Before You Buy
What is an MST hub, and how can I tell if it will work in my setup?
You may have heard of MST hubs, and have been wondering what they are, and whether or not they will work in your setup.
So what are MST hubs? MST hubs are devices that take one DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort video connection, and go to many video connections, usually extra DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, DVI or HDMI connections. This is accomplished through DisplayPort's MST, or Multi Stream Transport function. MST hubs allow you to mirror / duplicate your monitors so the same window are shown on all of the monitors, or extend your desktop, so that you can have different window on each monitor.
So how can you tell if you can use a MST hub? MST hubs require that the video card's DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort output support DP1.2 or greater, which supports MST. Some MST hubs also specifically require HBR2, or High Bit Rate 2 support. HBR2 allows for higher resolutions like 4K and up. You can check whether or not a StarTech.com MST hub requires HBR2 on the individual product pages, under the Technical Specifications tab.
There are a few other important things to note.
- Video cards can technically support DP1.2, but not support MST or HBR2, so it is important to check with your video card manufacturer that your video card specifically supports DP1.2, MST, and HBR2 (if necessary).
Currently Mac OSX does not support MST hubs, regardless of whether or not the video card does. This is an operating system restriction, so running Windows on an Apple computer through a program like Bootcamp will allow you to use MST hubs.