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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 5:20 pm 
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Was disappointed not to have seen this element addressed in any of the (preview and final) reviews I've checked out so far ... (had hoped that it might be looked at in Laptop Reviews' final article after I had requested in the prequels comment section, though perhaps Zaz did not see my inquiry or was unable to test such a setup ... Anyway, hopefully he might see this message and could comment, or perhaps someone else might be able to shed light on the subject).

The IVB HD 4000 Graphics is capable of tri-display output, however, it is my understanding that a mobo would have to include three TMDS transceivers in order to realize that potential (I also read somewhere that two of the three monitors would have to be driven through displayport, though I don't know why that would be, unless it is a particular hardware limitation on the HD 4000's part).

I'm wondering if the X230 is capable of simultaneously driving:

a) its own IPS panel, as well as displays/monitors attached to the mini-displayport and VGA outputs ?

b) three displays when docked -- Series 3 has VGA, DVI & DP; Plus Series 3 has VGA, 2 x DVI, 2 x DP, so permutations exist here ?

As an added curiosity, I'm also wondering about:

c) how many displays can be driven simultaneously if you use the WiDi (wireless display) ?


TIA


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 5:54 pm 
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edited/removed:
(Sorry, my idea previously mentioned here doesn't seem to apply to Ivy Bridge hardware.)

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:41 am 
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Oi!

Back again to give the question a bit of a bump. I see that there are also a few others who seek answers to questions about multi-monitor / multi-display configurability:

- http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/X-Series-Th ... m-p/757181
- http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/X-Series-Th ... d-p/770559

Hopefully someone with a system in hand can now test.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:39 pm 
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TAbook still says 2. Seems a little surprising given that IvyBridge can do 3. I'll have mine next week if we don't get an earlier answer.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:24 pm 
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Thanks Andrew -- looking forward to your findings (or anyone else's for that matter!)

Will you be attempting with a dock? or just via the laptop?

Cheers


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:28 pm 
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I have the Series 3 dock plus.

The laptop only has 2 ports. I think there is some way to daisy chain DisplayPort, but I don't think I have any monitors that do that. Mine only have 1 connector.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:01 pm 
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awolfe63 wrote:
The laptop only has 2 ports. I think there is some way to daisy chain DisplayPort, but I don't think I have any monitors that do that. Mine only have 1 connector.
Sorry, what I meant by "just via the laptop" was with the laptop's own panel + the miniDP and VGA outputs.

I had forgotten that DP is supposed to by daisy-chainable ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DisplayPort has some info, which I've glanced over, but I'm not clear from its description as to whether it is a special Y cable or hub that is required to access this capability. Maybe something to look into on a rainy day. Anyway...

Quote:
I have the Series 3 dock plus.
This will most certainly reveal the machines display capability. Here's to hoping that the TAbook is wrong and 3 displays works.

Cheers


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:08 pm 
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My bad. Of course that makes sense.

It turns out that only DisplayPort 1.2 can daisy chain. Daisy chain means that the cable goes into the monitor then there is a second port on the monitor to connect a cable to a second monitor.

Supposedly there are also hubs that can drive multiple monitors.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:15 pm 
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Looks like the answer is 2 displays.

I hooked up 2 externals with a Dock+. The SW would give me a choice of any 2 - but it was really clear that I could not use all 3 - either in clone mode or extended desktop. Since I could do both externals - I don't think there was any port conflict - it is a driver level thing.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:11 pm 
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awolfe63 wrote:
Looks like the answer is 2 displays.
Rats -- disappointing to learn that that is the case.

awolfe63 wrote:
I hooked up 2 externals with a Dock+. The SW would give me a choice of any 2 - but it was really clear that I could not use all 3 - either in clone mode or extended desktop. Since I could do both externals - I don't think there was any port conflict - it is a driver level thing.
... or perhaps Lenovo didn't add a 3rd transceiver

In any regard, thanks for the report and taking the time! Much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:57 pm 
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Hi,

Is that it (giving up that easily;)?

What about these docks/configurations:

http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/product ... MIGR-74447
http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/researc ... MIGR-76617

Anyone?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:52 pm 
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Tried those. Only work on Optimus - not Intel.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:14 pm 
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Well, that's a shame (if indeed true).. What the hell were they (Lenovo) thinking (crippling it that way) /me wonders...


