Surface Pro 2 Dual/Triple external monitors - what works and what doesn't

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 2' started by konbaasiang, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. konbaasiang

    konbaasiang New Member

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    Hi guys,

    I'm trying to make do with my Surface Pro 2 being my only computer when traveling. I'm a programmer, so this means a pretty decked out system with many peripherals and as much screen real estate as possible. This is all pretty new, and there's not a lot of information about what works together, so I've resorted to simply buying a whole bunch of stuff and trying it. This post is to share my experiences, hopefully it will be useful to someone.

    Club 3D MST (multi-stream transport) DisplayPort hub

    This basically works, but with a few problems:

    With a 3-ft Mini Displayport (male) to Displayport (female) cable from Startech.com, it worked but not reliably. There were random horizontal flickering black lines across the image, and sometimes the entire display would blank (and the picture would only sometimes come back). Turns out that the cable was degrading the DisplayPort signal, because:

    With a 6-in Mini Displayport (male) to Displayport (female) cable from Startech.com, the Club 3D hub works properly.

    Still some issues though:

    - When the SP2 puts the displays to sleep due to inactivity, and you wake it up again, the displays come back until you log back in. Two or three seconds after successfully logging back in, the displays go blank again. The computer is still seeing the external displays but they no longer work. At this point, I have to unpower the displayport hub and power it back on, and the displays then (usually) come back and work fine.

    - When I unpower or unplug the displayport hub, the SP2 with the latest official SP2 display drivers (Summer 2013) sometimes bluescreens. With the latest Intel drivers (2014-01-29) it no longer bluescreens, but the wake-up issue remains. I suspect this is a driver issue, not likely a hardware issue.

    The Club 3D hub is connected to two 1920x1080 DVI screens (with DP-HDMI cables + HDMI-DVI adapters) and a 1366x768 VGA screen (DP-VGA adapter + vga cable). This works, but it turns out that the SP2 can only drive three displays including its own so if you enable three external displays you cannot use the internal display, defeating the purpose in some situations.


    EVGA DP hub

    With the black line flicker problems I was having with the Club 3D hub (before I knew that it was the supply cable), I figured I'd try the only other option currently on the market - the EVGA DP hub. This one has a detachable supply cable, so you can use a MiniDP to DP cable directly, no need for adapters.

    However, the EVGA DP hub works poorly. It is able to drive my VGA monitor, but it is NOT able to drive the two DVI monitors at all. All three are detected just fine, and the SP2 thinks they're active, but the DVI monitors never get a signal. I will try with different monitors once I get home, but the monitors I currently have available have never had problems being driven from anything else.

    Best regards.
     
  2. wseverino

    wseverino Member

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    Here is what I am using to drive 2 LG Displays:

    EVGA 100-U3-UV39-KR UV Plus+ 39

    EVGA 100-U3-UV39-KR UV Plus+ 39 - Newegg.com


    Outputs 1 DVI and 1 HDMI. Currently driver 2 displays at 1920x1080 but it will drive ups 2048 x 1152.
     
  3. konbaasiang

    konbaasiang New Member

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    wseverino, USB 3.0 to DVI! That's interesting. How's performance? Scrolling web pages, playing movies etc?
     
  4. wditters

    wditters Active Member

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    My Device:
    SPro3
    Thinkpad USB 3.0 dock: 2x DVI, 1x gigabit Ethernet, 2x USB 3.0 and 3x USB 2.0
    ThinkPad USB 3.0 Dock | Lenovo | (US)

    Best investment I made in the last 2 years. Works flawless at 2x 1920x1200, including full screen 1080p video
     
  5. konbaasiang

    konbaasiang New Member

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    Interesting concept. It looks good on paper but there are some terrible reviews right on that page you quoted.
     
  6. wseverino

    wseverino Member

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    Performance is pretty good for general stuff and playing movies. Performance for gaming is ok not great.
     
  7. hotphil

    hotphil Member

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  8. Horn

    Horn New Member

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    Hello Sir's

    Has any one seen or heard what hardware was involved in working with Dual touch screens?
     
  9. lsobrado

    lsobrado New Member

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