Mini display port question

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Accessories' started by cafutter, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. cafutter

    cafutter Member

    Dec 20, 2012
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    I am upgrading from a pro2 to a pro4 and waiting for it (Core i7) to arrive at the Microsoft store. My plan is to have it replace both my home and work computers by have a docking station at each place. My dual monitors at work are VGA, no issue there. However, I have 2 high resolution monitors at home and want to make sure that the best resolution is transmitted to the monitors. Microsoft's mini Displayport (MDP) adapter is $39. I have seen a number of PASSIVE MDP adapters for very little money ( Will a passive one transmit the proper high resolution signal? Is there an advantage to active vs. passive? Since I am buying 4 adapters, I want to optimize my expenses. Also, how can I tell the difference between active and passive?
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2015
  2. surfdock

    surfdock Active Member

    Jan 21, 2014
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    Seattle, WA
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    Hi cafutter, I wrote an article on this dilemma last year that may be helpful:
    DisplayPort->HDMI dongles/adapters - active vs passive re-visited - danchar - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

    The MS brand adapters are high quality, but I don't think they are twice as good as the Accell brand available on Amazon. So if you want to save a few bucks go for Accell. The $10 adapters from monoprice/ebay/aliexpress will work - I have a few of those, but the construction is lower quality and I have had more problems with those types of adapters in the lab than the name brand ones.

    Double-check your dual monitors at work - if they support DVI/HDMI, it is better to use that than VGA - you may just need some different cables which are pretty cheap these days.

    Which docking station do you plan to get? Would you consider docking your SP4 right next to your monitor like this:
    3-in-1 Dock - A Microsoft Garage Project for Surface Pro 3 - danchar - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
    malberttoo likes this.
  3. daniielrp

    daniielrp Active Member

    Oct 26, 2013
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    Preston, UK
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    Ideally as above you want to avoid converting the signal back to analog VGA.

    Your monitors at home, do they have DisplayPort? If so you can just get a cable with no conversion needed other than going from miniDP to DP.

    I used a cheap eBay miniDP to HDMI once but it maxed out at 2056 x 1024 which looked atrocious on my 2560x1440 monitor. I ended up with just a miniDP to DP cable with works perfectly.

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