3 Monitor Setup Questions

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Drew1, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. Drew1

    Drew1 Notebook Deity

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    Hey all. How would one connect 3 external monitors to the dell xps 15 9550? I currently have 2 monitors 24' 1920x1200 connected to my monitors. One is the hdmi to hdmi to a monitor, the other is the usb-c to display port on the other monitor. I also have a 3rd cable... usb-c to hdmi as well.


    I will most likely buy a 32' 4k monitor and considering using 3 monitors. But I would first plan to use the 32' 4k monitor with one of my 24' 1920x1200 monitors in the meantime. I am also considering a 43' 4k tv as well... deciding whether 32' 4k monitor or 43' 4k TV.


    I would need to buy a docking station for this ... correct? Anyone can post a link on amazon of what i would need? Because the dell xps 15 9550, while using the ports on the laptop, you can only connect 2 monitors right since it has 1 hdmi port and 1 usb-c port? So if you want 3 monitors or more, docking station is what you need to buy?


    Also, are the new dell xps laptops or laptops now in generally have more than 1 hdmi port and 1 usb-c port so you could connect 3 monitors? Example a laptop with a usb-c port and say 2 hdmi ports on the laptop? Or is that not possible?


    So basically a docking station is required if you want 3+ monitors right? But would I also need to check if my graphics card supports 3 monitors?


    Thanks.
     
  2. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Consultant

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    There's a lot of hypothetical to this.

    The # of monitors will depend on your GPU mostly. In most cases you'll have built in + 2 functionality.

    A C docking station of sorts with a built in gpu of some sort would likely be your best bet. When I was running a Surface Pro 3 as a workstation I would use a Startech USB3 docking station that had a DVI/HDMI out with a gpu built in that required drivers be installed to make the eternal monitors function. The newer "docks" function somewhat similarly w/ some extending video out w/ a small gpu housed in the dock and others just pass the signal from the device to the monitors.

    In a desktop you would be able to either add a docking station if you had a video card that supports 3-4 monitors w/ either 2x hdmi and 2 x DP outputs or add another video card to the system to expand w/ better performance than a docking station would provide. With this in mind....

    What do you plan on using the extra screen space for? If it's video intensive like gaming it's probably a better idea to avoid more than 2 monitors + the built in screen. If it's just to expand your ability to have many windows open or monitoring several video feeds it would probably work fine w/ a docking setup.
     
  3. Drew1

    Drew1 Notebook Deity

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    Hi. Well my dell xps 15 9550 specs are


    Intel graphics card

    Nvidia Geforce GTX960M

    32gb ram

    1tb nvme ssd

    i5-6300hq processor



    I want more space so I could put more tables for online poker. Currently i can put 4 tables regular size on each of my 24' 1920x1200 monitors. I could make it 6 tables on each monitor but its too small for my liking. My laptop monitor... I don't put any tables on there.


    So if i get a 3rd monitor... say a 32' 4k or 27' 4k monitor... i know i could put either 8 or 6 more tables. But if i get another 24' 1920x1200 monitor, well i can put another 4 tables.


    I use a program called holdem manager 2 that is intensive. Like if i have no ssd... i know my laptop would lag a lot when playing poker. I do not play any video games or things like that though.


    So does my laptop support having 3 external monitors? Again right now it works with 2 external monitors... 24' 1920x1200.


    But if i get a 3rd monitor... whether a 32' or 27' 4k or 24' 1920x1200... would it work?
     
  4. Starlight5

    Starlight5 Yes, I'm a cat. What else is there to say, really?

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    @Drew1 your XPS 15 has a USB Type C port with Thunderbolt3 (TB3) & DisplayPort1.2 (DP1.2), and HDMI1.4 port for displays. Good Thunderbolt3 dock may be able to handle 2x displays up to 4K60p for you, but anything Thunderbolt is very expensive.

    As a cheap and straightforward alternative, you can use a USB type C to DP1.2 cable for 4K monitor, and a USB3.0 to HDMI adapter for one of your lower resolution displays. In this scenario, you need a 4K monitor with DisplayPort input and Type C to DisplayPort cable to get 4K60p. If you use HDMI, you'll get 4K at 30Hz only.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
  5. Drew1

    Drew1 Notebook Deity

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    Hey man.

    I made a mistake in one of my posts.

    Right now i have 3 cables.

    usb-c to hdmi

    usb-c to displayport

    hdmi to hdmi



    At the moment, im using usb-displayport with one of my 24' monitors. I'm using a hdmi to hdmi cable with the 2nd 24' monitor. I have a usb-c to hdmi cable as well.


    Now let say i get a 43' 4k tv instead. If i do this... i will either be using it by itself... or pairing it with one of my 24' monitors. I would then use my usb-c to hdmi cable with the 43' 4k tv right? That cable is 4k.


    Would you recommend buying a 43' 4k tv as a monitor for online poker starlight? I read lot of ppl use big tvs as monitors... some ppl say that is good others are against it. Lot of ppl in poker forum mostly use monitors though. But 43' 4k tv seems like it gives a lot of space for tables. But when you put it on your table... i only have a 4 foot wide folding table that is 2 feet long only. I won't be that far from ther the TV screen though would that be an issue? I mean... no way i would be like 4 feet away from the TV. Im usually 2 feet or less from my current monitors.
     
  6. Starlight5

    Starlight5 Yes, I'm a cat. What else is there to say, really?

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    @Drew1 with what you have, you can only get 4k60p resolution with USB C to DP.

    Not sure about using TVs for productivity tasks including multi-table poker. What I can tell you for sure is that you'll be stuck with 4K 30hz if you connect a TV with USB C to HDMI cable. 30Hz will provide terrible experience, you might get eye fatigue and headache.

    To get 4K 60p over HDMI from your laptop with DP1.2 USB type C port, you'll need an active DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. I was unable to find any USB C to HDMI active adapters, maybe you'll have better luck. If you don't find any, Type C to DP adapter with active DP to HDMI adapter should get you 4K 60p, unless I'm missing something.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
  7. Drew1

    Drew1 Notebook Deity

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    Hey. Well if i use a usb-c to hdmi cable that is 4k... wouldn't that work? I have a usb-c to hdmi cable as well and its 4k. So wouldn't that work?
     
  8. Drew1

    Drew1 Notebook Deity

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  9. Starlight5

    Starlight5 Yes, I'm a cat. What else is there to say, really?

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    As far as I know, this cable won't do 4K@60Hz with your laptop, only 4K@30Hz.
    Yes.
     
  10. Drew1

    Drew1 Notebook Deity

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    Hi. But would the first cable work with my laptop to a 4k TV though?
     
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