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SB2/Surface Dock - Max External Monitors Supported

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
Uh, it's complicated... The Intel iGPU has a limit of three monitors. DisplayLink is a whole other animal. Anything connected via USB is 99.9% DisplayLink, there are a couple other similar solutions to DisplayLink but they are almost unheard of. I believe there is also a total bandwidth limitation (sum of all resolutions).

As seen here anyone who has exceeded 3 is using a USB connection in the mix. I've heard of people using six monitors via USB but those monitors were low resolution. Also USB/DisplayLink is usually not (never) suitable for high interactivity like games but will suffice for office work etc.
 

wynand32

Well-Known Member
So, I'm a bit confused about all of this monitor stuff, so I'll ask about my specific desired setup and if anyone can give me any advice that would be much appreciated...

I'm considering giving my desktop to my son and migrating to my SB2 15" as my all-time machine. That would mean connecting at least my Dell 27" 4K UHD monitor and a Dell 24" 1080p monitor. Is this possible? Can I run the 4K display at 60Hz or will it drop to 30Hz? If it drops to 30Hz, is that a big deal (consider that I won't be using it for gaming).

Any thoughts would be appreciated!
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
So, I'm a bit confused about all of this monitor stuff, so I'll ask about my specific desired setup and if anyone can give me any advice that would be much appreciated...

I'm considering giving my desktop to my son and migrating to my SB2 15" as my all-time machine. That would mean connecting at least my Dell 27" 4K UHD monitor and a Dell 24" 1080p monitor. Is this possible? Can I run the 4K display at 60Hz or will it drop to 30Hz? If it drops to 30Hz, is that a big deal (consider that I won't be using it for gaming).

Any thoughts would be appreciated!
It will do what you want...

upload_2018-4-20_6-41-28.png
 

wynand32

Well-Known Member
It will do what you want...

View attachment 8971
Okay, first, thanks. Second, that's better than I expected to see. I have a couple of followup questions, if you don't mind:

1. How is the 4K @ 30Hz? Ive heard it describes as a bad experience...
2. Can you get Netflix to run at 4K on your external 4K display? If you have the service, could you check it? Mine doesn't seem to, I'm using Microsoft's USB-C to HDMI adapter with what should be a good cable.

Thanks again!
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
Okay, first, thanks. Second, that's better than I expected to see. I have a couple of followup questions, if you don't mind:

1. How is the 4K @ 30Hz? Ive heard it describes as a bad experience...
2. Can you get Netflix to run at 4K on your external 4K display? If you have the service, could you check it? Mine doesn't seem to, I'm using Microsoft's USB-C to HDMI adapter with what should be a good cable.

Thanks again!
I use the 30Hz for static content so it's fine...I don't watch Netflix here at work, but I do in my home office that has a 40" 4K 60Hz and Netflix and Hulu both work. The App is sometime finicky try Edge for Netflix and see if that works.
 

wynand32

Well-Known Member
I use the 30Hz for static content so it's fine...I don't watch Netflix here at work, but I do in my home office that has a 40" 4K 60Hz and Netflix and Hulu both work. The App is sometime finicky try Edge for Netflix and see if that works.
So, I've been working on the 4K Netflix thing, and I'm getting frustrated. Any chance you could fire up Netflix in Edge, assuming you have the 4K plan, and use Ctl-Shift-Alt-D to check the bitrate and resolution? That pops up an overlay that shows that information and more for Netflix video. You can use "The OA" as an example of a known 4K show.

I'm using my SB2 15 with the Microsoft USB-C to HDMI adapter to my Dell Ultrasharp U2718Q and I'm not getting 4K. I plug the same cable and adapter into an Acer 2-in-1 I'm reviewing and start the same show, and it plays at 4K. The Acer's USB-C port is Thunderbolt 3, but I don't think standard USB-C should be a bottleneck here. When I use Ctrl-Shift-Alt-S to see the available bitrates on the Acer, I do see a wider range including much faster options than I see with the SB2. I don't understand that, unless the SB2's USB-C is a bottlenect after all and that's why I'm seeing lower available bitrates.

This is bothersome. I should be able to play 4K video on this thing.
 
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jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
I'm getting 1080 streaming, it appears Edge in 17134 is giving the Mozilla 5 String to Netflix
 

wynand32

Well-Known Member
I'm getting 1080 streaming, it appears Edge in 17134 is giving the Mozilla 5 String to Netflix
I noticed that as well, but it's not the issue (and note that it lists user strings for a number of browsers, including Edge, on that line). The Acer shows the same thing, and it plays 4K no problem.

So, there's something else going on, and it doesn't give me any warm and fuzzies.
 
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