Daisy chaining monitors via a single port

I was wondering if it’s possible to daisy-chain two monitors with the Framework Laptop 13 via Thunderbolt 4, similar to how it’s supported with a MacBook Pro. I don’t have a Framework laptop to test this.

Has anyone tested daisy-chaining with the Framework Laptop 13? Is it supported?

Have not tried it but since it is just DisplayPort going through the Thunderbolt 4 cable for the displays I believe it is inherently capable as Daisy chaining is part of the DisplayPort spec which is what Thunderbolt uses for displays.

Yes, this works fine as long as your monitors support multi-stream transport and you have enough bandwidth. The DisplayPort expansion card supports DisplayPort 1.4, so you should be able to drive up to 2 UHD monitors at 60Hz (or more lower resolution monitors, refresh rate dependent).

If your monitors don’t support daisy chaining, you can also get a DisplayPort MST hub, like this one - note though that the one I linked only supports DisplayPort 1.2 so you couldn’t drive two UHD monitors from it (at least not at 60Hz refresh rate).

Chaining multiple screens is supported, but not sure that two 4k screens work good from a bandwidth perspective. E.g. the AMD models only support USB4 (which is equal to Thunderbolt 3 specifications, not Thunderbolt 4)

Since the picture has a macbook pro in there it likely uses thunderbolt dasy chaining not mst since macos stubbornly refuses to support mst.

Think you got those mixed around, Thunderbolt4 IS USB4 with a few extras and more optionals mandatory and an intel certification. USB4 also has tb3 compatibility mode. The problem with usb4 here is that amd has neglected to add (or properly use it in the driver, there is kind of mixed info out there) the second dp channel for full tb compatibility which may be a problem with this setup.

That’s what i was referring to, sorry if I was unclear.

Thanks for the responses!

My main monitor is the Benq PD3225U, which supports “daisy chain via Thunderbolt 3 up to dual 4K monitors.” My secondary monitor is an older Dell U2715H UltraSharp 27” monitor.

It works perfectly with my MacBook Pro M2. I’m hoping for the same setup with the Framework 13.

If you’re getting an Intel-based Framework 13, it will almost certainly work. If you’re looking at the AMD-based one, I’d give it good odds of working, but less guaranteed. My recommendation would be that if you’re worried, you should try to borrow a recent AMD-based computer from someone else to test.

“A recent AMD-based computer” includes the Steam Deck, BTW (useful if you or someone you know has one, especially since they’re both cheap and highly portable). In the standard gaming mode it will just select one of the displays, but if you go into desktop mode it can drive both the internal display and two external monitors (it works perfectly with my dock for example), and it has just one generation back of the same GPU as is in the Framework 13, so if it works with your setup it’s almost certain that the AMD-based Framework laptops will work as well.

The steamdeck does not have usb4 so that may be a bad analog.

For better result probably best keep it to 6th+ gen mobile amd with working usb4.

Just to note, DisplayPort 1.2 supports dual 4k (UHD) 120 Hz monitors simultaneously over MST when DSC and Reduced Blanking are enabled, however that specific hub doesn’t support DSC, which is why it doesn’t support more than dual 4k 30 Hz (or dual 4k 40 Hz with Reduced Blanking)

DSC is a compression algorithm that is considered “visually lossless”, which means it technically hurts quality but not enough for humans to tell.

DisplayPort deliberately wastes some bandwidth to improve compatibility with older displays, so Reduced Blanking is a feature that reduces that wastage (improving refresh rate at the same bandwidth).

Edit: DSC wasn’t introduced until DisplayPort 1.4.

USB4 is much more closely related to Thunderbolt 4 than Thunderbolt 3 IMO.

USB4 is based on Thunderbolt 3, but has some technical differences (IIRC some of the underlying protocols were streamlined, the bandwidth was reduced by 3%, many features that Thunderbolt required are optional with USB4). USB4 has an optional compatibility mode where it can revert to a protocol more in line with Thunderbolt 3 when a Thunderbolt 3 peripheral is connected.

Thunderbolt 4 is USB4 except with a certification from Intel. The certification states that it has passed Intel’s rigorous testing process and includes several features that are optional in the USB4 spec.

DSC was introduced only in DP 1.4. And the HBR3 speed also required for that was introduced in DP 1.3. The maximum you could do inside of DP 1.2 with a single DP connection would be 1x 4K60 or 2x WQHD@60.

I would not call it that. It is more about whatever timings the monitor needs. Simple SST connections still keep to that timing, by inserting padding whenever needed. But that is already thrown out / handled differently with MST. There the MST branch device that takes the signal out needs to handle the timings correctly and if converting back to an SST signal add all the padding etc. back. Although I have never found the exact math for how to compute bandwidth inside MST, especially with DSC in the mix.

Yes. There have been some bugs reported with AMDs USB4 solution. TB4 ports guarantee pretty much what the current Macbooks can do (technically 2x 6K60 would be outside of those guarantees, but that would be a limitation of the iGPU and Windows, not the TB4/USB4 ports).

Just because you would be coming from the Apple eco system: Daisy Chaining is just technically inaccurate. It just describes the order of connection. It is possible with both Thunderbolt/USB4 and DP MST, 2 very different technologies (Apple only supports the former). And actually, both of those technologies are not limited to a chain. When you’d use a TB4 hub you are using the exact same technology. Only in a tree instead of a chain. So the technical accurate description of the abilities needed to do that would be TB/USB4 with 2 4xHBR2 DP connections. Which is guaranteed by TB4. AMD tries to provide TB4-equivalent functionality. But they have been suspiciously silent on their actual capabilities and may still have some bugs.

And while these LG 4K displays should work on any TB4 or equivalent USB4 host just as they do on Apple systems, particularly Apple’s own Displays are getting so close to the limitations of TB4, that Apple uses custom tricks for some of the possible combinations that would not work in any sensible way outside of the Apple eco system.