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Intel Iris Plus G7 - 3 Monitors??


I have a Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 with the i5-103G7 processor. I found this comment on the GPU:

"The Iris Plus G7 supports three display pipes that can each output 5K60 signals (via DisplayPort 1.4 HBR3 or HDMI 2.0b). Combining two pipes, the chip is capable to output 8k content."

And according to the intel specs at

My laptop has a USB C port but no Display Port. I currently have a TVMonitor connected via a USB3 hub with an HDMI output.

I assume I need a USB C port with more HDMI ports?? I can just select the TV Monitor, leaving the laptop display blank, so can I have 3 external monitors??


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Super User Retired Employee

The processor supports three Display Pipes (DPI). These DPI can be configured as DisplayPort (DP) 1.4a, Embedded DP (eDP) 1.4b or HDMI 2.0b. The processor can support a maximum of three displays. Displays are not 1:1 tied to the DPI. That is, you could have all three displays connected to only one DPI.


My assumption is that the Surface Laptop 3 is using the DPI as follows:


  1. DPI A is configured for eDP and routed to the embedded display.
  2. DPI B is configured for DP and routed to the Surface Connect Port.
  3. DPI C is configured for DP and routed to the USB-C connector.


Since the Embedded Display counts against the display count, you can only connect two external monitors to the processor. To have a third external monitor, you must connect it using a USB-based graphics engine.


Ok, there are a number of options for how you can connect two external displays to this laptop:


  1. Connect both displays via Surface Dock. In this case, these displays will be sharing the bandwidth of the DP channel. It is unclear whether the Surface Dock will support each display as being 4K@60Hz; it may limit them to 4K@30Hz. Also, you would need mDP-to-HDMI adapters to connect HDMI displays.
  2. Connect one display via Surface Dock and one display via USB-C connector. In this case, unless you have a display with a USB-C interface, you will need a USB-C-to-DP or USB-C-to-HDMI adapter to connect this display. I tried to locate an adapter that connects a display (and only this display) to the Surface Dock connector, but I guess Microsoft forces you to use one of the (costly) docks.
  3. Connect both displays to the USB-C connector. You can use a Multi-Stream Transport (MST) Hub device to extract the DP channel from the USB-C connector and share it across two (or even three) displays. These MST Hub devices come in flavors allowing pairs of DP or HDMI displays to be used.


For option 1, the USB-based graphics engine can be plugged into the Surface Dock or into the USB-C connector. For option 2, a USB-C hub could connect both the USB graphics engine and a display. Alternatively, the USB-C hub could be avoided by connecting the USB graphics engine to the laptop's USB 3.x port. For option 3, you are forced to connect the USB graphics engine to the laptop's USB 3.x port.


That's as far as I can take the analysis. My assumptions need to be verified to go further,


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Thanks for that comprehensive answer. I should of added that I currently have a USB C dock with an HDMI output to a Samsung 28" TV Monitor which works well at 1920x1080p for the F1 2019 game. Just thinking of what else I could do!!

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