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Frequently Asked Questions about 3 Displays Configuration


Last Reviewed: 06-Feb-2017
Article ID: 000005556

See the many ways you can connect a computer to three displays and how to optimize your viewing experience.

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Which Intel® graphics and chipsets support three independent displays?

Only the following Intel® products support independent displays:

Intel® Processors:

  • Intel® HD Graphics 615/620
  • Intel® Iris™ Pro Graphics 580/P580
  • Intel® Iris™ Graphics 540/550
  • Intel® HD Graphics 515/520/530/P530
  • Intel® Iris™ Pro Graphics 5200
  • Intel® Iris™ Graphics 5100
  • Intel® HD Graphics 5000/4600/4400/4200
  • Intel® HD Graphics 4000/2500
  • Intel® Pentium® Processors 1403 v2/1405 v2/ 2020M/2030M/2117U/2129Y/2127U/ A1018/G2010/G2020/G2020T/G2030/G2030T/G2100T/G2120/G2120T/G2130/G2140 with Intel® HD Graphics
  • Intel® Pentium® Processor 3550M/3556U/3560Y with Intel® HD Graphics
  • Intel® Pentium® Processor 3558U/3561Y/G3220/G3220T/G3320TE/G3420/G3420T/G3430 with Intel® HD Graphics
  • Intel® Celeron® Processors 927UE/1000M/1005M/1007U/1017U/1019Y/1020E/1020M/1037U/1047UE/G1610/G1620/G1620T/G1610T/G1630 with Intel® HD Graphics
  • Intel® Celeron® Processor 2957U/2961Y/2981U/G1820/G1820T/G1820TE/G1830 with Intel® HD Graphics
  • Intel® Celeron® Processor 2000E/2002E/2950M/2955U/2980U/2955U with Intel® HD Graphics

Intel® Chipsets:

  • Intel® 7 Series Chipsets
  • Intel® 8 Series Chipsets
  • Intel® 9 Series Chipsets
Which operating systems support three-display configuration?
  • Microsoft Windows 7*
  • Microsoft Windows 8*
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1*
  • Microsoft Windows® 10
What three independent display configurations are supported?
See details for Intel® Iris™ Pro Graphics 5200, Intel® Iris™ Graphics 5100, and Intel® HD Graphics 5000/4600/4400/4200

Three independent displays are supported with most combinations of HDMI*, DVI, VGA, DisplayPort* (DP), Embedded DP (eDP), and Intel® Wireless Display (Intel® WiDi). The following combinations are not supported:

Unsupported Configurations
Active Display 1 Active Display 2 Active Display 3
HDMI* HDMI HDMI
DVI DVI DVI
HDMI HDMI DVI
HDMI DVI DVI
 
See details for Intel® HD Graphics 4000/2500 of 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processors, Intel HD Graphics of Intel® Pentium® Processors 2000/G2000/G2100 series, and Intel® HD Graphics of Intel® Celeron® Processors 1000/G1000 series

In most cases, three independent displays are supported in the following configurations:

  • If two of the displays are DisplayPort* monitors
  • If one of the displays is an Intel® Wireless Display (Intel® WiDi)
  • If the built-in display is an Embedded DisplayPort1 (eDP)
View a comprehensive table of supported configurations and notes

In most cases, three independent displays are supported in the following configurations:

Active Display 1 Active Display 2 Active Display 3
DisplayPort* DisplayPort HDMI* or DVI or VGA or DisplayPort or Built-in Display2
DisplayPort or HDMI or DVI or VGA DisplayPort or HDMI or DVI or VGA Built-in Display3
DisplayPort or HDMI or DVI or VGA or Built-in Display2 DisplayPort or HDMI or DVI or VGA Intel® Wireless Display (Intel® WiDi)
 

1 To check if your computer's built-in display uses an embedded DisplayPort (eDP) or LVDS connector type: From the Windows* desktop, press Ctrl Alt F12 key combination. If prompted select Advanced Mode application mode. Select Options and Support, change System Information to Built-in Display. Check the Connector Type field.

2 Built-in display uses connector types: eDP off the chipset or LVDS.

3 Built-in display uses eDP off a mobile processor.

 
How do I enable three independent displays?

Three independent displays support two configurations:

  • Extended desktop - provides a larger Windows* desktop area spanning all displays
  • Clone - the same screen is shown on all three displays

To enable extended desktop using Intel® Graphics Driver Properties:

Newer Drivers

  1. From the Windows desktop, press Ctrl Alt F12 to open the Intel® Graphics Control Panel.
    Note For other methods to open the Intel Graphics Control Panel, see "How to open the Intel Graphics Properties window."
     
