Displayport output monitors: Driving Multiple Displays from a Single DisplayPort Output

Driving Multiple Displays from a Single DisplayPort Output

Some users looking for the best visual experience with DisplayPort 1.2 enabled-products are beginning to take advantage of multi-stream technology – the ability to stream independent video displays from a single desktop or notebook video output. Multi-stream enabled display products, including monitor hubs and daisy-chainable monitors, should become widely available as more DisplayPort 1.2 enabled PCs are now entering the market.

“Daisy chaining” is a term that describes the ability to connect a series of devices together using a single connection between each two devices.  The new DisplayPort v1.2 daisy chainable displays have both a DisplayPort input and a DisplayPort output.  The DisplayPort output connects to the next downstream display.  This cabling arrangement, with one DisplayPort cable between each set of monitors, provides a less cluttered system configuration.

As you may have already experienced, a key benefit of a multi-monitor setup is increased productivity and seamless multi-tasking.   And when you aren’t feeling so productive, it offers a wonderfully immersive gaming experience as discussed here in a previous blog post.

When configuring a daisy chained monitor setup, it is important to take into consideration two aspects.  First, GPUs usually have an inherent limitation in how many simultaneous displays they can drive; some can drive up to three displays, while others can drive four or even six.  Second, even though DisplayPort 1.2 offers the higher pixel rate available, there is a limitation in how many pixels can be sent down the display pipe.  The table below provides maximum monitor count vs. display resolution, based and DisplayPort 1.2 bandwidth limits:


The above are just examples – it is not required that all of the screens use the same resolution.  For example, one 2560 x 1600 monitor could be used with two 1920 x 1080 monitors.  And while all monitors in the middle of the daisy chain need to be DisplayPort v1.2 daisy-chainable (since they need the DisplayPort output), the last monitor can be an older DP 1. 1 monitor (which only has a DisplayPort input).

In the example configuration shown in the picture below, the Lenovo ThinkPad notebook (center) drives three external monitors in a daisy chain configuration from a single DisplayPort output (as well as its own internal display).


Notice in this example that the monitors are of different sizes and resolutions. The Dell monitors on the left and right end each have a native resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels; the HP monitor (center) has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.  The notebook display also has a 1920 x 1080 native resolution. Utilizing monitors of differing resolutions and sizes can be used to optimize the work environment and work flow.

The use of multiple monitors at a work station is not a new concept, but it generally has been limited to the realm of desktop PCs with a fancy graphics board.  By requiring only one video output port, DisplayPort 1.2 multi-stream now brings multi-display capability to notebooks and other portable computing devices that most people now own.   DisplayPort 1.2 gives you one more reason for not needing a desktop.

Once you have experienced the use of multiple screens, it’s hard to go back to one display except for portable use (the person sitting next to you in United coach may not want your other monitor on their tray table).  Multiple screens allows the referencing of material on one screen while typing on the other (so you don’t need to print it), or allows keeping track of your inbox, favorite social network, and calendar all at the same time.  And of course don’t forget the immersive gaming experience when the boss is out of town.

While the daisy-chainable monitors are one way to achieve multiple displays, we next tell you about DisplayPort 1.2 multi-stream “hub” devices that will allow you to use the legacy monitors you may already own.  These hub devices will also become available next year, and you will hear about them in our next post.

–Craig Wiley, Chairman VESA Board of Directors

2023 List of DisplayPort 1.

2 daisy chainable MST monitors

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2023 List of DisplayPort 1.2 daisy chainable MST monitors

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Here is a current (as of July 2023) list of daisy-chainable DisplayPort LCD monitors:

Model number Brand Size, Aspect Ratio, Resolution Price Additional Info
Recommended 22″ LCD
ViewSonic 22″, 16:9, 1920×1080 Check price Easy setup. Excellent choice for small office environments.
Recommended 24″ 16:9 LCD
ViewSonic 24″, 16:9, 1920×1080 Check price Easy setup. Excellent choice for medium sized office environments.
ColorPro 24″ VP2468
Excellent choice for photo and video editing, color calibration
ViewSonic 24″, 16:9, 1920×1080 Check price
U2913WM Dell 29″,  21:9, 2560 x 1080 Check price
Thin bezels make this an excellent 24″ 16:9 LCD choice!
Dell 24″, 16:9, 1920 x 1080 Check price Enable DisplayPort 1.2 (1), Instructions in manual on pg 41 (2)
Recommended 24″ 16:10 LCD
Dell 24″, 16:10, 1920 x 1200 Check price Intel HD compatible (1), Triple Monitor (2)
U2414H Dell 24″, 16:9, 1920 x 1080 Check price
U2413 Dell 24″, 16:10, 1920 x 1200 Check price
PA279Q Asus 27″, 16:9, 2560×1440 Check price
LT2934z Lenovo 29″, 21:9, 2560 x 1080 Check price
UP3017 Dell 30″, 16:10, 2560 x 1600 Check price Latest Dell 30″ model
U3014 Dell 30″, 16:10, 2560 x 1600 Check price Older Dell 30″ model
BL3201PT BenQ 32″, 16:9, 3840 x 2160 Check price

These monitors will let you chain multiple displays together from your MS Surface tablet, laptop, or PC*. For me this is particularly nice as my Dell XPS 13 (w/Infinity Display) does not have dock capability but it does have mini-DisplayPort for a sweet daisy chain setup. These monitors will of course work with standard large DisplayPort cables or mini-DisplayPort connectors/ports and you just need to choose the appropriate cable.

