REVIEW: EVGA USB VGA Adapter Adds Two or MORE Monitors to MacBook Pro

EVGA USB VGA AdapterI just received a few EVGA USB VGA Adapters from Amazon.com and installed them so that I could hook up two more external monitors to my MacBook Pro. Now that I’ve done that, I may just add a couple more for no reason other than the fact that… I can!

The EVGA USB VGA Adapter lets you add monitors to your PC or Mac at up to 1600×1200 Resolution (or 1680×1050 for widescreen monitors like mine). This is actually a big deal, because there are a few other USB video adapters out there, but they have lower resolution capabilities – like 1280×1024. It’s also a big deal because most of the other adapters out there only have Windows drivers! For some reason, the manufacturers just ignore the Mac population.

multi-monitor-macbook-pro

EVGA UV Plus+ UV-16Don’t get me wrong, EVGA didn’t start out with a Mac driver either. But the underlying chipset manufacturer, DisplayLink, finally released a Mac driver which enables it on this device.

Now, before you go thinking that all of the USB video devices with a DisplayLink chip in them will work with Mac, be warned:

  • Only the ones on this list are supported by the Mac driver.
  • Not all of them actually support 1600×1200 resolution. So don’t make a mistake and get one that isn’t going to replicate what I’m showing you here.

The Good

Well, what’s there not to like about being able to sit here writing this blog post while staring at a 24″ 1920 x 1080 monitor, flanked by two 22″ 1680 x 1050 monitors on the sides? I mean, my desktop resolution is effectively 1680 x 3180!!! I can have all my applications open without shuffling through windows! And if I need more screen real estate, I’ll just add a couple more monitors.

The Bad

When I unplug my laptop and take it with me, then plug it back in, the system doesn’t remember the configuration of the monitors correctly and I have to take like 1 minute to reset the monitor preferences. This doesn’t really bother me that much, but would be nice if they could fix it.

There is a list of known bugs for applications that won’t work properly on a display fed by the USB video. In that case, move those apps to your primary monitor and you’ve got no problem!

Although video and motion type objects do work on the USB powered monitors, it’s not quite as smooth as a regular connection. So you aren’t going to play games on them.

The Ugly

I had ordered three of these units. For two days everything was fantastic using two of them. For some reason all of a sudden one unit just would not work any more. Luckily I had the other unopened unit, and I opened it and plugged it in and was back in business. I suppose any product could have some defective ones, but in this case I was lucky to have a spare.

Overall, I highly recommend that people pick up one or two of these bad boys and get your Macs situated! You can use them on an iMac, a Mac Mini, a regular MacBook or the MacBook Pro. Have fun!

Article Written by
John P.

John P. is CEO of Livid Lobster and co-host of Geek Beat TV. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Comments

  1. Candise says:

    Hi, this component seems to be unavailable anywhere! Do you know where I can find it?

  2. John says:

    That was going to be my next Q. my macbook white only has 2 usb ports, will it work with a powered hub? I’m assuming that it would.

    I’ve got a 20″ 1680×1050 and I want to hook up my spare 17″ 1280×1024 along with the 1280×800 of the macbook on the end.

  3. Brandon says:

    I got a similar USB adaptor from macsales, but it allows me to hook up my 1920 x 1200 external monitor, which this EVGA adaptor can’t handle. I can still use the DVI out, so I could hook up 4 x 24″ monitors to my 17″ Macbook Pro. Maybe with a USB hub, I could hook up even more..

  4. John P. says:

    I’ve experienced situations where, for no reason whatsoever, the adapter stopped working for a while. It was very frustrating. Then, randomly after like a week, it would work again. I can’t explain it, but since I updated to the latest 1.5 beta driver I’ve had no problems like this.

    Good luck,

    John

  5. Alex says:

    Please help! I have the same setup as you conceptually… I have two 20″ monitors and a MacBook Pro circa 2007. I bought the EVGA UV Plus 16 DVI adapter, and I cannot get both external monitors to function.

    Well, the EVGA EV Plus 16 used to work, but ever since I tried it with another monitor, the screen it goes to is completely black. Even when it’s the only display plugged in. I have tried every driver for this, even out-dated ones hoping that there was a bug with the current drivers.

    Now I’m scavenging the internet trying to find how other people got this to work. Thanks for any insights.

  6. John P. says:

    You can indeed use it to mirror the monitors if you don’t want it to extend the desktop. It basically works like any other monitor under Mac.

    John P.

  7. univac says:

    This sounds very interesting for a project I am doing.
    Here’s a question: Will it allow for the usb-VGA monitor to mirror my other external monitor? ie: I have quartz composer running on my main laptop display and need to both monitor the QC video output and send the QC video output to a projector.
    Is this device (or the software) capable of doing this?

    Thanks!

  8. John P. says:

    When the computer is closed you can still use an external monitor. Just go into the system preferences and tell it to wake up on mouse or keyboard input. Then when the monitor is plugged in close the laptop and after it sleeps hit any key on your keyboard. It will wake up and use the external monitor. :-)

    John P.

  9. Ron says:

    Hey i wondering how did you accomplish the multi screen with your macbook closed !!!!!

  10. fas says:

    Why not get a bigger Screen, something like 42″, will serve the purpose equally well?

  11. brad says:

    Wow preetty amaizing I never here about it before and now what I am seeing is very cool very interesting otherwise I really want to know how you will using at the same time so many screens? I don’t know if someone could tell me about it

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