  2. After opening the Intel® Graphics Control Panel, select Display.
    select Display

  3. To select multiple displays, click the Display drop down menu and select Multiple Displays.
    select Multiple Displays

  4. Set your Display Mode or Operating Mode to Clone or Extended Desktop.

  5. Select your Active Displays by selecting the Primary Display, second, and third displays.

     
    Note You must have three monitors connected to see all three drop-down menus.
     
  6. If setting Extended Desktop, arrange the displays using the steps below.

    Use the Arrange Displays window. Then, use the mouse to move the displays in a different arrangement.
    Arrange Displays

  7. Click Apply to save changes.

  8. Click OK to close the Intel® Graphics Control Panel.
    Intel® Graphics Control Panel

Older Drivers

Three independent displays support two configurations:

  • Extended desktop which provides a larger Windows* desktop area spanning all displays
  • Clone where the same screen is shown on all three displays

To enable extended desktop using Intel® Graphics Driver Properties:

  1. From the Windows desktop, press Ctrl Alt F12 to open the Intel® Graphics Control Panel.
    Note For other methods to open the Intel Graphics Control Panel, see how to open the Intel Graphics Properties window.
     
  2. After opening the Intel Graphics Control Panel, do the following to reach the Display settings:

    If prompted to select the application mode, select Advanced Mode and then click OK.
    select Advanced Mode

  3. To select multiple displays, select Multiple Displays.
    select Multiple Displays

  4. Set your Display Mode or Operating Mode to Clone or Extended Desktop.

  5. Select your Active Displays by selecting the Primary Display, second, and third displays.

    Note You must have three monitors connected to see all three drop-down menus.
  6. If setting Extended Desktop, arrange the displays using the steps below.

    Use the Positioning window. Then, use your mouse to move the displays in a different arrangement.
    Positioning window

  7. Click Apply to save changes.

  8. Click OK to close the Intel Graphics Control Panel.
    Click OK

What should I do if three independent displays aren't working?

Contact your computer or motherboard manufacturer to find out if three independent displays are supported and what configurations are required for your specific model. We provide general information about Intel® graphics features. Manufacturers can incorporate customizations that may not support all general graphics features.

What is the maximum resolution supported in three independent display configurations?
See details for Intel® Iris™ Pro Graphics 5200, Intel® Iris™ Graphics 5100, and Intel® HD Graphics 5000/4600/4400/4200
4th Gen Intel® Core™ Processors Display 1 Display 2 Display 3 Max. Resolution Display 1 Max. Resolution Display 2 Max. Resolution Display 3
U Processors eDP/DP DP DP 3200x2000@60Hz 3200x2000@60Hz 3200x2000@60Hz
HDMI 4096x2304@24Hz
Y Processors DP 2560x1600@60Hz 2560x1600@60Hz 2560x1600@60Hz
HDMI 4096x2304@24Hz
M, H, and Desktop Processors DP 3840x2160@60Hz 3840x2160@60Hz 3840x2160@60Hz
HDMI 4096x2304@24Hz
HDMI VGA 2880x1800@60Hz 4096x2304@24Hz 1920x1200@60Hz
 
Note

To determine whether you are using a "U", "Y", "M", or "H" processor, look for this letter in your processor number.

For example, the "Intel® Core™ i5-4200U Processor" is a "U" processor.

For help with identifying your processor, see the Intel® Processor Identification Utilities.

 
See details for Intel® HD Graphics 4000/2500 of 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processors, Intel® HD Graphics of Pentium® Processors 2000/G2000/G2100 series, and Intel® HD Graphics of Celeron® Processors 1000/G1000 series
  • In clone mode: 1920x1200 at 60 Hz
  • In extended desktop mode: One display at 2560x1600 at 60 Hz, remaining two displays at 1920x1200 at 60 Hz

If you are using a mobile processor, embedded DisplayPort (eDP) supports 1920x1200 at 60 Hz and two external displays using 2560x1600 at 60 Hz.

Note

Intel® graphics support a wide range of resolutions, however, your system may support a lower maximum amount depending on many factors including but not limited to:

  • The chipset or processor in your system
  • Which display port you are using
  • How your computer manufacturer has configured your computer
  • Your display or monitor capabilities
  • If your display or monitor is plug and play
  • If your display or monitor is in single mode, clone, or extended desktop mode

Check with your computer and display manufacturers to find out the maximum resolution supported by your computer and display.

