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From a Single DisplayPort to Multiple Monitors: Multi-Stream Transport and What it Means for You


When the ability to connect to multiple monitors was introduced many years ago, it allowed working on multiple documents to become incredibly efficient. Display devices are a critical component of the workstation experience. According to a Jon Peddie Research study, multi-display systems can result in a 42 percent increase in productivity, and the demand for more screens are increasing. New technology, specifically DisplayPort’s Multi-Stream Transport (MST) – is now making this a reality for many users. Picture this: email on one screen, an Excel spreadsheet on a second, and a PowerPoint presentation on a third.

Smaller devices = fewer ports

Today, graphics cards are capable of handling the demands of at least two simultaneous outputs, and often even more. With the shrinking size of our devices, particularly laptops, tablets and smartphones – the availability of alternative ports (e.g. VGA, DVI, and HDMI) is becoming a rare sight. The smart people at the Video Electronics Standards Association saw an opportunity in this trend. They set about developing MST technology to allow a single DisplayPort port to extend your desktop across multiple monitors. MST was introduced in DisplayPort 1.2 (2009) and in the market shortly thereafter (see DisplayPort’s product database if your monitor is supported).

What does MST mean for you?

MST can be leveraged using two types of system configurations. The first option is to use MST with daisy-chainable displays, which must have built-in MST functionality. “Daisy-chaining” is a term that describes the ability to connect a series of devices together using a single standard DisplayPort 1.2 cable connection between each two devices and possibly more.  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 arrangement, one DisplayPort cable between each set of monitors, provides a less cluttered system configuration. Each of the displays, with the exception of the last display in the chain, must have DisplayPort 1.2 receiver(s) and transmitter(s). The last display can be an older DP 1.1 monitor. The operating system on the source device will see the daisy-chain devices as separate displays, and they behave as if they were connected via their own separate inputs (see the image below to see how the screens are arranged).

Screen A, B, and C are each connected using a single DisplayPort cable.  Screen A is then connected to the laptop or PC, which addresses the three as separate displays.


The second option is the MST hub configuration. The hub provides the MST functionality by splitting up the DisplayPort 1.2 video that streams from the source device and independently routes them to each display device. This way, the displays appear separately in the operating system and can be arranged as an extended desktop. The MST hub configuration allows the use of non-DisplayPort 1.2 monitors or legacy monitors you may have such as VGA, DVI or HDMI with the assistance of DisplayPort to VGA/DVI/HDMI converters. The only factor limiting the number of displays is the graphics card (see your manufacturer’s website for more information).

See the MST hub configuration below.


Screen A is how the extended desktop configuration would be displayed.


Using the MST hub with the assistance of DisplayPort to VGA/DVI/HDMI converters to connect with legacy monitors.



Other devices supporting MST

Newer devices will almost certainly have support for MST, including tablets such as the Microsoft Surface Pro (2 and 3) as well as the Lenovo X1 Carbon (Gen 3 or newer). Apple was slow to adopt MST in their version of DisplayPort, so check here to see which devices offer support.

Multiple monitors via USB adapters

If your device doesn’t have DisplayPort yet, it is possible to use a USB 3.0 port to connect multiple monitors using an external video card adapter. In fact, DisplayPort and the USB-IF announced support for DisplayPort over USB-C (Type-C Alt Mode), meaning that a single USB-C cable will be able to carry not only data and power, but DisplayPort audio and video as well. We will have to wait for the software and hardware support for this, but it is an exciting development that will make use of multiple monitors even easier.

Next steps for multiple monitor set-up:


  1. Lisa 6 years ago

    What are the hotkey commands to move/toggle screens between monitors?

    • Susan Mutterback 6 years ago

      Hi Lisa,

      If using Windows, use the “Windows Key” + Shift + Left or Right arrow key that will move the selected Window from one display to another.

  2. Bas 5 years ago

    Does the MST hub work at 60hz for a mac book pro retina early 2015 with a 3840×2160 resolution? If so, where can I order the hub?

    • Susan Mutterback 5 years ago

      Hi Bas,

      None of our MST hubs currently work at 4K@60Hz. However, before you make a purchase you should make sure you can use an MST hub in Mac OS. If you would like more information on this issue, I would recommend the following FAQ:


  3. Smithf702 5 years ago

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  4. I’m running on Windows 10 OS and I have a Asus ROG and I’m trying to operate two monitors off one output. I already tried a splitter, but you can’t set it up to operate as two separate monitors, and that’s what I’m looking to do. I would like to have the option to run in a 4k resolution if possible. I have one USBC port and USB 3.0 ports and 1 HDMI. I’m using the USBC port as Ethernet connection, can be worked around with adapters. The big picture is, I don’t use my laptops screen, I keep it closed, and I want to run both monitors separately off of one cdmi output. Both Inputs on LG monitors only have HDMI Inputs. Would love some guidance, I was reading on this MST deal, but it won’t support aspect ratio and resolution. Thanks!

    • Susan Mutterback 5 years ago

      Hi Nick,

      If you need some guidance on your setup, please reach out to our Technical Support. The best way to get support assistance is by contacting us via our online chat tool, which you can find here: You can find additional ways to contact us here: We are available 24×5, Sunday 9pm to Friday.


