TWO 4K DISPLAYS—Add two DisplayPort displays up to 4K 60Hz to select Windows Thunderbolt 3 systems at native GPU performance. Supports display modes such as 3840x2160 (4K) and 1920x1080 (1080p)
DISPLAYPORT ONLY—Adapter video output ports are DisplayPort only. Note that HDMI, DVI and VGA displays are not supported. If HDMI outputs are required, please search for TBT3-HDMI2X-83
WINDOWS COMPATIBILITY—Compatible with select Windows Thunderbolt 3 systems. Not all Windows systems support dual video output. Please see important compatibility details below prior to purchase
APPLE COMPATIBILITY—Not compatible with Apple Thunderbolt 3 systems. For an Apple compatible version, please search for our TBT3-DP2X-83 adapter
2 YEAR WARRANTY—We love our Plugable products, and hope you will too. All of our products are backed with a 2-year limited parts and labor warranty as well as Seattle-based email support
Plugable's Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort Display Adapter
Leveraging 40Gbps of bandwidth made possible by Intel's Thunderbolt 3 technology, Plugable's Thunderbolt 3 Dual DisplayPort Display Adapter (TBT3-DP2X) enables content creators and power users to connect two additional displays to their Thunderbolt 3 enabled laptop with uncompromising graphics performance. The adapter housing is made from sleek, lightweight aluminum allowing for easy expansion of your Thunderbolt 3 laptop or tablet on-the-go.
Not all Thunderbolt 3 systems are compatible with dual display graphics adapters. See important details regarding system compatibility in the section below.
Dual Video Outputs From a Single Thunderbolt 3 Display Adapter
Thunderbolt 3-attached displays tap directly into the power of your system's graphics processor to enable high-performance, low-latency output without utilizing additional system resources.
Supports two DisplayPort displays up to 4096x2160 @ 60Hz (4K/UHD). Backward compatible with 1920x1080 (1080p) displays as well.
Thunderbolt 3 is a powerful technology, and system manufacturers have substantial discretion in how they implement various Thunderbolt 3 technical elements and features. As a result, compatibility information is complex and some currently available Thunderbolt 3 systems aren't compatible with our dual graphics adapters.
To work as expected with our Dual DisplayPort Adapter, the host Thunderbolt 3-enabled system must meet the following requirements:
The system manufacturer must have physically routed two DisplayPort video output lanes to a single Thunderbolt 3 port. Thunderbolt 3 systems from Dell meet this requirement, the specifications for Thunderbolt 3 systems from other manufacturers may vary
Current Thunderbolt 3 host firmware ("NVM") from the system manufacturer must be applied to the system
Requires updated system UEFI BIOS, Thunderbolt 3 drivers, and graphics processing unit (GPU) drivers from system manufacturer
Please note this adapter connects to monitors using the DisplayPort standard, which is different from HDMI. A separate HDMI version of the adapter is available if connectivity to HDMI displays is needed
Please refer to the attached Specification Sheet for additional compatibility information.
Example Compatible Systems
The following systems are fully compatible with our Thunderbolt 3 Dual DisplayPort Display Adapter (TBT3-DP2X):
Systems from other Windows laptop manufacturers may be compatible, but may not support dual displays (please see more detail below)
Incompatible Systems Which Only Support a Single Video Output
Systems with a single DisplayPort lane routed to the Thunderbolt 3 port are not updatable to support two displays; they will always only support a single video output over Thunderbolt 3. As such, we do not suggest they be used with our Thunderbolt 3 dual graphics adapters. Example Thunderbolt 3 systems that only support one display:
Windows 10, 8.1, and 7 systems with Thunderbolt 3 support built-in. Adapter will not function if attached to a non-Thunderbolt 3 capable USB-C port. Thunderbolt 3 port required for operation.
Usage With Non-DisplayPort Displays (HDMI/DVI/VGA)
Adapter video outputs are pure DisplayPort, not Dual-mode (DP++)and are incompatible with ‘passive’ DisplayPort to HDMI/DVI/VGA adapters. You must use ‘active’ adapters if protocol conversion is required. If HDMI connectivity is required, please use our TBT3-HDMI2X-83 adapter.
