Best Solution To Connect Two 2560X1440 Displays To A Surface 3

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by EasaM, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. EasaM

    EasaM New Member

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    I am going to replace my desktop with my Surface 3, but want to continue to use my duel monitor setup. I currently have two HP ZR2740w monitors, which support both DisplayPort and Dual-Link DVI connectors, but do not have DisplayPort chaining available. I am purchasing the Docking station and plan to use the Surface touch screen as the third screen for touch navigation.
    I want to be able to get home, dock my Surface 3 and have the two displays just work. I want them to go to sleep when the surface is not docked as well as when the surface display turns off. So basically I just want it to work.
    Performance wise I would like good performance, but I am not a gamer, so that is not an issue. I do a lot of photo editing, and video work, so that is the main performance issue. I would be interested to understand if there is an offering that could provide good gaming and/or could be used to improve video conversions and other GPU intensive features.
    Given this I am wondering if I can just go with a DisplayPort 2 monitor hub and if so what is one that is certified or is know to work with the Surface 3. Is there any value of getting the i7 with the 40 GPU cores, or is the i5 good enough?
    The other option is to use a USB3 graphics adapter and potentially offload the graphics work. How would this affect performance? What is a recommended one.
    Help would be appreciated.
     
  2. wertzius

    wertzius Member

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    The Surface is simply a wrong device for you. It is not made for graphic intense video editing. The device will heat up and throttle.

    I am not sure if the surface can handle 2 2560x1440 monitors via the docking station and the mini DP port in the device in addition to the built in display.
     
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  3. malberttoo

    malberttoo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Only the i5 and i7 versions can handle that kind of resolution. Those SP3's can drive up to 2 external monitors at 2880 x 1800 each. The i3 can do 2 displays at 1920 x 1200. In your case, the Surface Pro 3 dock will come with a mini DisplayPort, so you can plug one monitor into the dock's DisplayPort, and another monitor into the SP3's DisplayPort. If you want the SP3 to be completely unencumbered though while in the dock, you'd have to get a DiplayPort hub and run it solely off the dock. Or, there may be another non-Microsoft docking solution that has dual DisplayPort, I know it has been discussed somewhat in other threads on this forum.

    I'm confused by your statement "I am not a gamer" but then said "if there is an offering that could provide good gaming...".

    If you want to do anything processor intensive, then get the i7. But like wertzius stated above, this really is not the ideal machine (IMHO) if you are strictly looking for a full-time video editing machine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  4. EasaM

    EasaM New Member

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    Thanks for the replies and this helps, but let me clarify a little more.

    I have the I5 with 256GB, so the surface should be able to drive my two displays. I am buying the Microsoft Hub, so not considering other Hubs. One reason I am going with the Microsoft one is that docking it is seamless, so I don't want to go the route of plugging in one display to the side of the Surface. Given this I am going to need to use some device that either connects to the USB3 port or the Displayport on the dock, just trying to understand what are the best options. I do not do a lot of video editing, and have a Server that I will remote into for more power.

    What I want to understand is if I use a Displayport Hub and the Surface drives the displays is it going to work smoothly and with minimal issues. If I go the USB 3.o route, will that offload some of the video processing and allow the Surface to run cooler and potentially provide better performance.

    I looked for a displayport hub thread and could not find anything so if you can point me to this I would appreciate it, or if you have a recommendation.

    I am also want to understand what the best USB 3.0 solution would be to drive the two displays.

    In summary I am looking for the BEST solution to drive the two external displays, while connecting through the MSFT Docking station.

    Thanks in advance for help and guidance.
     
  5. EasaM

    EasaM New Member

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    So did a little more research and there could be a third option. Plug one display into the docking station and purchase a USB 3.0 to DisplayPort adapter and use that for the other display.
    The question I have is will this lessen the load on my Surface or increase it and would this be better or worse than a DisplayPort Hub.
    Just want to understand the difference between these options.
     
  6. JesseDiaz

    JesseDiaz Member

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  7. RottenMutt

    RottenMutt Member

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    The SP3 has a NXP CBTL06GP213 Six-Channel Multiplexer chip, but MS has not clarified if it is used to switch just DP3, and/or PCIe and USB3. I do suspect that the on board display port will switch over to the dock when docked and be not usable. I would ebay my monitors and get two display port 2 monitors that support daisy chaining before using USB3 adapter.
     
  8. dstrauss

    dstrauss Active Member

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    Anything that converts video through your USB 3 connector is going to tax the Surface Pro 3 - don't know about display port hubs, but I think the only good way to get two 2560x1440 displays is if the first one can daisy-chain to the second (which need not be a DP 1.2 device - that's what Im doing now with the first a DP 1.2, the second a DP 1.1).
     
  9. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    Your best bet is to use DisplayPort Daisy Chaining, USB Video renders via the CPU....
     
  10. EasaM

    EasaM New Member

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    So I really like my monitors and don't want to have to go through the hassle or selling them.
    I wish there was a write up on some of the USB devices that explain how much CPU they are using.

    After further research I am eyeing the Club3D CSV-5200, which is USB powered and provides two independent DiplayPorts and can support the full 2560x1440 resolutions that I am running. Unfortunately they are not out yet and cannot find when they will be released. Ideally this is what I am looking for, so if anyone knows of other options or has an opinion on this please let me know.
    I really wish MSFT would have put two ports on their docking station, seems like this would have been easy to do and would be aligned with what most businesses docking stations are doing.
     
  11. wertzius

    wertzius Member

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    You should be aware of video stuttering when playing high resolution videos. The USB connection and the cpu usage are limiting! You should try that first.

    Edit: Forget that, i've seen now, that it is only a USB powered Displayport hub! This will work.
     
  12. Seneleron

    Seneleron Active Member

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    Maybe not, but it WOULD be the simplest, most efficient way to achieve your desired result. Every time you add another component to your setup [adapters, etc] you're adding another potential failure point and a dozen or so possible headaches due to hardware and adapter. . . personality quirks.

    Even if you don't intend to sell your current monitors, I'd still HIGHLY recommend just pricing it out as an option.
     

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