Edinburgh's Magners League play-off hopes lie in tatters as Ulster ran in five tries at Murrayfield to ensure a Heineken Cup place for next season.
Jamie Smith and Tim Visser traded tries in the first half but the visitors benefited from some sloppy defending to run away with it after the interval.
Simon Danielli, Ian Whitten, Ian Humphreys and Stephen Ferris all crossed for second half scores.
Visser and Andy Turnbull added two consolation tries for the sorry hosts.
Edinburgh, who have now lost three in a row, need a bonus try win away to table-toppers Leinster in the final round of fixtures, coupled with defeat for Munster at Cardiff Blues, to scrape into the top four league places.
Meanwhile, a first win over a Scottish side this season earned Ulster five points and guarantees they will finish above Connacht in the race for European places.
Such a convincing win did not look likely in the nervous early stages when an unnecessary tug on Edinburgh full-back Ben Cairns after he had lofted a hopeful kick brought a penalty in the sixth minute that Phil Godman eased home.
However, the lead was a short one. In perfect conditions, Edinburgh were guilty of basic errors including slipping off tackles.
The first Ulster try arrived after 12 minutes. Orthodox handling to the right saw centre Daren Cave slip the ball inside to full-back Smith ,who accelerated out of Visser's attempted tackle and through a better one on the line from Mark Robertson to touch down under the bar for Niall O'Connor to convert.
Ulster then extended their lead when O'Connor goaled a long penalty.
The dangerous Visser was well-policed until he broke the tackle of Whitten and dived over in the 30th minute for his ninth try of the season.
The move had started with a thrust down the right wing by Cairns with scrum-half Greig Godman adding important penetration as the ball was switched left. Godman converted off the post.
With O'Connor missing a long penalty soon after, the score remained tied at 10-10 at half-time.
Mike Blair, Edinburgh's skipper who had been left on the bench, came on for Laidlaw in 50 minutes but it was Ulster's first-half sub Ian Humphreys who conjured up the first try of the second half with a dart before sending Danielli over the line for the unconverted try.
Edinburgh passed up a try-scoring chance when Nick De Luca made a long run only to pass forward to supporting Roddy Grant.
Ulster showed the hosts how to do it in the 64th minute. Pressure on the left was moved right for Whitten to step round Turnbull to score in the right corner from where Humphreys' conversion hit a post.
If a long penalty by Gogman in the 71st minute brought some home hope that was extinguished when first Humphreys charged down Cairns' clearing kick behind his line to touch down and then Ferris broke clear to dash 30 metres and score. Humphreys converted both.
Two late home tries, by Visser and Turnbull, were too little as Godman converted only one and Humphrey's penalty closed out a good day for Ulster.
Edinburgh: B Cairns, T Visser, N De Luca, J Houston, M Robertson, P Godman, G Laidlaw, A Jacobsen, R Ford, G Cross, S MacLeod, J Hamilton, A MacDonald, D Callam, R Grant (capt). Replacements: A Kelly, K Traynor, F McKenzie, S Newlands, M Blair, A Turnbull, J Thompson.
Ulster: J Smith, A Trimble, D Cave, I Whitten, S Danielli, N O'Connor, P Marshall, T Court, R Best (capt), BJ Botha, E O'Donoghue, D Tuohy, S Ferris, W Faloon, R Diack.
Replacements: A Kyricaou, B Young, R Caldwell, TJ Anderson, I Boss, I Humphreys, N Spence.
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