Mirror your display for customers on the other side of the desk with help from this StarTech external video card. The USB connection works with any USB 2.0 port, letting you add a second VGA monitor to your computer. This compact StarTech external video card is portable and adds extra functionality to computers wherever you work.
Basic External Graphics for Cheap
Posted by: zBret from: Phoenix, AZ on
I bought this because I have a laptop (docked) at work and it only drives one external monitor. I plugged this into the USB on the dock, and windows (7, x64) found it - but not the driver. It came with a CD which I ignored, and I downloaded the driver from the Startech site. Once installed, I rebooted and voila, another running monitor. Windows found all 3 monitors (1 external from laptop, 1 laptop screen PLUS this unit), and I set it up.
Now let me tell you what to expect. Don't expect to watch perfectly smooth videos, don't expect ripple/artifact free scrolling and dragging. This is basic video with all the colors (32 bit).
Since I'm an electronics engineer, I know exactly what is going on. Data rates from USB 2.0 are far too slow to drive a full screen all the time, so it is a box that simply gets updates though USB, then drives the monitor (there is about 32 MB of SRAM in it to do this).
The result is the picture is clear, but the more movement on it, the more that needs updating. Reach a certain amount of movement (ie dragging a window) and you will see rippling as it attempts to update as fast as possible.
This is not a product issue. It works about as best as you can get for sending video though USB, I'm also betting that my docking station is using a hub, so that slows things even more, but it does exactly what I expected - its perfect for expanding your desktop and using the spare (driven by this unit) monitor for menus, reading and working on documents, graphics, etc.
NOTE: The ad here, and on Startech says "1920x1200" but the highest I got was 1600x1200 (and 1600x900 for widescreen, though I found 1600x1200 looked only slightly stretched on a widescreen). One star was lost due to this error. I even tried dropping to 16 bit color, but even then there were no higher resolutions.
For all you tech-heads, it contains an Nvidia Quadro FX 880M, but remember my warning above - update rate (not to be confused with refresh or scan rate) is limited by the restrictions of USB 2.0.
9 out of 9 found this review helpful.
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