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Surface Pro 2 – Dual Monitor Setup

Lewisw

New Member
Hi all,

I have a very specific issue with some parameters that need to be met and I am not getting where I need as a lot of the data out there is conflicting or not specific enough. I’m obviously trying to avoid a costly setup and a lot of places don’t except returns on used goods if they’re not faulty, so I need to be 100% sure anything I purchase is compatible with Win 8.1/Surface Pro 2.

Essentially, I have recently purchased a Surface Pro 2 and I would like to use it with two external monitors. I need the screen to extend across the monitors, not stretch or duplicate, so I can work off both of them. I currently do not have any monitors that have HDMI ports or support display port 1.2 with daisy chain enabled. My only choices currently are DVI, VGA and DP without daisy chain.

Option 1: Use a USB to DVI adapter and plug it into the single USB port on the device then use a mini DP to VGA adapter in the other and connect each of them up to separate monitors. I know these exist and I have found ones that work with Windows 8.1

My question – is the Surface Pro 2 capable of supporting two monitors like that with two adapters? I cannot find any confirmed data on this.

Option 2: Get a hub like this one - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Plugable-Dual-Head-Graphics-Gigabit-Ethernet/dp/B00G5OAT88

Then stick a HDMI to VGA adapter on it. The hub says it works with Win 8.1 on another site.

My question – will this work at all with the Surface Pro 2 i.e. will the device support this kind of setup? Is it compatible?

Option 3 – buy two new monitors that are daisy chain enabled and use the existing mini display port that way.

Any help, advice, information on the above or suggestions for another type of setup that will work with the Surface Pro 2 would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks very much.
 

richhs

New Member
I cannot speak to using the display port daisy chaining, but I am currently using the pluggable UD3900 (Plugable UD-3900 USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station with Dual Video Outputs for Windows 8.1, 8, 7, XP (HDMI and DVI/ VGA to 2048x1152, Gigabit Ethernet, Audio, 2 USB 3.0 Ports, 4 USB 2.0 Ports, 4A AC Power Adapter): Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessori).

I have that hub hooked up to the single USB 3.0 port on the SP2. I currently have both the DVI and hdmi ports occupied as well as a third monitor with a separate adapter. If you are using your dual monitor setup for productivity (not games) then I would say go with the USB3.0 hubs. Allows you to turn the SP2 into a full powered desktop with just 2 cable connections instead of 3 (if you use the mini DP).

So I have 3 monitors (in addition to ~5 peripherals) running off of my SP2 via usb 3.0 and I do not see any performance issues with video playback or productivity software. I can run 1080 p videos on all 4 screens simultaneously with no lag whatsoever. I will say though, that if you plan on using your SP2 as a desktop replacement, purchasing a cooling pad which has an elevated riser is probably a good idea. When I am using all of the screens to do something, the upper back portion of the SP2 can get quite hot.

Hope this helps.
 

PerG

New Member
Regarding option 3, Dell has released a new model called U2414H in december with a rather good price compared to other monitors that is DP 1.2 enabled for daisy chaining. I don't know if that monitor is good enough for your needs (or if you can use one like this and another through DP or an adapter?), but I have two of them and am (so far) very happy with them! (see pic below for my setup)

http://www.surfaceforums.net/forum/microsoft-surface-pro-2/6500-finally-daisy-chaining-monitors-displayport-1-2-a-4.html#post49983
 
Other Displayport Options:

1. This, if you don't want to Daisy-Chain monitors, you might want to consider this option, which may or may not be cheaper: Jacqueline Young's Bad Sportz Venture - Business Insider
2. Also, I have this, which I am using to plug in a non-DP monitor: Amazon.com : Cable Matters Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt™ Port Compatible) to HDMI/DVI/VGA Male to Female 3-in-1 Adapter in Black : Computer Dvi Hdmi Cable Adapters : Electronics

All that said, when I buy my new monitor(s) I am definitely going to get one that supports Daisy-Chaining -- such as the Dell U2414H.

Regarding option 3, Dell has released a new model called U2414H in december with a rather good price compared to other monitors that is DP 1.2 enabled for daisy chaining. I don't know if that monitor is good enough for your needs (or if you can use one like this and another through DP or an adapter?), but I have two of them and am (so far) very happy with them! (see pic below for my setup)

http://www.surfaceforums.net/forum/microsoft-surface-pro-2/6500-finally-daisy-chaining-monitors-displayport-1-2-a-4.html#post49983
Hey, I was just looking at buying these exact monitors! Are you happy with yours? I read that some people were having issues with their monitors turning off by themselves sometimes, have you had that experience I have also read someone thought his had a yellowish-tint, would you agree?

The only other reason I would wait is for a 24" 4K monitor to come out that allows Daisy-Chaining. What are your opinions on that?

So I have 3 monitors (in addition to ~5 peripherals) running off of my SP2 via usb 3.0 and I do not see any performance issues with video playback or productivity software. I can run 1080 p videos on all 4 screens simultaneously with no lag whatsoever. I will say though, that if you plan on using your SP2 as a desktop replacement, purchasing a cooling pad which has an elevated riser is probably a good idea. When I am using all of the screens to do something, the upper back portion of the SP2 can get quite hot.
Just wondering, what kind of cooling hardware do you recommend for a Surface Pro 2...?
 

Projeckt_Mahy3m

New Member
I've got two of the Kennsington USB 3.0 docks. One for my house and one at my office. In both setups, I've got an HDMI/DVI cable and native DVI cable to two external Dell 22" displays. The Surface itself acts as a 3rd screen (I park lesser apps, like Pandora and such there).

In both setups I extend the desktop, so I've got 3 screens of real estate to enjoy.

The dock has wired Ethernet, external audio jacks, 4 USB ports, yada yada..... I don't have many complaints. I undock and dock rather frequently throughout the day. Every now and again the resolution adjustment when docking gets a little wonky, but for the most part it's a SOLID offering. Works well with both my 1st gen Surface Pro and my SP2.
 

MickeyLittle

Active Member
Now with these docks there are 2 cords to plug into the surface correct? You have to plug a usb into the USB slot and you need to plug a cord into the video out slot. So I guess that's the difference between these and the Microsoft dock. Also since I have a Moko slim case on mine I could use it with this where as with the Microsoft offering the case would have to be removed every time.
 

Knuck111

New Member
Has anyone had any experience with successfully daisy chaining at 2560 x 1440 resolution on both screens (ie 2 Dell U2713HM monitors)?
 

richhs

New Member
Other Displayport Options:
Just wondering, what kind of cooling hardware do you recommend for a Surface Pro 2...?
I originally received a zalman cooler for christmas, but it would not rise so I ditched it. Cooler master makes a few different versions that all have a riser bar so you can elevate the surface and make it usable. If you get a cooling pad that just lays flat, it makes using the surface screen pretty awkward.
 

Projeckt_Mahy3m

New Member
Now with these docks there are 2 cords to plug into the surface correct? You have to plug a usb into the USB slot and you need to plug a cord into the video out slot. So I guess that's the difference between these and the Microsoft dock. Also since I have a Moko slim case on mine I could use it with this where as with the Microsoft offering the case would have to be removed every time.
No. One cable that plugs into the Surface. The Kennsington dock connects to the Surface via the USB 3.0 port. All communication between the Surface and the dock traverses the USB port. Video, audio, external USB devices....

The Kennsington has an HDMI and a DVI port. Again, one of my external displays is connected via an HDMI cable (w/ a DVI adapter for the monitor) and the second display is connected via the DVI port.
 
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