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:59 pm 
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alantamm wrote:
giving up that easily;)?
No, not entirely, but I don't hold out much hope on the matter either ... and, at the very least, am disappointed that it isn't something that is as simple as out of the box plug and play, like some advertorials convey:
* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOHBkFOyckY
* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKPtZtNgfnk (<-- same as first, but this time in German ... I don't sprechen sie deutsch, so I have no idea if it adds anything )

Regarding the "regular laptop" seen in the video: it might be an HP (at least it looks like they put a small piece of grey/silver tape over top of an hp logo right by the webcam ... though I could be wrong .. visually it strikes me as being an HP like design ... though it could also be an Intel special build, just like AMD used when they showed off an AMD/Compal Trinity based laptop back in Jan: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5411/amds ... in-mid2012).

The other thing I note about the Intel based laptop is the white cable connector adapter (going to the right samsung monitor?) -- looks like it might be either of: a mini-dp to DVI, mini-HDMI to DVI, or even a simple Thunderbolt adapter connected to a DVI cable.

Interestingly, (and, somewhat unrelated) a more recent video featuring a newer AMD/Compal design shows what looks to be the use of Lightening Bolt:
* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYrFIgAIHOM
* http://www.anandtech.com/show/5413/amds ... r-usb-30dp

I've always thought that the ViDock/eGPU, and now Thunderbolt and Lightning Bolt, offer(ed) some interesting possibility for multi-monitor setups. Anyway, I digress


alantamm wrote:
Well, that's a shame (if indeed true).. What the hell were they (Lenovo) thinking (crippling it that way) /me wonders...
Let me address the latter first. If the system is truly incapable of driving three displays simultaneously, I think its (purposeful) castration is a reflection of the fact that there is a limited subset of end users who would have much need for it. I have no idea about what costs or quantities of units being shipped, or the number of users who might make use of such a setup, but I can understand from a business perspective why if has been done if, say, for example, they are going to produce a quarter million units for world wide sale, 50 cent part for a 3rd TDMS, and only 20K users would use it.

Now, getting back to the faint possibility that there is still some hope. There is a dearth of information about a tri-display config with the HD Graphics 4000, and much of what little is out there strikes me as misinformation. (I haven't even found any mention about it on Intel's site or support site http://communities.intel.com/community/tech/graphics). But here is three tidbits that are useful:
* http://phoronix.com/forums/showthread.p ... post261334
* http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/361149-33-intel-4000
* http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showth ... t=18402722

I would discount the tomshardware post as being false (reason: allquixotic's post -- I am familiar with his/her postings and would consider them a reliable source). In any regard, the tomshardware post, like the others, does convey an important theme which I now believe is key: the outputs have to be digital. This would be similar as to the Eyefinity cards ... otherwise, there are plenty of cheap Radeon 5450s, 6450s or what have you, which have three outputs (generally, VGA, DVI, & HDMI), but none of them (AFAIK) will yield a tri-monitior config, but all will provide a dual monitor config off of any combination of two connectors from the three available.

So, that said, I think the only hope for a tri monitor config with the X230 is through a dock and with some combination of the digital outputs (perhaps using unique combos i.e. DVI, HDMI, dp and not something like DVI, DVI, DP). Andrew didn't explicitly state what output combos he had tried with, so perhaps he could elaborate there. My other thoughts here are perhaps the Winodws driver are not exposing this, whereas attempting it under Linux might expose working functionality. Or, perhaps the dock, or the laptops dock connector itself, are not wired in such a way as to allow for exposure of the HD Graphics 4000's underlining tri-display capability. Or maybe it requires the release of a new dock to expose this feature.

All in all, there might be a chance it could work (one way or the other), but its not a very big one.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:44 pm 
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Hi,

I personally don't own a X230, but I'vie read into displayport.. To use the X230 with 3 displays, one if the se configurations has to apply
-Use an SMT-hub(though they aren't available yet and will probably cost 100€/output..)
-Use all displayport-displays with daisy chaining
to connect to NON displayport displays to the X230 one could use active adapters from the displayport connectors (don't know if the onboard and dock ones work simultaneusly)


The X230 probably has support only for one NON-displayport monitor. So if you'd want to run two DVI-monitors from the X230, you'd atleast one active displayport-dvi adapter, or run the monitor with cheaper VGA-adapter. The VGA adapters tend to be much cheaper. It seems that thet don't want ua to scrap VGA :D

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:29 pm 
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Not so. 2 DVI monitors work fine on the dock. No converters.

The Windows driver basically asks you which output to use for screen 1 and which for screen 2. There is no way to configure a third screen.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:46 pm 
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I have the following configuration:
- X230
- ThinkPad Mini Dock Plus Series 3 with USB 3.0 – 170W (433835U)
- 2 * Samsung SynCmaster SA850 (2560x1440) via both displayports on the dock

It works - BUT: it seems to be impossible to have all three displays (incl. internal display) running. Though this is not important for me, it results in quite a lot of trouble.
You have to switch the displays on and off in the correct order, otherwise the display driver seem to get confused and either you get scrambled output or the displays wont get any signal until you reboot with at least one display off.