Dimensions and Compatibility
Requires updated NVM firmware, System BIOS, and Thunderbolt/GPU drivers on host system
Dual-output functionality depends on design decisions made by your system manufacturer
Supported only with Windows systems. Linux and macOS systems are not supported
Adapter will not function if attached to a non-Thunderbolt 3 capable USB-C port
Made for DisplayPort displays only (not HDMI)
Supports virtually any resolution between 720p and 4K, including the following:
Most Windows notebook computers power management settings will default to putting the computer to sleep with the lid closed, regardless of any external displays, keyboard, or mouse connected to the computer. If this is happening but you would prefer the system to remain active with the lid closed utilizing the external display or displays, these settings can be changed by performing the following:
For Windows 10:
Start by right-clicking on the Start button and select Power Options from the menu.
From the right side of the Power Options settings page, select the blue link for Additional power settings
From the choices present on the left-hand side of the Power Options window, please click on Choose what closing the lid does
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.
For Windows 11:
Start by right-clicking on the Start button and select Power Options from the menu.
In the upper left corner of the settings window, in the search box, type "lid" then select Change what closing the lid does from the search results
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 to apply the new settings.
Closing the lid should no longer put the computer into sleep mode when an external display and power source is connected, instead one of the external displays should now become the Primary display with the desktop icons instead of the laptop's built-in display.
The lid may still need to be opened to perform the following tasks:
To power on the computer from a fully powered off state
To log into the computer if logged out or if the computer is restarted with the lid closed
To wake the computer from a deep sleep state ( hibernation, or Windows hybrid sleep states )
Synopsis– If your Thunderbolt 3 driver or utility version types are mismatched within a Windows host system, you may receive an error message stating, “Application Cannot run – This Thunderbolt application is not in use anymore and can be safely uninstalled” when attempting to run the Intel Thunderbolt Software management utility or the Intel Thunderbolt Control Center utility. This prevents proper management of Thunderbolt devices on the host system. (This problem does not occur on Apple Mac systems.)
Before proceeding with this or any other procedure that makes changes to your system, please ensure you have a full system backup of any and all important data and create a fresh System Restore Point as a precaution. Plugable will not be able to help restore any data or return a system to a working state should things not work as expected. If you do not wish to take this risk, please do not follow this procedure
You will have to be logged on to the system as a User with ‘Administrator’ permissions in order to perform these steps
1. Disconnect any Thunderbolt 3 devices from the host system (this is done to prevent Windows Update from automatically loading any Thunderbolt drivers). 2. Right-click on the Windows Start button and select ‘Device Manager’. 3. Click on ‘View’ from the application menu bar, and click the option ‘Show hidden devices’ (this is necessary because the Thunderbolt controller will not be active if no Thunderbolt devices are connected). 4. Expand the ‘System Devices’ category. Scroll down until you find the entry for the ‘Thunderbolt Controller’. 5. Right-click on the ‘Thunderbolt Controller’ entry and select ‘Uninstall device’ from the context menu that appears. 6. From the ‘Uninstall Device’ window that appears, click to place a check mark within the ‘Delete the driver software for this device’ option. 7. Click the ‘Uninstall’ button. 8. Close Device Manager. 9. Click the search button on the taskbar (looks like a ‘O’) and search for the letters ‘cmd’. 10. Right-click on the ‘Command Prompt’ search result and select ‘Run as Administrator’ from the context menu. If prompted, enter your Administrator password. 11. From the Administrative Command Prompt window, enter ‘sc delete nhi’ (without the quotes) and press enter. You should receive a ‘SUCCESS’ indicator. ** Be very careful to type this command correctly **
This command deletes the ‘nhi’ Windows service presently installed on the system.
In general, Plugable Thunderbolt 3 Docking Stations and Thunderbolt 3 Dual Display Adapters do not require the installation of any drivers when used with macOS or Windows. When connecting a Thunderbolt 3 device, the host operating system should install all the necessary drivers automatically.
However, there are certain instances with Windows systems where additional driver installation may be necessary when using our Thunderbolt 3 docking stations (these are NOT required on macOS systems):
TBT3-UDV Docking Station:
Windows 10 – In general, no driver installations are required when using Windows 10. After initial connection if all functions of the dock are working as expected, then no additional action is required. However, when the TBT3-UDV is used with certain eighth generation Intel processor-based Windows 10 systems an updated USB 3.0 driver may need to be installed to ensure the best performance of USB peripherals attached to the TBT3-UDV. We recommend installing the updated Asmedia USB 3.0 drivers here. For additional details, please see our TBT3-UDV product page.
