Question Possible to use USB to HDMI video adapter as GPU?

koenleung1

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Jul 3, 2018
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I have a Ryzen 7 2700x system without a graphics card. The CPU does not have integrated graphics, so can I use a USB to HDMI video adapter dongle as a graphics card?
 
Sep 12, 2020
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.......................can I use a USB to HDMI video adapter dongle as a graphics card?
Those devices are for adding an extra monitor to a system with an existing GPU. In your case you'd probably get a picture on your monitor, but because they lack decent processing power, it would struggle badly with anything GPU-related such as YouTube videos and simple gaming wouldn't work at all.

Don't waste your money with it and buy a proper graphics card.
 

hotaru.hino

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Sep 1, 2020
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I would argue it is possible, because a lot of USB to video output devices don't actually use an already existing GPU. It's more than likely a lot of these leverage DirectX WARP or some other software to let the CPU do the rendering and the USB device is simply outputting the result.

The only problem is that I don't know if all of them are plug-and-play, especially those that use their own thing. Also since the CPU is rendering the image, they're obviously not very useful at anything beyond running the desktop.
 
I would argue it is possible, because a lot of USB to video output devices don't actually use an already existing GPU.
every iteration of USB > HDMI\DP video adapters i've seen still have to have a graphical processing unit actually producing an image to output.
with no onboard graphics and no dedicated card, there would be nothing to output.

what you're describing sounds more like a type of external GPU setup, not just a cable adapter.

if you've seen articles describing & proving different, please post them here.
 

hotaru.hino

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Sep 1, 2020
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every iteration of USB > HDMI\DP video adapters i've seen still have to have a graphical processing unit actually producing an image to output.
with no onboard graphics and no dedicated card, there would be nothing to output.

what you're describing sounds more like a type of external GPU setup, not just a cable adapter.

if you've seen articles describing & proving different, please post them here.
For one, there's DisplayLink https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/usb-graphics-adapter,3006.html

For another, there's this device which uses DX WARP to do CPU rendering

If said USB device reports having a GPU, it's simply to satisfy the system into thinking it has a "display output" of some sort. It doesn't necessarily mean it has a GPU in the sense that a GeForce or a Radeon card has a GPU.
 

hotaru.hino

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Sep 1, 2020
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but, these are not just cable adapters like what the OP is questioning about.

these are external adapters that actually have a processing chip.
If by adapter you mean some sort of signal converter like HDMI to DVI or DP to HDMI, then USB by itself doesn't support this because USB was not designed for video data streaming. At least in the context of an output from a GPU. Sure there's USB-C to some display output, but this is simply hijacking the pins on USB-C, there's no conversion going on. So every USB-A to some display output is going to contain some processing chip because the data coming across isn't going to be directly convertible to a display output.

In any case, I'm fighting the assertion that you need a video card for one of these things to work. I'm saying you don't, because technologies to deliver video outputs without a "proper" graphics card have been around for years (DirectX WARP for instance was introduced in Windows 7). The problem is that I don't know if these USB devices are plug and play, but I can't imagine they couldn't be given again, how old these features are.
 

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