Can I charge the MacBook 2017 via a dock while it is connected to 4K display?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by hajime, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. hajime macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #1
    Hello, at the Apple Store, the staff suggested me to buy a MacBook Pro 13" as it costs the same as a MacBook. She mentioned that because the MacBook has only one USB-C port. If I connect it to an external 4k display, I cannot charge it at the same time. Can I get an external adapter so that the laptop can get charged while connected to a 4K display at the same time?
     
  2. dangerfish macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    #3
    Yes you can. However, if you have a monitor with usb c, you can connect to the display and charge through the same port and cable at the same time.
     
  3. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #4
    I asked about that but the sales said that I cannot do that. Then she said that since the 13 " MBP costs the same but with more ports, it is better to buy the MBP rather than the MB.
     
  4. apiro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2017
    #5
    Yes you can. If you're OK with 4K@30Hz then you have plenty of options starting with Apple's original https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MJ1K2AM/A/usb-c-digital-av-multiport-adapter and a lot of others (OWC Travel Dock, Startech dock, Satechi dock, QacQoc dock etc). If you need 4K@60Hz (this is the resolution and refresh you gate if you connect display without directly to Macbook 12") you have only two options - one ugly with HDMI 2.0 https://www.accellcables.com/collec...th-hdmi-2-0-usb-a-2-0-and-usb-c-charging-port and one quite OK with miniDisplayPort https://www.hypershop.com/products/hyperdrive-usb-type-c-hub-with-mini-displayport - though remember USB-A ports on the last 2 docs will work in USB 2.0 mode.

    For further info read my recent post https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...and-accessories.1884706/page-42#post-25280720.
     
  5. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #6

    Thanks. The accellcables one is really ugly!!!

    How is the MacBook running at 4k@60Hz compared with the MBP 13"/15" running 4k@60Hz? Not sure if the integrated GPU in the MacBook is powerful enough. I recall that I bought a Thinkpad X21 in 2003. It could not even play video smoothly using its internal shared graphics system.
     
  6. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #7
    There are some other options that will allow you to run 60 hz - however, your USB data speeds will be reduced to the USB 2.0 protocol.
     
  7. vwDavid macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    #8
    Hi All,

    I thought this thread was an appropriate place to ask my questions which is very similar to the OPs questions. I am a Long time mac user but don't post here very often. I recently purchased a new Macbook 12", OWC USB-C Dock, and a BenQ BL2711U 4K monitor. Can you see where this is going now? The setup doesn't work to my expectation. So I need to realign my expectations and figure out what to do.

    Dock https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/TCDK10PMDSG/
    Monitor: https://www.amazon.ca/BenQ-27-Inch-...e=UTF8&qid=1509810986&sr=8-1&keywords=BL2711U

    The monitor has a DP and I ordered a NewerTech mDP to DP adapter. The screen displays nothing. So I began reading, and readying and I am learning what I hoped to do probably isn't realistic. So, I am disappointed after spending >$3500 CAD.

    I see now the OWC USB-C dock mDP is limited to 4K30Hz and my BL2711U is probably looking for 60Hz. So I began reading more and find lots of differing opinions is 4K30Hz is acceptable of general use (not gaming) and I see lots of mixed review.

    Now I read this thread and find that its probably not possible with a Macbook to have a all in one dock with USB3 speeds and 4K60hz. Maybe I need to change the monitor to one with native USB-C support? I'm really quite bothered by this and while I am a long long time mac user (30 yrs) I am not really up to speed on mac restrictions of USB-C capabilities. Any additional help would be much appreciated to help me iron this out.

