Belkin TB express dock, anyone recommend one?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Marty62, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Marty62 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2010
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    Berlin formerly London
    #1
    Does anyone have one ?

    Would solve lots of problems for me, connecting USB3.0 drives, a monitor
    FW800 etc.

    Does it work a treat or are there issues ?

    Thanks,

    Martin.
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #2
    Each of the USB 3.0 ports on the Belkin only operate at 2.5Gb/s.

    Meanwhile, the USB 3.0 ports on the Caldigit Thunderbolt dock operate at the full 5Gb/s bandwidth each.
     
  3. Marty62 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin formerly London
    #3
    - That's OK, its way faster than any USB3.0 drive that I own !!
    ( surface can't be written to at that speed unless its SSD )



    Thanks but it has a different config from the Belkin, need the extra FW800
    for example.

    I have seen reports of the USB3.0 ports failing to power portable drives, so if
    that is true then it's a "no no" ... seems to be two versions though, newer
    one came later in 2013 ???
     
  4. guineaphinea, Feb 10, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014

    guineaphinea macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2014
    #4
    My mac only has 1 thunderbolt port...could you use one of the thunderbolt ports on the express dock with a mini display port adapter? It'd be cool to use this dock AND have the ability to plug in an external display.

    EDIT: Just found the answer (I believe) here. #5 makes it seem like this is possible, anyone with the device want to chime in? :)
     
  5. Marty62 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2010
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    Berlin formerly London
    #5
    I really need to know if the USB3.0 sockets will power external portable
    drives !??
    Was going to pick one up tomorrow, can anyone confirm that ??

    Thanks,
    Martin.
     
  6. roberthallin macrumors member

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    Oct 25, 2009
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #6
    http://store.apple.com/us/reviews/HB865ZM/A/belkin-thunderbolt-express-dock

    Found this in one of the reviews:

    "...now also have 3 USB3.0 ports connected to WD passport 2TB, to HDMI adapter & 2nd NIC that I can use in any VM (VMWare Fusion & ESXi 5.5.) Yep, the bandwidth on the USB 3.0 is 2.4Gb but it's still faster than USB2.0 and I can plug in and bus power all three 2TB drives plus 2 USB2.0. The Dock won't allow you to pull more than 600mhs (?) - plenty for USB powered HDDs, and iPhones, but iPads pull more."
     
  7. durkkin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    #7
    The dock itself has a power adapter for 6A/12V in. This will provide ample power for all bus powered peripherals since Thunderbolt alone may not provide enough power for all connected devices. Like posted above, though, the USB ports should only provide standard power output (5W) which would not be enough to charge an iPad at full speed.
     
  8. bniu macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 21, 2010
    #8
    Is there a technical reason as to why the USB 3 ports run at half speed?
     
  9. willgreene99 macrumors regular

    willgreene99

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    Dec 16, 2010
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    DFW
    #9
    I have one of these and use it for connecting several drives through bus power. It does a good job at providing enough power to drive my 1TB G-Drive - USB3 and and a 500GB G-Drive - Firewire 800, and OWC Envoy SSD. I also have twin Drobo 5D's connected through the Thunderbolt port and a Gig-E connection.

    I have all of the ports used except for the headphones and microphone. Haven't had any issues with it or any device connected to it.
     
  10. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    Jan 3, 2014
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    Auckland
    #10
    If the hub concentrates several USB3 ports into the single MBP port then I guess it will have to throttle the hub ports to fit within the capacity of the MBP port...
     
  11. durkkin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    #11
    I would assume Belkin wanted to build in some overhead rather than having to use hardware/software to throttle speeds as necessary. Thunderbolt is two bi-direction 10Gb/s channels, so if all 3 USB 3.0 ports were running at 5Gb/s that would take 1 full channel and half of the other channel. Add in the gigabit ethernet and FireWire 800 and you're left with less than 1Gb/s for anything daisy-chained through the second TB port, which is not enough for a high-def display (1080p/60Hz is slightly less than 4Gb/s). By restricting the USB ports you can fit everything connected to the dock in 1 channel, leaving the whole other 10Gb/s channel for an HD display or even a fully loaded second Express Dock.
     
  12. hharzer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2013
    #12
    Hello there, I own a Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock!

    I can give you a few impressions, if you like:

    - first of all, if you do not use external SSDs via USB 3, the connection speed is sufficient. I got roughly 130 Mb/s out of the stock MacBook non-retina HDD ( there were several devices connected to both the dock and a Hun that was also connected to the dock, for example my mouse, another HDD etc. )
    - you can daisy chain a monitor to the dock. I own a Dell UH2713M which worked quite well. No problems so far, albeit I have to admit that my MacBook had a few issues with thunderbolt
    - sadly, I cannot say something about the power of the USB ports since I only used active components ( a hub from Anker and a 3.5" HDD )

    I hope that this helped you a bit ☺

    Regards.
     
  13. Marty62 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin formerly London
    #13
    Chaps, thank you all for your input, that's a great help.

    Also makes sense to have limited the USB3.0 throughput somewhat, as the
    main TB connection is only 10Gbs in TOTAL.
    Honestly that is perfectly fast enough for my use, better than USB2.0 for sure.

    Really appreciated, it seems like it will do what I need it to do :)

    Spot on, thanks again,

    Martin.
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    You should also check out the Caldigit and Akitio docks.

    The Akitio also has a firewire port, and I -think- (can't confirm) that its USB3 ports run at full speed.
     
  15. Marty62 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin formerly London
    #15
    They all run a full speed ... BUT it's Mavericks only :-(

    Not going there right now,

    Nice product though - thanks,

    Martin.
     

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