Can i hookup 4 monitors with a Thunderbolt4 hub?

I need to hookup 4 monitors to my Framework laptop (I haven’t bought it yet).

Was thinking of using the Plugable Thunderbolt 4

Is this gonna work? Any issues you guys can foresee?

I’m not a hardcore gamer so I don’t really mess with HD screens or frame rate (Hz) issues.

Someone mentioned the Framework video card can only power 4 monitors at once. Does this mean I can’t use my laptop screen whilst i’m plugged into the hub?


One problem is allready that the igpu (intel or amd) won’t support 5 screens.

Framework Laptop supports a maximum of 4 displays including the internal. You can use 3 external + 1 internal or 4 external if you disable the internal.

I’ve edited the title to remove the [tag]. To keep things tidy, we ask that you don’t add tags to titles.

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You can only use 4 separate display at one time with the igpu, so one of them would have to be off.

There is the option of adding an egpu instead of the dock for more displays but that’s a bit more complicated.

With your tb dock or an mst hub you just need to make sure you have enough bandwidth for all your screens, while you say you are not a gamer, using 30hz screens is probably not fun to a non gamer either.

@Morpheus636 is disabling the internal monitor tricky?
Or, i guess i would just disable it from MS Windows Display Manager…

@Adrian_Joachim thanks, can you recommend a video card + eGPU that could do this?


All of them can do this, as long as you get a gpu with 4 display outputs, but even the cheapest jankiest egpu solutions are still pretty pricy and a whole lot more complex than a dock.

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my 4 screen resolutions are
1080 x 1920
1680 x 1050
1440 x 2560
1440 x 2560

fairly small by todays standards.

Could this an issue with the above-described setup?


Well lets do the math, I am assuming 60hz at uncompressed 4 4 4:
1080p is 3.2Gbit/s
1050p is 2.8Gbit/s
then 2x 1440p at 5.7Gbit per screen, that comes out to 17.4Gbit.

That should be well within bandwith limitations of current tech. It’s just barely above the 17.28Gbit of HBR2 so you will need at least a displayport 1.4 MST hub with HBR3 or a thunderbolt3+/usb4 dock.

Finding an mst hub or thunderbolt dock with 4 outputs (that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg) may be a bit challenging though, most of the reputable ones I know of max out at 3. Daisy chaining mst hubs may work but I have not tried it myself.

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[quote=“Adrian_Joachim, post:9, topic:29442”]
Finding an mst hub or thunderbolt dock with 4 outputs[/quote]

wow thanks. I’m not a tech guy tho and know nothing about hubs.

I was just going to plug all four monitors into the pluggable product from my post on top

Is that gonna work you think?

Could work, but I can’t promise anything. At the very least I can’t see any mention of displaylink and the part where macs can only use 2 displays while windows can use 4 makes me think there is mst involved since macos refuses to support mst.

Why can’t they just include a freaking diagram how this stuff is hooked up, my best guess is 2 internal displayports from thunderbolt that are then doubled using mst.

That thing is expensive but not as expensive as I though if it actually does what it says.

is there another product you’d recommend besides the above?

Maybe one from this list?

Not really, I know more about the underlying technologies than about the products actually using them XD.

The mentioned Plugable should be able to do what you want. I personally would not want it, because it limits the DP bandwidth so it can reliable give you 2 DP connections tunneled through USB4 at HBR2 speeds and there is no way to get a DP connection not interfered with by MST out of it or a TB-out. It also forces conversion to HDMI for 2 of its outputs. But all of that does not limit your specific use case.

Most widespread docks (Lenovo, HP, Dell) only have 3 ports driven by MST and drive all of them only via a single DP connection (but a faster one than the Plugable). If they have TB-outs in addition to the MST-Ports, 1 of them can be used for a 4th monitor, as long as that stays below HBR1 bandwidth (like your FHD and below monitor definitely do). So they basically just distribute the bandwidth unevenly across the 2 DP connections inside USB4 to have the 3 main ports also work over non-TB/USB4 and to allow higher resolutions (like 8K). In this class, I like the Dell WD22TB4 for its 2 TB outs (because right now, there is only a single Intel TB controller and it has 3 outputs, so it is very cheap and stupid of docks using that controller not giving you access to at least 2 of them directly).

