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USB is the easiest way to connect one or more extra monitors to a computer, but drivers are required to make it all work.
Two events this week have made attaching multiple monitors to Mac OS X systems better:
- On Thursday March 14th, Apple released OS X 10.8.3, which fixed some key bugs in Mac OS X support for multiple displays. Fixes include avoiding potentially show-stopping login screen issues. Some smaller Apple bugs remain, including that drag/drop may get hung at times. A sleep/wake cycle kicks OS X out of that state. Also, as of 10.8.3 OS X doesn’t yet support USB 3.0 audio devices. So USB 3.0 docks and HDMI adapters won’t have any audio function (via USB 3.0; connecting via USB 2.0 will work).
- Today, March 22nd, DisplayLink has promoted their V 2.0 driver series out of beta. For the first time, DisplayLink’s driver for Mac OS X now has support for USB 3.0-generation DisplayLink devices, like the Plugable UD-3000 Universal Laptop Docking station, and Plugable USB3-HDMI-DVI Graphics Adapter. The DisplayLink drivers still do not support OpenGL applications on the USB-attached screen, but for normal web and business application use, they’re great for enabling multiple monitors and projectors on a Mac.
We’ve been testing these new releases on our Macs here, and while things aren’t perfect, these are huge steps forward, — we are really excited about the improvements.
DisplayLink’s latest Mac OS X drivers are available here.
If you have any questions, feel free to post here and we’ll be happy to help. Thanks for going out of your way for Plugable products!
Two important Windows 7 compatibility notices, for users of DisplayLink devices:
1) A Windows update deployed by Microsoft on 2/27/2013 is leaving Windows systems in Basic mode, which then causes problems with older DisplayLink drivers prior to 6.3 M1, including the very common 5.6 M1 version. The particular update causing the breakage appears to be a Microsoft change to DirectX. When first released on the 27th, Microsoft had it as a “recommended” update so it was pushed out widely. Microsoft has now switched it to be an “optional” update. You can read discussion of the affects of the update here.
This problem is Windows 7 specific.
There are a couple options for solutions:
1) Install the latest DisplayLink drivers (currently 7.1 M1). You can download the latest DisplayLink drivers here.
2) Uninstalling the offending update individually. Here’s how.
3) Doing a system restore to 2/26/2013 or prior will solve the issue.
A separate problem, but one that appeared around the same time, is Google Chrome tabs hanging on load.
On Feb 22nd, Google Chrome updated to version 25.0.1364.97m. This version conflicts with any installed DisplayLink version 7.x drivers and higher, on Windows Vista and up. Google is working to fix this in a Chrome update, but until then you can work around the issue by passing the –disable-gpu flag to chrome. To do this, type “chrome” in the Windows start search box, but don’t hit enter. Then right click on “Google Chrome” and select properties. Enter the –disable-gpu parameter as the last part of the “Target” string (note that’s two dashes before the word disable!). Here’s what it looks like:
Please let us know if any problems persist after these new Microsoft and Google updates. Feel free to comment below. We’ll help however we can. Thanks!