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applesed

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 25, 2012
533
340
I’m interested to hear about people’s experiences using the DisplayLink adapter to get a second external monitor. Was it as seamless as native support? Any issues with the drivers? Any odd hiccups? Thanks in advance!
 
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FreakinEurekan

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,993
2,967
It works. I wouldn’t say “as seamless as native support” but it’s pretty good. You will notice some slight lag on DisplayLink, not so great for gaming as an example, but fine for a lot of purposes. There’s often issues updating macOS to a new version where you have to then update the DisplayLink drivers too. But overall, it’s the best solution if you’d exceeded the built-in capacity.
 

applesed

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 25, 2012
533
340
Just office stuff no gaming. Slight lag is something to think about; when you’re working and multitasking, lag tolerance may be low. (Like mouse lag)
 

nzxred

macrumors member
Jun 20, 2023
35
9
Most time works fine however there is one issue with DisplayLink, I have two 4k monitors and M1 Air, the True Tone and Night shift does not work with the DisplayLin.
 

SjoukeW

macrumors member
Jun 8, 2020
62
61
Netherlands
Tried it on a m2 Max laptop with external monitor. Scrolling through text is not smooth on webpages and my development environment. USB-c to DisplayPort connector or just hdmi is smooth. So it is really displaylink which makes it a bad experience.
After one try I was convinced that is is not for me.
 

nzxred

macrumors member
Jun 20, 2023
35
9
Tried it on a m2 Max laptop with external monitor. Scrolling through text is not smooth on webpages and my development environment. USB-c to DisplayPort connector or just hdmi is smooth. So it is really displaylink which makes it a bad experience.
After one try I was convinced that is is not for me.
I think M2 max support up to 3 monitors natively, no need for DisplayLin, Wish MBA M1 M2 can do 2 at least
 

jimmyjimbo

macrumors newbie
Jul 2, 2023
5
3
Thought I'd share my experiences in using DisplayLink as an user that uses multiple monitors (4 currently)

So I used to own an intel 2019 MBP 16" running off an razor CoreX eGPU on 5 displays (Four 27" 4k, One 27" 2k) off one thunderbolt cable, until recently the logic board died (suspect constant overload off one thunderbolt port).

I've been resisting to upgrade to an apple silicon Mac despite major performance upgrades due to the fact that the GPU options are pretty much nonexistent. Since my old MBP died I decided to upgrade to the m2 max 16" MBP that technically allows up to 4 external displays, but also means I need to have the hassle of connecting every single port available on the laptop.

That's until I learned about DisplayLink on external docs, and doing some research I found a dock that supports up to four 4k monitors @ 60hz (wavlink UG69PD10 ) and I believe that is one of the few docks that could support so many monitors at once.

I'm usually a bit skeptical when I see such features without the need for an external GPU (mostly relies on USB compression I read), I've decided to still take the plunge and got one because I really prefer having as little physical connections to the MBP as possible as I bring my laptop around a lot.

I was quite impressed by how it was able to actually support four 4k monitors running at 60hz, but after a few minutes of using it you will start to realise the graphics is not as smooth as had you natively use apple's gpu. It's advertised at 60hz but it feels like it runs a bit lower than that.

I don't do much gaming so this really isn't too big of a problem for me, until I start to realise my computer temperature starts to run unusually higher compared to before (usually around 69-78 degrees celisus; when all four computers were plugged into the dock off one single usb-c cable to my mbp, my computer temp ran between 80-93 degrees celsius). Quite evident that DisplayLink is putting a lot of strain onto my CPU (especially running four 4k displays) and although I haven't feel any forms of thermal throttling I have concerns about using this setup for prolong periods of time under such stress. I was able to keep the temperature back down when I disconnect three monitors off the dock (reconnecting back onto the MBP directly), however you still see the slight lag when using DisplayLink off 1 monitor.

I've been trying to find more user experiences with DisplayLink online but couldn't find much at all. I'm most likely thinking about switching back to a standard thunderbolt 4 dock that will just utilise apple's gpu to power my monitors.
 
