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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Storage maker CalDigit this week announced a new portable dock called the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station, adding to the growing collection of Thunderbolt docks introduced recently from Sonnet, Belkin and Matrox.

CalDigit's entry costs $199 and provides users with USB 3.0, Audio In and Out jacks, Ethernet, and HDMI in a portable aluminum case.

caldigit.jpg
"As Macs are getting thinner, and more portable we need more ways to connect to multiple devices. The CalDigit ThunderboltTM Station gives professional users the ability to connect their ultra portable computers to a lot more devices via a single ThunderboltTM port", said Kosta Panagos Director of Marketing at CalDigit.
CalDigit makes a number of high-end storage enclosures and expansion cards for audio and video professionals. The company says the Thunderbolt Station will be "available soon".

Article Link: CalDigit Thunderbolt Station Adds to Growing Ranks of Thunderbolt Docks
 

alksion

macrumors 68000
Sep 10, 2010
1,711
111
Orange County CA
I love the comparison to the belkin dock

Yeah, I know. It's a little more stylish in my opinion, has HDMI out and is $100 cheaper! How much more could you ask for?

Btw, the is the first article published by MacRumors that I tipped off. Even though it's lame, I feel so cool lol.
 

jshbckr

macrumors 6502
Apr 20, 2007
421
1
Minneapolis, MN
Awesome, looks like a great way to enhance the Thunderbolt display (which currently lacks USB 3.0), and also add HDMI out in the process. And cheaper than other options, too.
 

snoozy355

macrumors newbie
Feb 5, 2008
17
2
Looks like what the doc ordered (although I would've settled for merely a TB -> USB3 hub).

Hoping we can use the HDMI and still use a Display Port plug/adaptor for 2x external monitors.
 

canucksfan88

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2007
560
63
Looks like what the doc ordered (although I would've settled for merely a TB -> USB3 hub).

Hoping we can use the HDMI and still use a Display Port plug/adaptor for 2x external monitors.

i am really hoping this is the case and i can finally power dual monitors. if this is the case, sign me up asap
 

TheRdungeon

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2011
472
57
i am really hoping this is the case and i can finally power dual monitors. if this is the case, sign me up asap

Came here to say this also, if this is the case i will definitely get one. It's what has been lacking in all the other ones
 

bluewooster

macrumors member
Jul 18, 2007
86
22
Why are all these hubs so expensive? (I don't mean this as a criticism as there may be a good reason - I'm simply curious)
 

sfwalter

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2004
2,085
1,609
Dallas Texas
Dumb question if you have a Mac with thunderbolt but only USB 2 can you get USB 3 speeds if you connect a USB3 device to one of these hubs?
 

dempson

macrumors regular
Jun 10, 2007
116
14
Wellington, New Zealand
No Firewire port. That would rule it out for me, as I have too much investment in Firewire peripherals, and I wouldn't want to tie up the Thunderbolt daisy chain port with an Apple Firewire adapter.

So far every Thunderbolt dock I've seen mentioned is missing at least one feature I'd want.

Matrox's doesn't have Thunderbolt daisy chain or Firewire.

CalDigit's doesn't have Firewire.

Belkin's and Sonnet's don't have HDMI output. That's probably the feature of a dock I can most easily live without, as I only occasionally plug in an external display, and my future Retina MBP would have an HDMI port anyway.

----------

Dumb question if you have a Mac with thunderbolt but only USB 2 can you get USB 3 speeds if you connect a USB3 device to one of these hubs?

Yes, as long as the Thunderbolt bus speed isn't saturated by the combined usage of all connected peripherals.

The dock contains its own USB 3 controller, which is addressed by the host computer independently from the built-in USB 2 controller.

You would need to be running a new enough OS version which has the necessary USB 3 driver support. That definitely means Lion or later, since the first models with USB 3 ports were in June 2012 and came with OS X 10.7.4, and it wouldn't surprise me if Mountain Lion was required for stability reasons.
 

edoates

macrumors 6502
May 22, 2006
298
6
Looks like what the doc ordered (although I would've settled for merely a TB -> USB3 hub).

Hoping we can use the HDMI and still use a Display Port plug/adaptor for 2x external monitors.

I got the CalDigit PCI card for USB3 and eSata (to use with one of their Raid drive sets). Be nice if CalDigit offered a hub with FW800, eSata, USB3 as well as Thunderbolt ports for displays or TB drive arrays. Especially as MacPro seems to get delayed further each time there is a new MacRumor about it.

My investment in FW drives and now eSata drives is not easily undone, and I'll bet that USB3 is still not the best video editing choice, though I could be wrong. I edit ProRes 422 (1080p60) and I get glitches even with the CalDigit two drive Raid 0 array.
 

definitive

macrumors 68010
Aug 4, 2008
2,000
808
is this the only thing that thunderbolt is useful for - docks? i was looking forward to affordable drives, screens, and other devices popping up on the market, but instead we're getting flooded with ... docks
 

Snowshiro

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2008
386
4
Why are all these hubs so expensive? (I don't mean this as a criticism as there may be a good reason - I'm simply curious)

Certainly when the first docks were announced, there was a lot of discussion about Intel demanding very high licensing fees to 3rd party manufacturers who wanted to create thunderbolt peripherals. This seems like a pretty odd strategy if you're trying to drive adoption of a new standard, and I don't know if things have changed since then...

