Plugable UD-6950 USB 3.0 Dual DisplayPort 4K Docking Station

Features

Supports two DisplayPort displays at resolutions up to 4K@60Hz per display (3840×2160@60Hz) or one single 5K@60Hz display. Displays and cables must support the desired resolution
Equipped with six USB 3.0 ports for peripherals
Audio input and output ports allow connection of external speakers, headphones or a microphone. Also supports audio pass through via DisplayPort cable to a monitor or TV with built-in speakers
Gigabit Ethernet port for hard-wired network connectivity
Packaged with a USB 3.0 Type-B to Type-A cable and a USB 3.0 Type-B to Type-C cable to provide flexible host connectivity
Supported on modern Windows systems running Windows 10, 8.1, and 7. Additional compatibility information below

Performance

A one-stop upgrade for your Windows laptop or desktop the Plugable UD-6950 USB 3.0 Dual 4K Docking Station allows you to connect up to two additional monitors and up to eight accessories through a single USB cable. Including the latest drivers and firmware for compatibility with Windows 10, 8.1 and 7, it features two DisplayPort outputs for mirroring/extending your Windows desktop to external monitors, a Gigabit Ethernet port, audio input and output ports, and six USB 3.0 ports.

The two DisplayPort outputs are Dual-Mode DisplayPort 1.2 (DP++) ports and they are backwards compatible with previous DisplayPort specifications.

4K@60Hz Notes:
To achieve 4K@60Hz each connected monitor and cable must support the desired resolution and refresh rate.

5K@60Hz Notes:
Two DisplayPort 1.2 cables must be connected from our dock to a single 5K display to support 5K@60Hz

DisplayPort equipped monitors and DisplayPort cable must support DisplayPort 1.2 specification in order to support 4K@60Hz. While backwards compatible with DisplayPort 1.1 standards, the resolution will be limited to 4K@30Hz if the display or cable does not support DisplayPort 1.2 specifications.


UD-6950 I/O Ports. Click to enlarge image

Compatibility

Our Dual 4K Docking Station is compatible with most modern laptops and desktops running Windows 10, 8.1 and 7 that meet the Minimum System Requirements below. The installation of DisplayLink graphics software is required for our dock to work properly. DisplayLink drivers can be automatically installed by Windows Update (with an existing Internet connection) or can be downloaded from our drivers download page here (http://plugable.com/drivers/displaylink).

Does not support HDCP copy protected content (Blu-Ray, Netflix, Amazon Prime video, etc.). Our adapter also does not support DisplayPort MST daisy-chain connections or conversion to Dual-Link DVI.

Conversion to HDMI, Single Link DVI, and VGA is possible using the following adapters (not included with dock):
To convert the DisplayPort output to HDMI: Plugable DPM-HDMIF Passive Adapter (maximum resolution of 4K@30Hz refresh)
To convert the DisplayPort output to DVI: Plugable DPM-DVIF Passive Adapter
To convert the DisplayPort output to VGA: Plugable DPM-VGAF Passive Adapter

Additionally, the Gigabit Ethernet port requires a Full-Duplex network connection from the connected network device (router, switch, etc.).

System Requirements
For optimal performance the below system specifications are recommended:
Operating System: Windows 10, 8.1 or 7
CPU: Intel SkyLake i3 or Intel Core i7, AMD A10 at 2.0GHz or better
Graphics Processor: Intel HD 4000, AMD Radeon HD 8650, NVidia GeForce 7xxM or better
Memory: 8GB RAM
Host connection: USB 3.0 Type-A or Type-C port

Please note: DisplayLink had updated the minimum system requirements after the packaging design was finalized.

Incompatible Systems
Cannot be mixed with non-DisplayLink USB graphics adapters and drivers (e.g. MCT, j5, or SMSC).
Not supported with macOS, Linux/Unix or ARM based Windows operating systems (such as Surface RT).

Monitor Compatibility
Supports dual monitors up to 4K@60Hz (3840×2160@60Hz) each and a single 5K@60Hz monitor when connected to displays that support the desired resolution. DisplayPort equipped monitors and the DisplayPort cable must support DisplayPort 1.2 specification in order to support 4K@60Hz. While backwards compatible with DisplayPort 1.1 standards, the resolution will be limited to 4K@30Hz if the display or cable does not support DisplayPort 1.2 specifications.
Does not support DisplayPort MST daisy-chain connections or Dual-Link DVI conversions.

