Desk/computer set up help


Well-known Member

So i have personal laptop, work laptop and desktop on my desk with 2 monitors. As i use the work laptop daily, i have a hub which uses USB-C into the work laptop. I can also quite comfortably remove the USB-C and plug into my personal laptop. But how can i use my desktop in a similar fashion? it doesnt have a USB-C port. I had previously bought DP-HDMI cables but they didnt work as i didnt know it wasnt a simple adaptor

I was thinking or hoping for the following:

1. HDMI splitter on the cables into the hub
2. USB-C adaptor for desktop (ideally this but after searching the internet, im not sure its possible and i dont want to dive in like i did with the previous adaptors!)
3. new DP/HDMI adaptors or cables

Help and suggestions welcome

Is this just for video signal- e.g from your personal desktop into the monitors ? If so why not connect directly to them using HDMI ? (assuming you have mulitple hdmi outputs on your dekstop.


Distinguished Member
As you're talking about monitors I'm guessing this 'hub' is not just a plain USB hub but includes built in adaptors for other ports - such a thing is often called a dock (or docking station).

There's a couple of different ways such a dock can work. Older style ones use essentially externally video cards that operated over the USB protocol.

The USB Type C connector however includes optional support for the DisplayPort Protocol alongside USB so many newer docks require the device to support this DisplayPort Alt Mode and their video outputs are hooked up to the DIsplayPort output.

Some docks support both ways.

If it's supports the old way and only requires plain USB then a simple plug adaptor to plug it into the Type A (rectangular) USB ports on the desktop will work fine.

If it does require DP Alt Mode support for the video outputs to function then that's trickier.

You can get USB and Thunderbolt Controllers (PCI-E cards) with an input for a short DisplayPort cable to connect to your graphics card and a Type C output supporting DP Alt Mode. Your system would need to have a DisplayPort output though, which cheaper home machines don't always have. The cards are also not particularly cheap.

The latest graphics cards would also work, but they're really expensive.

the rear of the monitors have a DP output and HDMI output. I could just unplug and put cables from desktop in but i was thinking of making things a bit easier, especially when my daughter wants to use the desktop

You don't need to unplug. One of the buttons on the edge (or front) of the monitor will switch between inputs.

So if you hooked the desktop up directly you could press the buttons on the screens to switch between desktop and laptops, and swap the dock connection between laptops to switch between them.


Distinguished Member
thanks, the hub/dock station doesnt have DP ports, otherwise this would be a piece of cake. therefore i cannot plug the monitors into both the dock station and the desktop. (hope that makes sense)

The desktop doesn't have DisplayPort outputs either?

You can get HDMI to DisplayPort Active converters that would work but as far as I'm aware they start at £25-30 each so it'd be cheaper to buy a cheap second hand graphics card with a couple of DP outputs if you went down that route.

Option #1 on your list would be a 4x2 HDMI Matrix switch to allow you to switch two displays between four sources (2 from the desktop and 2 from the hub).


Well-known Member
It's not cheap at £450 but this supports 4 PC with dual HDMI with USB keyboard and mouse to two HDMI monitors including HDMI audio. I've used their KVM before and they have always been good quality.

There is a DP version as well,
Amazon product

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