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hajime

macrumors 604
Jul 23, 2007
7,856
1,290
Hadn’t seen beachball for at least two years until I installed displaylink software.
 

cramazing

macrumors 6502
Jun 17, 2012
341
53
I have a 16GB/512SSD MBA M2, I have read some reviews that using the Displaylink program can put a heavy load on the laptop, I was wondering if this was referring to the base model MBA or is my spec able to handle it without much issues? Im a basic user who does basic things, the most I will do is have many tabs open running youtube etc.

Any insight would be great as I plan to buy a hub/docking station soon to run 2 monitors.
 
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JPack

macrumors G5
Mar 27, 2017
12,897
24,439
I have a 16GB/512SSD MBA M2, I have read some reviews that using the Displaylink program can put a heavy load on the laptop, I was wondering if this was referring to the base model MBA or is my spec able to handle it without much issues? Im a basic user who does basic things, the most I will do is have many tabs open running youtube etc.

Any insight would be great as I plan to buy a hub/docking station soon to run 2 monitors.

Processing load will be fine. Most of the slow feeling is related to pushing video data through USB, which is how DisplayLink bypasses the M1/M2 external display limitation. Try to run monitors at QHD rather than 4K if possible.
 
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Richard10250

macrumors newbie
Aug 3, 2023
20
9
I have a 16GB/512SSD MBA M2, I have read some reviews that using the Displaylink program can put a heavy load on the laptop, I was wondering if this was referring to the base model MBA or is my spec able to handle it without much issues? Im a basic user who does basic things, the most I will do is have many tabs open running youtube etc.

Any insight would be great as I plan to buy a hub/docking station soon to run 2 monitors.
It may not concern you, but please note that DisplayLink does not support the playing of video with embedded copy protection. In other words, YouTube videos will play, but Netflix videos will not play on a DisplayLink monitor.
 

georgehumphrey

macrumors newbie
Oct 30, 2023
1
0
My experience is it's absolutely horrible. It's sneaky though. Sometimes things will be fine and then bam, everything slows. Using Finder search is unusable. loading up MS Teams for a meeting is crap.

I'm currently using a MacBook Air 15 M2 with 16GB ram and 512GB hard drive.

I just can't understand why Apple would artificially limit this on such a great device. Seriously thinking of either returning my MacBook or going back to just one external monitor. It's that bad.
 

Elusi

macrumors regular
Oct 26, 2023
210
415
My experience is it's absolutely horrible. It's sneaky though. Sometimes things will be fine and then bam, everything slows. Using Finder search is unusable. loading up MS Teams for a meeting is crap.

I'm currently using a MacBook Air 15 M2 with 16GB ram and 512GB hard drive.

I just can't understand why Apple would artificially limit this on such a great device. Seriously thinking of either returning my MacBook or going back to just one external monitor. It's that bad.
Which version of the driver are you running? They seem to have screwed up things in a big way since 1.9 and forward. 1.8.1 runs better for me. Although things are still notably worse ever since installing Sonoma.

Nothing restores it to Ventura/Monterey (+ 1.8.1) levels of quality, I used to be able to launch a game or play a video and the effects of doing it through displaylink would be subtle. Now it's jarring.

I'm about to write feedback to their team and bring these things up. Thought when 1.10 stayed in alpha that perhaps they were aware of the issues, but then they let that crap out of alpha so maybe not :)

Interestingly enough the compression artifacts, lag and glitches that turn out with the newer drivers look suspiciously alike to things you can see when running an iPad in Sidecar. I'm thinking they're hooking onto some new API with the newer versions of the driver in hopes of gaining performance perhaps, but it's not really working out.

Running 2560x1440 60Hz through a dedicated adapter from StarTech.
 

jaqm

macrumors newbie
Nov 25, 2023
1
0
Hey try restarting display link manager. My macbook air m1 works smooth again after reseting the manager. Maybe a cache use problem? (dell universal dock) with 2 4k monitors.
 

applesed

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 25, 2012
533
340
Anyone able to get nightshift working yet on the DisplayLink monitor?
 
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