UGA-165 performance OSX 10.8.2 vs Windows 7

Hello! I’ve been using the UGA-165 for a while on a laptop running Windows 7, and I love it. Performance is excellent for me.

I just loaded it on a faster laptop running OSX 10.8.2, and the performance isn’t nearly as good. On that same laptop, when I run Windows 7 in Boot Camp, performance on the UGA-165 is great again, so I know the laptop hardware specs itself are fine (2.3 i7 Ivy Bridge).

  1. Can you explain the difference in performance? I’d love to see the high performance in OS X!

  2. Would the USB 3.0 adapters have better performance in OSX (once DisplayLink releases the drivers they introduced at CES? (…)

Btw I’m using the 44867 OSX drivers.

Hi Nathan,

Thanks for posting to ask! Unfortunately, what you’re seeing in Mac vs. Windows performance is expected, which is why we warn about it on our product listings.

The USB 3.0 generation products won’t make much of a difference as one might expect, because the bottleneck is less with the USB bus, and more with how the Mac’s graphics subsystem works and how external graphics devices like this hook into it. For the current architecture, the CPU is the main bottleneck.

There will be some performance gains in DisplayLink’s newer Mac drivers (which are now in “alpha release” stage, available at… )

But generally, they won’t be a “huge leap” and I don’t think DisplayLink will be able to raise the performance to the same level as Windows. I know that’s disappointing to Mac users.

What it would take for the “huge leap” is if Apple did something like what the guys in the Linux world have done: have clean interfaces for one hardware device to render pixels that another device may display (the new DRM PRIME support in Linux…).

So far, I don’t think Apple has expressed any plans in that direction, although it would be a great way to go in a multiple-display world.

I know it’s frustrating for anyone who has seen the Windows performance on similar hardware, when moving to Mac. Sorry I don’t have better news!


Thanks for the quick reply, Bernie!

I really hope Apple is willing to make the necessary adjustments…makes me wonder if my follow-up question will have a similar answer.

Because I need 3 high-performing videocard/monitors for my Windows software development, I’m opting for now to run Boot Camp on my mac, and my UGA-165 works great there. However, when I try to use Parallels to connect to my Boot Camp partition (and I opt to install the guest os ‘Tools’), I get a blue screen related to the DisplayLink drivers.

I realize this is out of your jurisdiction, but I’m wondering if you’ve ever heard of that issue, and if this is something within DisplayLink’s control.

Thanks for your help!

Hi Nathan - Thanks! Yes, there are a lot of options so they can get involved.

Unfortunately, as you suspected you’ll want to run Boot Camp rather than Parallels. Because Boot Camp, once it’s started, is really just a normal Windows box with some extra Apple drivers – all hardware is accessed directly and naively. Whereas with Parallels hardware is emulated and passed through from host to guest OS. And even though Parallels virtualizes USB devices pretty well, there’s too much that can go wrong for an involved driver solution like DisplayLink’s.

So Boot Camp would be our recommendation for your situation. You’ll still be able to use the extra monitors in Mac OS X, but there will be at least subtle performance loss vs. Boot Camp.

Thanks again!

Ok great, this answered the exact same question I had. The performance is garbage on Mac OS X and great on Windows 8. Guess I will also just be running in Boot Camp when I want to do 2 monitor OPS. Thanks!!

On that note: Plugable any idea if this fix will be in OS X Mavericks?