Question 4 displays possible on Alienware 13 R3 ?

Jul 6, 2022
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Hi everyone,

I have an Alienware 13 R3 with i5-7300hq and Nvidia GTX 1050 GPU and was hoping to use 4 displays (for trading and not gaming). Ideally 1x 4K screen and 3x 1080p screens. It has 1x Thunderbolt 3/USB-C port, 1x mini DisplayPort and 1x HDMI port.

Firstly can someone confirm if this is possible?

I have read about some Thunderbolt docking stations which claim to be able to output to 4 screens using any laptop with a Thunderbolt port, although these all seem very expensive. Would it be possible to get a cheaper docking station with say 2 HDMI outputs and connect 2 displays from the docking station, then use the mini DisplayPort and HDMI port on the back of the laptop to connect the other 2?

Thanks in advance
 
Jul 6, 2022
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The Thunderbolt port also supports DisplayPort. If you get monitors with DisplayPort MST, then you can have three of them go out of one of those outputs.

Barring that, you can also get a dongle that can use MST to provide multiple outputs.
Thanks for the reply.

So would it work using say 2 from a hub/docking station then the remaining 2 from the free ports on the back of the laptop? My main concern is that the Nvidia GTX 1050 states it can support a maximum of 3 displays on the specs. Is this limit just based on only having 3 video outputs? Or is it an actual limit?

3 of the screens I have are quite old: one is VGA and 2 are HDMI and definitely don't support daisy chaining or anything like that.
 
So would it work using say 2 from a hub/docking station then the remaining 2 from the free ports on the back of the laptop? My main concern is that the Nvidia GTX 1050 states it can support a maximum of 3 displays on the specs. Is this limit just based on only having 3 video outputs? Or is it an actual limit?
It's an actual limit. However, some of the ports may be connected to the Intel iGPU. Either the laptop's manual will mention this or you can try plugging in a display into the various ports and see which GPU claims ownership of it.

Also for reference, the internal display is connected to the Intel GPU.

3 of the screens I have are quite old: one is VGA and 2 are HDMI and definitely don't support daisy chaining or anything like that.
The issue I'm seeing now is you effectively have 2 DP ports and an HDMI port. The DP ports can't be passively converted to HDMI. Anything to VGA is going to be actively converted using either of those interfaces.

So I have a feeling you're going to be spending a non-trivial amount of money on dongles anyway.
 
Jul 6, 2022
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It's an actual limit. However, some of the ports may be connected to the Intel iGPU. Either the laptop's manual will mention this or you can try plugging in a display into the various ports and see which GPU claims ownership of it.

Also for reference, the internal display is connected to the Intel GPU.


The issue I'm seeing now is you effectively have 2 DP ports and an HDMI port. The DP ports can't be passively converted to HDMI. Anything to VGA is going to be actively converted using either of those interfaces.

So I have a feeling you're going to be spending a non-trivial amount of money on dongles anyway.
Thanks.

I just checked in Nvidia Control Panel and it has a diagram showing that the DP and HDMI connect to the Nvidia card and Thunderbolt port connect to the Intel graphics.

So if I connect one monitor via the thunderbolt, 1 via the HDMI and 2 via the display port using a hub like this it should definitely work?: https://www.startech.com/en-gb/audio-video-products/mstdp123hd

Then I would just need an adapter to convert one to VGA which seem to cost very little?
 
Jul 6, 2022
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Just wanted to provide an update to anyone else with the same question - the 4 screen extended setup is working great. I actually have 5 screens including the laptop one.
 

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