Many users agree that two monitors are favourable than one when it comes to multitasking. With one monitor for your actual work and the other for doing research, it creates a neat workspace where there is minimum chaos. But the latest laptops come with minimum ports and it may not be feasible to connect more than one monitor at a time. This is when daisy-chaining of monitors come into picture.
Daisy-chaining enables you to connect several monitors to your computer and extend your workspace. Fortunately, many new devices come with DisplayPort and Thunderbolt that support daisy-chaining. The process is done without any hassle with minimum cables for maximizing productivity. When the daisy chain connection is done, you can arrange the virtual desktop in any way that suits your requirements.
This is a method that ensures multiple benefits so keep reading to know more about daisy-chaining.
What Is Daisy-Chaining Monitors?
The daisy-chaining monitor is a process by which multiple monitors are connected to a laptop or desktop using a single cord for each monitor. Here, the computer is connected to the first monitor using a cable, the first monitor is connected to the second using another cable, and so on. Thus it makes up a connection in series unlike connecting each display to the computer.
Watching this video to know “how to daisy chain monitors”:
Why would you daisy chain monitors?
Suppose you have to connect two monitors to your computer. Traditionally, you would think of connecting both to the video ports of the computer but what if there aren’t enough video ports? Even if you use an adapter, the mess created by the wires may not be so welcome.
Imagine a simple desktop configuration that looks cleaner and is easy to connect; that is daisy-chain. The connection goes like this: Monitor 1 is plugged into the computer and monitor 2 is connected to monitor 1 using a short video cable.
This is an easy connection to make that makes use of shorter cables. And these cables can be tucked away to make the space neat.
What is the advantage of daisy-chaining monitors?
There are many advantages to resorting to daisy-chain.
Less cabling required: Even if there are many monitors connected in a series, the cabling required is very less. Daisy-chain requires only short cables and thus reduces the total length of the cables and the associated clutter. This minimizes the PVC plastic required making the whole set up environment friendly.
No accidents: All DisplayPort cables have a clip that hooks to the terminal. So these cables will not come out accidentally and disrupt your connection when you are in the middle of important work.
Ease of connection: Making the connection becomes easier and faster especially if the PC is kept in a confined area. There is only one wire connected to the computer so there are fewer chances of confusion.
Refresh rate is not affected: Except for the 5-megapixel monitor, daisy-chaining monitors do not have much impact on the monitors’ refresh rates. Even a monitor connected at the end of the chain will be capable of displaying images clearly like if it was directly connected to the computer.
One DisplayPort for the PC: If making a daisy-chain connection, the graphics boards of the computer has to be equipped with just one DisplayPort as only one monitor is connected directly to it. This is a good option for laptops and small computers that come with one port or so.
How does DisplayPort daisy chain work?
With a daisy chain, many devices are connected together the advantage being there is a single connection between each pair of devices. The monitors that have DisplayPorts enable daisy chain as they are manufactured with a DisplayPort input and a DisplayPort output. The output of one device is connected to the input of the next. So there is a single DisplayPort cable between two monitors paving way for an orderly configuration.
How to daisy chain monitors with only one DisplayPort
If you are using DisplayPort for daisy chain connection, it is necessary for the DisplayPorts on the devices to be of version 1.2 or higher and support Multi-Stream Transport. Follow the steps to daisy chain via DisplayPort.
1. Switch on the monitors
2. Open Settings in each monitor and enable DisplayPort 1.2 or/and MST
3. Opt for any of the options to connect your computer to monitor 1
- Use a DisplayPort cable to connect the DisplayPort output of the computer to the DisplayPort input of monitor 1
- Use a USB-C cable to connect the DisplayPort over the USB-C output of the computer to the DisplayPort over USB-C input of monitor 1
4. Use a DisplayPort cable to connect the DisplayPort output of monitor 1 to the DisplayPort input of monitor 2
5. Repeat step 4 if there are more monitors to connect
Remember that connecting two or more monitors via DisplayPort may reduce the resolution on the monitors because of bandwidth limitations.
Example: Daisy-Chaining On The Dell U2414H Monitor via DisplayPort
How to daisy chain monitors with Thunderbolt 3
If you are using Thunderbolt for daisy chain connection, it is necessary for the Thunderbolt on the devices to be of version 3 or higher and all the connections can only be done using Thunderbolt 3 cables. Follow the steps to daisy chain via Thunderbolt.
1. Switch on the monitors
2. Connect the Thunderbolt output of the computer to the Thunderbolt input of monitor 1
3. Connect the Thunderbolt output of monitor 1 to the Thunderbolt input of monitor 2
4. Repeat step 3 if there are more monitors to connect
Due to the availability of higher bandwidth, Thunderbolt supports 4K @ 60Hz for two monitors and up to six monitors at 1080p.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Can you daisy chain two monitors with DisplayPort?
Yes two monitors can be daisy chained if they have DisplayPorts. Specifically, the first monitor should have both DisplayPort out and DisplayPort in and the second monitor just needs a DisplayPort in. Note that many monitors have only a single DisplayPort in making them inappropriate for daisy chaining. Additionally, the GPU has to support DisplayPort 1.2 MST. If not, you can download an MST driver that enables daisy chaining without further issues.
How many monitors can you daisy chain with DisplayPort?
Typically, you cannot daisy chain large number of monitors with DisplayPort as the GPU can output only limited pixels. The number depends on many factors like timing, resolution and refresh rates of the monitors used. For example, a monitor with resolution 1680 x 1050 can daisy chain up to 5 monitors while this number comes down to one for a monitor with resolution 3840 x 2160. You can even daisy chain monitors that come with varying display resolutions. All the monitors must have DisplayPort 1.2 inputs and outputs but the last one can be a DisplayPort 1.1 monitor.
Does DisplayPort 1.4 support the daisy chain?
DisplayPort 1.4 permits daisy chaining monitors up to 4K resolution. But the number of such monitors with highest resolution will be limited to two and only at 60Hz. If you are using 1080p monitors, then it is possible to daisy chain up to six monitors.
What cable do I need for daisy chain monitors?
Daisy chaining of monitors is possible only with monitors that either have DisplayPort 1.2 or Thunderbolt. If your monitors are equipped with DisplayPort, you may use DisplayPort cables for the connection. If the monitors have Thunderbolt, then you may use Thunderbolt 3 cables for a successful daisy chain. It can be difficult to daisy chain via VGA, HDMI etc but can still be possible using USB hubs or other accessories.
Benefits of daisy chaining monitors can be several if you are a hard working professional. Extending the desktop on multiple displays makes you more efficient. As you can open different applications in each monitor, there is no need to switch between applications and waste time. If you are multi tasking, all the programs can be right there in front of you spread across monitors. This is going to save a lot of time and makes your work less messy and more productive.