Application Compatibility
Does not support HDCP copy protected content (Blu-Ray, Netflix, Amazon Prime video, etc.)
Suggested for web/productivity software; not recommended for gaming.

Gaming
We don’t recommend running games with USB graphics, as there are significant compatibility challenges. And even without specific compatibility problems, performance will always be a challenge – the extra CPU work required for USB graphics will be a source of reduced frame rates and problems. Normal desktop and application use are typically fine because they don’t push the system as hard as 3D games do.

Common problems experienced when trying to run a game on a USB graphics adapter include:

  • Games not launching
  • Games crashing
  • Screen flickering
  • Screen going black

Power and Charging
Functions as a standard USB hub, but also has special charging functionality for charging phones and tablets via the bottom front USB 3.0 port that complies with the USB-IF Battery Charging (BC) specification revision 1.2. When a BC 1.2 compliant device is attached to the bottom USB 3.0 port on the front of the dock, it can charge at a faster rate (up to 1.5A vs 500mA of a standard port) while syncing data. Compatible devices such as the Apple iPhone and iPad (Apple 30 pin dock connector iPads will not charge), plus various Android and Windows devices are supported. Not all devices support BC 1.2 charge and sync functionality.

Does not provide power to attached host laptop or tablet; the host system will still require its power cable/charger.

Power button on the back of the dock is used to control the power to the docking station itself. It cannot control the power of the host system. The default power state of the dock is set to ‘On’.

In the Box

UD-6950 Package Contents. Click to enlarge image

Plugable Dual 4K Monitor Docking Station (UD-6950)
USB 3.0 Type-A to Type-B Cable
USB 3.0 Type-C to Type-B Cable
Power Adapter (20V at 2.5A)
Quick Installation Guide


Docking Station Comparison

* 2560x1440 output only available when using a single HDMI display connected through the dock. If dual displays are connected, each will be limited to a maximum resolution of 1920x1200. 2560x1440 output requires a "High Speed" HDMI cable. 2560x1440 mode will operate at a 50Hz refresh rate; all lower modes support 60Hz refresh. 2560x1440 output requires current DisplayLink drivers and attached monitor must natively support 2560x1440 via HDMI input (most 2560x1600 monitors do not support 2560x1440)

** 3840×2160 output only available when using a single HDMI display. If dual displays are connected, each will be limited to a maximum resolution of 1920×1200. 3840×2160 output requires a “High Speed” HDMI cable. 3840×2160 mode operates at a 30Hz refresh rate; all lower modes support 60Hz refresh. 3840×2160 output requires current DisplayLink drivers and attached monitor must natively support 3840×2160 via HDMI input

Only for supported tablets. Please see plugable.com/ud-pro8 for more details

Support

Feel free to contact us directly at support@plugable.com if you have any questions. Whether you’ve purchased the UD-6950 and need support or you’re considering a purchase and would like help understanding this dock’s features, we’re here to help.

FAQ

Can the UD-6950 charge host computer battery?
The UD-6950 is unable to provide charging capability to the host system.

What is the function of the Power Button on the dock if it cannot control power to the system?
The power button located on the back of the docking station is used to control power to the dock, not to the host system. Pressing the power button will shut off dock functionality, but it will not control power to the computer. Please note that the default power state will be set to ‘On’.


Can I connect an HDMI, DVI or VGA monitor to this dock with an adapter?
Yes, you may use Passive or Active adapters in order to convert the DP++ signal to HDMI, DVI or VGA. We have tested and can recommend our Plugable Passive DisplayPort adapters:

  • Plugable Passive DisplayPort to HDMI adapter – Max resolution: 3840×2160@30Hz
  • Plugable Passive DisplayPort to DVI adapter – Max resolution: 1920×1200@60Hz
  • Plugable Passive DisplayPort to VGA adapter – Max resolution: 1920×1200@60Hz

You may also achieve a 4K@60Hz resolution on a 4K display with HDMI 2.0 ports using our Active DisplayPort to HDMI 2.0 adapter. Please be aware that the display and HDMI cable being used must support HDMI 2.0 specifications and support 4K@60Hz resolutions.

