. It is happening, I can guarantee that. This is because his video card IS FULLY DUAL LINK HDCP compliant. So, even when he has the monitor at 2560x1600, it can keep the HDCP link intact. His card can, yours can't. And as I've said quite a few times, it isn't the monitor you should have issue with here.

    But, just to prove to you what I'm talking about, here is a page from over at HardOCP discussing THIS VERY ISSUE. Read that, and get back to me on what you think...

    As you can see, your card is on that list. But it only has Single Link HDCP compliance. And, the 2900XT that my friend has is also on that list. But, it has full Dual Link HDCP compliance. Thus, your problem. Backing down to 1280x800 is apparently ok, since it is well under the 1920x1080 resolution that HDCP is intended to protect.
    Again, it ISN'T a flaw. This monitor DOES have full DUAL LINK HDCP compliance. In this instance, it is YOUR video card that has the "flaw" here causing issue. Your card can only do HDCP over a Single Link connection. And since that is all it will do, on this monitor with its Dual Link HDCP connection, you get 1280x800 as a max HDCP compliant resolution. I was just guessing that it would pass the test at 1920x1200, which it did not, so oh well.
    You said yourself earlier that you can run the monitor at 1920x1200 just fine. It can do that resolution fine. But that isn't really the issue here. If you want to run it at 1920x1200, or higher, all while HAVING HDCP compliance, your video card WILL NOT do it. Yes, it is a quirky issue, the whole Single/Dual HDCP compliant thing. But, it is confirmed that the 3007 has FULL DUAL LINK HDCP compliance. So, there is nothing wrong with it.

    Again, I'm just going to take a guess at this, since I have no way to test it. But, if you were to use your video card with a Dell 2407, run it at 1920x1200, and do that test again, you would probably pass. That monitor has a regular Single Link connection, and is HDCP compliant. And, your card CAN do HDCP over single link. So, even at full 1920x1200 resolution, you have the protected HDCP link intact. Thus, it would pass your test.

    So really, it isn't really a "flaw" with any of the items you have. The 7950 has a Dual Link output, so it will display all the way up to 2560x1600. But, it only has Single Link HDCP compliance. So, it WILL NOT be able to playback protected content, or pass your test, at any resolution higher than 1280x800.

    The 3007 has a Dual Link HDCP connection. In order to have content played back with the monitor at full 2560x1600 resolution, you also need a video card that is capable of Dual Link HDCP compliance. As I said, my friend's 2900XT has that capability. Your 7950 does not. Thus, he will pass that test at full resolution, you fail it as we've seen.
  15. Rhynri thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2008
    I see. Thank you for that. It'd be nice if there wasn't so much conflicting documentation on the subject, as even your article links an AnandTech article that disagrees with my earlier one, which is certainly confusing. Also, it disagrees with itself as up near the top it quotes another Beyond3D article as saying that only certain 8xxx nvidias as supporting it. If my problem will be solved when I upgrade my card, that's great. It'd be better if the monitor supported Single Link resolutions as per DVI spec, which would allow me to run the MacBook at 1920x1200, but alas it does not.

    This whole mess with HDCP just makes me never want to watch another HD-DVD or Blu-Ray disc, and torrent rips. But since I really don't like stealing. I'll just read. And big media wonders why they have such poor sales. Content protection seems to have more of a negative effect, but that's a story for another place.

    It's also interesting to note that the GMA chip is capable of 2048x1536 at 75 Hz. o_O

    Oh, and about the scaling thing. If it makes no sense, do you really think that nVidia would go to the trouble of writing not just one, but two driver based modes for it?

    I'll give the 7950 to my friend. Does the MacBook Pro support Dual Link DVI? I've been interested in getting one for a while.

    Thanks for setting me straight! :cool:
  16. SevenInchScrew macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2007
    Sorry for the round-about way it took to get there. But, glad I could help.
    I think the problem stems from the fact that back in early 2007 when that Anandtech article was written, there just weren't many, if any, Dual Link HDCP capable cards. The monitor could do it, but with no cards to test it, they had nothing to say but that it would fail. But now, with capable cards on the market, it is shown that the monitor is fine, the video cards needed for the full HDCP compliance are the issue
    The early 8800s are just like your 7950. They have Dual Link output, and Single Link HDCP, but not Dual Link HDCP. I think it was either the 8600 or 8500 card that was the first of the 8xxx cards to have it. And, as I said, all the ATI 2xxx series, I believe, are capable.
    As far as I can tell, it seems just about every card from here on out that is Dual Link capable, will also have Dual Link HDCP. So yes, you should be good.
    Well, if you can get Dell to take back your 3007 and give you a deal on a 3008, you would be good to go. It looks like, with all the different inputs it has, that you would be fine with 1920x1200 on it. But again, keep in mind that the MacBook has no HDCP compliance. So, even if it would output the 1920x1200 you want, protected media from it would be no go. But then again, Apple has no way to play protected media right now anyway, so its kind of a non-issue.
    Fully agree. As with EVERY other DRM type scheme, its not the pirates who are stopped. It is the average user who doesn't keep up to date with this stuff who gets screwed.
    Analog yes. But, digital output is limited to 1920x1200.
    You got me. Like I said, I don't even know why you need one, let alone two modes for it. You set the resolution based on the display it will be shown on. So it seems to me like you would set it to output at that, and be done with. But, if nVidia put it in there, I'm guessing they have a reason for it. I'll be damned if I can figure out why though.
    Yes, the MacBook Pro will do Dual Link output. It has the GeForce 8600 inside, so it has the power to drive that many pixels. The GMA950 in the MacBook and Mini does not, so it only does Single Link. So, a MacBook Pro would be able to drive the 3007 fully at 2560x1600. No clue on the HDCP capability of it, either Single Link or Dual Link. But as I said before, given that Apple has no way to play protected media in OS X right now anyway, its not a big deal.
    Thats what I'm here for. HA HA :D
  17. Rhynri thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2008
    In other news, Dell wasn't polite enough to respond to my well worded and polite letter, which kinda irks me.

    Adopting a let's ignore it and it'll go away kind of attitude isn't a good idea for any company. :p

    Oh well, I know the solution now. It's still kind of annoying you can't run the display single link 1920x1200.

    Yeah, I knew about that being analog only. It's just amusing because that means it's likely capable of a higher resolution at a lower refresh.

    From parallels, i get that 16mb of graphics memory is enough to run native rez on this display if you have the output capability. In reality, you'd likely want 32mb (or 64 ^.^).

    I'm just posting cause i'm finishing up on monkeying around with my website, making sure that it all moved to the new platform. They broke my stats. Seeing as the site gets 25gb of traffic per day, I kinda want to know that stuff.

    MacBook annoyance - my keyboard not functioning after i return from Safe-Sleep after switching batteries. What's the point of having that mode if you have to restart the pc anyway!

    Edit: Oh hey! They fixed it in it's own special little update. Yay for us!

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