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Diamond UGA USB 3.0/2.0 to DVI/HDMI/VGA Adapter Review

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Diamond UGA USB 3.0/2.0 to DVI/HDMI/VGA Adapter Testing:

Testing for the Diamond UGA USB 3.0/2.0 to DVI/HDMI/VGA Adapter was unique in the sense there was not typical defined OCC testing methods for such product. I ended up trying the adapter with two different systems; first with a qualifying tablet/PC and then with the usual OCC test bed. I did this to test whether the minimum requirements are valid or whether they should be stretched, especially in the CPU department.

 

Diamond UGA USB 3.0/2.0 to DVI/HDMI/VGA Adapter Setup:

The two systems I tried with the Diamond adapter are listed below. Although the promised speed of the first testbed is only 1.33GHz, one might think the peak 1.86GHz might be enough. Besides, day to day I normally see ~1.6GHz. This could easily be your logic if you are justifying trying to add a second monitor or just to connect to a projector. Thus, why I felt the need to show it. The second testbed is the OCC Bench, which is quite the beast and far outdoes the minimum requirements. Though I didn't have six of the adapters to try out six monitors, one could imagine this being an alright rig to do so. Between the two, you will at least be able to see two of the approved operating systems. Unfortunately – or fortunately depending on how you look at it – I did not have a Mac OS to test this against.

 

First Testbed: ASUS T100

  • OS: Windows 8.1 
  • CPU: Intel Atom Z3740 (Quad-Core 1.33GHz with 1.86GHz peak) 
  • Memory: 2GB DDR3 
  • USB: One USB 3.0 Port
  • Space: More than 30 MB of free disk space, and more than 10 MB hard disk space
  • Adapter Plug: HDMI

Second Testbed: OCC Bench

  • Windows 7 
  • CPU: Intel Fourth Generation Core i7 4770k 
  • Memory: 16GB DDR3 
  • USB: One USB 3.0 Port
  • Space: More than 30 MB of free disk space, and more than 10 MB hard disk space
  • Adapter Plug: DVI

 

Diamond UGA USB 3.0/2.0 to DVI/HDMI/VGA Adapter First Testbed Setup and Results:

Windows 8.1 combined with the Diamond adapter made use quite simple. Plugging into the USB 3.0 port, a window popped up to show the device being installed. When that was done, a second window popped up from DisplayLink to install the actual software device driver. Clicking "I Accept" runs a quick installer that made the adapter ready for use quite quickly. In this particular case, all I had to do was unplug it from the USB port and re-plug it in for it to work. Quite nice!

 

 

Unfortunately, the CPU wasn't enough to cut it. Perhaps the processor is capable of 1.86GHz peak; however, the Diamond adapter required more than what was available constantly. Using about 30% of the CPU, the adapter had a hard time keeping up with video. You can see in the two videos below that there is constant distortion even at just idle use (though the adapter used less than 1% CPU at idle). The first video is streaming local 480p video, yet there is constant distortion through the video; notice the green blocks and lines. You'll also notice the video does cut out briefly at about 33 seconds in, while the audio continues.

Speaking of audio, despite having the HDMI connection, audio is not supported by the Diamond adapter – so the audio you do hear (minus the dryer buzzer going off part way through) is the audio from my tablet speakers. So if you're thinking of using this to play movies or such, you might want to also consider another means of connecting speakers. 1080p video was downsampled to a pixely version of the video and choppy enough that I didn't bother taking a video. It was just too much CPU demand that the T100 wasn't willing, nor capable, of providing. Just not worth it.

Looking at the second video, I am not running anything beyond the normal services within Windows. Sadly, there seems to be a struggle to display my background image on the second monitor. However, I was curious if it would be able to handle PowerPoint presentations, and despite the gloomy look of things, it handled the presentations quite nicely. With the presentation enabled in full screen, I noticed no artifacting or distortion from the adapter. It looked just as it should! I was quite impressed. So if you are just wanting to be able to present presentations at conferences, school, or work, then perhaps your lowly CPU can get by after all.

 

 

Diamond UGA USB 3.0/2.0 to DVI/HDMI/VGA Adapter Second Testbed Setup and Results:

Windows 7 wasn't quite as fancy or quick on the plug and play feature. I actually had to go grab the driver from the DisplayLink website (also available on the Diamond website). There is a Windows install disk included in the box, that could be used as well – I was just as happy to be able to find it available online for quick access on the go. I accepted the agreement and had it downloaded and installed in no time; then it worked without additional fuss. I felt no need to take videos for the second testbed setup, as everything worked just like having a second monitor – especially the 1080p video.




  1. Diamond UGA USB 3.0/2.0 to DVI/HDMI/VGA Adapter: Introduction
  2. Diamond UGA USB 3.0/2.0 to DVI/HDMI/VGA Adapter: Closer Look
  3. Diamond UGA USB 3.0/2.0 to DVI/HDMI/VGA Adapter: Specifications & Features
  4. Diamond UGA USB 3.0/2.0 to DVI/HDMI/VGA Adapter: Testing & Results
  5. Diamond UGA USB 3.0/2.0 to DVI/HDMI/VGA Adapter: Conclusion
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