Best docking station for 15" rMBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jonfarr, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. jonfarr macrumors 6502a

    jonfarr

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    #1
    I am looking for the best options for plug and play for my desk that has an external monitor, HD, speakers, disk drive, etc. I would prefer an option that allows for the laptop screen to be open and not a lot of fuss getting it set into the station. The option I have seen on amazon seems a little tedious, the landingzone dock, but if people here use it and swear by it I would like to know.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Patcell macrumors 6502

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    #2
    While it is not technically a docking station in the sense that your Mac is actually placed into it, I personally use an OWC Thunderbolt 2 dock. It is a truly outstanding product and has become essential to me. It gives access to a pretty vast amount of I/O including 5 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, Thunderbolt/ MiniDisplayport 1.2 (with support for a 4k monitor), Firewire 800, gigabit ethernet, and audio line in/ out. And it all connects to your Mac via a single thunderbolt cable.

    I have a mid-2014 15" rMBP and I all need to do at my desk is connect AC power and one thunderbolt cable and instantly all of my peripherals (including a 4k display) are all connected and ready to go.

    There are options from other manufacturers, but as far as thunderbolt docks go I recommend this one:
    https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thu...t2-Dock/?_ga=1.259019906.921605091.1431903356
     
  3. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    #3
    My solution was to buy a 7 port USB 3 hub and 4k displayport monitor with audio out. So, I connect 3 cords: power, USB, and displayport. Displayport handles audio and video. USB handles peripherals. Seemed like a lot better investment than a thunderbolt dock. You lose 1/3 plugs, but at the cost of ~$200. Performance is sure to be better using my method too, as you're not sharing bandwidth with a monitor.

    The best solution will one day be USB C. 1 cord does power, usb, and video.
     
  4. jonfarr thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jonfarr

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    #4
    Yeah, I know USB C options are gonna be better with the one cord option. In the meantime, what about the henge dock horizontal? Anyone have experience with that? Price seems quite steep but would achieve pretty much the one plug solution.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #5
    The Henge docking station is the only thing that comes to my mind - its pricey but it is the only true docking station for the MBP, AFAIK
     
  6. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Best docking station...urm...my lap? 'cuz it's a laptop..... ;)
     
  7. Patcell macrumors 6502

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    #7
    For sure a USB 3.0 hub would be a much cheaper solution. Thunderbolt products are still very expensive. I use an Ethernet connection at my desk and I have an old FireWire device, so it made sense to me...

    As far as bandwidth goes... I'm sure I'm pushing the limits of thunderbolt 2, but I don't have any problem transferring files at 400MBps to and from my Samsung T3 USB 3.0 ssd connected to the dock. While pushing a 4K display.

    Thunderbolt 3 (40Mbps & 100 watts of power) will solve the bandwidth issue. In the new Pros.
     
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #8
    The best docking station will be a thunderbolt 2 docking station for its bandwidth.
     
  9. nunes013 macrumors 65816

    nunes013

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    #9
  10. diggy33 macrumors 6502

    diggy33

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    #10
    I use a Caldigit Thunderbolt 2 for my 15" machine and it works like a charm. I've also used the OWC dock previously. Recommend both of them
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #11
    When working on a desk with an external monitor, and keyboard, it's a pain needing to unplug multiple cables. In an office or professional setting, I think the docking station is a must.
     
  12. jerryk macrumors 68020

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    #12
    Try posting in the Macbook forum.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 11, 2016 ---
    Definitely a pain. I do it everyday.
     
  13. Patcell macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I believe the 2015 Air has a Thunderbolt 2 port... You should be able to drive dual displays via a Thunderbolt 2 dock. One via MiniDisplayport and one via HDMI. What are the resolutions of the monitors you are looking to connect?
     
  14. nunes013 macrumors 65816

    nunes013

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    #14
     
  15. JTToft macrumors 68040

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    #15
    - Thunderbolt Docks typically only allow more than one display to be connected if one of them is a Thunderbolt display. This is the case on both the OWC and the Elgato.

    Startech has a dual DisplayPort Thunderbolt 2 Dock, which they claim supports up to 2 x 2560x1600. But it's received mixed reviews.
    https://www.startech.com/Cards-Adap...ations/thunderbolt-2-laptop-dock~TB2DOCK4K2DP
     
  16. nunes013 macrumors 65816

    nunes013

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    #16
    Hmmm something to look into! Thanks! It's interesting most Thunderbolt 2 docks can't do two separate displays from non Thunderbolt displays. The bandwidth needed for dual DVI or VGA is nothing compared to what Thunderbolt 2 can handle.

    And for the OP because I don't mean to highjack your thread. I have a rMBP now and love my henge dock. Its great and works really well. If I was going to do anything different with my current setup, it would be a Thunderbolt dock added. I think your best option would be either the Henge Dock or a Thunderbolt dock for true plug and play. My boss uses a Thunderbolt dock and disconnects everyday to bring his computer home and he loves it.
     
  17. Patcell macrumors 6502

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    #17
    This is true! I forgot about this limitation. The OWC dock I use will only support one display (unless one is an Apple Thunderbolt display). I suppose you're out of luck for a dual display setup on the Air as there is only one Thunderbolt port...
     
  18. JTToft macrumors 68040

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    #18
    - It needn't be an Apple Thunderbolt Display. Just a Thunderbolt monitor in general.
     
  19. jonfarr thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jonfarr

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    #19
    Are you using the horizontal henge dock or the vertical? I really would love the horizontal, but its currently going for $450.00 which is just ridiculous imo.
     
  20. nunes013 macrumors 65816

    nunes013

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    #20
    I have the vertical but I know someone who has the horizontal and likes it a lot. I bought two aluminum cinema displays for $50 a few years ago so I got the vertical dock because I didn't need a third screen. $450 is a lot. I would think how long is the computer going to last you or how long will you keep it. You could do the vertical henge dock, a thunderbolt dock, and two screens. That would also probably be as much as a screen and the horizontal henge dock though.
     
  21. jonfarr thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jonfarr

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    #21
    Yeah, thats what I have been doing is a cost comparison of all the extras I would need and comparing it to the henge. I will probably;y hold out a little bit and see if I can find a deal.
     
  22. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

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    #22

    apple makes the only thunderbolt monitor, i think your confusing thunderbolt with mini display port....totally different.
     
  23. JTToft, Aug 14, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016

    JTToft macrumors 68040

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    #23
  24. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

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