Want to run your own mini Las Vegas Sphere? This video card could allow you to run a dozen screens on the cheap — and who knows, it could even be compatible with Bitcoin mining motherboards

DisplayLink DL-7400 PCIe x1 card
(Image credit: Future)

There’s no question that a multi-monitor setup boosts productivity. My desktop PC has three 4K displays and that seems natural to me. If you’ve ever wanted to go beyond that though and have, say, eight screens and make your own mini Las Vegas Sphere, it’s possible, with the right hardware.

Most graphics cards only have four output ports, and most motherboards would struggle to accommodate two long GPUs. The solution, coming from Synaptics, is a single-slot PCIe x1 card based on the company's DisplayLink DL-7400 chip.

DisplayLink technology has been around for a while, but the company has just begun producing new DL-7400 solutions, including a GPU agnostic docking system, that takes things further than previously possible.

Plenty of connectivity options

Tom’s Hardware visited Synaptics' booth at Computex 2024, and writing about the products, Avram Piltch said, “The cards will be really compact - the one I saw had a single-slot PCIe x1 form factor - but it's unclear if other solutions might offer a physical x2, x4, or even x16 connector. They'll be cheap, though, and a DisplayLink spokesperson said definitely sub-$100 and possibly a lot less.”

There will be different versions of the card available from Synaptics' partners and OEMS, and in a choice of configurations. Synaptics says the cards will be able to power four 4K monitors at 120 Hz, or two 8K monitors at 60 Hz with HDR10, with minimal impact on system performance. The products are definitely designed for productivity rather than gaming.

Piltch observes, “If you have a small PC with an integrated GPU that supports only one or two outputs, you can easily add another two to four. If, like me, you have a discrete GPU that outputs to four monitors and you want to jump up to six or eight monitors, this PCIe card will get you there much more cheaply than buying a second graphics card. And if you have enough slots, you could even buy multiple DisplayLink PCIe cards and keep adding more monitors - 16-way wall screens, anyone?”

One thought is the new DisplayLink card could be an intriguing addition to bitcoin mining motherboards, which typically have numerous PCIe slots. The DisplayLink does needs a GPU however, and it's hard to know whether the card would be compatible with different connector types found on these motherboards, so we'll have to wait and see.

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Wayne Williams

Wayne Williams is a freelancer writing news for TechRadar Pro. He has been writing about computers, technology, and the web for 30 years. In that time he wrote for most of the UK’s PC magazines, and launched, edited and published a number of them too.