3rd or 4th monitor using *** DisplayLink?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by hehejames, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. hehejames macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    Does anyone on the forum have experience driving a 3rd or even a 4th monitor using a DisplayLink equipped USB adaptor to drive at least a 24" monitor?

    Note: please do not get confused with DisplayPort. Reference to DisplayLink can be found here http://www.displaylink.com/

    I've seen people use the 7" MIMO's that is based on the DisplayLink technology, but anyone have a working knowledge of using the dongle/USB adopter to drive an extra monitor?

    Going this route would let me avoid adding an extra video card to the MP.
     
  2. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #2
    Don't expect any good performance at all - video playback would be about as choppy as the Straight of Magellen. Alright for text. The reason that people have good times with the 7" displays is that the resolution is factors smaller then a 24"
     
  3. hehejames thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    Thanks for the comment. Unable to video (quicktime) files and etc. would be a concern, but is your comment based on a working experience? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbcInajhlfk On this video, I do see some guy whose got 3 monitors and playing video (1:29 on the video clip).

    Based on their site and partners who have built and now selling the USB adaptor states it can support up to 1600 x 1200 resolution and a machine can be equipped with up to 8 monitors.
     
  4. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Considering that a second graphics gard ist much cheaper than two DisplayLink Adapters (in case of a 2600XT or GeForce 120, based on your Pro), you should definitely go this way.

    I once tried a DisplayLink Adapter with a 17 inch display (1280x1024) and performance was extremly bad.
    For monitoring static information like adium or network monitors it was ok, but even moving windows wasn't smooth.

    Another disadvantage is, that DisplayLink supports a maximum resolution of 1680x1050, respectively 1600x1200.
     
  5. hehejames thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    Thank you for sharing your actual experience!!! Now... I'll need to figure out if installing a GeForce 120 would be a way to go or install 4870/285.
     
  6. Kosh66 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    #6
    I don't think you're going to find anyone. Why would anyone that can afford a Mac Pro cheap out on something like that. Maybe for a TV, but anything else, I can't believe that this could run anything except 2D apps. Of course I see no claims being made, and the video only shows it used for MS Office apps.
     
  7. Kosh66 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    #7
    I see you also have to buy a special monitor or an adapter... there's a negative already. And the answer to the gaming FAQ tells you the whole story, it can't cut 3D graphics.
     
  8. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #8
    Well, what it really boils down to is data tranfer rates and sheer processing power.

    The USB device has to pull off what usually graphics card does - the graphics card usually has an entire slot with a massive data transfer rate on the northbridge of a motherboard, combined with massive on-card resources.

    The USB 2.0 device, while handy, does not have the appropriate access to CPU cycles to justify ramping it up with a massive amount of VRAM or a large GPU - Not only does the USB 2.0 bus choke it, but then the adapter would most likely require a plug, which would deteriorate the conveniance of hooking the device up to a monitor.

    I personally am thinking about one of those 7" displays since I want to run IMs on it while reserving my main screen for more creative things; he justification is that IMs are not graphics-heavy.
     

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