Two calibrated screens - completely different colors

Hi everybody,

I am new to color management. I purchased X-Rite I1 PRO 2 device and calibrated my external wide gamut monitor DELL U2410 and build-in display on my laptop Fujitsu T902. I run Windows 7 and display is extended to laptop build-in display. Right there I can see huge difference in colors of wallpapers. I thought that it could be because the wallpapers are not color managed, so I tried to use photo in Photoshop program as a reference. When I move the Photoshop window with the photo the way that it spawns across both screens, there is a obvious color difference - e.g. blue color on one screen turns into purple on the other.

Is this something expected due to different display technologies? What should I do to correct it? I also appreciate any links to information regarding the color profiling monitors and printers, but for beginners.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Windows computers generally will not allow you to have more than one profile associated with one graphics card. So if you are driving your laptop and your external monitor off the same computer, it might be that your system is using the profile from whichever display you profiled last. If this is case, to solve it you would need to drive the external display from a second graphics card. Then you could have a separate profile for each display.

  • These are two very different monitors in terms of color. Your laptop will likely be at the gamut of sRGB or less, and the Dell will have a lot more saturation. What profiling does is allow your displays to present colors and images as accurately as they can given the technology limitations. But it will necessarily allow the Dell to have more color saturation than the laptop can produce. So some color difference may be there.

  • As you know, it is better to make color decisions based on what you see in Photoshop than in other apps, because it is color-managed and takes the monitor profile into account when providing color for you.

Here’re a few good overviews of color profiling for monitors and printers to start with: … _my_Screen … er_Profile

As far as I know, the only way in a Windows OS to get each screen to have it’s own bespoke profile is to have either 2 physical graphics adapters installed in your computer and each card running it’s own screen and associated ICC profile (and I believe this is actually now somehow possible even on a laptop that doesn’t support 2 internal graphics adapters, as many gaming lappy’s do so these days) or to use some certain versions of Matrox dual-head graphics adapters as they have, or at least allow for, seperate LUTs for each screen output, which as I understand it, is what’s required for each screen to have a seperate and actively working profile.

Please correct me if I’m mistaken.