CalDigit Thunderbolt Station

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by dimme, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. dimme macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
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    SF, CA
    #1
    http://www.caldigit.com/thunderboltstation/
    Anyone one out there using this. I'm thinking it will make the perfect dock setup for when I use my late 2013 rMBP to edit photos. I just wondering if it works as advertised.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    You're only getting one thunderbolt port (after using the other one to connect to your computer). Unless you need a device provides USB, HDMI, I'd say its not worth the money
     
  3. omvs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #3
    I use it as a docking station at work, and works for me.

    + USB port supplies enough power for my backup hard drive -- unlike my USB 3.0 hub which did not
    + HDMI port supports v1.4 so I can drive my 4k display with it
    + Ethernet/Audio out work fine

    o Haven't test the audio in.
     
  4. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #4
    I got one to use mainly as a port replicator so I don't have to connect everything to my MBP. I run in clamshell mode with a 23" ACD. With the CalDigit I only have the thunderbolt cable and power cable to connect. A lot easier to hookup and disconnect. In addition to the display I have a full sized keyboard, speakers, and Ethernet.

    In terms of performance, I connected a portable drive that I had been using with USB 2 but it supports USB 3. I ran disk speed tests in both modes and it was 4x faster connected with USB 3.

    It does what I purchased it for.
     
  5. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #5
    I'm debating between this or the Belkin dock.

    $300 for a dock seems steep, but there's no denying the convenience factor.

    The only other somewhat interesting option is a Cinema Display. It also has a bunch of ports.
     
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #6
    The USB3 ports on the Belkin one are stuck at 2.5Gb/s, while the ones on the Caldigit have the full 5Gb/s speed.

    My Belkin was one of the sour grape units, because it failed within 2 months after purchase. I got my money refunded and used it to buy a Caldigit instead.
     
  7. baummer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Southern California
    #7
    Can you plug in an external monitor to the Caldigit? Here's what I'd like to do:

    Keyboard --> Caldigit
    Mouse --> Caldigit
    PC speakers --> Caldigit
    External Monitor via HDMI or HDMI/DVI adapter --> Caldigit
    Ethernet --> Caldigit
    cMBP --> Caldigit

    Is this possible? It would be great to eliminate the need to plug all of those into my cMBP.
     
  8. jedolley macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    #8
    Yes. I currently have a 32" TV plugged into the Caldigit via HDMI along with my wireless mouse (USB), wireless headset (audio port), external HDD (USB), and of course my rMBP (Thunderbolt).

    Since the TV is connected via HDMI I use the TV speakers for my audio as well unless i'm using the headset.
     
  9. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #9
    Yes you can, but the tip of the Thunderbolt cable (the rectangle bulge at the ends) may get a little uncomfortably hot.
     
  10. dimme thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Feb 14, 2007
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    SF, CA
    #10
    ???
    Can you elaborate?
     
  11. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #11
    It gets hot if you have an external drive and monitor attached to it, but that's normal :)
     
  12. dyn macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
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    .nl
    #12
    There is a chip in the connector of any Thunderbolt cable. They get warm as does the CalDigit Thunderboltstation but this is no problem at all. Kinda nice in winter when you get cold hands :D

    Anyway, this device is more of a combination of what Belkin and Matrox offer (it has the 2 Thunderbolt ports and HDMI) but it is priced below those two docks (or simply put: it is the cheapest TB dock at the moment!). It works as advertised. Very solid and stable device to use. No flickering or strange issues when using the HDMI, gigabit network card works fine and reliable and no issues with usb when using a hub (I'm using the hub in my display).
     
  13. iBug2 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    #13
    What device is out there that gives you two thunderbolt outs? Haven't seen any.

    If you don't need USB/HDMI, why would you buy this dock? It's main purpose is to give you the USB and the HDMI. It's like saying, unless you want to do some driving, this car isn't worth the money.

    I ordered this dock because I need more USB ports on my rMBP and USB hubs are cheap useless junks.
     
  14. dyn macrumors 68030

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    Aug 8, 2009
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    .nl
    #14
    The CalDigit and Belkin docks do. Well, they are actually both in and out. It doesn't matter which one of the two ports you use to hookup to your Mac and which one you use to hookup to a monitor (or something else that uses thunderbolt).
     
  15. iBug2, Dec 6, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013

    iBug2 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    #15
    Yes they provide two TB ports, one used as in, the other as out. Nothing has 3 ports, as in 1 in and 2 outs. So why was this criticized over something nothing else has?
     