Do Plugable USB docking stations and graphics adapters support Windows 10?
Windows 10 drivers are available for all of our USB docking stations and graphics adapters. As with any new operating system, Plugable recommends that users wait before upgrading any mission critical systems. For additional information on Plugable USB graphics devices and Windows 10, please check out our blog post covering things more in depth.

I have never used a laptop or desktop with more than one monitor before. Now that my Windows system has more than one display I am not sure how things are supposed to work or how to change them. Do you have any videos that can help?
We have a produced a series of short videos that introduce the concepts of multi-monitor setups, how to make changes to the way things behave and how to solve common problems. The direct links to the videos are:

I installed the dock on my laptop and everything works well with the laptop lid open. However, when I close the laptop lid the monitors connected to the dock turn off and the laptop shuts down. How do I fix this?

Windows has special power management settings that control what happens when the laptop lid is closed. If this happening, these settings need to be changed. Please right-click on the Start button and select ‘Power Options’ from the menu.

From the choices present on the left-hand side of the Power Options window, please click on ‘Choose what closing the lid does’. ** Important note – if you are running the Creators Update (or newer) to Windows 10, you will have click on the ‘Additional power settings’ option to access this window **

Make sure the setting for ‘When I close the lid’ under the ‘Plugged In’ column is set to ‘Do Nothing’. Click the ‘Save Changes’ button and restart the system, making sure that the laptop’s power adapter is also connected, and test the behavior again.

If I add the dock to my system to add additional monitors, does that prevent any of my system’s built-in video outputs from working? For example, if I connect the unit to my Surface Pro 4 tablet, does that prevent the built-in mini-DisplayPort output from working?
No, the docking station’s presence on your system will not preclude the use of any of your system’s built-in video outputs.

Does the docking station support audio pass through to my display with built-in speaker?
Yes, if your display has built in speakers and are connected to our dock via DisplayPort or HDMI, audio should be sent to the display when the Plugable Audio device is set as the Default Playback Device within Windows’ Sound settings.

When I have two displays with built-in speakers connected to the dock audio is sent to both displays. Is this expected and how do I resolve this?
This is expected because DisplayLink has enabled this functionality to send audio to both connected displays. As a workaround, we recommend muting the display from which you do not want audio to be playing.

I have headphones or speakers connected to the analog audio output jack on the front of the dock, but no sound is coming out. How do I fix this?
The first thing to check when this happens is that the default Playback device is set correctly within Windows. We have a short video that shows how to do this here

What does the blue LED on the Plugable UD-6950 indicate?
The blue LED indicates that the Plugable UD-6950 is receiving power from the adapter.

What do the green and amber LEDs on the Ethernet port on the Plugable UD-6950 indicate?
The green link LED on the Ethernet port on the Plugable UD-6950 is an indication that the Ethernet cable plugged into the port is live and it stays steady as long as the live cable is plugged in. The blinking amber activity LED is an indication that data is transferring through the port.  Both these LEDs will not light up when:

  • The DisplayLink driver for the dock has not installed properly or is corrupted
  • The Ethernet Cable plugged in is not live or is faulty
  • The network device to which the dock is connected only supports half-duplex communication (see next FAQ question below)
  • The port has failed

When I plug an Ethernet cable into the dock, none of the LEDs light up, and I do not get assigned a valid IP address. What could be causing this?
The Ethernet controller in the docking station requires a full duplex connection. Half duplex connections are not supported.

Often, the issue is caused by older Ethernet hubs and/or cabling that do not support full duplex connections.

Why does the “Display Color Calibration” tool in Windows seems to have no effect on the display(s) attached to my dock?
The DisplayLink GPU does not support color calibration functionality. Most monitors have built-in controls that can be used to adjust the characteristics of the display, though we realize this approach may not be ideal in all cases. For environments that necessitate near-perfect color reproduction and display calibration capabilities via software, a dedicated graphics card is recommended.

I use an application to change the color of my display to make it easier to see (like the f.lux application) but it doesn’t seem to affect the display I have connected to the dock. Why is this?
As mentioned above, the DisplayLink driver does not currently support this type of color adjustment so applications like f.lux will not affect displays connected to the dock. DisplayLink (the maker of the chip in the dock and author of the driver) is working to add this functionality in the future. Please see this post on the DisplayLink website for more information and the current state of the project.

