Multiple ( 2 or 3) Monitors with Pluggable USB 3.0 on Windows 10 Atom or NUC

  • 2
  • Article
  • Updated 2 years ago
For General Knowledge on Multiple Monitor Displays:

We've run some interesting tests with multiple monitors on Windows 10 Rise Vision and the Pluggable USB 3.0 Display Link Video adapter. This is link to the model we're testing:
http://plugable.com/products/usb3-3900dhe

We're running it with an Atom based Kangaroo PC (with RPT Kangaroo Cooler) to see how far we can push a simple player driving multiple screens.

This Plugable unit adds two monitor ports (one HDMI on DVI) plus a Gigabit Ethernet port (which we've ignored and so far we've stayed on WiFi)

The Intel HD Graphics  in the Kangaroo via HDMI runs one monitor and the Plugable adapter can support one or two more HD monitors.

We've run in both a 2 High Landscape Stack (1920 x 2160) and a 3 High Landscape Stack ( 1920 x 3240) without problems. Only change on the Rise side is to edit the height and width lines on the Rise start-up file and then make a presentation in the size required for 2 or 3 monitors. I'm sure it will handle landscape horizontal arrays easily (3840x1080 and 5760 x 1080)

We've built a 4 Placeholder Video Torture Test  presentation with 2 full sized 1920x1080 placeholders and two placeholders scaled to 50% to push the need for calculation. The 2 full sized ones span between two screens, so we can more easily see tearing between the monitors.

Despite the relatively low power Atom processor in the Kangaroo PC, and the USB link driving two additional monitors, the image quality is excellent and the videos are stable. Much better than we expected at this price point.

We have learned by experimentation that it's important to set one of the monitors on the Plugable adapter as your "Main" monitor or the screens won't initialize properly in Rise. So long as one of the Plugable screens is the main screen, the system starts and runs without problem, while if the Kangaroo monitor is the main monitor Rise won't span them all for some reason.

The Plugable Drivers seems to consume as much extra CPU as they can grab, cooling is essential as the CPU load runs close to 100%, but even running 4 Video Placeholders as a torture test we don't notice any significant degradation in video quality and there is virtually no stuttering or visible tearing.

For a Three Monitor Display, the downside versus an Intel NUC with Displayport MST Hub and Intel Collage drivers would be possibly performance on very demanding presentations and the NUC Intel Collage solution does offer bezel compensation, while the Plugable one does not, plus the Plugable adapter won't handle color compensation within Windows if that's a requirement.

But on a 3 Monitor display the total installed cost of the Kangaroo PC, The RPT Cooler Mount and the Plugable Dual Monitor USB 3.0 adapter would be about 1/3 of the cost of a NUC Displayport Intel Collage solution. If your presentation is mostly static images and text and not demanding video it's a great performing low cost option.  

We've been testing signage solutions with multiple monitors and Rise Vision for a while now.

These days Rise Vision is handling multiple monitors better than ever with Windows 10 and there are finally some lower cost ways to build players for displays with two or three HD monitors.

 
Photo of RPTDigital Signage

RPTDigital Signage

  • 2,284 Points 2k badge 2x thumb

Posted 2 years ago

  • 2
Photo of Robb

Robb, Official Rep

  • 76,676 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Very cool. Thanks for sharing this!