Question How to run multiple monitors using a laptop's Intel iGPU

Jul 25, 2020
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Hey guys,

How is it possible to run multiple monitors off the Intel iGPU of a given laptop? To explain why I'm specifically asking about the integrated GPU as opposed to the discrete GPU, please keep reading.

I plan to get the following laptop:
https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/predator-model/NH.Q7YAA.004

This laptop has two GPUs, an integrated Intel GPU [Intel UHD Graphics 630] that supports 3 displays (including the laptop's built-in display, which runs off the iGPU by default), and a dedicated GPU [NVIDIA RTX 2060] that supports 4 displays. The laptop has an HDMI 2.0 port, and a Mini DisplayPort 1.4a. I believe both of these ports are connected directly to the RTX 2060.

I plan to have a total of 6 displays (including the laptop's display) connected to the laptop simultaneously as follows:
[1] Laptop's built-in display - via Intel iGPU
[4] External monitors via the Mini DisplayPort using the following MST Hub: https://bit.ly/33RasSu - via the RTX 2060
[1] External monitor via the HDMI port?

The RTX 2060 can run up to 4 monitors, so by connecting 4 of them to the MST Hub via the MiniDP, I believe all 4 should work fine. This maxes out the RTX 2060 monitor capacity.

The laptop's display uses the Intel iGPU. Since the iGPU can run a total of 3 displays, this leaves me the option to add 2 more displays. That's where the issue arises. How can I make use of the fact that I can theoretically hook up 2 more monitors to the iGPU? Can I do this somehow through the HDMI port, which is directly connected to the RTX 2060? Is there a way to select the GPU that runs each monitor regardless of how that monitor is connected to the laptop?

Please note that I do NOT intend to use any of the monitors to duplicate any other monitor (i.e. mirror mode). Each monitor will have its own view (i.e. desktop extension).

Thank you.
 
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Jul 25, 2020
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I read the manual. There is nothing about this particular topic. How is it usually done with laptops? As in how's the iGPU typically used to hook up external monitors?
 
Jul 25, 2020
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Yeah that's exactly what I said in my OP - that I will be using an MST HUB (link provided in OP) to connect 4 external displays via the MiniDP. 4 maxes out the RTX 2060 multi monitor support. I need to connect 1 or 2 additional external monitors off the iGPU (which can run 3 monitors - the laptop's own display + up to 2 more). The question is how to connect/configure these 2 additional monitors to run off the iGPU? I do not think it's possible via the HDMI port since, like the MiniDP, the HDMI port is connected to the RTX 2060, not the Intel iGPU. If there is a way to get the HDMI port to run off the iGPU, this solves my issue.

Manual:
https://global-download.acer.com/GDFiles/Document/User Manual/User Manual_Acer_2.0_A_A.pdf?acerid=637267684682206070&Step1=NOTEBOOK&Step2=PREDATOR&Step3=PREDATOR PH315-53&OS=ALL&LC=en&BC=ACER&SC=PA_6
 
Yeah that's exactly what I said in my OP - that I will be using an MST HUB (link provided in OP) to connect 4 external displays via the MiniDP. 4 maxes out the RTX 2060 multi monitor support.
You should be aware that the hub will only work if the laptop port (and the gpu) actually has the same physical trades as a normal port on a GPU, laptops often cut corners for price but also heat and power so the port might only be able to send one single picture and not 4 separate ones at the same time.
 
Jul 25, 2020
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Update: I spoke with an Acer tech support team member. He told me that the Mini DisplayPort supports MST, and I can use the aforementioned hub to run 4 external displays at the same time. He also told me that I can actually use the HDMI port to connect a 5th monitor if I wanted to. I'm not sure how true that last part is given that the RTX 2060 can only support 4 monitors, but that's what he said. Thoughts?
 

USAFRet

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Update: I spoke with an Acer tech support team member. He told me that the Mini DisplayPort supports MST, and I can use the aforementioned hub to run 4 external displays at the same time. He also told me that I can actually use the HDMI port to connect a 5th monitor if I wanted to. I'm not sure how true that last part is given that the RTX 2060 can only support 4 monitors, but that's what he said. Thoughts?
DisplayPort can daisychain multiple monitors from a single port.
 

