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Colour differences between 2 Dell Ultrasharp monitors

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
January 20, 2011 3:23:43 AM

I've just bought two 23 inch Dell Ultrasharp U2311H LCD screens (IPS). As soon as I switched them on, I noticed that are significant colour differences between the two screens; the left screen felt too cold / blue. I tried adjusting the RGB values manually but haven't been able to fix the problem.

To verify it's not a dodgy output from the graphics card, I unplugged the video cables and ran the diagnostics screens (displays grey, red, green, blue, white and black screens without input from the graphics card). No funny pixels, but the colour difference between the screens is very obvious, especially on the grey screen (RGB seem fine).

I photographed the screens in their grey state, see here (2 MB):

Do I have a defective screen? I have no calibration equipment, but the colours are obviously well off on the left screen.

Can I claim this on warranty or is this sort of variation normal? I've been using dual screens for years, albeit lower quality ones, but have never had a significant colour variation between any of them.

January 20, 2011 6:13:09 AM

Just noticed that the "correct" looking screen is REV02 whereas the "bad" looking screen is "REV01". That may explain a few things...
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January 20, 2011 11:41:15 AM

Have you tried to swap the DVI output on the GPU, if the color swaps with the DVI swap, you are likely to have the same issue i had.
My GPU was faulty, replaced my faulty HD4890 with a HD5850, and it looks great, apparently the 4890 series had some issues like that ...
January 20, 2011 11:50:15 AM

Thanks for the reply. I'm running the diagnostic screens without the monitors being connected to the PC at all, so I can rule out anything graphics card and cable related...

(all video cables must be disconnected prior to running the diagnostic test screens)
a c 358 U Graphics card
January 20, 2011 6:08:38 PM

It seems Dell decided to tweak the default color settings. Go to the following site to help tweak your monitors.
January 20, 2011 8:23:16 PM

Thanks, I've already been playing with that today, but didn't make much progress - some of it is quite subjective and even after going through all the tests and adjustments, the screen colours aren't really much closer to one anther. I've also been playing with the settings to try and get them to match color-wise, but if I get one or two colours to match, the others fall drastically out of line etc.

I think calibration may be the way forward now...will have to order a gadget.
January 21, 2011 10:33:09 AM

which GPU do you have ? did you try to swap the outputs ? did the colors swap screen ? if the colors swap screens when you swap outputs, then i'm pretty sure it's you card ..

And it's pretty much impossible to calibrate it ...
January 21, 2011 2:04:32 PM

The screens are not plugged into the graphics card at all when these test images are shown - they are diagnostic screens which only run if there are no video cables connected. This is so that cable and graphics card issues can be ruled out when diagnosing issues with the monitor.

(on this monitor these diagnostic test images can be run by holding down buttons 1 and 4 when all video cables are unplugged).