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Multiple monitors for Alienware 17 R5

Greetings - first post.

My current desktop is a Dell Optiplex 9010 running three U2312HM monitors via a mixture of cables.

I just bought myself an Alienware 17 R5 from here and I'd like to use this as a replacement for the Optiplex - so I would like to run three monitors. I will also be taking this beast on the road so I would like a simple method of attaching / detaching multiple monitors.

My first thought was to continue to use the existing monitors with a DisplayPort 1.2MST Hub - like this one. One thing I am concerned about is that I have read in a few places that sometimes using a hub forces the Intel GPU to be used rather than the GTX 1060.

So, my questions is, can I use the hub without losing the 1060 video? Any drawbacks?

Any other suggestions would be gratefully accepted.

Thanks - and happy new year.

Nigel.

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4 Replies
Raskasar
1 Copper

Re: Multiple monitors for Alienware 17 R5

Hi, i would say you can use the Display Port Hub. The DisplayPort and HDMI is direktly connected to the eGPU (1060). To get the iGPU working, you need to connected a Display through the Thunderbold USB3-C output.
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jphughan
5 Tungsten

Re: Multiple monitors for Alienware 17 R5

A DisplayPort MST hub will not change the GPU you're using.  On systems with multiple GPUs, the display outputs in the system are physically wired to a certain GPU.  If you go to NVIDIA Control Panel, I believe under the multi-display setup section, it will show you which outputs are wired to which GPU in that system.  On many systems, all outputs are wired to the Intel GPU.  On some systems, some outputs are wired to the Intel GPU and others are wired to the discrete GPU.  And on some other systems, only the built-in panel is wired to the Intel GPU and all external display outputs are wired to the discrete GPU.  This setup can't be changed except on some very high-end systems like recent Precision 7000 models, where a BIOS option allows you to choose which outputs are wired to which GPU because their motherboards have DisplayPort multiplexers to allow this.  But I don't believe Alienware systems do.

Also note that even if you use an output wired to the Intel GPU, that doesn't prevent the discrete GPU from being used to accelerate content on that display.  It can still do that via NVIDIA Optimus.  There are some scenarios where that doesn't always work as well as having the discrete GPU physically control the display output, but those cases are relatively rare.  Certain applications don't play nice with Optimus, and then there are certain technologies that don't work if the Intel GPU is controlling the output, such as VR, G-Sync, stereoscopic 3D, and 5K resolution.  The reason those don't work is that Intel GPUs currently on the market don't support those technologies, so they can't pass them through even if the NVIDIA GPU does.

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Raskasar
1 Copper

Re: Multiple monitors for Alienware 17 R5

@jphughanfor AW 17 R5 that is wrong, it's don't matter if you have GSYNC or not. the System don't work with Optimus/MS Hyprid. I can deaktivate the NVidia GPU under Devices and the HDMI and mini DP will stop working. Only my Laptop screen and the TB out is still working. And i can only change resolution for the TB output. Display Screen is not posible to change trough Intel Software. My Laptop has no GSYNC.
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jphughan
5 Tungsten

Re: Multiple monitors for Alienware 17 R5


@Raskasar wrote:
@jphughanfor AW 17 R5 that is wrong, it's don't matter if you have GSYNC or not. the System don't work with Optimus/MS Hyprid. I can deaktivate the NVidia GPU under Devices and the HDMI and mini DP will stop working. Only my Laptop screen and the TB out is still working. And i can only change resolution for the TB output. Display Screen is not posible to change trough Intel Software. My Laptop has no GSYNC.

I'm not sure how you can tell me I'm wrong when I didn't make any specific claim about how the AW 17 R5 works.  I simply described multiple possible designs and explained how to check a given system's wiring through NVIDIA Control Panel.  And fyi if your built-in panel is wired to the Intel GPU, then your system does use Optimus at least for the built-in display, and also for any other output directly wired to the Intel GPU, which apparently includes the USB-C output based on your description.  If the system didn't use Optimus, then you'd never get the benefit of the NVIDIA GPU on the built-in display that's wired to the Intel GPU, but obviously that's not how the system works.  Lastly, the G-Sync option on that system simply determines whether the built-in display uses G-Sync.  It doesn't affect what the GPU supports.  If that system has a DisplayPort output that's physically wired to the NVIDIA GPU, then G-Sync should work through that output even if you didn't order the G-Sync built-in display, although I have not verified this.

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