Before purchasing or using a new Thunderbolt™ 3 docking station or video adapter for use with your personal computer running Windows, you will want to make sure that your computer can support it and be aware of differences from basic USB devices:
Note: The following does not apply to Apple Thunderbolt 3 systems.
Many early Thunderbolt 3 PCs require firmware and software updates before all adapters and docks will work.
Dual display support is optional for Thunderbolt 3 PCs. How many displays are supported over Thunderbolt 3 depends on how the USB-C port has been wired on the system motherboard (up to a max of two), and is not changeable in software or by the Thunderbolt 3 graphics device.
Support for PC charging (USB Power Delivery) on Thunderbolt 3 systems is optional. Many Thunderbolt 3-enabled PCs do not accept a charge over USB-C, and some PCs only will charge with their own branded power adapters.
Unlike USB devices, Thunderbolt 3 devices must be manually authenticated (approved) for use by the user before the system will recognize them.
Host computers equipped with Thunderbolt 3 have the ability to install various updates including NVM (Thunderbolt 3 related Non-volatile memory) and PD (Power Delivery) firmware, UEFI BIOS, supplemental Thunderbolt 3 software utilities (for authentication) and various drivers to resolve potential issues and increase compatibility with new Thunderbolt 3 products as they are released.
System manufacturers have substantial discretion in how they implement various technical elements and features. As a result, compatibility information is complex. As a result many currently available Thunderbolt 3 systems are not fully compatible with our Thunderbolt 3 dual graphics adapters (we do our best to maintain compatibility tables of the individual product pages). Some systems may only be equipped with a single DisplayPort (DP) Alternate Mode (Alt Mode) line to the Thunderbolt 3 port which limits the port to a single display output. Due to this limitation some systems won’t be able to take advantage of our dual port Thunderbolt 3 graphics adapters regardless of firmware/software updates. This is a physical hardware limitation.
Many system manufacturers ship systems with older firmware and may or may not have updated versions available for download at this time. The latest Thunderbolt 3 firmware for a specific system cannot be downloaded from Intel directly, as it first it has to be customized by the original system manufacturer. Intel has a Thunderbolt updates page with some update information, but as of this writing the list if fairly small. Currently our TBT3-HDMI2X-83 and TBT3-DP2X-83 adapters require the host system to have a Thunderbolt 3 firmware update with NVM version 14 or higher in order to work properly. The latest UEFI BIOS update from your system manufacturer must be installed before updating the NVM firmware.
Operating System Compatibility
Thunderbolt 3 technology is supported by any operating system which has driver support for Thunderbolt 3. Currently, Plugable supports Windows 10, 8.1, and 7 (64-bit only) and macOS 10.13 or later. Although support for Thunderbolt 3 devices under Linux is steadily evolving, Plugable does not support Thunderbolt 3 devices within a Linux environment at this time.
Q: Can a Thunderbolt 3 dock or adapter work in any system with any USB-C (USB Type C) port? A: It depends.
Early Thunderbolt 3 docks and adapters will only work with Thunderbolt 3 USB-C computers and ports and connecting to a USB-C port without Thunderbolt 3 capability will not work. Note that computers and docks may have a mix of Thunderbolt 3 and other USB-C ports that look very similar. Look for the Thunderbolt icon on both sides of the connection to ensure compatibility:
Current Titan Ridge based docking stations like our TBT3-UDC1 and TBT3-UDZ are backwards compatible with USB-C systems in most cases (with limitations).
Q: How can I identify the NVM version on my system? A: See “Identifying the NVM” section below.
Q: What if a newer compatible NVM is not available from my system manufacturer? A: Unfortunately the only option is to contact your system manufacturer and ask when a newer version will be available, and to let them know that until it is, certain accessories you are looking to use will not work.
Q: How can I identify if my system has the necessary two DisplayPort lines to provide dual display output through the Thunderbolt 3 port? A: Unfortunately in many cases this information is very hard to discern based on the manufacturers published specifications. If your system is not among those listed in our compatibility table above, please contact your system manufacturer for confirmation of how many DisplayPort lines are routed to your Thunderbolt 3 port.
Q: I connected my Thunderbolt 3 dual display adapter and my monitor configuration changed by itself. A: This may occur and is considered normal. You can change the main display back to your desired screen through the “Display settings” control panel.
Q: I connected my Thunderbolt 3 dual display adapter and am only getting a single output. A: Depending on what Thunderbolt 3 equipped system you have, it may only support a single output because of the DP Alt Mode line configuration. See above “Known Host NVM Versions & DP Lines” to find out if your system has one or two lines.
