Finally: Daisy-Chaining Monitors With DisplayPort 1.2!

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 2' started by Nuspieds, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. Nuspieds

    Nuspieds Active Member

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    It took a lot of patience--and disappointment in the SP 1--but, finally, with the SP2, there is DisplayPort 1.2 support and my setup now has my second external monitor daisy-chained to the first. Finally!!! :big smile:

    My primary monitor connected to the SP2 is the Dell U3014 (it is the one that is DP 1.2-compliant) and the second monitor is the Dell U3011 (it is DP 1.1a only). In order to support both monitors at maximum 2560x1600 resolution with the SP1, I had to connect the U3011 to the USB 3.0 port which, of course, took away bandwidth from the other USB devices. I must say, though, that lag was never an issue and it worked great, albeit to the detriment of my USB throughput.

    I was bracing myself for some sort of additional setup but, much to my delightful surprise, out of the box, the daisy-chained monitors worked when I booted up my SP2. I love to see my fantastic device sporting up-to-date technologies!

    Though the SP2 is more of an incremental upgrade over the SP1, I really think that it was a necessary upgrade to bring it up-to-date, feature- and technology-wise (CPU, battery, display/graphics, docking accessory, etc.). So far, I continue to love this product and can't wait for its next releases and the features they bring.
     
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  2. ALLCAPS

    ALLCAPS New Member

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    Good to hear. I'd love to have a setup like this. If I buy new monitors any time soon I'll make it a point to get ones that support this.
     
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  3. Nuspieds

    Nuspieds Active Member

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    Yes, the setup definitely works great. The thing to remember is that it is not an issue for a DP 1.1a monitor to be part of the chain, but it will be the last, since it does not have DP out. Therefore, in a 2-chain, like mine, only the first needs to be DP 1.2-compliant. This ended up being a big deal for me because it meant that the investment I made in the U3011 could continue onwards.

    What was really important for me with dual-monitor support was that they all had to have the same resolution. There are several options for dual-monitor support but I wanted the option that provided me the same resolution on both monitors. I tried those other options, but I found it a nuisance when moving windows from one monitor to the next, only to see things resize. That's why I eventually settled for the StarTech adapter as my temporary workaround.

    But, anyway, I'm glad that's all in the past now and I can now support both monitors natively without reducing my USB 3.0 port's bandwidth.

    So if/when you get your monitor(s), make sure the first has DP 1.2 and DP out capabilities so that you can daisy-chain.
     
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  4. mjgerrard

    mjgerrard New Member

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    Pictures please! Especially of the cabling :)
     
  5. T-Bob

    T-Bob New Member

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    This will probably be a stupid question but I am using a Ankar USB 3.0 Docking station that has two monitors connected to it. Are you saying that using it in this way drops the bandwidth for USB and that Daisy chaining off a single monitor that then connects to the second monitor is better?
     
  6. mtalinm

    mtalinm Active Member

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    Yes, pics please! I have a Dell U2713HM, which is also listed as DP1.2 compliant, but I do not see a DP out port on it.
     
  7. Nuspieds

    Nuspieds Active Member

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    I'm currently traveling, so I can't post pics yet.

    If I arrive home early enough Friday, I'll post them in the evening; otherwise, I'll do it Saturday morning (most likely, because my flight usually lands late on Fridays).
     
  8. mjgerrard

    mjgerrard New Member

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    Thanks!
     
  9. Nuspieds

    Nuspieds Active Member

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    No, not a stupid question. :)

    The answer is yes. When you're on a hub, all those devices are sharing the bandwidth for one true, single port.

    But this does not mean that you will see a dramatic and unacceptable degradation in performance/throughput because, of course, it all depends on what you're doing and the devices themselves.

    Because monitor video is "constant" in that the screen is always practically getting updated, I was definitely initially worried about using my Dell on the USB 3.0 hub. I had read reports about people experiencing lag, so that made me even more nervous. But you know what? I never experienced any lags and, to me, you couldn't tell that my monitor was connected via USB as opposed to via DisplayPort.

    It worked great and, in my case, USB 3.0 was definitely fast enough to support my use case. However, I never wanted to settle for that permanently because in my use case, I do a lot of huge file transfers to various USB drives and I want maximum throughput. As a matter of fact, last year, when I decided I was going to get the Surface Pro, I saw that it had a USB 3.0 port, so I prepared by replacing all those USB 2.0 drives with 3.0 versions.

    In addition, because the Surface does not have an Ethernet port, the only way to get Gigabit speed is via the USB 3.0 port. So, in addition to my monitor with "constant" video, I also had the "practically-always-constant" Ethernet connection sharing the USB 3.0 port. For sure, when I'm doing a lot of streaming (HD content, especially), performance isn't going to be at its peak across all devices. Again, in my use case, I was fine, but also knew I wasn't operating at optimal performance.

    So, yes, with DP daisy-chaining, everything goes through the DP port and so now I have one less device competing for bandwidth on my USB 3.0 hub. If you're able to connect one monitor to your Surface, then you should do so and leave the other(s) connected via the USB 3.0 hub, so that you have one less significant device eating up its bandwidth.
     
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  10. Nuspieds

    Nuspieds Active Member

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    Well, if it doesn't have a DP Out port, then it can only ever be the end in a chain.

    That's the thing about the daisy-chain setup: You have to make sure that your first and intermediary monitors all have the DP Out port. Only your very last one doesn't, obviously, and it can be DP 1.1a, no issues, like in my setup.

    So, sorry to bear the bad news, but you definitely need that DP Out port. :(
     
  11. Telstar1948

    Telstar1948 Active Member

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    What's your take on the DVI out splitters (for 2 monitors using one DVI output?
     
  12. Kiri

    Kiri New Member

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    Awesome! Glad to hear your DP chaining works well. I'm actually just using a USB video out adapter + DP for my setup. I agree that there isn't a noticeable degradation in quality from the USB video which s awesome. It's even connected to USB hub that is powering an external dvd burner, 1TB HDD, wireless dongle, and a SD card. No lag whatsoever!

    Here's a pic of my setup haha (excuse the wiring, i'll fix it later)

    20131031_144224_zpsaff43008.jpg
     

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