*NOTE: as of Feb 2019, Macs and MacBooks do not support daisy chaining via DisplayPort 1.2 and MST. If your late model OSX device has Thunderbolt 3 then you may want to use a ThunderBolt dock. I recommend the CalDigit TS3 Plus.

All of the monitors on this list have been verified to be daisy-chainable when configured properly. Generally, this is a fairly easy process requiring at most a few adjustments in their OSD (on-screen displays) to enable the daisy chaining. Here is a sample from a ViewSonic monitor manual:

ViewSonic XG2530 Instructions

DisplayPort Daisy-Chaining Setup Diagram

computer tips, tech tips daisychain, displayport, ips, lcd, mac, macbook, multimonitor

Daisy-chain multiple monitors to a laptop with a single cable

As technology advances, laptops are becoming thinner and lighter, multitasking and easy to carry around. But modern laptops have one feature – a small number of ports for connection. When it becomes necessary to connect several devices to a laptop, you have to look for solutions.

Most often, the need to connect multiple monitors to a laptop arises among representatives of creative professions, such as a photographer or designer. Processing photos and working with graphics is usually multitasking and it is much more convenient to divide the workspace into several monitors for editing and review. Efficiency and speed of work thus considerably increases.

Using the daisy chain method, you can connect multiple monitors to your laptop with just one cable per device. To do this, you must use DisplayPort or Thunderbolt. The laptop is connected to the monitor with one cable, and then this monitor is connected to the next monitor with another cable, and so on for the remaining monitors. The advantage of daisy chaining multiple monitors is obvious: by using only one cable for each device, you simplify the whole process and reduce the number of wires on your work surface. This allows you to increase the speed and efficiency of your work.

There are two types of ports for daisy chaining monitors to your computer: DisplayPort and Thunderbolt. Make sure your computer has an output port of any type, and that your monitors have input and output ports of the same type.

NOTE: MacBook only supports daisy-chaining over Thunderbolt. Serial connection is not supported on HDMI ports prior to 2.1 or any USB ports.

Serial connection requires DisplayPort on all your devices to be at least version 1.2 and support MST hub.


1. Turn on all monitors.

2. In each monitor’s settings menu, enable DisplayPort 1.2 and/or MST hub.

3. Connect your laptop to Monitor 1 using one of the following methods:

  • Use a DisplayPort cable to connect the DisplayPort connector on your laptop to the DisplayPort connector on your monitor.
  • Or, use a USB-C cable to connect the DisplayPort port via the USB-C connector on the laptop to the DisplayPort port via the USB-C connector on the monitor.

4. Use a DisplayPort cable to connect the DisplayPort connector on Monitor 1 to the DisplayPort connector on Monitor 2.

5. Repeat Step 4 for other monitors.

Due to bandwidth limitations, connecting more than two monitors via DisplayPort may result in reduced resolution on one or all monitors. Check your laptop’s GPU specifications to see if it supports adding multiple monitors.

Enhance your Mac®

The perfect display of your projects

Learn how

To daisy-chain, the Thunderbolt cable and port on all your devices must be version 3 or higher


1. Turn on all monitors.

2. Connect Thunderbolt on your laptop to Thunderbolt on monitor 1.

3. Connect Thunderbolt on monitor 1 to Thunderbolt on monitor 2.

4. Repeat step #3 for other monitors.

* NOTE: A second monitor can also be connected via a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort mode. Please check the information on the official Apple website about the number of external monitors you can use at the same time, depending on your Mac model, as well as the resolution and refresh rate of each monitor. To connect to the second and subsequent monitors, use cables with a length of at least 1 m to comfortably position the monitors on the desktop.

Thunderbolt supports higher bandwidth – up to 4K@60Hz for two monitors and up to six monitors at 1080p. For specifications regarding multi-monitor support, please refer to the official Thunderbolt website.

*Please use certified Thunderbolt 3/4 cables with the Thunderbolt 3/4 mark


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In addition to daisy chaining, there is another way to save space and improve work efficiency. The KVM switcher allows you to play content from two different PCs on one screen and control it with just one set of keyboard and mouse. Thus, you can work on two projects at once without switching keyboards and mice.

How to connect multiple monitors to a laptop using DisplayPort MST

What is Multi Streaming Transfer (MST)?

Introduced in the DisplayPort 1.2 standard, multi-stream transport allows multiple displays to be connected to a single DP port on a desktop or laptop. It does this by combining multiple video signals into a single stream (a process known as multiplexing) and sending it over a DisplayPort cable to a device that splits the signal. The “decoupling” device can be an MST hub or a series of “daisy chained” MST monitors.