    It appears there are no desktop enabling docks that will do this? Would the OWC thunderbolt 3 dock work? Is MP's single port not thunderbolt 3 just usb-C?

    help
    --- Post Merged, Nov 4, 2017 ---
    Anyone know the video/charing/speed limitation of this dock:

    http://caldigit.com/usb-3-1-usb-c-dock/index.asp
    --- Post Merged, Nov 4, 2017 ---
    Another option that purports 4k60Hz

    http://www.dell.com/en-ca/shop/acce...1379501410&VEN3=111204124642011401#polaris-pd
    --- Post Merged, Nov 4, 2017 ---
    also:

    https://www.startech.com/ca/Cards-A...e-4k-usb-c-laptop-docking-station~DK30CH2DPPD

    Does anyone think the above options are viable for me?
     
  8. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    #9
    Not so bad. Latest OS version helps.

    If you do straight up 2x scaling so that 4K -> 1080p with pixel doubling, then performance is "almost" as smooth as the MBP if you also disable transparency.

    If you do more scaling and keep transparency around, then interface elements will be slower, but videos will still be fine.
     
  9. ZapNZs, Nov 4, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #10
    There is no way to have 4k/60hz + USB 3 speeds with the MacBook (regardless of the dock, adapter, display, or built-in dock to a display) because this is a limitation of USB itself. It's one legacy USB 3.1 port does not support Thunderbolt 3 nor does it support USB 3.1 gen 2 (which, in this case, would not help anyway-only TB3 or a second USB port would.) Consequently, a TB3 dock will not work with the MacBook. Arguably, the MBP is a better match when 60hz + fast data speeds are desired. If you just purchased the MacBook, returning it for a MBP13 touchbar under the return policy may yield you a product better suited to meet your needs (and of course, pricier :().

    The Caldigit supports 4k/60, but this means 2.0 USB.

    With your current setup, theoretically the display should still work, but at 30hz - with most displays I have used, refresh automatically sets based on what the computer/interface is capable of should it be less than the display itself is capable of. You may be able to manage or it may annoy you tremendously at 30hz. 30hz was OK for me at first, but over time I became increasingly annoyed by it with general, non-gaming usage. Side-by-side usage with a built-in display or another monitor that was doing 60hz made this more annoying as then it became more visibly 'choppy'.

    Alternatively, you could also return the display for a QHD display - there are some nice ones, although I am guessing you want that specific BenQ given it's stellar reputation in the field of creative design. But, truthfully, if I had a display that nice, I would find myself irritated by not being able to use 60hz. This is why I think the MBP may be a better match - especially considering the 13-inch MBP can drive two of those displays, should you ever desire. I mention the touchbar model because IMO it is much better suited for driving high-res displays than the nTB.
     
  10. vwDavid, Nov 4, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017

    vwDavid macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    #11
    Thanks ZapNS. I am disappointed that I can't do 4K60Hz and USB-C@SS. Does make me consider my return policy for the MacBook. arg.

    Honestly, I didn't buy the BenQ BL series because I was a designer, its probably over kill, seemed like a good monitor with 4K and its price and availability on amazon matched my need. As I mention below the QHD acer was $50 more then the BenQ! I probably should have searched longer, however, it doesn't change the fact I can't do 4K60 with usb3.

    --- Post Merged, Nov 4, 2017 ---
    What monitor and monitor/resolution would you suggest that would be a great companion to the 2017MB?
    --- Post Merged, Nov 4, 2017 ---
    If I used this monitor would I get USB superspeed? Maybe but perhaps no charing I suspect. Seem the MB is really limited, more than I expected with the ingle port. More limited than advertised...

    In Canada on amazon that ACER monitor os MORE expensive than my fancy BenQ BL2711 with 4K!

    https://www.amazon.com/Acer-H277HU-...ne-20&linkId=357afe210983df0f8b1bd2b7aba5e83a

    I guess I wouldn't get 4K res with QHD, would the resolution look terrible with the macbook beside it?
    --- Post Merged, Nov 4, 2017 ---
    So, I see a QHD monitor is about 2560 by 1440 pixels in a 27 inch package and the MB 12" is 2304x1440 in a 12" package so the real estate by pixels is about the same but the magnification is larger on the 27" display and probably won't have the smoothness of the 12 MB screen correct?

    This is really bugging me - using the macbook with a 4K external monitor basically cripples the MB. So, I have to figure out if I really need/want 4K.
     
