People buy mini-PCs for their compact form factor. These PCs may be tiny but are quite powerful in terms of computing power. But what about their graphical capacity? Recent mini PC models are very competent in terms of processing power. You can find both the GPU and CPU to perform way ahead despite their compact size. Some of these PCs are even capable of gaming. But are they capable of handling multiple monitors?
In this article, we shall discuss whether you can connect multiple monitors with a mini PC and whether it can support it without any loss in performance.
Can a mini PC run 3 monitors?
A mini-PC can run 3 monitors and you can connect them to the PC with the ports natively available or by daisy chaining two monitors with the help of DisplayPort and connecting another display through HDMI. We shall now see the setup and the requirements you need for setting up three monitors with a mini PC.
Setup when Multiple Ports are Available
Mini PCs with high specifications come with multiple ports natively. There are models which have four HDMI ports or two HDMI and two DisplayPort that can support four 4K displays natively.
In such instances, you don’t need to do any setup. Just with appropriate cables, you can simply connect the monitors individually with the cables. Follow the steps to connect the monitors natively to your mini-PC:
- Check the availability of ports in your mini PC. Also, check the types of ports available.
- According to the number and type of port, choose the appropriate cables. For example, if your mini PC has 2 HDMI and 2 DisplayPort, then buy cables accordingly.
- As per the port availability in the mini PC, you must choose the monitor. Try to choose a monitor with both HDMI and DisplayPort or Type-C port compatibility.
- After getting the monitors, using the appropriate cable, connect them to the mini PC.
- Then boot up your PC and with your primary display enable the extend option with the display settings.
- To enable Extend option, go to display settings, and choose Multiple Displays.
- Then, choose Extend option in the drop-down and you will be able to get output in all the displays.
- You can now work with all the monitors effortlessly and perform seamless multitasking.
Another important thing to note is that you must consider the specifications of the mini PC and choose the monitor appropriately. If your monitor can support only Full HD displays, then don’t buy QHD 4K displays. The performance may be affected.
Setup When only two ports are available
When two ports for display connectivity are available, you can connect your primary monitor to one port, and using the daisy chain method you can connect the other two monitors. But for daisy chaining, you will need DisplayPort in both the mini PC and the monitors. Let us look at the steps for connecting monitors in this manner.
- Check the availability of ports in the PC. Mostly you will have one HDMI or two HDMI. But it is important to have at least one DisplayPort to perform the daisy chaining.
- Now get the appropriate cables for the monitors. You will need two DisplayPort cables to the daisy chain.
- Connect the HDMI or one of the DisplayPort to the primary monitor.
- Now take the two DisplayPort cables. Connect one of the monitors to the mini PC port with one cable and using another DisplayPort cable, take the output from the second monitor and connect it to the input of the third monitor.
- Now you have daisy chained the two monitors. It is also important to note that the DisplayPort version must be 1.2 or more in all the devices for this to support.
- You can now boot the PC and choose to extend the displays using the display settings from the primary monitor.
Setup when only one port is available
If you are using an old mini PC, then there are chances for it to have only one display connectivity and the graphics capacity may be low.
In such cases, you need to get an eGPU and try to connect three monitors. eGPU is an external GPU setup where you can provide high graphics processing ability by connecting an external processor to your mini PC.
Although it may be a costly setup, you will have better graphics processing and you can connect multiple 4K monitors effortlessly.
If the single port available is DisplayPort, then you can try daisy chaining up to two monitors. But to connect three, you will need an eGPU.
These are the ways in which you can connect three monitors to your mini PC and enjoy a powerful multitasking setup with good performance. Now let us understand why a mini PC is good for multiple monitors.
Why a mini-PC is good for multiple monitors?
Many people move to mini PC for their compact form factor yet powerful performance. When this performance is combined with effective multitasking, it will be efficient.
With a mini PC, you can save more space on your desk and utilize it for other uses without any difficulty.
Since mini PCs have the capacity to run multiple monitors, you don’t have to spend for a separate GPU. The processing capacity has improved so much with the mini PCs and it has avoided the need for getting a separate graphics processor setup.
You can have a minimalist setup with mini PCs and if you are looking for a clean, professional workspace, then mini PC can offer you clutter-free desk space. Because of these factors, it is best to connect multiple monitors with a mini PC.
What to consider before setup?
Before performing this setup, you need to check the following things:
- Try to check for the type of port and the generation of the port
- Get appropriate cables that can match the port in both the mini PC and display
- If you are daisy chaining, then you will need DisplayPort 1.2 or more to support it. Make sure all the ports in all the devices are 1.2 or higher.
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A mini PC can do wonders if you get the right type of device. It can perform heavy tasks effortlessly. When it is combined with a multi-monitor setup, it can become one of the most powerful computing setups you can have. Try these connecting methods and get high-performance multitasking from your mini PC.