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DisplayPort / MiniDisplayPort — active vs passive adaptors


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Here is a good instructional video from AMD,  

the differences between passive and active adaptors is explained (among other things).




From what they say there, seems to be a good argument for only using active adaptors.
Mixing passive and active adaptors results in two different signal paths.


Passive adaptors pass through legacy DVI/HDMI/VGA native signals
generated directly from the graphics card (up to maximum of two).

Even though these legacy signals are output on a DisplayPort connector,

they are not DisplayPort signals, the graphics card detects the passive adaptor

and adjusts to generate the legacy signal types.


Active adaptors accept native DisplayPort signals from the graphics card
and then externally adapts them to DVI/HDMI,

adding the signals not normally supplied by native DisplayPort.

So to ensure no differences in timing, it would make sense to keep all the signal paths the same.



3360 WATCHPAX (one output) requires an active adaptor when needed, passive is not supported.
3362 WATCHPAX 2 (two outputs) on the other hand supports passive adaptors on both ports.


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  • 3 weeks later...
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As far as we tested the AMD FirePro W7100 (used in example the WATCHMAX) do not need active adapter to get four outputs.

We still recommend for different reasons to use active adapters and also always use the same brand/model of adapters on the same card.

Example if you want to use the hardware sync option by using the AMD FirePro S400 Sync Card you must have identical active adapters if you want to use DVI or HDMI signals.


Best regards /jme

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  • 10 months later...
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Just purchased the AMD WX7100, whose 4 display output connectors are all DP.   My 3 projectors are all HDMI.  So would this be a reasonable choice?








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Just purchased the AMD WX7100, whose 4 display output connectors are all DP.   My 3 projectors are all HDMI.  So would this be a reasonable choice?

Accell B086B-003B-2 DisplayPort 1.1 to HDMI 1.4 Active Adapter




Depends on the resolution of the projectors you wish to connect.

The AMD WX7100 provides four DisplayPort 1.2 outputs.

DisplayPort 1.2 is backward compatible to DisplayPort 1.1,

  which is all that adaptor supports.

DisplayPort 1.1 eliminates 4k from your options,

should handle 1920x1080@60p just fine.

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Hi all,


If 1920x1080@60p is your only requirement this adapter will work fine. 


However, DisplayPort 1.1 and this active adapter to HDMI 1.4, actually supports 4K but only up to 30 Hz.

 (4K Ultra HD (4096x2160 @ 24/30 Hz, 24 bits/pixel)


The limitation to maximum 30p are due to the  DisplayPort 1.1 and HDMI 1.4 specifications.

For 60p HDMI output one needs both DisplayPort 1.2. AND HDMI 2.0 support in the adapter.


The adapter mentioned, Accell B086B-003B-2,  also seems replaced by the newer Accell B086B-006B-2.


In order to cope with 4K/UHD@60Hz one would need this adapter instead:



Accell B086B-011B - DisplayPort 1.2 to HDMI 2.0 Active Adapter


my 2 cents,



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