Belkin Thunderbolt Dock TB1 VS TB2

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by tayh, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. tayh macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2012
    Hi all!

    I decided to buy a Belkin Thunderbolt Dock for my rMBP Late 2013. I will connect 2 USB3 External Hard drives to it, my Cinema Display and some other stuff. My question is, will my external Harddrive read/writes be better with the Thunderbolt 2 model? Both Belkin models have USB 3 Ports, but Im not sure If the TB2 version will allow faster speeds on the USB3 Ports than the TB1 version.

    I prefer the TB1 model because it has all the USB ports on the back.

    Hope you guys can help me out.
  2. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    I don't have personal experience with this, but I think that the max read/write speeds will be limited by your hard drives (they use spinning platters?). So you will likely not see any significant improvements regardless of whether you use USB3.0 or thunderbolt (or thunderbolt 2 for that matter), even if they are thunderbolt drives. The benefits of thunderbolt 2 will mainly be seen when you start using RAID systems, and that really only applies if you work extensively with 4k footage or tons of simultaneous HD streams.

    I might also be wrong about this, but I believe that only thunderbolt 2 can drive a 4k display. Something about the dual channels in thunderbolt2 being able to combine together for data transfers, letting you break through the 10gbps threshold (4k uses 14 gbps).

    This is the case even with the original thunderbolt technology, and I don't think thunderbolt 2 will sport any improvement. It's like raising the speed limit on the expressway, but if you are driving an old jeep with a speed limiter of 50 km/h; you still won't be going any faster.

    With your current setup, a thunderbolt 1 dock should more than suffice. Use thunderbolt2 only if you want a 4k display or have a serious storage problem (requiring you to daisy chain multiple storage devices together) or work with 4k footage or just want to be "future-proof".
  3. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    The TB2 device is newer and would have more of the initial bugs worked out. Otherwise TB1 is OK for USB devices and typical 1080 or so monitors.

    A TB dock is much more stable and better performing than trying to cobble together USB drives through a USB hub.
  4. dsmedic10 macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2015
    As someone pointed out earlier, TB1 vs. TB2 regarding USB HDD speed will be the same. The HDD can only read/write so fast, and USB 3 speed will limit the total performance of any HDD you attach, regardless of whether the dock is a TB1 or TB2.
  5. tayh thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2012
    Thanks for the help! :) I ended up buying a Elgato Thunderbolt 2 Dock. It was cheaper than the Belkin TB2 dock.

    I choose TB2 just in case, maybe ill need 4K display or something else in the future.

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