Q: I connected my Thunderbolt 3 dual display adapter for the first time and my system crashed (hard lock). A: Check to see if your system is running the latest Thunderbolt 3 software, NVM, UEFI BIOS, and all other updates from your system manufacturer. If everything is updated, unplug the adapter, reboot the system, and then reconnect.
Q: I connected my Thunderbolt 3 dual display adapter and am not getting any output to either display. A: If your system has hybrid graphics (combination of built-in Intel GPU and AMD or NVIDIA discreet graphics) make sure the Intel GPU is set to be the primary GPU in the UEFI BIOS.
Windows systems need to have newly attached Thunderbolt 3 devices authenticated before they can be used. For most computers this process needs to be performed manually through the Legacy Thunderbolt utility installed on your computer. Newer Windows host systems (around November 2018 and newer) may be using an updated driver model, Declarative Componentized Hardware (DCH), to comply with the new Universal Windows Platform. These systems may have automatic secure authentication of newly attached Thunderbolt 3 devices enabled, similar to how macOS handles newly attached Thunderbolt 3 devices. However, sometimes these systems still need manual user authentication.
Below we will cover both methods of authentication as well as how to check NVM on older systems to see if an update is required. These processes may vary depending on how the host system Thunderbolt security level is configured in the UEFI BIOS, however, most systems will be set for user authorization or secure connect.
When first connecting a Thunderbolt 3 device to a Windows system, the device must first be authenticated through Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 software. After connecting a Thunderbolt 3 device the first thing that you should see (assuming that the system NVM, UEFI BIOS, drivers, etc are up to date and compatible) is an automatic notification above the system tray notifying you that a new device has been attached. You will want to click OK:
After clicking OK, you may get a Windows User Account Control (UAC) popup asking if you “want to allow this app to make changes to your PC?”. Click Yes:
After clicking yes you should see an application window appear where you will approve the Thunderbolt 3 device that was just attached:
Click on the drop down menu where it says “Do Not Connect” and select “Always Connect”. Then click OK:
To view and manage the approved devices you can find the program sitting in the system tray. You may need to click the caret (up arrow icon) to show all of the running programs then right click on the Thunderbolt icon it and select Manage Approved Devices:
You may again get a Windows UAC prompt, click yes. After clicking yes the below window will open and you can see any approved devices and remove them if you choose.
Thunderbolt 3 Authentication (DCH Thunderbolt 3 drivers & Windows App Store Thunderbolt Utility):
For systems running the DCH version of the Thunderbolt 3 drivers and the Windows Store Thunderbolt Control Center app, many newer hosts will automatically authenticate the attached device using secure connect. For systems where your attached Thunderbolt 3 device is not authenticated automatically via secure connect you can authenticate the device manually. Start by searching the start menu for Thunderbolt and selecting the Thunderbolt Control Center:
Here you should see your attached device:
To approve the device click on the menu button (three horizontal lines) and then click “Approve devices”:
Next you can select “Always connect” and then press “OK” at the bottom of the application:
Your device should then automatically be approved the next time it is attached.
Checking NVM Version (Legacy)
How do I check which version of Thunderbolt 3 software and NVM firmware I am running in Windows?
To determine what version of NVM firmware your system has, the first step is to ensure you have the latest Thunderbolt software version which varies depending on the system manufacturer. You should be able to download it from your system manufacturer’s website.
Once installed you can open the software by searching the start menu for Thunderbolt:
Once open you can find the program sitting in the system tray. You may need to click the caret (up arrow icon) to show all of the running programs then right click on the Thunderbolt icon and select Settings:
Now you should see the settings window. Click on Details to find out all of the Thunderbolt software and controller information:
If a Thunderbolt 3 device has been connected to the system the Thunderbolt software will show you information about the controller. Below you can see the details from our Dell XPS 13 9350 system:
Unfortunately if a Thunderbolt device has not yet been connected to the system, the information about the NVM firmware may not be available within the utility:
No. Currently, Apple M1-based MacBook systems (non-Intel processors) only support a single external display. This limitation is a result of computer itself, and not the device. Any Thunderbolt 3 dock or graphics adapter shares this same display restriction (Plugable-branded or otherwise).
For adding additional displays to M1 Macs, the single display restriction can be worked around through the use of a USB graphics solution such as DisplayLink. Please refer to DisplayLink-based docks such as our UD-3900PDZ for more display support.