Turtle Rig

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I really don't think this is possible as you have one port behind the mobo. Also you can't use a Y adapter or something and connect both monitors. I may be talking out of line as I haven't read the manual of the laptop however Im almost 💯percent sure you can not do it. If Im wrong shove a dagger to my ribs.👶✝🎗🤷‍♀️
 
Jul 25, 2020
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DisplayPort can daisychain multiple monitors from a single port.
Yes, DisplayPort can support daisy-chaining, but for that to work, my monitors would also have to have DisplayPort. Unfortunately, all my monitors are HDMI monitors. and I really don't want to buy new DisplayPort monitor just for this. That's why I was looking at MST Hubs as opposed to daisy-chaining. I'll be using DisplayPort to HDMI cables to hook up the monitors to the MST Hub.

I really don't think this is possible as you have one port behind the mobo. Also you can't use a Y adapter or something and connect both monitors. I may be talking out of line as I haven't read the manual of the laptop however Im almost 💯percent sure you can not do it. If Im wrong shove a dagger to my ribs.👶✝🎗🤷‍♀️
I'm not entirely sure myself. I mean 4 monitors via an MST Hub seems possible given that RTX 2060 supports 4 monitors, and that the Helios 300's MiniDP supports MST, but connecting those 4 + a 5th monitor via HDMI, that part I'm not sure about. That's why I was asking earlier whether I can somehow get the 5th monitor to run off Intel's iGPU as opposed to the RTX 2060.
 
but connecting those 4 + a 5th monitor via HDMI, that part I'm not sure about. That's why I was asking earlier whether I can somehow get the 5th monitor to run off Intel's iGPU as opposed to the RTX 2060.
Maybe that's what the tech support meant?!
That the HDMI port is linked to the igpu?
Or maybe it has setting in the bios were you can link the igpu to the hdmi port.
 
Jul 25, 2020
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Maybe that's what the tech support meant?!
That the HDMI port is linked to the igpu?
Or maybe it has setting in the bios were you can link the igpu to the hdmi port.
He did not clarify, but I was told by a few people that the HDMI port is connected to the NVIDIA GPU. Maybe there is a way to change that in the BIOS and connect it to the iGPU instead. I'm not sure this is possible though. Someone told me that on their laptop, which is NOT a Helios 300, they're able to change all the ports from the dGPU to the iGPU, but not specifically the HDMI port on its own.
 

Turtle Rig

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He did not clarify, but I was told by a few people that the HDMI port is connected to the NVIDIA GPU. Maybe there is a way to change that in the BIOS and connect it to the iGPU instead. I'm not sure this is possible though. Someone told me that on their laptop, which is NOT a Helios 300, they're able to change all the ports from the dGPU to the iGPU, but not specifically the HDMI port on its own.
Well heres how it works. If there is a video card or GPU call it what you want inside then the iGPU gets disabled automatically. If the system sees there is no video card and it falls back to iGPU.✝🎗🤷‍♀️🖐💯
 
Jul 25, 2020
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Well heres how it works. If there is a video card or GPU call it what you want inside then the iGPU gets disabled automatically. If the system sees there is no video card and it falls back to iGPU.✝🎗🤷‍♀️🖐💯
That's not entirely true. Take my current laptop for example. It has an Intel iGPU & an NVIDIA dGPU. I have 2 external displays connected at the moment, one via the VGA port & one via the HDMI port. Both the laptop's display & the VGA display are running off the Intel iGPU, and the HDMI display is running off the NVIDIA dGPU. Both GPUs are being used at the same time.
 

Turtle Rig

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That's not entirely true. Take my current laptop for example. It has an Intel iGPU & an NVIDIA dGPU. I have 2 external displays connected at the moment, one via the VGA port & one via the HDMI port. Both the laptop's display & the VGA display are running off the Intel iGPU, and the HDMI display is running off the NVIDIA dGPU. Both GPUs are being used at the same time.
Oh I missed that, the fact it has both GPU and iGPU. Sorry about that in that case the story changes here. Very interesting if it can have both enabled at same time then of course dual monitors would work.🤷‍♀️🎗✝
 
Jul 25, 2020
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Oh I missed that, the fact it has both GPU and iGPU. Sorry about that in that case the story changes here. Very interesting if it can have both enabled at same time then of course dual monitors would work.🤷‍♀️🎗✝
Dual monitors is a given. I wasn’t asking about that. I was asking about 5 external monitors running simultaneously. Have a look at this thread from the beginning 😅
 

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