Adaptors for regular office use

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by AndyR, May 19, 2018.

  1. AndyR macrumors 6502a

    AndyR

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #1
    So my 5yr old windows work laptop finally died last week, and my boss has given me approval to purchase a new 13” tb mbp this week. Being my first experience with a USB type C only laptop, what would you recommend as a decent set of dongles etc to start with.

    I take my laptop home each night as I’m on-call (system admin/architect ) so I will get a spare charger and cable at minimum plus a gigabit adaptor for the office.

    But at work I currently have 2x 24” DisplayPort monitors. I don’t see an easy way to do this with the MBP so any thoughts here?

    Also do you recommend getting the Apple keyboard and Magic Mouse or stick with USB regular windows keyboard(althougt that’s 2 USB ports consumed then).
     
  2. Farrgazer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    #2
    How about this dock: https://www.owcdigital.com/products/thunderbolt-3-dock
     
  3. MSastre macrumors 6502

    MSastre

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2014
    #3
    +1 on the OWC Dock. I have one of their original docks for my late 2013 rMBP.
     
  4. mroy16 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 28, 2017
    #4
    If you want a dock, I would caution against the OWC dock. I've had trouble with mine, and looking into reviews, it seems to be pretty common for the dock to fail and OWC to be slow in dealing with it. I ended up with the Pluggable dock, and there are several other brands that have solid reviews, depending on the exact combination of ports that you want.

    If you connect to a dock at work and don't need (m)any peripherals at home, you can simply leave the included power cable at home and use the dock at the office.
     
  5. mpainesyd macrumors 6502

    mpainesyd

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
  6. mroy16 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 28, 2017
    #6
    Are your displayport monitors running 4K@60Hz? If so, you definitely want to consider the bandwidth of any accessories you use. Many dongles are only capable of USB 3.0 5 Gbps, which is insufficient to drive one 4K@60Hz, let alone two. TB3 has bandwidth enough for two such displays, with room left over for external storage and other peripherals. Of course, TB3 dongles and docks are noticeably more expensive than USB-C devices.
     
  7. AndyR thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AndyR

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #7
    Thanks. No they are regular old 1080p displays.

    I found a couple of DP to USB-C cables locally which I think will do the job actually. That coupled with maybe a Saetech USB dock with Ethernet and my power brick makes all 4 ports used.
     
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #8
  9. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #9
    I found a couple of USB C-to-A adapters handy to have. You can get a couple of them for well under $10, and they don't take up any room.
    Also, I found a "dual-headed" USB key (drive) to also be very handy. I keep my small assortment in a zip-lock baggie in my backpack.
     
  10. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #10
    Option 1:
    2 x USB-C to DisplayPort cables + TB3 to Ethernet adapter + Apple TB3 Ethernet adapter + Apple Charger

    Option 2:
    "USB-C" dock (e.g. http://caldigit.com/usb-3-1-usb-c-dock/) + DisplayPort-to-DisplayPort cable: drives 1 display + ethernet + charges laptop. Need a USB-C to DisplayPort cable direct to the computer for second screen (only 1 display per USB-C on Mac) - but not if you fancy a 4k display (works but clobbers your Ethernet and USB speed).

    Option 3:
    "Thunderbolt 3" dock (e.g. http://www.caldigit.com/thunderbolt-3-dock/thunderbolt-station-3-plus/) + 1x DisplayPort-to-DisplayPort cable + 1xUSB-C to DisplayPort cable from the dock to the display. Looks similar to (2) but its Thunderbolt and can drive 2 displays, including 4k if you upgrade.

    ...and, yes, its expensive if you want to duplicate the experience at both home and work. Probably worth biting the bullet and going for Option 3. Note - getting a desktop dock that can charge your computer costs, but means you probably don't need a second Apple power supply.

    NB: can't vouch personally for either of those products, but there are threads elsewhere.

    I do have a Plugable USB-C to Displayport - which I'd recommend. https://plugable.com/products/usbc-dp/

    NBB: Be careful about USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 devices offering dual display connections - the Mac doesn't fully support DisplayPort "multistream" daisy-chaining (you just get mirrored displays) so you can't have dual independent displays over USB-C. Thunderbolt 3 devices can offer two independent display outputs but double-check that they advertise dual independent displays on Mac. You'll usually have to use 1x Displayport-Displayport cable and 1xUSB-C to Displayport cable (connected to the Thunderbolt out).
     
  11. UnlikelyLass macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2016
    #11
    I have a star tech thunderbolt 3 -> dual display port out dongle that works perfectly. Paired with a simple USB hub which has USB-A, USB-C Power Delivery, Ethernet, and a couple USB A ports, and my non-touch bar 13” MBP is pretty happy. Two cables, but it all works. YMMV.
     

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