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miniDisplay to VGA max resolution?


perhaps I'm just a bit stupid: I want to hook up my SP2 to a KVM with VGA connector. I have a monitor with a native 2048x1152 resolution and this works for my desktop via KVM/VGA.
I have tried two different miniDisplay to VGA adapters (not the MS one) and I can only go up to a 1080 resolution. The native resolution is listed but when choosing that all I get is some distorted b/w pattern.

With the DVI adapter from my old MacBook it works just fine.

Is this a limitation of the surface itself or is this down to the adapters, has anyone managed to get a higher resolution with a VGA adapter?


Well-Known Member
I guess you have purchased a miniDisplay to VGA adapter to go to a VGA input on your KVM? I purchase a miniDisplay to VGA adaptor cable off of Amazon. I think I put it on a display at work. To be honest it looked great but I didn't check to see what resolution it was running it at. I assumed it was at the default resolution of the SP2. I just checked and it is deaulted to 1920 X 1080. So I take it when you ran it through the KVM it wouldn't display properly until you scaled back the resolution?

I take it that when you hookup an external montor, you can choose a different resolution for the external then what the Surface screen is set for. I never screwed with it when I tested it with an external montior. Interesting. I wonder if I can increase it when I hook up my HD projector to my SP2 using the HDMI adpator. It lookied fine on my 8' screen. I just never thougth to try different resolutions.
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yes, it runs fine at 1920x1080, when going to the default resolution of the monitor which is listed, you get static garbage if you wait for 15 seconds, the setting flips back and all is fine again. I checked without the KVM in between and it's the same. The monitor is perfectly capable of displaying that resolution via VGA as I see with my other machine, so it's either the adapters or a limitation of the Surface (via VGA) itself...I think - I didn't find any limitations documented anywhere.


Active Member
Have you tried setting the mode from the Advanced settings using the List All Modes? Back in the day when I developed video drivers, the driver would get an EDID from the monitor that told the device what modes it supported. KVMs and some adapters would block that EDID so the driver would default to some "safe" modes and perhaps the one you want isn't listed. I don't know if that's happening here but it might be worth a try.


Hi Ruffles, yes I have, there is only one option, 60Hz, available. Having said that, I think you are spot on, it looks like the monitor is not recognised correctly via the adapter.
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