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definition, features and how to use it on gaming monitors

Daisy Chain, also called daisy-chaining or officially known as multi-stream transport (MST in the case of DisplayPort technology) involves connecting a monitor to another monitor rather than directly to the video-out port of the graphics card. But we are going to delve further into the subject to know well the implications that this has.

What is the Daisy Chain?

In a literal way, it is called Daisy Chain or daisy chain to a wiring scheme used in electronics. It is a succession of links so that a monitor A is connected to a monitor B and this in turn to a monitor C successively. The connections do not form networks (so monitor C would not have a connection to monitor A) and they do not return from the first device to the last, so that if the connection is broken, for example, on the second monitor, the third also I would lose the connection.

This is a great way to minimize cable clutter and extend the range of your monitors from your PC, since if for example you have three monitors connected to your computer, the distance that is furthest away will likely force you to use cable extensions. In addition, in this way instead of having to pull a cable from each of the monitors to the PC (taking over the output ports of the graphics card) you will only have to plug each monitor to power and then these to each other with the cables Of video; you will use the same number of cables but you will save length and mess with them.

There are some limitations, as the maximum bandwidth of the single cable between the first monitor and the PC will need to handle the video transmission for all daisy-chained displays, although there are high-end cables to help you avoid these problems and Take full advantage of resolution and refresh rate so that cable bandwidth is not a limiting factor.

Monitors connected in Daisy Chain do not behave differently from monitors connected in a conventional way, but you must bear in mind that since we are connecting monitors to others, you will need the monitor to have video outputs and not just inputs (the manufacturer usually specifies this and sometimes even indicates that it is compatible with Daisy Chain). Also, note that UCB-C monitor daisy chain is only supported on Windows, macOS computers require Thunderbolt to do so.

Daisy Chain Multiple Monitors

To connect your monitors in Daisy Chain mode there are some specific things that you will need. First, you obviously need two or more monitors that support DisplayPort 1.2 at a minimum; The screens that will act as intermediate links in the chain must include DisplayPort output ports as well as input ports, and of course you will also need high-quality DisplayPort cables due to the bandwidth limitations that we have mentioned. Preferably, the cables should be DP 1.2, 1.3 or even 1.4.

Alternatively you can use USB-C connections, but HDMI does not support Daisy Chain, only DisplayPort, mini DisplayPort and USB-C alternatively. Of course, you can use high-end converters from HDMI to DisplayPort that support Daisy Chain, although it is true that they are difficult to find and quite expensive.

daisy_chain

Therefore, DisplayPort is the most established daisy chain medium as it has been supported since version 1.2 of the standard that debuted in January 2010. To daisy chain monitors over DisplayPort all you have to do is connect the first one. screen to the PC graphics card using a compatible cable and then the second screen to the first and so on, as shown in the image above.

Some monitors may require you to select the DisplayPort 1.2 setting to use the extended monitor modes, otherwise this type of connection may restrict its operation to mirror mode where both displays show the same content. If your graphics card supports it, you may be able to further increase the number of monitors you can daisy chain, so that you can have up to six displays.

Daisy Chain limitations

As we have already mentioned, this method of connecting monitors in a chain is compatible with DisplayPort 1.2 onwards and also with USB-C, but in this case only on Windows systems. HDMI is not supported, and there we have the first limitation.

On the other hand and unless you are also running relatively low resolutions on all monitors, you may start to have bandwidth problems with DisplayPort cables; for example, a DisplayPort 1.2 daisy chain can handle four 1080p resolution displays or two displays with up to 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution. For its part, DisplayPort 1.3 and 1.4 are capable of handling monitors connected in Daisy Chain up to 4K resolution, although only two of them at the highest resolution and only at 60 Hz refresh rate despite the fact that DisplayPort supports much higher frequencies. elevated. However, these more advanced standards support up to six 1080p displays.

Daisy chain

You must take into account another limitation, and that is that Intel’s integrated graphics cards (whose use is very widespread in laptops) only support up to three screens including the one incorporated in the laptop, that is, it only supports the connection of two monitors additions in addition to the laptop screen. With Tiger Lake, compatibility will be increased to four displays, according to Intel.