What is the difference between displaylink 2.0 and 3.0 in terms of effectiveness?

I recently purchased the 2.0 version of the displaylink, and just found out there is a 3.0 version. The 2.0 version isnt quiet where I need it for video playback, but if I switch to 3.0, will that improve? I am running at 1080p, and currently the usb 2.0 gets a bit blocky. I know usb 3.0 is supposed to be faster, but I didnt know if that translates to the display link

Hi lpmeteoraremix,

Thanks for posting with your questions!

I’d need to know a bit more about your system details, usage scenario, and which exact product you’re using to be able to offer accurate advice. Although generally speaking, we do expect modest improvements on DL3000 Series (USB3) based products even on USB 2. Further details are available in a recent blog post: http://plugable.com/2012/12/27/latest…

If you’ve got other questions please share a few details about what application you’re seeing video issues with: in some cases disabling browser hardware acceleration, for example only, can help. That said I’d want to be more clear on the issues you’re seeing before changing any settings.

Best wishes-

Jeff Everett
MCITP Enterprise Support Tech
Plugable Technologies

Alright, a bit more details. I have a laptop with the following specs
-Intel Core i7 2720QM 2.2GHZ
-Nvidia GTX 485M
-8gb of Ram

Two examples of programs I have run that have been a bit “blocky” are VLC media player and XBMC (another video player). Turning off optimizied fro video makes it run a bit smoother, but still, Im just hoping I see some improvements wit the 3.0 version

Hi lpmeteoraremix

Thanks for filling in those details.

Which OS you’re on is also a major factor, however this is starting to sound more and more like something where a USB 3.0 adapter might provide a modest gain even on a usb 2.0 port, and more substantially if you were able to add USB 3.0 support to the system if it doesn’t already have it.



To clarify that just a bit, Windows 7 and Windows 8 differ substantially in USB 3 driver support, which clouds the water a bit as far as recommending things goes without knowing which OS :slight_smile:

I have windows 7, and I do have an available 3.0 port

Thanks for those extra details. As Jeff said, you won’t see a difference in many cases (USB resolutions below 1600x1200 or so, or normal web/application use even at higher resolutions). Those don’t stress the USB bus in most cases, so you’ll get good results with USB 2.0.

And often when you do hit bottlenecks, it’s often not the USB bus, but rather the CPU or GPU processing of all the extra pixels for the USB-attached displays.

But blockiness as you describe with video playback is one clear area where the USB 3.0 generation products are better. It’s for two reasons:

  1. The USB 3.0 generation chips use an encoding algorithm better suited to video (more like H.264 macroblock encoding)
  2. Of course, more bandwidth, which avoids USB bus bottlenecks. 10x theoretical, and at least 2x-3x practical.

The main downside of the USB 3.0 chips is there is no Linux support on the horizon (DisplayLink has no plans to release programming information for them - while the USB 2.0 chips have support in all recent kernels); and Mac support isn’t yet available for the USB 3.0 chips.

Hope that background helps in terms of your decision. Note you can run USB 2.0 and 3.0 chips side by side. So you could choose to add another monitor and USB 3.0 adapter to what you already have, and run both side-by-side with lots of extra screen real-estate.

Thanks again for asking!

Alright well I ordered the 3.0 version. I actually had a much better experience with the 2.0 version today though. I will be returning the 2.0 version, only because I already have a monitor attached to my dvi out, so in total I have 3 monitors already, and don’t have enough desk space for a 4th

Great. If you have a few days leeway until your 30 day return window, consider trying both side by side. Either way, we try to make returns easy via http://amazon.com/returns , so customers don’t get stuck with the right product for them. Thanks!

Just installed my 3.0 version. Its beautiful. I just ran a tested using VLC and XBMC to watch a 1080p version of avatar off of my external harddrive. Seemed to run just fantastic! Thank you for a wonderful product!

Wonderful! Thanks for letting us (and others) know!