How to connect Multiple Monitors to Dell XPS

So it has been 3 years since my last laptop purchase and I didn’t take the time to think about how to connect monitors to it.  In that time period things have changed from VGA and DVI to HDMI and Display Port.  I assumed that connecting dual monitors would work without an issue since I’ve never thought about it before.  The Dell XPS only has one HDMI and one of the new Display Ports.  My confusion was over the Display Port because, all of the articles on the web talk about Apple’s display port so I was not certain they were exactly the same and I needed a cable to connect to the monitor.  If I bought the Apple cable, would it work?  I finally broke down and called Dell Sales and Tech Support, both gave wrong and different answers the first time but at least they gave me information to think about.  It is amazing that the people I originally talked to at Dell had no idea of how to do this.  The Sales department didn’t understand why I needed dual monitors.  Really, come on.  The sales person tried to sell me a HDMI splitter for over $100, but quite frankly I don’t believe that would have actually gotten me the extended display.  I assume it would be the same picture on both monitors.  Anyway after a bit more research I called Dell Tech Support back with my new knowledge and new assumptions and got a tech that actually knew what they were talking about.  This person knew what display port cable I needed and also told me it was not available on the web site so, good news they just sent me one.  At this point my feelings of frustration and anger started to change for the better.  I still don’t know if the Apple Display port cable would work or not but at this point I don’t care.  The Tech said I would be able to get 2 external monitors with extended display but said that I would not be able to use my laptop monitor.  Fine I can accept that, but to my surprise when I hooked up the two external monitors I was also able to get my laptop monitor to work as well.  So beautiful.  I now am able to have 3 extended displays.  Despite all the bad information I found and was told, I ended up with a low cost solution that is better than what I initially expected.  Thanks last Dell Tech support person. You are the best!  To all you other people, writing bad information and working for Dell with no clue, please stop and go find another line of work.  I know harsh but, truly you need to stop.

How to connect 3 Displays

FACT: Dell XPS L702X will support 3 displays.  2 External, plus the Laptop monitor. 

  1. Connect one monitor using HDMI cable.
  2. Connect other monitor using Display Port to VGA converter cable.  I assume Display Port to DVI or to HDMI would work if you find the right cable.

In my case I have two external HD monitors running and both look great.  I was worried about using the VGA connection with the other being HDMI but I don’t see a difference yet.

Hope this helps you!

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5 Comments on “How to connect Multiple Monitors to Dell XPS”


  1. Thank you for posting this, Tom. I really want to believe this works, but others say it doesn’t. Such as here:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/dell-xps-studio-xps/586243-3-monitors-xps-l702x-gt-555m-3g.html

    Which video card is in your L702x? nvidia GT550 here.

    Can you post or email a pic showing three separate images on the displays? They’re all configurable in the usual properties box?

    • Tom Krueger Says:

      Michael,
      Sorry for the delayed response.

      I believe they are correct that you cannot have more than two monitors on the video card but in my case I have two video cards. 1) NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M and 2) Intel I don’t know the hardware that well, but my assumption is that the mother board has a built in video card on my laptop. So I have 3 displays 1 laptop and 2 external. Currently I have moved to Windows 8 and the displays worked automatically. Currently only 1 of my monitors is using the NVIDIA GeForce GC 555M card/adapter and the others are using Intel. I don’t have the NVIDIA control panel installed on Windows 8, but I don’t care that much I’m not gaming. Everything is looking great and consistent.

  2. Michael Karesh Says:

    Bought a couple of U2311H monitors. On the L701x, with the GT435 graphics card, they work as Tom describes.

    I also tried a DisplayPort to DVI connector. This worked to, except Windows 7 saw the resolution of that monitor as only 1600×900 instead of 1920×1080, possibly because it can’t differ from the primary display. I’ll test this hypothesis when I get my L702x with a 1920×1080 display tomorrow.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks Tom. This really helped me out today. I really needed to bypass the cheap Targus port replicator that I had in place.


  4. dell xps l502x, finally bought a hdmi>hdmi cable… plugged into friend’s HUGE LG LCD (only one HDMI in). Picture only works when output is that screen only, and is so distorted (whole screen low bitrate and horizontal flickering lines)

    hoping to try with another external today.

    When I’m trying to configure, the laptop often thinks it is display 1 AND 2, and when I click identify, the laptop built-in screen (left and right) is identified as 1 AND 2. What’s that all about? Disabled one of 2 generie pnp monitors.. no change.

    Hope there’s not something wrong with the graphics card


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