Actually I thought this one looked quite reasonable. It's the first hub I've seen that I'm actually half considering buying.
 

wonderspark

macrumors 68040
Feb 4, 2010
3,048
102
Oregon
You would need to be running a new enough OS version which has the necessary USB 3 driver support. That definitely means Lion or later, since the first models with USB 3 ports were in June 2012 and came with OS X 10.7.4, and it wouldn't surprise me if Mountain Lion was required for stability reasons.
That's interesting to hear. I have USB 3.0 on my Mac Pro running Snow Leopard, thanks to a CalDigit eSATA (x2), USB3.0 (x2) 4-port PCI card. It came with a driver on disc, but I can't recall if that was for eSATA or USB3. Probably USB3.
 

Crimson Hikari

macrumors member
Apr 1, 2013
51
9
Oh please come out with this dock around pay-day. This is EXACTLY what I've been looking for since buying a Mac with Thunderbolt.
 

RoastingPig

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2012
1,606
67
SoCal
what are these used for i don't understand you can get a thunderbolt to hdmi adapter and and u can get a usb 3.0 hub
 

gatearray

macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2010
1,130
232
hmmm... it doesn't say in the website, but I wonder if those audio in/out are combo analog / digital like on my old iMac, it's one thing that I personally miss on my MBA being an audio guy, but I imagine most people couldn't give a ****. :)
 

dempson

macrumors regular
Jun 10, 2007
116
14
Wellington, New Zealand
That's interesting to hear. I have USB 3.0 on my Mac Pro running Snow Leopard, thanks to a CalDigit eSATA (x2), USB3.0 (x2) 4-port PCI card. It came with a driver on disc, but I can't recall if that was for eSATA or USB3. Probably USB3.

Thanks for the correction. I thought there would be core OS features required for full USB 3 support, not something which could be added in drivers for earlier OS versions.
 

blesscheese

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2010
698
178
Central CA
Ding ding ding...we have a winner!

Finally, after seeing all those high-priced docks coming out with either features I didn't need, or a lame/paltry assortment of features for a high price, this looks like something reasonable.

Unless something better comes out soon, I'm gonna get this.
 

theBB

macrumors 68020
Jan 3, 2006
2,453
3
No Firewire port. That would rule it out for me, as I have too much investment in Firewire peripherals, and I wouldn't want to tie up the Thunderbolt daisy chain port with an Apple Firewire adapter.
You can buy this dock and use the Firewire adapter on one of its Thunderbolt ports. Considering nobody else is offering what you want, that seems to be a good option. I have the adapter, it is barely thicker than FW800 connector, so the combination won't take up much space or look ugly on your setup.
 

tbobmccoy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2007
943
168
Austin, TX
Ding ding ding...we have a winner!

Finally, after seeing all those high-priced docks coming out with either features I didn't need, or a lame/paltry assortment of features for a high price, this looks like something reasonable.

Unless something better comes out soon, I'm gonna get this.

+1 for me too.

My Mac mini 2011 really could thrive with usb3 speeds, especially for Plex serving. I know my speeds would increase dramatically!
 

neuropsychguy

macrumors 68000
Sep 29, 2008
1,589
3,107
My investment in FW drives and now eSata drives is not easily undone, and I'll bet that USB3 is still not the best video editing choice, though I could be wrong. I edit ProRes 422 (1080p60) and I get glitches even with the CalDigit two drive Raid 0 array.

It could be worth trying the new docking station with an eSATA to USB 3 adapter (e.g., http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=798839&Q=&is=REG&A=details). I don't know if a double adapter set-up like that will work but it could be worth a shot to connect to eSATA.
 

repoman27

macrumors 6502
May 13, 2011
467
115
Looks like what the doc ordered (although I would've settled for merely a TB -> USB3 hub).

Hoping we can use the HDMI and still use a Display Port plug/adaptor for 2x external monitors.

i am really hoping this is the case and i can finally power dual monitors. if this is the case, sign me up asap

Came here to say this also, if this is the case i will definitely get one. It's what has been lacking in all the other ones

This would be highly unlikely. We haven't seen Intel release a Thunderbolt controller with more than a single Thunderbolt to DisplayPort sink protocol adapter yet. This means that a Thunderbolt controller can only drive one display directly. However, you can buy DisplayPort to dual HDMI or DVI adapters for around $50 that should work fine as long as your displays aren't more than 1920x1200.

Why are all these hubs so expensive? (I don't mean this as a criticism as there may be a good reason - I'm simply curious)

10 Gbit/s per channel serial technology is seriously out there on the performance curve. Nothing even remotely that fast was available on a consumer device, or even available at all for less than 10x the price when Thunderbolt was introduced in 2011. The two port controller used in this dock costs the device manufacturer $30. The current reference designs for 2-port devices also require about a dozen other components, which despite being less expensive still add about $20 to the bill of materials. By the time you factor in reasonable markups for the various players in the distribution chain, it is very difficult to bring a 2-port Thunderbolt device to retail for much less than $200.
 
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