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Momof9

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 22, 2018
479
183
I just got the 14" MBP. Yesterday, my dad gave me a j5create JCD543 dock he was not using, not enough ports for him. So I started playing around with it. I have 2 28" monitors, 1 is 4k and other is HD. SO I have the 4K plugged into the HDMI / DP area, but if I try the other HDMI port the other monitor is only mirrored. I can't figure out how to get it to be extended. Or if it is possible with this J5.... I also am using the ethernet port - I want our 1GB speeds.

So is there a way to get this to work properly or another dock that works for these 3 things. I do have a small external HDD or a new ssd that I may use occasionally - not sure yet. I do have my 2018 now setup as a media and HD server. I even used it yesterday looking for an old photo for my daughter - it worked decent with my MBP. I wanted to play around a bit with the MBP to see what I needed for it dock-wise...
 

Momof9

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 22, 2018
479
183
If I wasn't clear, I AM looking for other dock suggestions that actually work well....
 

xraydoc

Contributor
Oct 9, 2005
10,677
5,105
192.168.1.1
That j5create is just a USB-C dock, so you'll likely have issues with multi-monitor and 4K60 support. If you need multi-monitor support and fast ethernet, I suggest looking at a Thunderbolt 4 dock. Caldigit and OWC make good ones, as do others. If you search on these forums, you'll find plenty of discussions about good docking stations.
 

Nbd1790

macrumors 6502
Jan 2, 2017
345
272
New York
As mentioned above, a TB4 or even a TB3 dock is the way to go. Something that has an external power supply is probably the safest bet. I bought what I consider to be the sweet spot for me personally from Anker (although it doesn't include an ethernet connection) for about 200 bucks. Specifically mentions its capable of providing 2 4k displays @60hz. Have had zero issues with it no hiccups whatsoever.

This is the larger version of it that includes a GB Ethernet port. Might as well go with it or something comparable to future proof yourself in case you ever decide to get a higher resolution second display.

 

DJLC

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2005
956
400
North Carolina
I ended up with an OWC Thunderbolt 4 dock paired with their Thunderbolt 3 to dual DisplayPort adapter. It's working reasonably well enough with my two 4k60 displays, and I love it being ONE cable into my MacBook.

THAT SAID: You may have issues with the Ethernet chipset in many docks with gigabit Ethernet. Look out for the Realtek 8153. I've got an Apple TB3 > TB2 adapter paired with an Apple TB2 > Gigabit Ethernet adapter plugged into the dock to work around it. If I'd known this problem existed before I bought, I would've waited for CalDigit's new TB4 dock and its 2.5gig Ethernet.
 

Momof9

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 22, 2018
479
183
wow these are ALL expensive.... nothing in the $100 range? With that added price, I should either trade this in for the Mac Studio (even though it is a bit overkill), or wait for the Mac mini pro chip.... I have portable in my 12.9" iPad Pro.... I might have to work on my 2018 Mac mini ssd to make it last if I go that way.....
 

DJLC

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2005
956
400
North Carolina
wow these are ALL expensive.... nothing in the $100 range? With that added price, I should either trade this in for the Mac Studio (even though it is a bit overkill), or wait for the Mac mini pro chip.... I have portable in my 12.9" iPad Pro.... I might have to work on my 2018 Mac mini ssd to make it last if I go that way.....
Sadly no, not really. You can get USB-C docks as you have now, BUT those can only support one monitor on Apple Silicon. Or you can shell out more for a Thunderbolt dock (an older/used Thunderbolt 3 dock may be fine for you too), which CAN support multiple displays.

So — you could certainly just pick up a second USB-C dock for the second monitor. That'd work just fine. It's not as nice as a single cable, but you can also probably be set with a second USB-C dock for 25% the price of a Thunderbolt one.

They really didn't make this TB3 / TB4 / USB-C world confusing at all, did they? Ha. 😂
 

Momof9

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 22, 2018
479
183
Thank you, yes it can be confusing. I done even have any Thunderbolt cables, I found out yesterday. i have been using a Mac mini, the past few years, 2018. I do have iPad pros which were more my main creative device. Thank you for your help. Right now I have one monitor plugged into the J5 with the Ethernet and the other directly into the MacBook. I may just get a small mini duck to replace the huge J5. I am already short on desk space either the MacBook. .
 

Momof9

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 22, 2018
479
183
Today I was looking to replace the cord for my 4K monitor - I found a new DisplayPort to DP... tried it in the J5Create and it works perfectly. so now I have both monitors and ethernet working great with the J5!!! So a cheaper alternative. I will eventually need to try drives etc on it
 

sanch3z_77

macrumors newbie
Sep 21, 2022
24
4
i'm just starting my research into docks and this has me slightly confused, but maybe it's actually a better way to go...

My mind past experience of docks is:

1. Stand/dock permanently on a desk connected to power, monitors, external devices (SSD, Keyboard, etc.)
2. Come in, slide your laptop on/in to dock and it switches to the connected devices
3. End of the day, grab your laptop from the dock and use at home

These new breed of docks seem quite a difference service offering, initially I felt they were poor, then I thought they are more future proofed if you change your laptop size/design, or even manufacturer.

So I guess my question is, how to people stand/store there MBP when in a dock, and how easy/quick is the daily plugging in/out process? When I was in an office I was forever grabbing my MBP for meetings, then whacking it back in a dock to actually work. Manually grabbing multiple cables would get boring pretty quickly
 

xraydoc

Contributor
Oct 9, 2005
10,677
5,105
192.168.1.1
i'm just starting my research into docks and this has me slightly confused, but maybe it's actually a better way to go...

My mind past experience of docks is:

1. Stand/dock permanently on a desk connected to power, monitors, external devices (SSD, Keyboard, etc.)
2. Come in, slide your laptop on/in to dock and it switches to the connected devices
3. End of the day, grab your laptop from the dock and use at home

These new breed of docks seem quite a difference service offering, initially I felt they were poor, then I thought they are more future proofed if you change your laptop size/design, or even manufacturer.

So I guess my question is, how to people stand/store there MBP when in a dock, and how easy/quick is the daily plugging in/out process? When I was in an office I was forever grabbing my MBP for meetings, then whacking it back in a dock to actually work. Manually grabbing multiple cables would get boring pretty quickly
I have one cable between my 14” MBP and dock, which connects it to two displays, ethernet, an SSD, a keyboard and mouse dongle and a CD/DVD SuperDrive. My MBP sits on a shelf just underneath the dock, so it’s nice and out of the way.

To disconnect, I eject the SSD, put the laptop to sleep (not sure if necessary, but I do it anyway), and disconnect the one cable.

Reconnecting only requires placing the MBP on the shelf, connecting the cable, and tapping a key on the keyboard to wake the machine up.
 
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