[Discontinued] Plugable UGA-125 USB to VGA/DVI/HDMI Adapter for Multiple Monitors up to 1280×1024

Discontinued Fall 2012, in favor of the higher end UGA-165 and UGA-3000 models

  • “I bought two and after using them I actually bought two more. I run 4 monitors off my laptop and they work great.” – Michael K Liedtke, CONCORD, CA
  • “This product is a must have for laptop users who need multiple monitors! I absolutely am happy with the result. ” – Jason M Sanchez
  • “This product works perfectly. I plugged it in and in under 2 minutes had a third monitor. Liked it so much I purchased 2 others for my office.” – Mark

Features

  • Connect 3+ monitors to any brand of laptop or desktop (one adapter required per monitor, up to 6)
  • Mirror displays or expand desktop with any VGA, DVI, or HDMI monitor or projector
  • DisplayLink DL-125 chip up to 1440×900 / 1400×1050 / 1280×1024 on higher-res monitors
  • Need higher resolutions? Look instead at the Plugable UGA-2K-A with the top-of-the-line DL-195 chip
  • Supports rotation to portrait mode for full-page editing (requires monitor stand that can rotate)
  • Windows 7/Vista/XP drivers installed automatically via Windows Update
  • Mac OS X driver available from DisplayLink (OS X 10.7.2 and earlier recommended–10.7.3 not recommended because of a bug with display rotation)
  • Linux configuration for advanced users only

Product Description

This adapter allows a standard VGA, DVI, or HDMI monitor to be connected via a standard USB 2.0 connection. Up to six adapters supported per PC. The virtual USB graphics driver extends or mirrors your desktop. Displays are configured using the standard Windows display control panel.

Package includes a USB 2.0 cable, DVI->VGA, and DVI->HDMI passive hardware adapters. No power is needed – power is provided by USB (adapter has LED indicator light). No fan – solution is very low power and completely silent.

The DL-125 chip inside is capable of modes up to 1440×900 / 1400×1050 / 1280×1024. On higher resolution monitors, the drivers will select the best mode that fits within capability of both.

Multiple Displays

Combine several Plugable USB graphics adapters with matching multi-monitor stands like this Ergotron to create the ultimate multiple monitor desktop.

The Plugable UGA-125 fully supports rotation — turn one or both screens to show documents in gorgeous full-page layout.

With your laptop LCD, create a beautifully symmetric yet flexible 3 display desktop — all with as little as one USB cable to plug/unplug when you take your laptop and go.

Hardware Requirements and Recommendations

  • CPU: Dual-core or 2GHz processor or better recommended on Windows Vista, Win7, and Mac (Single core ULV or Intel Atom class processors or better are recommended for Windows XP and Linux)
  • GPU: Used for 2D/3D rendering on Windows Vista and Win7, requiring a single Intel, nVidia, or ATI primary WDDM driver.

Driver and OS Version details

WINDOWS VERSION COMPATIBILITY:
Drivers are provided automatically via Microsoft’s Windows Update mechanism with approved drivers across all of Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. 64-bit and full Aero support on Vista and Windows 7. Windows XP 64-bit or Windows Server not supported. Note that Microsoft limits multiple display support in Windows 7 “Home Basic” to mirroring screens.

MAC VERSION COMPATIBILITY:
DisplayLink provides beta-level drivers for Intel OS X 10.4 or later, 32 bit and 64-bit kernels. Up to 4 DisplayLink devices per system. There are limitations in Quartz Extreme support:

  • No 3D (OpenGL) acceleration – some features of Mac OS X applications that require hardware OpenGL acceleration, such as Keynote presentations and iPhoto slideshows, will not function properly with the USB attached screen.

See http://displaylink.com/mac for more info.

LINUX COMPATIBILITY:
As of Linux kernel 2.6.31, this adapter has open source drivers in the official kernel staging tree. Configuration of X Windows for USB displays is still distribution and scenario dependent, however, and only for very adventurous users. Plugable is involved with Linux development work, see http://plugable.com/category/platform/linux/ for details.

Included in the package

USB 2.0 mini-B to A cable

DVI to VGA Adapter

DVI to HDMI Rotating Adapter

Resolutions Supported

The hardware is capable of supporting nearly arbitrary resolutions, up to its limit of 1440×900 / 1400×1050 / 1280×1024. VESA standard and widescreen resolutions are supported by most software, including:

1440×900, 1400×1050, 1280×1024, 1280×768, 1152×864, 1024×768, 800×600, 640×480

For all resolutions, the display is refreshed at 60Hz, and the hardware is capable of 8, 16, and 32bpp color depths. Some operating systems require specific depths, like 32bpp for Windows Aero support.

HDMI

The HDMI standard is built on DVI. This enables conversion from DVI to  HDMI 1.0 with a simple, physical, passive adapter like the one included with the UGA-125. HDMI routed through DVI does not include audio signals, and does not support HDMI content protection. It is suitable for displaying applications on a HDMI monitor and some TVs. It is not for Blu-Ray quality video playback.

HDMI TV Compatibility

Most, but not all, TVs are also compatible. The exceptions are TVs that don’t support EDID (which communicates monitor capabilities to the PC) or which require specific higher versions of the HDMI spec, beyond 1.0. Many TVs that have a VGA port in addition to HDMI, assume that computers will use VGA for connectivity rather than HDMI, provide the best results with VGA.

Performance tuning

A USB graphics adapter is a “virtual” device that uses your machine’s CPU and memory to render graphics. It then transfers just the pixels that change over the USB 2.0 cable to the device. The screen itself (connected via DVI, VGA, or HDMI) is refreshed continually (60 times a second) by hardware, from memory on the device.

  • When nothing on a USB screen is changing, the PC is doing little or no work and nothing is going over USB. Meanwhile, the screen continues to refresh (60Hz) directly from the device.
  • However, when most pixels on the screen is changing, your CPU is doing the heavy lifting, and also the (480Mbs) USB 2.0 bus can become a bottleneck. You may start to notice lags in mouse or window movements.

If you’re experiencing slowness or latency on your USB display:

  • Reduce your screen resolution with the operating system display control panel.
  • Play 3D games and videos on your primary (non-USB) screen.

By reducing the amount of data that needs to be compressed and sent over USB, you’ll increase responsiveness.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the green LED indicate?

The green LED on the adapter indicates that both the hardware and the software involved in the functioning of this device is working properly. It remains steady when nothing is changing on the screen and blinks when data is transferred through the adapter.

The green LED on the adapter does not light up when:
1) The unit does not receive enough power because it is plugged into a port that does not provide the required 500mA of power or because of a failing USB Cable
2) Display to that monitor is disabled
3) The driver is not installed or is corrupted
4) The unit itself has failed.

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