This happens on both Windows 8 and Ubuntu Linux.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:07 pm 
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Thank you for your post Peter.

While I do think it looks to be a great machine, I've since lost interest in the X230 for my personal needs -- I have since switched to the idea that a thunderbolt equipped system would better meet my requirements (utilizing a TB DIY eGPU solution, once they become available (currently engineering samples are available from one vendor)).

For the record, it does indeed appear that the X230 is limited to driving only two monitors. I note, as I just mentioned in another thread, that the forthcoming/just being released T430u will be able to drive three displays. So, in respect to the Intel HD 4000 Graphics' capabilities, it seems that my earlier speculation is correct: "the outputs have to be digital". Further to that point, in relation to the X230, I'd guess that the laptop's inclusion of the VGA output is a limitation of the HD 4000's CRTCs, or, at least, how they have to be wired in order to output 3 independent displays.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:25 am 
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It can drive 3 displays if 2 are connected to the external DisplayPort connectors on the dock. (i have the dock with the 2 x dvi and 2 x DP.)

I have it running under debian linux and have 2 diffrent dell 24" screens and the laptop screen working at the same time.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:01 am 
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Thanks for the info!

Was it pretty much plug-and-play in that configuration, or did you have to provide any sort of user configuration for Xorg ? (I would assume that, if its possible, then X's automagic configuration routine would get it right on its own).


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:09 am 
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mavu wrote:
It can drive 3 displays if 2 are connected to the external DisplayPort connectors on the dock. (i have the dock with the 2 x dvi and 2 x DP.)

I have it running under debian linux and have 2 diffrent dell 24" screens and the laptop screen working at the same time.

Could you please explain how to get laptop screen working with 2 diffrent dell 22" monitor?
FYI:--
-ThinkPad X220
-ThinkPad Mini Dock Plus Series 3
-dell 22" monitor X2
-OS Fedora 17


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:54 pm 
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First off, I wanted to note that some of the things I mentioned above in the thread are inaccurate. I had started composing a post to correct the errors but never got around to pushing it. While I saved the draft that I was writing, upon review, it was pretty lengthy and I don't actually remember where I was going with many of the points, so I will just post what I think is pertinent:

Relevant info on display output capabilities is available straight from Intel -- specifically the 7 Series Chipset PCH datasheet (though some supplemental materials are also some what informative too). Within that documentation is a brief section (its about 12 pages and not overly technical) that outlines the configuration details necessary to achieve tri-display output.

Second point - a while back while glancing at a few things on the Thinkscopes site, I came across this tidbit about the Series 3 plus dock: “2 x DVI-D single link (when one DVI port is used, the Displayport next to it is disabled)” (http://www.thinkscopes.com/thinkpad-ser ... #more-1526). And in this forum (while looking for some info on displayport splitters), I came across this tidbit: "Correct, DVI 1 and DisplayPort 1 are linked/shared, and DVI 2 and DisplayPort 2 are linked/shared. There are only two logical display ports between the four connections.” (viewtopic.php?p=663251#p663251).

As the X230 likely uses LVDS for its own panel, the "apparent"* only way to make use of the HD Grapics 4000's tri display capability is for the two remaining ports to both be displayport ... which effectively means you can only expose it through an appropriate dock [laptop's LVDS screen, dock's DP1 & DP2 to 3 external monitors]

* it appeared that the intel PCH datasheet was written under the assumption that the mobile design would always be utilizing the embedded display interface, but with a dock that need not be the case. So, given the Lenovo dock design and above mentioned limitations, you might be able to go with the dock's VGA & DP1 & DP2 to three external monitors.

In any regard, the other key point in reference to these two possibilities, and as made clear in the Intel datasheet, is that configuration modes are supported "with appropriate driver software". The person above who reported success is running Linux, whereas the other person above who tried under windows was unsuccessful (though, they did not explicitly state what configurations they tried).

