Three external screens with SP3

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by cheetahdriver, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. cheetahdriver

    cheetahdriver New Member

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    Just finished setting up my SP3 with a Dock and 3 External screens running off the Dock displayport output. It was not something I was entirely sure you could do, but you can move your primary screen to one of the externals and then turn off the SP3 screen. Without turning off the SP3 screen the computer will see all 4 screens but only let you run 3.

    The exact setup I have is

    SP3 i7->Dock->Mini Displayport to Displayport cable->EVGA DP Hub-> Dell U2711 (primary)
    |> Dell U2412M
    |> Dell U2412M (portrait)

    I don't seem to be having any problems with the resolution, and interestingly enough, the fan didn't kick in while streaming a video like it always does on my 2 screen setup at the walking desk. My primary goal here is to replace my desktop completely, using the SP3 at both my desk and my walking desk. This will seeming work fine, although I will still need some additional storage at my desk, and perhaps a USB DVD reader. In the end, I may wind up using a USB 3 dock to drive the 3rd screen and recover the SP3 screen as well. I have one that I can move over. The SP3 has, so far, exceeded every expectation I have had.
     
  2. kundas1

    kundas1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    What, no pics? ;)
     
  3. mitchellvii

    mitchellvii Well-Known Member

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    I'm running 12 screens, a 4k projector and a disco ball. :)
     
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  4. kundas1

    kundas1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    ^^^ riiiiight. lol
     
  5. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If you mirror your display to one screen does it display to all 4?
     
  6. cheetahdriver

    cheetahdriver New Member

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    No, I tried that to see if I could get around the issue with only 3 screens on the Displayport (including the SP3 screen). As I said, it would see all 4 screens even though it could only run 3. When I tried mirroring the SP3 and screen 4 they both went black. The only ways to get to 4 screens are (I believe), to either use a USB 3 device to drive 1 or 2 more screens or to use an external splitter to mirror 2 of your screens. I have seen displayport splitters but haven't even researched them as it would not be helpful to what I do. Going with the USB 3 display driver isn't a big deal for me, I am doing spreadsheets and documents, not video editing. Plus, I would still have 2 screens (+the SP3) running in displayport. However, I think 3 screens is about right, and at least at the moment, am not missing the touchscreen while at the desk setup. This sort of mirrors my experience at the walking desk as well.

    One thing I did just notice (didn't try it yesterday) is that the digitizer still works on the primary screen. So anything I do to the blank SP3 screen happens on the U2711 27" screen.
     
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  7. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the clarification. I expected as much but had to ask.
     
  8. cheetahdriver

    cheetahdriver New Member

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    After using these setups for a couple of weeks, I have noticed a few things.

    I have 3 setups I normally use
    Desktop which is 3 screens described above
    Walking desk, which is 2 U2412M screens and the SP3 screen as the center.
    Travel, which is a Lenovo 13 usb screen and a HP L2201x Displayport monitor with a USB hub to run keyboard and second monitor. SP3 screen is the 3rd screen here as well.

    What I have noticed is that the SP3 takes a while to figure out which configuration in is in. It always seems to do this successfully, but there is a noticeable delay for it to work on the problem. Also, with the walking desk system I have had some failures when the SP3 sleeps and tries to wake. Often it will reboot instead. I have tried removing the docking port, thinking that this might be the problem, but haven't enough time on it yet to decide if this has helped. The other two configurations don't seem to have any problems in this regard.

    Again, using the SP3 as the desktop has been very nearly seamless. I have a NAS that I copied the desktop files to that I use to pull whatever I need over to the SP3. I now use simply one computer for everything. Can't remember the last time I booted up my Ipad....
     
  9. cheetahdriver

    cheetahdriver New Member

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    As an update to this, after swapping almost every component between the walking desk and the regular desk, it appears the culprit was the Displayport cables included with the Dell monitors. Once I changed these cables out, the problems went away. I plan on changing out the cables on the desktop proactively. This stuff is hard enough without fighting dicey cabling as well.
     

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