Connecting Multiple Monitors to A PXIe Controller

Updated Mar 18, 2019

Reported In

Hardware

  • PXIe-8880
  • PXIe-8840

Issue Details

I have noticed several PXIe controllers have multiple monitor ports and support the use of dual monitors.
  • The PXIe-8880 has a single DisplayPort. Is there a way to connect multiple monitors to a PXIe-8880?
  • The PXIe 8840 has 2 DisplayPorts, can I connect more than two monitors?

Solution

The answer will depend on the specific controller. 

For example, according to the NI PXIe-8880 User Manual, the PXIe-8880 has an AMD Radeon™ E6460 Embedded GPU with a DisplayPort 1.2 output. The PXIe-8880 supports up to two monitors connected to the DisplayPort 1.2 output.

According to the DisplayPort standard, DisplayPort 1.2 enabled-products feature a multi-stream technology that allows independent streaming to multiple video displays from a single video output, through the use of monitor hubs or daisy-chainable monitors.

If you are having difficulties extending the display to multiple monitors, ensure that you have the PXI Peripheral Drivers installed on your system, and that your system has the latest Intel graphics driver. Also make sure that your Display settings are properly configured in Windows Device Manager to extend the display.
 

Additional Information

“Daisy chaining” is a term that describes the ability to connect a series of devices together using a single connection between each two devices.  The new DisplayPort v1.2 daisy chainable displays have both a DisplayPort input and a DisplayPort output. The DisplayPort output connects to the next downstream display.  This cabling arrangement, with one DisplayPort cable between each set of monitors, provides a less cluttered system configuration.

GPUs usually have an inherent limitation in how many simultaneous displays they can drive; some can drive up to three displays, while others can drive four or even six. According to the AMD Radeon™ E6460 Embedded GPU datasheet, the AMD Radeon™ E6460 Embedded GPU supports up to 4 monitors. However, this would require using multiple output types (VGA, DVI, DisplayPort 1.1a/1.2); since only the DisplayPort 1.2 output is enabled in the PXIe-8880, it will support a maximum of two independent displays.

Even though DisplayPort 1.2 offers the higher pixel rate available, there is a limitation in how many pixels can be sent down the display pipe. This means that while using a single display allows resolutions of up to 3840x2160 or 4096x2160, using two displays limits the maximum resolution for each monitor to 2560x1600.

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