MST 9 hub connector types0003

DisplayPort male (jacket)

miniDisplayPort male (jacket)

MST and SST transport modes

DisplayPort 1.2 includes support for two transport modes: Single Stream Transport (SST) and Multi Stream Transport (MST). With the introduction of MST, which combines multiple video signals into a single stream, the default method of transmitting video as a single stream to a single monitor has been renamed Single Stream Transport (SST).


Single Stream Transport (SST) Mode


Multi-Stream Transfer (MST) Mode

DisplayPort MST 9 Configuration Options 0043

Monitor daisy chaining

DisplayPort MST allows monitors with DisplayPort 1. 2 ports to be daisy chained (each monitor must have a DP output port that supports MST). Daisy chaining means connecting a laptop to monitor A, then connecting monitor A to monitor B, and so on. The number of monitors you can daisy-chain is limited and depends on the resolution and frame rate. The last monitor in the chain is not required to support DP MST.

What you need:

Video card (GPU) with DisplayPort support (1.2 or higher) MST

DisplayPort 1.2 monitor with MST support and MST enabled

DP-to-DP cable for each monitor in the chain. Cables between monitors must be 3 feet long. or less to avoid cable tangles.

I have two existing monitors. Can I daisy chain them using DisplayPort MST?

The first monitor in the chain connected to your laptop or PC must have DP 1.2 ports in and out. The DisplayPort Out on the first monitor is connected to the second monitor, which must have a DP input port. Alternatively, you can use a DP adapter or adapter cable to convert the signal to some other standard such as HDMI. Don’t forget to make sure your graphics card and first monitor support DP 1.2 and are enabled.

DisplayPort MST Hub

The DisplayPort MST Hub provides the most flexibility. For example, you can connect up to 4 HDMI monitors or TVs. You can also create a video wall that is ideal for digital signage in schools, churches, conference rooms, trade shows, and retail outlets.

MST compatible DisplayPort graphics cards have limited bandwidth. The MST hub will share this total bandwidth among the connected monitors, with 1080p monitors consuming roughly 22% of the bandwidth and 4K monitors using 40% or more. For example, this means you can connect up to 4 1080p monitors to a DP 1.2 port.

If you need help with MST settings, please contact KS-is technical support. Our advice is always free and without obligation.

What you need:

Video Card (GPU) with DisplayPort (1.2 or higher) MST

MST Hub (Docking Station)

Monitors compatible with the hub of your choice

Which operating systems support MST?

MST is supported by Windows 11, 10, Windows 8/8. 1 and Windows 7.

It is not currently supported by Mac OS X or Chrome OS™ (although Chrome OS support is rumored to be in development).

DisplayPort Display Modes MST Hub

The MST Hub supports three different modes for multi-monitor displays: duplicating the main display, extending the display across multiple monitors, or creating a video wall.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these display modes:


Display the same image on each monitor.

The maximum supported video resolution and number of monitors depends on your graphics card. Check the specifications of your graphics card to determine its capabilities.

Mirror mode MST

Also called cloning or duplicating your display. In duplicate mode, the same image will be displayed on each monitor. Display mirroring is useful in environments such as retail with in-store promotional product screens; arrival and departure boards at airports, bus stations and train stations; video presentations in classrooms, churches, or auditoriums, and several information booths and booths at trade shows. The mirroring mode is backwards compatible with DisplayPort 1.1, so it can be used even with many older graphics cards.


Display different images on each monitor.

The maximum supported video resolution and number of monitors depends on your graphics card. Check the specifications of your graphics card to determine its capabilities.

MST Extended Mode

Screen Extend allows you to display your PC desktop on all connected monitors, with each monitor opening a separate window. Monitors still function as separate displays, but your workspace is expanded and you can easily multitask and even move objects from one screen to another. You will be able to work on several documents at the same time, which will increase your productivity. Extended mode is especially useful in presentations when you want to display notes or reference information on one screen while you are demonstrating or playing video on another screen.


Use multiple monitors to display one large image.

The maximum supported video resolution and number of monitors depends on your graphics card. Check the specifications of your graphics card to determine its capabilities.

MST Video Wall Mode

Video Wall Creation allows you to combine all the monitors in your installation so that they work as one giant monitor. You can position the monitors however you like: vertically, horizontally, or grouped together. In multi-stream video wall mode, monitors will properly display your content for a dazzling, eye-catching presentation. Create a panoramic digital signage or wow your audience at your next trade show. Three monitors arranged horizontally also provide an ultra-widescreen gaming experience. Video wall display requires a computer with a DisplayPort 1.2 compatible graphics card (such as AMD Radeon with AMD Eyefinity technology).

MST Hubs and Cables for HMDI and DVI

KS-is offers MST Hub solutions with built-in converters to support HDMI and DVI monitors as well as DisplayPort monitors.