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Help me find a MBP Thunderbolt dock please


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Help me find a MBP Thunderbolt dock please
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2019-10-18, 23:06

I'm struggling to find what I'm looking for. The hardest part seems to be powering the 85W MBP. I can also go to town buying dongles, but really I don't want to do that. I want one cable to plug into the MBP and that is it. Everything else plugs into the dock. I want two monitors preferably with 2 HDMI ports, though I can adapt Display Port if I must. I really don't want to use a dongle on a TB port to get my second external screen. Gigabit ethernet is a must. Beyond that I'm pretty open. Some USB-As, Mic/Audio out 3.5mm jacks would be cool.

Right now I've got two HDMI ports, Gigabit ethernet, 5 USB-A ports and an SD card slot...but it looks like crap.
The first is a WAVLINK hub that works well with 85W passthrough:

The second part is an Apple dongle that has my MBP power adapter fed through:

Finally I have an Anker 3 Port/Gigabit adapter plugged in too:


So how does this actually look? Like butt.



I don't have the HDMI cables connected because I don't want to stress the USB-C ports on this thing. The hub uses the two ports on the side of the MBP and works great for the task, but just don't really look good or make me feel comfortable about this setup. Granted, I paid more for the Apple official adapter than the other two combined.

So is there a good dock out there that does what I want? I'd like to mount the dock under my desk so it is out of the way. I recently did that with an external optical drive and I'm really happy with that.


Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2019-10-19, 09:07

I'd go with either a CalDigit TS3 Plus or a OWC TB3 Dock. I've used both and they're each terrific. Though, the CalDigit might be more what you're looking for with its DisplayPort and USB-C on the back. That's just a matter of 2 cables to your monitors. The OWC does have a front-facing micro-SD port, if that matters to you.

Two dedicated HDMI ports on a power-pass-through box is probably not going to happen (not that I've ever seen anyways).

So it goes.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2019-10-19, 09:50

You haven’t specified the specs of those monitors, so it’s hard to say if passing two HDMI ports through will deliver enough bandwidth.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2019-10-21, 08:59

709, does that OWC one pass 85W? I had it preordered when they first announced it but cancelled when I saw it was only 60W. I keep meaning to go back to it but figure you likely use a 15" so would know in real world use.
Edit: I actually clicked the link you gave and it says it does now. Glad I didn't go for their first version!

chucker: oh yeah, standard 1080p 60Hz types. I mean, at some point I may go up to 4K, but that isn't on my horizon right now. Every dock I've seen supports what I've got so I didn't think about that.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.

Last edited by turtle : 2019-10-21 at 09:57.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2019-10-21, 15:27

Looking through these two I'm really leaning back to the OWC. I could mount it under my desk like the optical drive and keep everything out of sight. It would put the card readers and headset jack right there too. This would make Skype/Teams calls be able to be wired for works stuff...

Any other recommendations out there?

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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chucker
 
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2019-10-21, 16:07

Elgato’s docks (other than the Mini) would also do.

Personally, I think I’d just save the money, not bother with power delivery and get a much much cheaper USB-C Dock for most of the ports plus just Apple’s regular power adapter. It’s one more cable but for like a fifth the cost.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2019-10-22, 13:02

I might end up going that route just so I don't throw money away, but then again, one cable is really nice.

If I went with something that didn't have power passthrough do you have a recommendation? Yes I can google and go through the geek sales site but I'm looking for something people are actually using that are good and solid devices.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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Bryson
Rocket Surgeon
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Whitby
 
2019-10-23, 11:07

This thread made me wonder about getting a Thunderbolt 2 dock for my venerable 2015 MBP.

But!

A: They're really hard to find now that TB3 is around.
B: They're still OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive.
C: I'm not 100% convinced that it will work with 2 external monitors, whereas the current setup does work, for sure.

Anyone got one they want to sell me?
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2019-10-23, 12:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryson View Post
This thread made me wonder about getting a Thunderbolt 2 dock for my venerable 2015 MBP.

But!

A: They're really hard to find now that TB3 is around.
B: They're still OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive.
C: I'm not 100% convinced that it will work with 2 external monitors, whereas the current setup does work, for sure.

Anyone got one they want to sell me?
I have a Belkin.

It works and saves me some plugging/unplugging and makes the desk a little nicer. (I have Ethernet, HDMI, a short Watch charging cable and occasionally more stuff connected. But I do need a second HDMI cable for the other external monitor, and MagSafe.)

Occasionally (though not for months now, I think? Might be fixed?), the Mac gets stuck when waking up until you unplug it. Which would be kinda risky if I had, like, storage connected. And is also not a great UX.

So I would indeed say the pricing is questionable, though to be fair, I don’t technically use the benefits Thunderbolt has over USB much at all.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2019-10-24, 05:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle View Post
I might end up going that route just so I don't throw money away, but then again, one cable is really nice.

If I went with something that didn't have power passthrough do you have a recommendation? Yes I can google and go through the geek sales site but I'm looking for something people are actually using that are good and solid devices.
I can't recommend anything because I don't have a tbMBP yet. (Mainly due to the keyboard.)

I guess going back to your original post… instead of the Wavlink, you could've gone with this $100 Satechi, which directly has HDMI. That saves you the bizarre Apple HDMI dongle as well as the Anker Ethernet dongle. And it does have power delivery.

So then all you need is that on the left, and an HDMI dongle on the right. (Maybe there's also an adapter in this style but for the right-hand side? That'd be a little less cluttered.)
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2019-10-24, 08:08

The Wavlink does have HDMI, it is out of the top of the adapter, plus it was only $25 when I bought it. Even then my concern becomes all the cable and adapter weight since my MBP sits on a stand. I probably wouldn't mind as much if I the Wavlink wasn't directly attached to the MBP or the MBP wasn't on a stand and the Wavlink would be sitting on the desk too.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2019-10-24, 08:55

I guess I don't really get why you connect that Apple dongle.
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709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2019-11-08, 08:34

ArsTech has an article out this morning reviewing a handful of docks, with a new, lower-priced CalDigit dock that may meet your needs.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-11-08, 10:59

I was banning a spammer this morning and when I first saw your post, for a very brief second, I thought you were another one.









Some days, it can be rather tuff keeping The Ban Hammer in his box!

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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2019-11-10, 18:00

Thanks for the post 709! I'm looking through those and really thinking about the CalDigit USB-C Pro. It's right now $200 but might drop closer to Black Friday...so I'm keeping an eye on it. The CalDigit T3 looks good, but more than I'm looking for really.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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