Summary: I have had a difficult time installing either Windows 10 or Ubuntu 16.04 on Skull Canyon with a dual 4K monitor setup. The symptoms are that the system freezes up (sometimes the monitor flashes before doing so) within a few seconds or minutes of using the GUI. In the Windows case I was able to resolve the issue (aside from refresh rate) by installing display drivers as early as possible. In the Ubuntu case I have not been able to reliably resolve the issue (perhaps because, if it is in fact related to display drivers, I don’t know how to get new display drivers for Linux).
Two Dell P2715Q 27” 4K monitors, one connected via DisplayPort, the other via HDMI (direct cables, no adapters)
32G RAM ( CRUCIAL TECHNOLOGY 32GB Kit (16GBx2) DDR4 2133 MT/s (CT2K16G4SFD8213) http://www.amazon.com/CRUCIAL-TECHNOLOGY-32GB-16GBx2-CT2K16G4SFD8213/dp/B015YPB8ME
512GB SSD - Samsung 950 PRO Series - 512GB PCIe NVMe - M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V5P512BW) http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-950-PRO-Internal-MZ-V5P512BW/dp/B01639694M
How to reproduce:
First update the BIOS to the latest version ( I have KYSKLi70.86a.0034.2016.0503.1003 )
- Prepare a UEFI-boot Windows 10 USB stick (I started with the Windows 10 ISO downloaded from MSDN (I am a subscriber) and used Rufus to make a bootable USB stick)
- Download Intel LAN or Wireless drivers to another stick (Windows 10 doesn’t seem to recognize the Skull Canyon networking hardware out of the box, even though Ubuntu does)
- Install Windows
- Install networking from the stick you made above
- Surf to the Intel driver update utility, install it, and use it to start installing the remaining needed drivers
- Usually my system would freeze during randomly this point, during some UI gesture like scrolling a window
- Download the Intel Display drivers onto your second stick beforehand, and have them be the very first thing you install, even before the network. For me this resulted in a stable system, with the exception of the refresh problem below.
Subproblem: refresh rate:
I am able to get my DisplayPort-connected monitor to run at 60Hz via the Intel Iris Graphics control panel, but no matter what I try, I can’t get the HDMI-connected monitor to go above 30Hz. Thinking it might be a deficiency in the HDMI port, yesterday I bought a junky USB-C-to-HDMI adapter at Best Buy and I connected my second monitor via the Thunderbolt port. This worked in the sense that I still got a display, but still only at 30Hz. Because I’m out of things to try, I decided to try changing HDMI to DisplayPort. So I ordered a USB-C-to-DisplayPort adaptor which hasn’t arrived yet. I’ll let you know.
Expected result: that I should be able to run up to three 4K monitors at 60Hz.
This is very easy to reproduce because it fails so soon. Ubuntu can be booted in “live” mode where it just runs Linux on the machine without touching your storage. Repro steps are:
- Download Ubuntu and prepare a USB-bootable Ubuntu 16.04 stick
- Boot into live mode (“Try Ubuntu without installing”)
- System freezes as soon as you transit the mouse pointer from one monitor to the other, or one of the displays starts to flash and Ubuntu doesn’t respond to keyboard or mouse clicks (weirdly the pointer continues to move)
Running an actually installed Ubuntu (not "live" mode):
- Gets to the login screen and then freezes (no mouse pointer, cursor stops blinking and is frozen at password prompt)
- Note: both scenarios work fine if I unplug either the DisplayPort-attached or the HDMI-attached monitor and use the system with a single 4K monitor attached to either port.
I’ve tried a number of variants on this. There may be some strange little differences, but in no case does the system stay up for very long.
Any ideas here? BIOS settings? Linux drivers? Is it working better for anyone else?
I'd appreciate any help you can provide. I'll try just about anything. Images or videos available upon request.