Plugable USB 2.0 VGA Adapter for Multiple Monitors

USB2_Graphics_Hero

  • “Awesome Productivity Tool…Video is so important to me, that I didn’t even experiment – I just did it. This thing just works. I’m so, sooo very happy. Thank you Plugable. We’re BFFs for life, now.”- Daniel Digriz, Oklahoma City, OK
  • “I like this so much, I’m probably going to get another external monitor for my setup, and run it off of yet another one of these Plugable USB-VGA devices.” – J. Lunt, Chicago, IL
  • “This is a great little gadget and was worth every penny I paid for it. ” – P. Moulder, Ohio

Features

  • Connect up to six monitors to any brand of laptop or desktop (one adapter required per monitor)
  • Adds plug and play, extensible USB 2.0 connectivity to any VGA monitor or projector (VGA only; DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort only monitors are not supported)
  • DisplayLink DL-165 chip, supports resolutions up to 1920×1080 / 1600×1200
  • Supports rotation to portrait mode for full-page editing (requires monitor stand that can rotate)
  • Windows 10/8/7/XP drivers can be installed automatically via Windows Update (Internet connection required) or downloaded manually
  • Mac is not supported due to significant limitations in the operating system.
  • Linux configuration for advanced users only

UGA-2K-A_In use illustration

 

Product Description

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

Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP drivers installed automatically via Windows Update. 32 and 64 bit supported for Win7 and 8. Win 8 Metro DRM apps for video play back (such as Netflix, Hulu) do not work in the presence of DisplayLink drivers.

Package includes a USB 2.0 cable and adapter. No power is needed – power is provided by USB. No fan – solution is very low power and completely silent.

All standard monitor modes up to that maximum resolution can be set by the device.

Multiple Displays

Microsoft Tips for Using Multiple Monitors
Windows 8 Tips
Windows 7 Tips
Troubleshooting

We often hear customers say “After using multiple monitors, I can’t go back!”. If you’re doing information work — looking at one document while editing another, researching, or generally working on several things at once — it’s indispensable.

Simply drag windows back and forth to make use of all the extra Windows desktop space.

Plugable USB graphics adapters fully support rotation — turn one or both screens to show documents in gorgeous full-page layout (with a monitor stand that’s capable of rotation).

A common setup is to create a beautifully symmetric yet flexible 3 display desktop, combining your laptop display with 2 extra monitors on either side with your laptop’s external graphics port + one Plugable adapter, or with two Plugable adapters to allow easy USB dock/undock.

USB-VGA-165_Human-Use


Hardware Requirements

Dual Core Intel or AMD CPU, 2GHz or better. Windows GPU should be Intel, AMD, or Nvidia.

Resolutions Supported
The hardware is capable of supporting nearly arbitrary resolutions, up to its limit of 1920x1080. VESA standard and widescreen resolutions are supported by most software, including: 1920×1080, 1600×1200, 1680×1050, 1440×900. 1400×1050, 1280×1024, 1280×768, 1280×720, 1152×864, 1024×768, 800×600, 640×480. For all resolutions, the display is refreshed at 60Hz, and the hardware is capable of 16, and 32bpp color depths. Some operating systems require specific depths, like 32bpp for Windows Aero support.
Supported Operating Systems
This device only works with computers running the following operating systems:
  • Windows 10 (32/64-bit)
  • Windows 8/8.1 (32/64-bit)
  • Windows 7 (32/64-bit)
  • Windows XP Home or Pro with Service Pack 3 (32 bit only - no 64-bit support)
Operating System and Drive Details
WINDOWS VERSION COMPATIBILITY:
Drivers can be installed automatically via Windows Update with support for Windows 10, 8, 7, and XP. Not compatible with ARM-based Windows RT/Surface RT. Note that Microsoft limits multiple display support in Windows 7 “Starter” Edition to mirroring screens. Even though drivers are provided automatically, we recommend visiting the Plugable driver webpage for the most recent drivers and other information.

MAC COMPATIBILITY:
Mac is not supported due to significant limitations in the operating system.

LINUX COMPATIBILITY:
As of Linux kernel 2.6.31, this adapter has open source drivers in the kernel staging tree. As of 2.6.38, the driver was promoted to the main kernel 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.

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 is refreshed continually (60 times a second) by hardware over the monitor’s own cable, 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 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.

Gaming

USB graphics devices, like the USB-VGA-165, are “virtual” devices where much of the heavy lifting is done by the CPU, by hooking into the graphics stack. The DirectX APIs used by games assume direct hardware access (a PCIe graphics card).  DisplayLink’s drivers attempt to emulate as much of the functionality as possible, which is why some 3D functionality (like that needed for desktop and apps) works.

We don’t recommend running games with USB graphics, because this emulation cannot be perfect. 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 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

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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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