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2018 Acer Swift 1 SF114-32 USB Type-C external display

SystemSystem Posts: 280Member Enthusiast

2018 Acer Swift 1 SF114-32 USB Type-C external display

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  • Mateo620Mateo620 Posts: 97Member Fixer
    I am having an issue with my SF114-32 displaying to an external display via the USB-C port. Today I tried to use my HDMI HDTV with a USB-C to female HDMI adapter but was not successful. The computer would not detect the secondary display at all no matter what I tried to configure in the Windows display settings.

    I tested this same USB-C to HDMI (female) adapter with my Acer Switch V 10 SW5-017P-17JJ (which is still on its first and only BIOS version) and it displayed to my HDMI HDTV fine, as expected. I also tested the same adapter on my Essential PH-1 phone and it also worked fine as expected. Both of these devices either allowed me to duplicate the host device's screen or allow for extending the displays as one would expect. However, when I connected with the exact same cable and adapter to my SF114-32 it simply did not work. What I got was a secondary display that could not be detected. 

    I noticed that a USB "Billboard Device" appeared in Device Manager and in other device oriented areas of Windows 10. The BillBoard Device states it is Manufactured by WinUsb Device and is located on Port_#0002.Hub_#0001. The driver installed is from Microsoft dated 6/21/2006 version 10.0.17763.1. It cannot be updated using Windows Update as it is already found to be the latest version. The Device instance path is USB\VID_0BDA&PID_2171\123456789ABCDEFGH and the hardware ID is USB\VID_0BDA&PID_2171&REV_0111. 

    I then removed the USB-C to HDMI (female) adapter and connected the HDMI cable directly to the HDMI port on my SF114-32 to my HDTV. This HDMI to HDMI connection worked fine again as expected. So now I am here with this issue and starting to think it is an issue with the SF114-32's USB-C port or controller or software or hardware. It could very well be the adapter I purchased but I don't believe it is because then my other devices wouldn't have worked either. 

    I feel like this is an issue Acer/Intel needs to address via some kind of software, BIOS, or firmware update for this particular model. On my end I will go ahead and purchase another USB-C to HDMI adapter/hub/dock in order to determine whether it is in fact my adapter at fault or my SF114-32's fault. 

    How can I relay this information to Acer engineers/developers? I'd like to be able to connect to two displays to my SF114-32 via it's built-in HDMI and USB-C ports simultaneously as expected from any other computer to do so.
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,093ACE Trailblazer
    Your C3.1 port is limited to 5Gbps max, same as an A3. Try reducing resolution to see what happens. Jack E/NJ
  • Mateo620Mateo620 Posts: 97Member Fixer
    edited December 2018
    I'll give that a try when i get home.

    Does USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 not have enough bandwidth for HDMI 1.4a/2.0? or even DisplayPort 1.4a? Does the SF114-32's USB-C port not support Alt Mode?

    I'm starting to get the feeling that this USB-C port is only going to support data (and not display and *****). So sad.
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,093ACE Trailblazer
    It should support displayport & power-off charging. But its USB-A3 speed limit may compromise acceptable resolution. You'll just have to try lower resolutions and see. Jack E/NJ 
  • Mateo620Mateo620 Posts: 97Member Fixer
    edited December 2018
    Ok I tried lowering the resolution to lowest possible resolution of 800x600 and it didn't make a difference. I am getting the same error messages and results as before. I also tried 1366x768 and got the same results. I didn't bother trying anything else after that. I also tried a Linux Mint MATE live CD and it also would not detect the secondary display via USB-C.






  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,093ACE Trailblazer
    Please confirm your ports are as depicted in the image below. Jack E/NJ

     
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,093ACE Trailblazer
    You can also mirror on multiple HDMI monitors/TVs with an inexpensive HDMI hub. Jack E/NJ
  • Mateo620Mateo620 Posts: 97Member Fixer
    edited December 2018
    The ports on my SF114-32-P2PK look exactly as depicted in that image. And if I'm reading that description correctly its saying "USB Type-C power adapter" as if it supports USB *****, DisplayPort and obvious data. Unfortunately I don't have a USB-C 45W power adapter to test this with.

    My Linux Mint MATE live CD detected my HDMI connected HDTV correctly just like in Windows.



    I didn't think about an HDMI hub. The Intel Pentium Silver N5000 UHD 605 iGPU fully supports [email protected] via HDMI 2.0 so that's something I'd like to try eventually. 
  • Mateo620Mateo620 Posts: 97Member Fixer
    For fun I just tested my Essential Phone's included USB-C to USB-C (USB 2.0) charge/data cable and my phone connected fine. It is seen as a USB device. It does not however receive power when the laptop is OFF, as I suspected, only when ON. 

    I also tested my Essential Phone's included USB-C to 3.5mm adapter. Windows detected it as a Conexant USB Audio adapter. I connected my headphones and it sounded great! No static or odd noises. It just worked as expected. I connected to the built-in 3.5mm port and it also worked. I think the USB-C to 3.5mm adapter sounded a little better but maybe my ears were just fooling me. I'm just happy it worked.
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,093ACE Trailblazer
    Note also USB-A port #4 description above. The 5Gbit/s max on USB-C seems generally inconsistent for DP support. Also the specs indicate the internal and HDMI resolutions in the image below. Jack E/NJ

      
  • Mateo620Mateo620 Posts: 97Member Fixer
    edited December 2018
    USB-A port #4 description above is correct. That USB port functions as described. It can charge my phone while the computer is OFF. 