If you are using multiple displays in clone or duplicate mode, you can only select a resolution that is supported by all displays.

 
 
Why are few resolutions listed in Intel® Graphics Control Panel when three-display configurations support more?

Only resolutions that maintain display scaling on all three displays are listed in the Intel® Graphics Control Panel.

Why doesn't the computer set 2560x1600, 1920x1200, and 1920x1200 resolutions in a three-display configuration on Intel® Processors?

Applies to the following Intel® Processors:

  • 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processors
  • Intel® Pentium® Processors 2000/G2000/G2100 Series
  • Intel® Celeron® Processors 1000/G1000 Series

For the processors listed, system display configurations can affect resolutions:

  • Refresh rate of the panels should be less than or equal to 60 Hz
  • Bits per channel (bpc) of the content should be less than or equal to 8 bpc
  • Scaling should be set to maintain display scaling in Intel® HD Graphics Control Panel/Graphics and Media Control Panel
  • Monitor timings
  • DisplayPort monitor maximum link rate should be supported (1.62 Gb/s vs. 2.7 Gb/s)
  • Passive or active dongle must support the resolution
 
Do three-display configurations support passive dongles?

Three-display configurations support passive dongles if the system manufacturer has programmed the BIOS to support dual-mode interoperability (DisplayPort > HDMI, DisplayPort > DVI, or DisplayPort > VGA).

Note See display combinations for valid passive dongle configurations based on the connected display.
 
Do three-display configurations support active dongles?

Yes. We have validated DisplayPort > VGA active dongles only.

Note See display combinations for valid active dongle configurations based on the type of active dongle. For example, if you are using DisplayPort > HDMI dongle, DisplayPort is the source and HDMI is the end interface.
 
What is the maximum resolution supported when using dongles?

For active dongles, the maximum resolution depends on the dongle capability and monitor capability. For passive dongles, maximum resolution depends on monitor capability. See monitor manufacturer documents for details.

Why do resolutions differ when monitors are connected in three-display configurations?

Every monitor's timings and resolutions are different. When you connect or disconnect a monitor from your computer, the resolutions may change based on the configuration.

Why is 1920x1200 resolution not shown in a three-display configuration on the second and third monitors?

Applies to the following Intel® Processors:

  • 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processors
  • Intel® Pentium® Processor 2000/G2000/G2100 Series
  • Intel® Celeron® Processor 1000/G1000 Series

The 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processors limit the pixel data throughput to 180 MHz for second and third DisplayPort devices. Second and third DisplayPort devices may be limited from displaying 1920x1200. The configuration requires 180 MHz or more.

If Intel® Wireless Display or Intel® WiDi is connected in a multi-display configuration, can four displays be active simultaneously?

Only three displays can be active at one time in a multi-display configuration. Intel® WiDi is considered as one of the displays in a three-display configuration.

In a three-display configuration, can I set two displays in clone and one in extended display configuration?

No. All three displays can be set either in clone configuration or in extended display configuration.

Are three-display configurations supported using a USB display?

No. Three-display configurations are not supported using a USB display.

Is Blu-ray* disc playback or Intel® InTru™ 3D Technology playback supported in triple display clone mode?

No. Blu-ray disc and Intel® InTru™ 3D Technology (stereoscopic 3D or S3D) playback are not supported in triple display clone mode.

How many audio streams do Intel® Core™ Processors support in multiple display configurations?
3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processor Family with Intel® 7 Series Chipset Three simultaneous audio streams are supported, with one premium audio.
3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processor Family with Intel® 6 Series Chipset Two simultaneous audio streams are supported, with one premium audio.
4th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor Family Two simultaneous audio streams are supported, with one premium audio.
 
Note Clone configuration only supports one audio stream played on one monitor.
 
How do I switch displays in three-display configurations?

You can use the Windows P keys to switch to a three-display configuration.

Why is one external monitor in my three display configuration undetected by Intel® Graphics Control Panel?

A monitor may not show up in the Intel® graphics user interface if the bandwidth/dot clock exceeds maximum allowable limits. The graphics driver dynamically detects displays in the Intel® Graphics Control Panel based on the bandwidth availability.

 
Related topics
Multiple displays frequently asked questions
How to enable extended desktop mode
How to enable clone mode
How to open the Intel® Graphics Control Panel