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Diamond DS3900 Dual Video USB 3.0 Docking Station Review

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Testing & Results

Test System

  • HP Pavilion g6-2288ca Notebook
  • Motherboard: ACPI x64-based PC (Mobile)
  • System Memory: 7650 MB
  • Processor: Mobile Quad-Core AMD A10-4600M, 2700 MHz
  • Audio: IDT 92HD87B2/4 High Definition Audio Controller
  • Video: AMD Radeon HD 7660G
  • Disk Drive 1: TOSHIBA MQ01ABD075 SATA Disk Device
  • Monitor: 15.5″ led 1280×800
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8

Other Peripherals Used:

  • Screen 1: Vision Quest VQL 19WSD
  • Screen 2: View Sonic VA2703
  • Audio Out: Dennon AVR 1312 Stereo
  • USB 2.0: Bamboo Capture Tablet, Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
  • USB 3.0 WD My Passport Edge, Vantec Next Star Dual Bay Drive Dock

Testing Methodology

People will be looking to buy the Diamond Multimedia DS3900 docking station because it is meant to provide a serious level of connectivity with a single cable connecting it to a computer. Therefore the purpose of the testing regime was to test how well the DS3900 performed in various use cases with different equipment attached.

First I wanted to test out the multiple screen option provided by the DS3900. The connections were as easy to set up as the promotional material stated. I connected the monitors to the Diamond DS3900, and then, after installing the Display Link software, the DS3900 was connected to the computer. Everything worked fine, in fact I was able to run both external screens and the laptop screen for a total of 3 screens in operation at one time.

This configuration was very effective while conducting office work. I had one screen for e-mail, one for general news and browsing, and I was able to work much quicker on the image manipulation for this article than with one screen.

Diamond_DS3900_UltradockDSCN2906A

The next item added to the mix was the audio output to my stereo system. Once again when the audio was plugged to the DS3900 which was then plugged into the computer, the laptop sound shut down and stereo started up. Sound reproduction was as full and crisp as when plugged directly from my laptop to the stereo.

The testing went a little sideways when I plugged the Ethernet in to the DS3900. My computer could not detect the Ethernet, and after a re-install of the software and a reboot the audio dropped out as well. I contacted the technical support at Diamond, but they provided one, not so helpful response. Luckily, with some help from my Editor and some research on Windows 8, I was able to trace the problem back to drivers. The problem was resolved using Desktop Manager, and re-loading the drivers manually from the “C:\Program Files\DisplayLink Core Software\ AdapterDriver” directory that had been created on my laptop during the installation process.

After the Ethernet was restored the ability to run games in the “main” screen window was tested. I was unable to run any game on any screen except the laptop. This time I am pretty sure that Windows 8 was responsible for this as well because I was able to use my son’s comparable laptop, running Windows 7, and there was no problem.

To test the USB 3.0 ports I connected my USB 3.0 WD Passport Edge and transferred files to and fro between the laptop and the portable drive, both through DS3900 and directly to the Passport Edge and found no discernible difference. At the same time I also hook up the Next Star Dual Bay Drive dock, also USB 3.0, and had it working at the same time.

With the USB 2.0 ports I was able to use my Bamboo Capture table and wireless keyboard and mouse during the whole test period.

Results

I have to say that the test using the Diamond Multimedia DS3900 USB 3.0 Docking Station was a success. The DS3900 promises exceptional connectivity through a single USB 3.0 port and delivers this, as well as excellent performance.

Diamond_DS3900_Ultradockin_place

With everything connected it was a getting very busy at the Diamond Multimedia DS3900 dock station, but all the components were working correctly when called on.

Diamond_DS3900_UltradockDSCN2906A

Meanwhile, back at the laptop, the desk top was clear and the work surface actually usable. When I wanted to leave with my laptop one cable was disconnected and I was on my way. When I returned I was back in business in a flash.


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