So to answer you question, you will, at a minimum, have to use the displayport connectors on the dock. Another thing you could try is a displayport splitter.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:49 pm 
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So I just tested it with two display port adapters and was NOT able to get 3 displays working (2 external plus internal display). This is with the usb 3 dock with the 2x DVI and 2xDP and an x230 running Windows 8. Both of the monitors were connected using DVI to DisplayPort adapters and plugged into the display ports on the dock. I'm sort of stumped and may just concede that it is not possible without using a WiDi device. I HAVE been able to get 3 displays using a Negear ptv2000 but it's hacky, unreliable, and was accompanied by about a 250ms lag (even though that is supposed to be like 60ms). Very frustrating that we've been limited like this- if the x230 and push 3 displays when one of them is a wireless display, it has the horsepower to drive 3 physically connected displays.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:46 am 
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bugmn wrote:
So I just tested it with two display port adapters and was NOT able to get 3 displays working (2 external plus internal display). This is with the usb 3 dock with the 2x DVI and 2xDP and an x230 running Windows 8. Both of the monitors were connected using DVI to DisplayPort adapters and plugged into the display ports on the dock. I'm sort of stumped and may just concede that it is not possible without using a WiDi device. I HAVE been able to get 3 displays using a Negear ptv2000 but it's hacky, unreliable, and was accompanied by about a 250ms lag (even though that is supposed to be like 60ms). Very frustrating that we've been limited like this- if the x230 and push 3 displays when one of them is a wireless display, it has the horsepower to drive 3 physically connected displays.



Sure everything other than the integrated graphics on the laptop have the power to drive as many displays as any desktop with a high-end gpu. You could always slap on a mini-pcie to pcie adapter and an external GPU. A Asus ATI 6950/70 with 4 DP and 2 DVI, would easily output the supported 6 displays, even on a X230.. Plus you could also still use the internal display and integrated DP. One could even connect a 12-display supporting DP-daisychaining GPU to the X230.. Sure playing games with full resolution wouldn't be that feasible but hey.. Maybe homemade stockbroker or something? ;D

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:20 am 
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/lead_org/8 ... 2027350468

After updating the ThinkPad X230's intel video driver in Windows 7, i can reliably get 3 screens support on the X230 either:

1 internal + 2 external via DP on the Series 3 docks.

or

3 External via DP on the series 3 dock, and one miniDP on the X230 laptop.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:54 am 
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lead_org wrote:
3 External via DP on the series 3 dock, and one miniDP on the X230 laptop.
which, by extension, leads to the question of whether four external displays are possible a la: two via the DP ports on the dock, and two via a displayport splitter attached to the mDP on the laptop.

For that matter, use of a DP splitter* avails the possibility of there being several permutations ...

* do note the practical restrictions imposed by use of the spitter; see lead_org's articles on thinkscopes.com for details


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:23 pm 
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Hello all,
I have a x230t on win7 and am also on the quest for triple monitor support. I use an UltraBase series 3. I am trying to use two VGA monitors, one of which is already connected to the VGA port on the dock. I had thought that I could run the second monitor off of the laptop's own VGA, but apparently that VGA stops transmitting when the laptop is docked (my third monitor says 'No signal'). So now I'm looking into less elegant solutions. I was checking out active VGA-DisplayPort adapters (probably this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005AT ... UTF8&psc=1). My plan is to plug the adapter into the DisplayPort on the dock and then connect my VGA monitor to that. Not entirely sure it will work though. Does anybody have any suggestions? Thanks.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:54 pm 
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You can drive 2 monitors from the dock and then use a usb-to-dvi converter for the third (you will probably need to disable the monitor laptop when using 2 external monitors from the dock):

Lenovo Usb 3.0 Usb to Dvi:
http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/itemdetail ... 5459B8AFCB

Other adapters:
http://www.displaylink.com/shop/adapters

However, I think support for Linux is limited and your mileage will vary. You can go here for more info: http://libdlo.freedesktop.org/wiki/

The Linux kernel 3.9+ seems to include quite a bit of builtin displaylink support though.

Quote:
libdlo currently supports the DisplayLink DL-120 and DL-160 (DL-1x0 Family, "Alex") and the DL-125, DL-165, and DL-195 (DL-1x5 Family, "Ollie") chips.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:58 am 
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I have my X230 driving 2 external displays and it's internal display, and my colleague has his driving three external displays plus it's internal display.

Setup as follows:

Mine: X230 docked on Ultrabase 3. 1 MiniDisplayPort to VGA adaptor plugged into X230, 1 full DisplayPort to VGA plugged into ultrabase.
Colleague: Same as above plus a VDK8736 USB port replicator with 3rd external screen plugged into the DVI port on that device.

Hope this helps someone!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:35 pm 
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Hey daveuns,
Thank you very much! If you were to do one monitor on DisplayPort to VGA, and the other on a straight VGA connection from the base, does the set up still work? Also can you link to what DisplayPort to VGA adapter you are using? Thanks again.

daveuns wrote:
Mine: X230 docked on Ultrabase 3. 1 MiniDisplayPort to VGA adaptor plugged into X230, 1 full DisplayPort to VGA plugged into ultrabase.

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