Intel® Processors, Tools, and Utilities
14674 Discussions

Can 11/12th-gen processors run TWO external displays at 4k@120Hz?


I would like to work on TWO external monitors, both running at 4K@120Hz. Is that possible with a laptop with 11/12th-gen Intel processor, that has TWO Thunderbolt 3/4 ports?


According to the data provided on the, max graphics resolution for Intel Core i7-12800H is as follows:


The middle line informs that via DP (which is Thunderbolt 3/4) I can connect one display 4K@120Hz (equivalent to 8k@60Hz given in the specification. Or to two displays 4K@60Hz, but in that case they would obviously need to be connected via some sort of signal splitter or a dock station), which is clear to me. However, the processor alllows for mounting TWO such ports, which is done in many newest Lenovo ThinkPad business laptops - they come with TWO Thunderbolt 3 ports, some have TWO Thunderbolt 4 ports. 


Does that mean that two 4K@120Hz displays can run AT THE SAME TIME, each connected to one Thunderbolt port, provided the device has TWO such ports?

0 Kudos
1 Reply
Valued Contributor I

It seems that Thunderbolt 3 can handle at is maximum a single external 4K display at 120Hz and supports DP 1.2 as the default/most common protocol, and can also support DP 1.4...


The CPU has 4 Display Pipes and my understanding is that the manufacturer can customize them for the desired video output connection...

Datasheet on table 60 indicates it supports 4K@60Hz with DP, and only 8K@60Hz with DP with DSC.

Datasheet Volume 1 & 2 here

More info about DSC:


To be honest, my answer would be (based on my experience) that despite what the CPU states it supports, the final answer must come from the computer manufacturer... In the end, the actual, real resolutions supported depend upon what the manufacturer designed and how they configured the internal connections... Why? here are two examples:


I have a laptop with an i5-1135G7 CPU, it supports 4K@60Hz over HDMI 2.0. However, Lenovo had the "great idea" of just integrating an HDMI 1.4 port, therefore, I'm limited to 4K@24Hz despite my CPU supporting higher refresh rate...


I have also seen laptops with CPUs supporting 4K@24Hz over standard HDMI 1.4, still, the manufacturer decided (I don't understand why) to put a limitation and they state in those PC datasheets that its HDMI port (despite being an HDMI 1.4 version) only supports 1080p resolution...


So, it is good that you check on the capabilities of the component one by one, individually... But if you really want to know and be sure what you would have after purchasing a device, you really need to ask them what their device support...


Keep in mind that there are other factors involved that may impact real bandwidth for display, like USB data, color settings, and so on...


Megan ♥

0 Kudos