    I pulled up the available User Manual from the US Acer support site for the SF114-32 and things look a bit different than what you posted. There's no mention of Power Delivery or external display information, just data transfer specs. What manual are you looking at?




    This is from User Manual version 1.0 dated 2018/09/12 5.0MB. 

    https://global-download.acer.com/GDFiles/Document/User%20Manual/User%20Manual_Acer_1.0_A_A.PDF?acerid=636723205690234297&Step1=ULTRA-THIN&Step2=SWIFT&Step3=SF114-32&OS=ALL&LC=en&BC=ACER&SC=PA_6
  • Mateo620Mateo620 Posts: 97Member Fixer
    If 3840 x 2160 at 30 Hz is truly the maximum HDMI resolution for the SF114-32 then I'm going to feel even more disappointed than I already do. If true, I hope this isn't something that Acer gimped on the SF114-32 for cost savings or some other inexplicable reason. Maybe the User Manual is incorrect or hasn't been updated with current information?

    According to Intel, 4K or 3840 x 2160 at 60 Hz is supported by the Pentium Silver N5000's UHD 605 iGPU. This is supported by the HDMI 2.0 standard which has the bandwidth of 18Gbps. 

    As an anecdote, a YouTuber by the name of ETA PRIME has couple videos showcasing an 11.6" Asus E203MA with an Intel Celeron N4000 (same [email protected] and HDMI 2.0 support, Gemini Lake) and mentions that he was able to playback [email protected] content onto his 4K external display via HDMI. I expect the same from the N5000 but understand its up to the OEMs to implement or omit certain features.

  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,093ACE Trailblazer
    My info comes from the specs when the model first released. I wouldn't doubt changes are made during production runs and in different marketing regions. The early specs indicate HDMI 1.4, not 2.0. The USB-C DP support despite the USB-A3 speed limitations. Jack E/NJ
  • Mateo620Mateo620 Posts: 97Member Fixer
    I just tested a Samsung UHD TV and the max resolution I was able to get was 4096 x 2160 at 30 Hz. I also tested the USB-C to HDMI function and still no display was detected. ☹️
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,093ACE Trailblazer
    edited December 2018
    Congrats, specsheet for this model says 3840 x 2160p @ 30Hz max HDMI resolution. So you got a bonus if your test is accurate.

    However, the C port DP support is another story. It apparently only supports single mode DP output. This means it doesn't convert a DP signal directly to HDMI signal. So you can't use a garden-variety passive DP2HDMI passthru adapter like you're using. You need an active DP2HDMI adapter to convert the DP signal to an HDMI signal. https://blog.tripplite.com/whats-the-difference-between-passive-and-active-displayport-adapters/

    However, the C port should be able to provide a DP output needed to detect and drive monitors equipped with a DP input port.

    Jack E/NJ 


  • Mateo620Mateo620 Posts: 97Member Fixer
    Yes, that was quite the surprise. I sure don't mind the additional resolution. 

    I just ordered a new Certified Premium HDMI cable ([email protected], HDR, 18Gbps, 28AWG, YUV 4:4:4) for further testing. I want to rule out an incorrect cable in the equation as I am not certain my existing cable is of the proper specification. I also ordered a 43" TCL 43S517 4K UHD TV to replace my old 22" 1080p TV. I got a good deal on it and it will be perfect to test with my new HDMI cable when both arrive. I'll update my notes with my findings. 

    As for the USB-C port, I will look into getting an active USB-C to HDMI/DP adapter. I did not think about this possibility but its worth a shot. 
  • JackEJackE Posts: 17,093ACE Trailblazer
    Mateo620Yes, please let us know the results especially with that new 43-incher! Jack E/NJ

  • Mateo620Mateo620 Posts: 97Member Fixer
    edited January 16
    Ok so same results. The max I am able to display to my 4K TV using my new cable is 4096 x 2160 @ 30 Hz. However, at 3840 x 2160p @ 30Hz everything looks much more crisp and sharp especially text. I guess that'll do for now.


    Also, I picked up a 65W USB-C ***** charger and sure enough the USB-C port did not accept the charge. Seems data is all the port is good for on this SF114-32. It did however charge my Essential PH-1 at a full 27W rapid charge. :3
  • taylorppataylorppa Posts: 2Member New User
    Yes, I am here with this issue and starting to think it is an issue with the SF114-32's USB-C port or controller or software or hardware yet.

    ---------------------------------------------
    Patent Prosecution Attorney


  • Mateo620Mateo620 Posts: 97Member Fixer
    Um why did my Acer Idea thread just become combined with my Swift, Spin, S and R Series Laptops thread?! One is more or less a request and the other an incident. These threads are related but do not belong together like this? Was this an error by an admin?
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