  11. hajime, Nov 4, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017

    hajime thread starter macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #12
    Thanks all for the experiences and clarifications. So, if one wants to run 4K@60Hz and also charge the laptop at the same time, it is better to buy a MacBook Pro 13" or even a 15"?

    I guess we also need to forget about connecting the MacBook to an external GPU as applications that require such setup will probably make the MacBook to run out of battery power soon.
     
  12. apiro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2017
    #13
    @vwDavid, what do you need USB 3.0 ports for? Is it anything specific or you just think you will need them? I'm in similar situation to yours in that I haven't bought Macbook and dock yet but intend to knowing all this. I considered my usage and it turns out the only thing I need frequently is charging and 4K@60Hz display at the same time. USB ports are only needed occasionally and I can live with USB 2.0 speed in these occasions. If something unusual happens and I need full speed I can always disconnect the dock once and connect USB device directly. Probably the only thing I might miss is gigabit ethernet. I. e. I'm going to buy Macbook 12" and this dock https://www.hypershop.com/products/hyperdrive-usb-type-c-hub-with-mini-displayport and it will suit all my needs. But one's needs differ. (On the other hand if size and design of Macbook Pro 13" suits you I'd second the opinion above that you should prefer it - it's technically superior.)
    --- Post Merged, Nov 4, 2017 ---
    Specifically charging and 4K@60Hz simultaneously is possible with Macbook 12". You don't need Macbook Pro 13" for that. If you need full speed USB 3.0 (or other ports) in addition to simultaneous charging and 4K@60Hz - that is what Macbook 12" can't do.

    Macbook with eGPU is impossible - its USB-C USB 3.1 gen 1 port is not Thunderbolt 3 (which is essentially PCI-E 3.0 x4) - you can't connect eGPU via USB, only via PCI-E.
     
  13. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #14
    I used to do all the work using one rMBP 15" bought by school. I only own a heavy MBP 2010 17" now. Not sure I will like the screen size of the MB. Sure the light weight is nice. Since I need a powerful workstation to do simulations using Nvidia GPU and CUDA, I am planning to build a powerful workstation (nice if it can be turned into a Hackintosh) and get a laptop. Whichever laptop to get is under consideration... Given that I will spend thousands of dollars on the desktop, don't want to spend too much on the laptop.
     
  14. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #15
    The QHD Dell UltraSharps are outstanding products.


    In theory, with that display it SHOULD work, but it appears that quite a few people are having issues between it an Apple.

    QHD looks reasonably good on a 24 inch display IMO.
     
  15. vwDavid, Nov 5, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017

    vwDavid macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    #16
    Hi again all,

    I have experimented with 4K30Hz and it totally suits my needs. However, it is unclear to me if I should be able to expect to charge and get USB-3-SS speeds.

    One poster asked why I want USB-SS and the answer is because the last Mac I got is 10 years old and I want to get on the bandwidth bandwagon. I have several USB-SS capable storage devices and I'd rather not use USB2 speeds anymore if I don't have to.

    Can I expect to use:
    4K30Hz
    USB-SS
    Charging?
     
  16. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #17
    With the right hub/adapter, yes.
     
  17. vwDavid macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    #18
    Thanks ZapNS, based on specs the OWC USB-C 10 port dock should work. Do you agree? It is the dock I already have I guess I just need to change it for HDMI as the mDP doesn't seem to work.

    Thanks
     
  18. apiro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2017
    #19
    @vwDavid, Macbook's 12" USB-C 3.1 gen 1 port provides 5 Gbit/s full-duplex (aka both ways) speed (4 Gbit/s of real data aka 500 Mbyte/s) overall (+ display + charging). Simply speaking, if you have up to 2 HDD storage devices, then it'd be enough. If you have more than 2 HDD storage devices or if you have at least 1 SSD storage device - you'd better exchange it for at least MacBook Pro 13" non-TouchBar.
     

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18 November 3, 2017