Mini display port on docking station

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by Richard Turner, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. Richard Turner

    Richard Turner New Member

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    Can anyone explain why my mini-display port connector works well on the SP3 itself, but not at all on the docking station? Is there some difference between them?
     
  2. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Run Windows Update while docked to ensure the Dock firmware is up to date. If it still doesn't work its probably defective, exchange it.
     
  3. Richard Turner

    Richard Turner New Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I'm afraid that is the first thing I did and it made no difference. Microsoft, to their credit, have sent me a replacement, but it is exactly the same as the old one.
     
  4. bluegrass

    bluegrass Well-Known Member

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    My Device:
    SPro3
    Although I haven't seen any problems with mine and 3 other users where I work, I've read a number of complaints on this forum on this subject. I think it boils down several factors: monitor model, cable and adapter, monitor interface. Myself and my clients have all been setup with Acer monitors using the DVI interface of the monitor connected to both the Surface Dock and the Surface using an adaptor. I'm not having any problems.

    I'm sure your monitor has more than one interface. I suggest you get an adapter to a different interface & try it. It's pretty unlikely that two docking stations were bad.
     
  5. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    DP is finicky/flakey as hell. Maybe when this standard gets to 2.0 things will work better... you can read all about DP horror stories on MAC forums too... I think the crux of the issues boils down to insufficient specifications in the DP standard which leads to too wide of variances between implementations.
     
  6. Richard Turner

    Richard Turner New Member

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    Thanks for this.

    Yes my monitor has two interfaces. I have adaptors for both and both h
    Well - it took me a while to work out what DP was - Display Port presumably - but now I think you've hit the nail on the head. I'll take this back to Microsoft and see what they say.
    Many thanks
    RT
     
  7. Jamie Youngblood

    Jamie Youngblood Member

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    The physical wire routing is longer from the CPU/GPU to the DP port on the dock than the one on the SP3. The signal degrades over distance (plus any electrical interactions between the dock connector and SP3).

    Try a shorter/better cable (tested to DP1.2 bandwidth). I could not run 4k@60Hz with a 6ft cable from the dock, but it works with a 3ft.
     
    surfdock likes this.
  8. tuchas

    tuchas Active Member

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    I've had mixed results with this. I was using an HDMI cable plugged into the Surface Pro 3 Mini Displayport to HDMI adapter, which worked fine with the docking station. But I didn't want to use that all the time, so I bought a Belkin MDP to HDMI Cable - which I thought would be the best solution of all. As it turns out, the freaking MDP end of the cable does not stay connected to the docking station well. Move the docking station a millimeter and the connection to the monitor drops all the time. Maybe it's a problem with the cable, but I thought a MDP connector was universal.
     
  9. Richard Turner

    Richard Turner New Member

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    Thanks for this too.

    I have now tried a short (3ft) HDMI cable with the same result. I have now tried all three of the connections on my monitor, having bought adaptors for all of them. They are all 3ft cables and the result is always the same - no signal from the Docking Station, no problem from the SP3. I really feel Microsoft should offer a solution to this. They are selling equipment that doesn't work as advertised. Either they should make sure it does, or should change the product description.

    RT
     
  10. surfdock

    surfdock Active Member

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    Jamie Youngblood's post is spot on.

    FWIW, at home we have the Surface brand dock and the Surface brand mini-DisplayPort adapter hooked up to a $100 Asus monitor through an Amazon Basics $5 HDMI cable and it works like a champ. If you've tried a quality cable and a quality adapter, it sounds like you got another dud docking station :(
     
  11. Jamie Youngblood

    Jamie Youngblood Member

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    If you are using a miniDP->HDMI cable, there is another issue to consider. The SP3 port probably supports DP++ (or dual-mode) which electrically turns the port into an HDMI port when you are using a passive HDMI cable. The port on the dock might not support DP++, in which case you will need to buy an "active" cable to handle the conversion for you.
     
  12. bmack

    bmack Member

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    My docked worked just fine the first time I plugged it in. Could it be the cable?
     

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