The only big dock with 4 MST-based monitor outputs I know is the Lenovo TB4 dock, but that still has a weird topology internally. And Lenovo does not give (reliable) access to TB-outs as a tradeoff.
Technically one can chain MST-Hubs and get to what the Lenovo Dock does internally with additional, external MST-Hubs, or one integrated into monitors, but mixing and matching them makes calculating the bandwidth capabilities much more difficult.

Whether you get problems, with some monitors not waking up from sleep or such, is highly dependent on your exact setup (monitors, MST-Hubs, topology, adapters). The mor complicated the topology is, the more likely issues are, but you can never be sure without trying.
For example I have 2 Dell WD19TB for my 12th Gen and on one setup, 2 of 3 monitors have trouble waking up, whereas the other setup with bigger monitors does not have that problem (and I am complicating both those setups by using a chained MST-Hub inside a monitor as well).
But I am pretty sure all of them would work easily for your current monitors, because you are at a very low end of bandwidth consumption. But if you upgrade monitors all of them will run into different, complicated to understand, bandwidth limits that one then needs to work around.

So I would recommend just choosing the dock based on its other properties (power, TB-outs, USB ports, LAN Port speed, etc). And prepare yourself for potentially having to try multiple to find a setup where all 4 monitors turn on absolutely reliably (maybe even switching around which port is used for which monitor will do the trick).

well, out of curiosity, what would be the ideal setup for hooking up 4 monitors to the thunderbolt output?

would daisy-chaining the monitors work better?

My reservations about the Plugable dock were solely about the ports (HDMI) and the topology that limits how much bandwidth you can get out of a single port.
Both will probably not impact your setup. DP-HDMI conversion only gets troublesome when you get to the limits of bandwidth, audio or exotic resolutions (non-TV resolutions).

Since DP is what is tunneled through TB, connecting each display with DP makes things less complicated. But if some of your monitors do not even have DP than you do not have a choice with that anyway.

The Plugable way of using 2 HBR2 connections each split with MST+DSC into 2 ports is probably simpler and more predictable for 4x roughly the same resolution monitor.

Chaining monitors with MST is possible, if they have that feature built-in. Then you would not need a Dock with 4 outputs, but less. But on the other hand it will most likely give you a more varied topology that can be harder to predict (the 2 MST hubs are likely not identical and have never been tested in that combination, both tuneled through TB.

Where did you find out that it’s HBR2? That thing is almost 300$ and is using ancient DP tech?

In that case you’d rather get something with 2 propper dp1.4 ports and put a HBR3 capable mst hub on there. In case of op the bandwidth os managable but for that price I’d feel cheated getting hbr2, I have some hbr2 hubs that cost like 20 bucks.

Because that would be pretty much the only way without hacking, to get 2 equally fast DP connections through TB/USB4. If one DP connection is 4xHBR3, there is no longer enough for a 2nd 4xHBR3 connection or even a 4xHBR2 connection.
To reach the numbers Plugable advertised AND still support 2 monitors on Mac that is basically the only way.
That limitation is why on docks like the WD22TB4 you can only get a 4xHBR1 connection on the TB-outs (under normal circumstances), because the integrated MST-Hub will always reserve a 4xHBR3 connection when possible.

(we have a thread on here where we tried to collect a bunch of details about the internal stuff of TB / USB4: Details about USB, Thunderbolt and dock operation)

Plugables FAQs said some things that were contradicting me, but the teardown of the dock (Plugable TBT4-UDZ Dock Review and Teardown – Dan S. Charlton) actually proves me right and shows that Plugables FAQs what the dock should be able to do on DP Alt Mode hosts are just wrong. Boy, do I not trust that brand.

Damn those are some fancy mst hubs.

Hell easiest might be to just use 2 usb-c ports and put a club3d 3 port mst hub in one (for 3 of the displays) and a simpler dock in the other (for power usb and the remaining display)

I think you should take a look at Anker 777 Thunderbolt Docking Station (Apex, 12-in-1, Thunderbolt 4).

(sorry to chime in like this, but I dont trust much usb hubs nowadays as I have had bad experience in the past with some of them and stick to good brands now)