Laptop and multiple monitors

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Robotaz
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Laptop and multiple monitors

Post by Robotaz »

I have three Samsung monitors in my home office. They have (1) DisplayPort and (2) HDMI connections. I currently use DisplayPort from my tower, and am looking to use the HDMI connections with my work laptop.

My laptop has (1) HDMI and (2) Thunderbolt 4 ports. The graphics are Nvidia T1200 which is enough for multiple monitors.

I bough a dock (with (1) HDMI, (2) DisplayPort, and (1) Thunderbolt 4) that was super expensive and was going to use the (2) DisplayPorts with a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter or cable.

But my questions is really: is there a better way? If the computer has (1) HDMI and (2) Thunderbolt 4, can I just get a Thunderbolt to HDMI cable or adapter and run my laptop ports straight to the monitors?

I don’t want to use a KVM switch. I want to use the input buttons on my monitors to switch from tower to laptop.

If anyone is up on the stuff, I’d appreciate help. It’s really a question of using laptop ports. I don’t know if just because they exist whether I can run three external monitors with them.
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Re: Laptop and multiple monitors

Post by MoT »

Robotaz wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:56 pmIf the computer has (1) HDMI and (2) Thunderbolt 4, can I just get a Thunderbolt to HDMI cable or adapter and run my laptop ports straight to the monitors?
If the laptop is capable of simultaneously driving three external monitors, this is the route I'd go. Depending on how old your machine is, be aware that many laptops will only power two external video connections at a time.
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Re: Laptop and multiple monitors

Post by Robotaz »

ManOnTime wrote:
Robotaz wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:56 pmIf the computer has (1) HDMI and (2) Thunderbolt 4, can I just get a Thunderbolt to HDMI cable or adapter and run my laptop ports straight to the monitors?
If the laptop is capable of simultaneously driving three external monitors, this is the route I'd go. Depending on how old your machine is, be aware that many laptops will only power two external video connections at a time.
It’s a 2022 machine.

Here’s the dock:

https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/p/accessor ... 40b10135us

Here’s the machine:

https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/p/laptops/ ... md00000463

The problem is that I don’t know if it can drive three monitors from internal ports. No clue.

Now I’m looking at TB4 to HDMI docks. I’m way down a rabbit hole!
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Re: Laptop and multiple monitors

Post by MoT »

Robotaz wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:29 pm
ManOnTime wrote:
Robotaz wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:56 pmIf the computer has (1) HDMI and (2) Thunderbolt 4, can I just get a Thunderbolt to HDMI cable or adapter and run my laptop ports straight to the monitors?
If the laptop is capable of simultaneously driving three external monitors, this is the route I'd go. Depending on how old your machine is, be aware that many laptops will only power two external video connections at a time.
It’s a 2022 machine.

Here’s the dock:

https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/p/accessor ... 40b10135us

Here’s the machine:

https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/p/laptops/ ... md00000463

The problem is that I don’t know if it can drive three monitors from internal ports. No clue.

Now I’m looking at TB4 to HDMI docks. I’m way down a rabbit hole!
Unfortunately, plug-and-pray is often the only way to figure it out. Thankfully DisplayPort to HDMI cables/adapters are relatively inexpensive, and you can always return them.
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Re: Laptop and multiple monitors

Post by Robotaz »

ManOnTime wrote:
Robotaz wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:29 pm
ManOnTime wrote: If the laptop is capable of simultaneously driving three external monitors, this is the route I'd go. Depending on how old your machine is, be aware that many laptops will only power two external video connections at a time.
It’s a 2022 machine.

Here’s the dock:

https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/p/accessor ... 40b10135us

Here’s the machine:

https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/p/laptops/ ... md00000463

The problem is that I don’t know if it can drive three monitors from internal ports. No clue.

Now I’m looking at TB4 to HDMI docks. I’m way down a rabbit hole!
Unfortunately, plug-and-pray is often the only way to figure it out. Thankfully DisplayPort to HDMI cables/adapters are relatively inexpensive, and you can always return them.
One thing I decided could be a good trick is buying a $20 USB-C to HDMI adapter and running my single external HDMI monitor while computer is on, then unplugging and trying TB4. If it just does what it should and switch over I’ll buy another adapter, wait and try when i get moved in late July, see if it works.

It’s frustrating because with an electrical engineering degree and able to grow silicon and build a rig literally from scratch, I have no idea how proprietary junk works and worried about wasting a lot of time figuring it out. It’s a shame we’ve come this far with open platforms since the 80’s and tech progresses so fast that we can’t standardize stuff enough to end “plug and pray”.

I guess I’m in a camp everyone else is in.

Thanks for the replies. It’s better than flying 100% blind on this. I’m more hopeful experimenting.
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Re: Laptop and multiple monitors

Post by TheJohnP »

Standardizing steps are being made.

https://www.theverge.com/2022/6/7/23156 ... ing-ewaste
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Laptop and multiple monitors

Post by Robotaz »

TheJohnP wrote:Standardizing steps are being made.

https://www.theverge.com/2022/6/7/23156 ... ing-ewaste
The problem in the past has been bandwidth. The standard may finally have enough to let proprietary software and firmware catch up. We’ll see. But if there’s not enough bandwidth, mandating it just forces stagnation. That’s why it never ends. The beauty of it all is that human evolution and free markets drove it all. Kinda cool if you step back.
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Re: Laptop and multiple monitors

Post by Robotaz »

Well, it’s quirky, but it did work switching to Thunderbolt while running. It took a couple minutes. lol
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Re: Laptop and multiple monitors

Post by Ubuntus »

Just wanted to jump in and say that given your laptop's Thunderbolt 4 ports and the Nvidia T1200, you should be able to run multiple monitors without any issues. A Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter or cable should work just fine. And using your monitor's input buttons for switching is a great idea - no need for a KVM switch. Oh, and I wanted to mention that I recently discovered the Multitechverse resource. They have a ton of handy guides and useful information in the field of technology that could be super helpful in situations like this. I found lots of insights and discoveries there on various technical topics. It could be a useful resource for your setup and other tech-related queries!
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