Taking this USB 3.0 Docking Station with Dual DVI/HDMI/VGA Video (sd3500v) as an example.

I'm trying to find out what hardware configuration/spec a laptop would require to allow it to drive two Dell U2711 @ 2560 x 1440

Not too worried about specific laptops, more what ports (and protocol versions)n and graphics card would be required to run this setup.

Again not bothered if the laptop screen must mirror one of the monitors. Ideally, I'd plug into the hub close the laptop lid and then use the monitors and external keyboard and mouse.

Is this even possible?



Apologies if this is a repeated question...although if it hasn't been asked in 2013 then any answers to previously asked dups may no longer be relevant. (Happy to be proved wrong)

  • Any supported laptop with a USB 3.0 or 2.0 should support it.
    – Ramhound
    Dec 30, 2013 at 12:21
  • But what would you need Graphics card wise in order to drive it?
    – MattC
    Dec 30, 2013 at 12:24
  • I don't see any evidence that the device requires the host pc to have a GPU. Contact Kensington if specific product requirements not listed on their website.
    – Ramhound
    Dec 30, 2013 at 12:25
  • @MattC: The dock doesn't connect to your graphics card, so it doesn't matter.
    – MSalters
    Dec 30, 2013 at 13:41
  • Try the Hootoo 7-port USB hub, that had been really useful to me.
    – user287831
    Jan 8, 2014 at 8:30

2 Answers 2


That won't work well. You need two HDMI 1.3 connections for those monitors, which each clock close to 10 Gbit/second. Total bandwidth would be approximately 20 Gbit/second, but USB3 is limited to 5 GBit/second.

  • This. Sending graphics over USB is like trying to drive a car down a telephone wire
    – Jobbo
    Dec 30, 2013 at 13:49
  • Well, if you consider 1024x768 monitors (.8 Mpixel) instead of 2560x1440 monitors (3.6 Mpixel), 5 Gbps should do.
    – MSalters
    Dec 30, 2013 at 13:56
  • So, basically I need a laptop with two HDMI 1.3 ports and a graphics card(s) powerful enough to drive them at my desired res?
    – MattC
    Dec 30, 2013 at 14:57
  • I think the newest MacBooks can pull this off, but they use Thunderbolt (which does clock in at the necessary 20 Gbps).
    – MSalters
    Dec 30, 2013 at 15:26
  • 1
    @MattC: One 1920x1200 monitor via USB3 and another via HDMI should work. Still, as Jobbo points out, USB wasn't designed for this so the quality of implemenation definitely matters (on both sides, laptop and dock)
    – MSalters
    Dec 30, 2013 at 16:23

I was searching for such a product myself and found the Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Dock. It's a dock with multiple ports and supports dual 4K monitors. Your PC or Mac requires a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3

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