  5. Oscar 5 years ago

    I am trying to connect 2 additional monitors to my HP Pavilion All-in-one desktop computer. Can I use a HDMI splitter instead? or do I have to buy a MST? I understand the HDMI splitter will only transfer the same video and audio among monitors, but will it allow me to multitask and work on all 3 monitors at the same time?, in other words, displaying and working on different apps (Microsoft Word on monitor 1, Internet on monitor 2, reading an e-book on monitor 3). Thank you, your prompt response will be greatly appreciated.

    • Susan Mutterback 5 years ago

      Hi Oscar, Our Technical Support Team will be able to assist you with finding what type of product you need to complete your set-up.

  6. Adam 5 years ago

    I am a graphic designer and need to upgrade my Intel HD 4600. I want to run 2 monitors and am leaning towards the QNIX QX2710 LED Evolution ll it supports 2560×1440 10Bit/Virtual 4K at a very reasonable price.

    The card needs to support 2 monitors with the following connections DVI-D (DUAL Link), Displayport, HDMI, or VGA/SVGA D-sub connections.

    I am not looking for a high end gaming card I mostly work in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and some Premier. My PC’s processor is i7 quad core.


    • Susan Mutterback 5 years ago

      Hi Adam,

      Best to contact our Technical Support Team to ask for a product recommendation. They would be happy to help you out!


  7. shoes 4 years ago

    Thanks for finally writing about >From a Single DisplayPort to Multiple Monitors:
    Multi-Stream Transport and What it Means for You | StarTech.Blog
    <Loved it!

  8. Lou 4 years ago

    If I use a quantity of (3) three, of your 4 Port Multi Monitor DisplayPort MST Hubs on 1 GPU that has 3 Display Port out puts, can I get to use 12 monitors in Extend mode?

    • Barry Weston 4 years ago

      Hi Lou, Thanks for asking!

      The number of total monitors would be dependant on what the graphics card manufacturer supports for your specific card. In a lot of cases, the max is 6 total displays. We would recommend checking in with your card maker to determine the maximum number of displays supported.


  9. Fred Keller 4 years ago

    I have a single Displayport 1.4 connection on my graphics card (nvidia Geforce GTX1050). I would like to use it to drive 2 monitors with Displayport 1.2 (Asus PB328Q). Can I use a DP1.2 to DP1.2 MST hub to accomplish this?

  10. Nichevo 4 years ago

    Lou 3 months ago Reply
    If I use a quantity of (3) three, of your 4 Port Multi Monitor DisplayPort MST Hubs on 1 GPU that has 3 Display Port out puts, can I get to use 12 monitors in Extend mode?

    Great question! +1

  11. Didier 4 years ago

    Will the touch ability on my screens be still activated? Thank you.

    • Barry Weston 4 years ago

      Hi Didier,

      Great question!

      Most displays use USB to drive their touch functions. So as long as that is the case with your displays, going through the MST hub should not cause any problems.

      If you would like to chat more about this, please head over the to get in touch with one of our Technical Advisors.


  12. John watson 3 years ago

    I am running Intel 620 graphics which supports 3 native. Can I daisy chain one of the monitors to add a 4th?

    • kibo 3 years ago

      Base on my experience, the No.4 display could be clone mode only. The graphic card limits the total display(extend mode) to 3.

      • Danielle 3 years ago

        The number of total monitors that can be supported is dependent on what the graphics card manufacturer supports for your specific card. In a lot of cases, the max is 6 total displays. We would recommend checking with your card maker to determine the maximum number of displays supported. In this case, your graphic card may not support more than 3 displays. If you’d like to connect more than 3, you may be able to get around this limitation by using a USB video adapter which you can learn more about at If you have any more questions regarding displays, please reach out to our live technical support team at

  13. Jeff 2 years ago

    So, if I have a graphic card (in this case a gtx1080) that supports a Max display of 4 screens, would myself/Daisychaining take up those monitor slots or would I be able to split the Displayports to get more than 4 screens on the one card?

    • Danielle 2 years ago

      Hi Jeff!

      Great question. The DisplayPorts on the Nvidia GTX1080 video card can be daisy-chained. With the help of our MST hubs, you should be able to run multiple displays off a single DisplayPort on the video card. With that said, it’s important to note that the total combined bandwidth of the displays should not exceed the max bandwidth that is supported by DisplayPort on the graphics card.

  14. Erol 2 years ago

    is it possible to connect 8 Monitors over DP with the resolution 1980×1020 ? If yes then how?

    • Danielle 2 years ago

      Currently, all of our MST hubs use DisplayPort 1.2 and one display at 1920×1080 uses 22% of the total bandwidth that DisplayPort 1.2 provides. However, if your graphics card supports DisplayPort 2.0 and you can find an MST hub with DisplayPort 2.0 support then it should have the bandwidth required to support 8 displays.

  15. Johnny 11 months ago

    I have 4 DP/DVI in monitors (I would love to daisy chain), and 4 HDMI out computers.

    What is the best KVM solution for being able to use all 4 monitors with all 4 computers? I have been trying to solve this for months.

    • Johnny 11 months ago

      Oops. Make that 3 HDMI, and 1 Dual DP compter.

      • Danielle at 11 months ago

        Hi Johnny! It would be best to reach out to our Tech Advisors directly. The solution you are looking for cannot be done with one single product, so they’ll ask you a number of questions to help clarify you’re exact needs to help you build your ideal solution!


  1. VMUG 5 years ago

    […] least a single 4K monitor, depending on the display circuitry on the host device. A computer with Multi-Stream Transport (MST) can drive two displays from a single USB-C port. Apple built MST into some Macs, but the 12-inch […]

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