While I can adjust the brightness of my internal laptop display or directly connected external display using the Windows Display Settings application, this option is grayed out and not available for the displays attached to the dock. Is something wrong?
Windows does not have the ability to adjust the brightness of a USB-attached display, so the behavior is expected. We recommend making use of the display’s internal on-screen menu options to adjust the brightness.

I cannot use my Intel, Nvidia, or AMD/ATI graphics utility to manage the monitors connected to the dock. Why is this?
The utilities provided by Intel, Nvidia and AMD/ATI are designed to only recognize and work with graphics adapters made by their respective manufacturers and they will not recognize USB-attached displays connected to the dock. It is recommended to use the facilities built-in to Windows to manage the displays connected to the dock (‘Display Settings’ on Windows 10 and ‘Screen Resolution’ on Windows 8.1 and 7).

Are Plugable USB video adapters or docking stations compatible with Touchscreens?
Touchscreens that do not require drivers and use the host’s operating system’s built-in USB Human Interface drivers (HID) to record touch inputs can be made to work with our products, but Plugable does not provide support for doing so due the complexity of multi-monitor touch screen setups.

Why does my wireless mouse or keyboard appear sluggish or not work properly when used with the dock?
Most USB receivers for wireless mice and keyboards operate in the 2.4Ghz band. When connecting the receiver to any USB 3.0 port there is potential for interference that can affect the devices performance. The most effective method is to add a short USB 2.0 extension cable between the dock and the receiver to mitigate the effect, and many wireless keyboards and mice come with such a cable for this reason.

Intel has a technical whitepaper on the behavior for those interested here:
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/io/universal-serial-bus/usb3-frequency-interference-paper.html

We have written about this in more detail in our blog post on the subject here. For even more information please see Intel’s whitepaper here.

When I connect the dock to my system, my internal Wi-Fi adapter stops working or suffers from poor performance. Why is this happening?
There are several factors that can cause this to happen, along with several potential fixes. Please see our blog post on the topic for more information.

I have a cable with a DisplayPort connector on one end and an HDMI connector on the other. Can I use this cable to connect an HDMI display to one of the DisplayPort outputs of the dock?
The DisplayPort ports on our dock should be able to support a DisplayPort to HDMI cable or adapter. However, please ensure that the specific adapter or cable can support the desired resolution of the monitor.

Can I use the dock in conjunction with a KVM switch?
No, Plugable does not recommend or support using our dock with a traditional KVM switch. If you simply need to share the dock between two systems, the dock can be manually disconnected from the first system and then manually connected to the second system. For those that would like a more permanent solution that does not require disconnecting the unit, our USB 3.0 Sharing Switch can be used to share the dock between two systems (the dock can only be used by one system at a time).

After the Windows Anniversary or Creators Update, applications that make use of OpenGL (like SketchUp for example) are not working properly and/or produce an error message when launched while the dock is connected to my system. Why is this happening and how do I fix this?

Microsoft and DisplayLink (the maker of the chip in our dock and author of the driver) have identified a bug within the Windows 10 Anniversary and Creators Update. With the Anniversary or Creators Update to Windows 10, Microsoft has now integrated support for the DisplayLink technology used in our docking station into Windows itself, and in certain cases applications which make use of OpenGL may not work as expected.

For example, the SketchUp application requires the use of graphics adapter that supports a standard known as OpenGL -> http://help.sketchup.com/en/article/114278

In some instances, Windows mistakenly directs the tasks intended for the system’s internal graphics adapter (which does support OpenGL) to the DisplayLink-based docking station. Our docking station is not a traditional graphics adapter in and of itself (it relies on the CPU and internal graphics adapter to work), and this results in the incorrect behavior or error message. DisplayLink speaks to this issue directly here -> http://support.displaylink.com/knowledgebase/articles/942862-my-device-is-not-working-properly-on-windows-10-an (under the section ‘OPENGL 1.1 REPORTED INSTEAD OF 4.X’)

Pending Microsoft fixing the issue within Windows itself, there are two possible workarounds. The first is to configure Windows to have the ‘Main’ display set to a display directly connected to your internal graphics adapter, whether that is an internal laptop display or another external display connected to one of the systems built-in video outputs (a quick guide to doing so is here -> https://youtu.be/7nnKztRZXsw).

If that doesn’t prove a suitable workaround, booting the system without the dock connected, launching SketchUp (or any other OpenGL application), and then connecting the dock may also help.

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