Question How can I get an extra display port for fourth monitor ?

Marscaleb

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Mar 26, 2015
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So I've been using four monitors for many years now, and it's great because I get the space I need to work.
I just got a hand-me-down card from my brother, and I'd like to use it since it's more powerful than my current card. But this new card only has three display adapters on it, thus I would lose a monitor if I used this card.

Is there a way I get just get an extra port for a fourth monitor?
Like is there a cheap card I could buy that just gives me more ports? Or is there a way I can set up my system to use both cards, even though they aren't both set up for SLI? To the latter, I don't think my PSU can support running both cards at full capacity, so I'm really just interested in a way to use it in some sort of dummy mode for minimal power draw.
I do not have any on-board video on my mobo.
 
What is the make/model of your motherboard, graphics cards, PSU and monitors?

You could possibly install both cards.
You possibly could use integrated motherboard adapter.

If you need a large desktop, consider something like a 43" 4k monitor.
 
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InvalidError

Titan
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Can't you plug the 4th monitor into one of the other monitors? I thought that was one of the benefits of display port.
Most DP monitors don't have a a daisy-chain port due to the extra costs and infrequent use of the feature. Unless he went out of his way to pick a monitor with downstream port capability, he'll have to use an MST hub to break DP 2/3/4-ways assuming whatever GPU he has supports that many simultaneous outputs.
 

Marscaleb

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You could possibly install both cards.
Yes, that is one of the things I explicitly asked about.

You possibly could use integrated motherboard adapter.
As per my original post: I do not have any on-board video on my mobo.

I think I may be bringing up some confusion because "display port" now refers to a specific (and poorly named) type of interface. What would be the correct term to use to refer to any kind of female plug on a graphics card? Whether it be "DisplayPort" or HDMI or VGA?
What I meant to say was that this new card has three of those. Only one of them is actual "DisplayPort."

My motherboard in an ASRock 970 Extreme4. Old card is a GTX 650, new card is a GTX1050. I just replaced my PSU for the third time and decided to drop down to a 630W because I figured I was never going to actually use two cards like I was originally planning.
 

Marscaleb

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I think most people would refer to a non-specific display/monitor output simply a as video/display/monitor output/port.
I want to point out that this includes calling it a video/DISPLAY/monitor output/PORT. This is a stupid name for a specific interface.
Remind me again, who's on first?

But getting back to the subject on-hand, you casually mentioned an MST hub earlier. I was looking that up, and that might be the simplest way to go. Convert one plug into two or three, maybe even change the port type into something I already want so I don't need to buy more adaptors.
(Heck, I wonder if it would be possible to split the DisplayPort into two outputs AND have a third that just duplicates one of my outputs; then I could easily send my primary video display to my video capture device to record footage.)

How would I find out if this new card supports that? Would this be something that the GTX1050 line will universally support/not support, or will it come down to the specific manufacturer model?
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
How would I find out if this new card supports that? Would this be something that the GTX1050 line will universally support/not support, or will it come down to the specific manufacturer model?
MST is a standard feature of DP 1.2 and up. Nvidia's 1000-series GPUs support DP 1.4a and should be able to drive up to four displays through DP depending on resolution, refresh rate and bit depth.

There is one caveat though: some MST hub and DP monitor combinations don't play nice with each other, particularly when pre-1.2 monitors are involved.
 

Marscaleb

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There is one caveat though: some MST hub and DP monitor combinations don't play nice with each other, particularly when pre-1.2 monitors are involved.
Hmm, well, honestly none of my monitors actually support DP. For the one DP port on my current card I use an adaptor to convert it to VGA or HDMI or something.
Honestly if I went this route I would be getting one of these adapters that converts the signal to two HDMI plugs.
Do you see any reason why that might not work the way I'm planning? These adapters look a bit too pricey to find out it doesn't work right...

Also, I am still curious about other options to physically add another video port to my machine. Using an adapter may be the simpler option, but I'm still interested in knowing what else might be possible.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
There are only two fundamental options: use an MST splitter or add another GPU.

Along the "add GPU" path are USB frame buffers which cost $50-150. Those have an on-board memory buffer that the PC draws to over USB like a basic VGA adapter and the adapter handles monitor refresh on its own. Some of these can handle resolutions up to 4k60 even over USB2. Not to be confused with video output adapters that require a type-C USB port with DP alt-mode support.
 

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