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SP3 Daisy Chaining

cmcigas

New Member
Hello everyone, I want to buy a SP3 but just have one question first about daisy chaining.

My daily tasks for work usualy are done a lot better on two screens with me and since theres no real 2 outputs, unless I use an USB to HDMI or VGA.

My question is how does daisy chaining two monitors work with the SP3? Does it sacrifice any major performance? Will the SP3 automatically pick up the output of the daisy chain when docked and make the correct adjustments to fill up the screens fully just like a desktop using 2 outputs or will I have to change the display settings to make it work properly? Will a window form to just one of the screens without moving the edges to make it work?

Sorry if theres so many questions just trying to get the facts before I go spend 1600+ on this thing.

Thank you to everyone who can help.
 

malberttoo

Well-Known Member
Hello everyone, I want to buy a SP3 but just have one question first about daisy chaining.

My daily tasks for work usualy are done a lot better on two screens with me and since theres no real 2 outputs, unless I use an USB to HDMI or VGA.

My question is how does daisy chaining two monitors work with the SP3? Does it sacrifice any major performance? Will the SP3 automatically pick up the output of the daisy chain when docked and make the correct adjustments to fill up the screens fully just like a desktop using 2 outputs or will I have to change the display settings to make it work properly? Will a window form to just one of the screens without moving the edges to make it work?

Sorry if theres so many questions just trying to get the facts before I go spend 1600+ on this thing.

Thank you to everyone who can help.

Daisy chaining is only possible when using monitors that support DisplayPort daisy chaining. It works exactly like you'd expect- one DP cable out from the SP3, into the DP "in" of the first monitor, and then a DP cable from the DP "out" of the first monitor, to the "in" of the second monitor.

It is not taxing on the SP3 to do this. This functionality is part of the DisplayPort protocol, so yes the transition will happen automatically.
 

mtalinm

Active Member
Can confirm. Running two daisy-chained monitors from my Dock.

This seems to tax the processor less than running an external monitor using a USB hub, for some reason.
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
Can confirm. Running two daisy-chained monitors from my Dock.

This seems to tax the processor less than running an external monitor using a USB hub, for some reason.
Monitors connected via USB typically use DisplayLink Drivers to compress the data sent via USB connection this creates some CPU overhead although its not bad it's higher than native DisplayPort connections. There's a tradeoff between Universal USB Docking stations vs typically more expensive and device specific Docking Stations. Particularly if you have more than one device you can use the same USB Docking Station with any of them interchangeably at the cost of slightly high CPU utilization (typically under 5-10% depending on display change rate and percentage).
 

dstrauss

Active Member
I see no performance degradation between one or two (daisy-chained) 21" WQHD monitors - but I do not game with them
 

malberttoo

Well-Known Member
Can confirm. Running two daisy-chained monitors from my Dock.

This seems to tax the processor less than running an external monitor using a USB hub, for some reason.

Exactly what @GreyFox7 said above- a USB setup requires an extra layer to run on your SP3, so the processor has more work to do. It's always better to use the built-in Mini DisplayPort to offload your video.
 

wditters

Active Member
Monitors connected via USB typically use DisplayLink Drivers to compress the data sent via USB connection this creates some CPU overhead although its not bad it's higher than native DisplayPort connections. There's a tradeoff between Universal USB Docking stations vs typically more expensive and device specific Docking Stations. Particularly if you have more than one device you can use the same USB Docking Station with any of them interchangeably at the cost of slightly high CPU utilization (typically under 5-10% depending on display change rate and percentage).

Please note that the Surface Pro 3 Original Microsoft Dock connector "only" carries two ports from the SP3 into the dock. The USB 3.0 port and the DisplayPort ... This means that while indeed any daisy-chained displayport monitor setup works without taxing the CPU too much, everything else dpes becausxe it shares the USB bus. So the Ethernet port, audio out as well as the 5 USB ports on the dock are all connected to the USB bus and will therefore cause additional CPU load the more these connections are used.
 

malberttoo

Well-Known Member
Please note that the Surface Pro 3 Original Microsoft Dock connector "only" carries two ports from the SP3 into the dock. The USB 3.0 port and the DisplayPort ... This means that while indeed any daisy-chained displayport monitor setup works without taxing the CPU too much, everything else dpes becausxe it shares the USB bus. So the Ethernet port, audio out as well as the 5 USB ports on the dock are all connected to the USB bus and will therefore cause additional CPU load the more these connections are used.

This is not accurate.

The SP1 and SP2 docks did this, but not the SP3. The SP3 dock uses the power connector, where only a few of those pins are needed for actual power; the rest are for data transfer. As well, the design of the SP3 ensures that its singular USB 3 port is left outside the dock and available for use, as well as the Mini DisplayPort port.
 

wditters

Active Member
The SP3 dock uses the power connector

That is exactly what I meant. Sorry for not having been more clear. The power connector that connects the SP3 and the dock indeed also houses the USB 3 and Displayport bus. You will find that the internal SP3 USB 3.0 and the external Dock USB 3.0 ports are all on the same USB bus. If you start HWinfo 64, you will be able to see this visualised ia an interestingly copmplex tree of USB hubs and ports :)


upload_2015-2-10_10-34-36.png
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
All the more reason to double the USB bandwidth and go with 10 gbps USB 3.1 in SP4. The DisplayPort should be upgraded to support the 1.3 standard for 32.4 gbps (50% bandwidth increase) allowing conversion to HDMI 2.0 and 5k screens without compression, 4k @60hz Available in Broadwell and up.
 
OP
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cmcigas

New Member
Thanks for everyones help on this. Think Im going to wait to buy the SP3 until the SP4 is announced with the hopes of the 5th gen i7 in it and windows 10.
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
But ... but ... but ... If they release W10 in June and Intel sets Skylake free at the end of June does MS wait a couple months to bring out a Skylake based SP4? or release a Broadwell based SP4 for the back to school season then jump to Skylake SP5 in two-three months for the Holiday season?
Who will buy Broadwell based SP4s with Skylake dancing in the wings?

Intel and MS get your ducks lined up, somebody better make this all very clear or the whole market will go into a Deep FREEZE waiting for all the shoes to drop.
 

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