  16. dyn macrumors 68030

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    #16
    Currently there are 3 types of Thunderbolt docks:
    1. Belkin/Sonnet: 2 TB ports
    2. Matrox: 1 TB port, HDMI (or DVI)
    3. CalDigit: 2TB ports + HDMI

    That means that with Belkin/Sonnet and Matrox it is almost certain there will be no Thunderbolt port left because most people will use the second TB port to hook up a display.

    This is not necessarily the case with the CalDigit dock. If you can hook up the display via HDMI or single link DVI (you can use a HDMI-DVI cable for this) then the CalDigit one will provide you with a free TB port. So only 1 of the 2 will be used. However, if you can only use DisplayPort or require dual link DVI you have the same problem as the other docks. The only advantage of the CalDigit in that scenario will be its lower price and the amount of USB3 ports that actually does 5Gbps and supports UASP.

    We need a 4th kind of dock that is identical to the CalDigit but with mini DisplayPort instead of HDMI. That way you can use whatever connection you want for the display (HDMI, single link DVI, dual link DVI, DisplayPort). That would definitely free up the second TB port which you can use for something else (preferably something that is daisychainable).

    If you do not need to hook up a display then the above clearly doesn't apply (you'd buy one for the NIC and USB3 then I suppose, of course without losing the TB port).
     
  17. noisycats macrumors 6502a

    noisycats

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Location:
    The 'ham. Alabama.
    #17
    Happy user for about 3 weeks. It allows me to attach an external monitor to my 2011 iMac and keep a TB port free (for eventual poor man SSD upgrade) and gives me USB3 performance for my other externals.

    Natively, my iMac has only 1 TB port and is all USB2.
     
  18. StressedSnowCat macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    #18
    Does anyone know if it is possible to boot from a Hard Drive Connected to the Caldigit Thunderbolt Station's front USB 3 port? My mac doesn't have USB 3.
     
  19. HenryAZ macrumors 6502

    HenryAZ

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    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    South Congress AZ
    #19
    According to CalDigit, you cannot boot OS X from any of the USB 3.0 ports on the Thunderbolt Station.
     
  20. dyn macrumors 68030

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    Aug 8, 2009
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    .nl
    #20
    It also won't recognize any keyboards attached to the dock upon boot which is annoying when you have to type your Filevault 2 password. After boot it all works fine. Since I don't reboot my MBA that often I stick with manually switching the keyboard to one of the USB ports on the MBA. I think this is due to not having the proper driver for the USB3 in the EFI. Read something about that elsewhere but forgot where :(
     
  21. dimme thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Feb 14, 2007
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    SF, CA
    #21
    I got the Cal Digit thunderbolt station for Christmas. Works just as advertised. Very happy with the usb speeds. Makes a real nice docking station for my MACBook Pro when I have it hooked up at my desk.
    No issues with my external keyboard, wacom tablet and Dell U2410.
     
  22. rodrigoluizb macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Location:
    Campinas, SP, Brazil
    #22
    In how many days caldigit ships this dock? I'm gonna spend a few days in NY and i'm afraid i won't be able to receive it in time.
     
  23. dimme thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Feb 14, 2007
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    SF, CA
    #23
    I received mine 1 week after ordering. I ordered on Sunday they shipped on Thursday and I received it on Monday.
     
  24. rev.b macrumors regular

    rev.b

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Location:
    Portugal
    #24
    I just received my Caldigit Thunderbolt Station today.
    Yes it is expensive. But comparable products are even more expensive.

    It works flawlessly. I use my Macbook often as a desktop, on a rain design stand, doing dual monitor with a 27" Dell U2711, and by just connecting ONE cable, I instantly got:

    - Video signal to the 27" via thunderbolt/display port
    - Gigabit ethernet
    - External Speakers
    - All my usb devices, connected by 2 hubs (the one on the external monitor included), including external DVD-RW, 2 external HDD's, Printer and scanner
    - I still have one thunderbolt port and 2 USB 3.0 ports free in the rMBP

    It looks great under my rMBP, on the lower part of the RD stand. All the cable clutter goes by the hole in the back part of it.

    Everything just works, and as I said, with only one physical cable connection to the rMBP. Very, very convenient.
    It would be even more impressive with my previous '11 MBP, as adding USB 3.0 would be a major upgrade.

    Thunderbolt is amazing, my only regret is that it is rather expensive, and this is delaying its implementation.
     
  25. carestudio macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #25
    Great! I have several of Caldigit Thunderbolt stations too, been using them for a couple months from now. Absolutely Love them! And it is a very affordable way to upgrade my old Macs to the USB3-grade Macs plus an HDMI connection and gigabit Ethernet and audio.
     

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