How many of your iMac’s ports are populated?

Fried Chicken

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 11, 2011
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601
I’m asking, because I currently have all four of my USB ports, my Ethernet port, and my Aux port populated.

I have a 4-port USB hub attached that I have also populated all except for one USB port on. My Mouse is connected to my apple extended keyboard.

Know what ports I haven’t used even a single time? Thunderbolt/Displayport.

Laptops are great, but Desktops are where the money is.
 
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ondert

macrumors 6502
Aug 11, 2017
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Italy
On mine, 1 of the TB3, ethernet and the audio ports are always populated.
- - Post merged: - -

On mine, 1 of the TB3, ethernet and the audio ports are always populated.
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
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Hawaii, USA
1569015247816.jpeg


Yep, I'm with you on that one. Originally had two USB ports taken up by hubs, but one hub became faulty, so now I'm down to just one hub and like you also utilize USB ports on my wired keyboard. Just because it may be a bit more unusual, I'll note that one Thunderbolt port is taken up by a Firewire dongle chain (less used these days), while the other routes to a secondary Ultrafine display. I used to use the SD card slot, too, but my hub has both SD and micro SD readers on the front, which makes for easier access.
 
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Moonjumper

macrumors 68020
Jun 20, 2009
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Lincoln, UK
I also use a wired keyboard, and one of the ports on that is used for my wired mouse. All but one of my USB ports are used (I keep that free for connecting memory sticks. One USB port is used to connect to my external monitor because I have several things connected to it’s USB ports. The monitor also accounts for a thunderbolt port. I also have ethernet connected as I find it more reliable.
 

Zdigital2015

macrumors 68020
Jul 14, 2015
2,027
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East Coast, United States
One USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 for my SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD, one for UA Apollo Twin Mk II, one USB 3 for a USB to Lightning cable for Magic Keyboard/Mouse/Trackpad charging and iOS device tethering (rarely) and a second USB 3 port for Seagate Backup Plus 5TB for Time Machine backups. It only stays attached sporadically as it is a spinner and I dismount the drive as soon as the TM backup finishes.

I use Bluetooth for my input devices and 802.11ac for LAN/WAN...interesting to see how many USB ports are in use. Trying to figure out all the devices connected, I assume it’s external storage.
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
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Know what ports I haven’t used even a single time? Thunderbolt/Displayport.
Which Thunderbolt ?

All current iMacs have Thunderbolt 3. Pragmatically, Thunderbolt 3 ports have a USB mode to them also. So there are six ports with USB mode possible. ( iMac Pro has eight. )

However, if there is a require for more bandwidth coupled to additional ports then Thunderbolt is a solution. USB Hubs drag data speeds down to the lowest common denominator on active devices.

For example:
7 more USB ports (pragmatically over 3 USB controllers ) . https://www.caldigit.com/ts3-plus


along with easier to reach headphone and SD card slot than standard iMac ones. [ Which will show up in your survey as folks leaving USB cables plugged into the back of the iMac all the time to make it easier to intermittent things like charge phone (or some other Apple Lightning device ). Similar issue off onto powered hubs (more power than hub actually needed. ) ]


USB 4 makes Thunderbolt an even higher likely weaved in option. ( standard leaves some outs for system vendors looking to minimize costs similar to how Type-C required minimal is USB 2.0 ). More Thunderbolt is coming to all classic form factors PC systems going forward.

Thunderbolt 2 solutions are more problematical at this point; at least for new options appearing on market. Apple waiting all the way into 2017 to move to TBv3 on the iMac makes that problem incrementally bigger.


What collection will probably show is that most folks don't have high bandwidth requirements ( 5Gb/s is "fast enough" for lots of folks. ) and that most folks can get by with just one screen. Thunderbolt is an option if they more out of that state or sell/transfer machine to someone who is in a higher bandwidth needs state. For example, if later need 10+ Gb/s USB device can get there with Thunderbolt. You won't on an extreme hub hooked to a legacy generation USB controller.



Laptops are great, but Desktops are where the money is.
Maybe in a narrow corner of the Windows ( or Linux ) PC world.... 70+ % of all Macs sold are laptops and all of them at substantive profit.
 

Abazigal

macrumors G5
Jul 18, 2011
12,064
9,807
Singapore
One thunderbolt port is used for a usb hub (I have one which clips to the bottom of the iMac screen). Of the 4 USB ports, one is connected to a printer, while the other occasionally gets used when I want to plug in my iPad or iPhone.

Else, keyboard, mouse and trackpad are wireless, as is the internet connection.
 

ruslan120

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2009
871
575
All except the audio port.

Thunderbolt: eGPU -> 4K + 1080p screens
Thunderbolt: USB C Enclosure (2TB SSD)
USB: RAID 1 (1/2) 4TB Data Drive
USB: RAID 1 (2/2) 4TB Data Drive
USB: USB hub on 4K Monitor
-> Quality Microphone
-> Lightning Cable
USB: USB hub to front of iMac for easy access
Ethernet: Router
SD: Imports from dashcam

Full setup can be seen here:
Using an iMac with an eGPU: Vega 48 + RX 580

Edit: Newer setup since the video. Pending cable management for the eGPU.

IMG_1031.JPG
 
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CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
6,771
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Seattle, WA
USB-C / TB1 = Drobo 5D
USB-C / TB2 = ASUS ROG Swift 27" Monitor
RJ-45 = Router
USB-A 1 = WD 2TB HDD (Time Machine)
USB-A 2 = Extension cable so I can plug things in from the front
USB-A 3 = Open
USB-A 4 = Open
3.5mm Audio = Soundsticks III
 
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ruslan120

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2009
871
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USB-C / TB2 = ASUS ROG Swift 27" Monitor
Nice setup! What's it like using the 4K 27" with the 5K 27"? Is the resolution difference noticeable when moving windows between the two? (Asking because I'm looking for an upgrade for the 1080p screen).

Edit: My mistake in assuming the ROG is 4K. Never mind.
 

CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
6,771
2,687
Seattle, WA
Nice setup! What's it like using the 4K 27" with the 5K 27"? Is the resolution difference noticeable when moving windows between the two? (Asking because I'm looking for an upgrade for the 1080p screen).

Edit: My mistake in assuming the ROG is 4K. Never mind.
The resolution is 2560x1440 which is nice because it matches the 5K at 2x Retina. I also went with it because it supports 165Hz G-Sync so I also have it connected to my Alienware gaming PC (since it has dual inputs I can switch between the Mac and PC).
 
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