I use wired Ethernet primarily. How do I...

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Softy, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. Softy macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2009
    I just got around to looking at the new laptops and iMacs, with the idea of planning the upgrades of systems here that are a few years old. It appears that Apple is phasing out hard-wired Ethernet on some models, and that's a problem for me because we use wired Ethernet 100% of the time, other than when say, sitting in a coffee shop on a break. We do this for security/stealth reasons, but also because within our campus, we deal with lots of high-resolution video files on a continual basis.

    Given that I have this requirement, how best can I connect the new machines to the Ethernet LAN? We don't want to give up laptops altogether.
  2. Elwe macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2006
    It seems that all laptop manufactures are going this way for everything except gaming and desktop replacement laptops. The thickness/thinness issue combined with the speed of modern Wi-Fi, I guess.

    You should have no issue purchasing an adapter that will work for any laptop, though they may cost you more than you want. Absent concern about an Ethernet port, which specific model are you looking at?
  3. Softy, Jul 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017

    Softy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2009
    Thanks for the reply, but I realize that I can buy an adapter. I know, I know, sorry. I should have asked a more detailed question. Cost isn't an issue. What I care about is being able to connect to Ethernet while not losing the ability to connect to other things like big external displays, local drive arrays, etc. Having never used any of the newer interface ports (even Thunderbolt) this way, I don't know how much the ports can be split/divided into multiple different (simultaneously usable) I/O connections. I guess I just need to dive into it.

    As for what computers I'm looking at, probably the Macbook, if it can connect to an external 4096x2304 display, and an Ethernet LAN, by splitting its USB-C or other port; and Macbook Pro, likely the bottom models of each.

    We probably have uses for both types. But what would be great would be to be able to bring laptops into work bays in our edit room, and connect them to big external monitors, local drive arrays, and the Ethernet LAN, in other words, to be able to use them as we would 27-inch iMacs when here. We'll no doubt do that with the Macbook Pros. But even the Macbooks could be utilized for some things if they could be connected this way.
  4. Elwe macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2006
    Given what you have written, you are probably better off going with the (admittedly more expensive) Macbook Pro 13" (with or without Touchbar).

    With the Macbook, you will either a) need to use a dock. There are several out there that work. As long as you are not trying to do 4k or 5k at 60Hz, you should be fine. Most offer Ethernet (either 100Mb/s or 1000Mb/s), at least a couple of USB 3.0, and some sort of display port (Display Port or HDMI are most prevalent). They will also have a USB-C port you can plug power in to. But notice this is about using a dock. It seems you want to use an adapter; b) an adapter. The only adapter I am immediately aware of that offers 1000Mb/s and an external display connector (in this case, a VGA and HDMI) is one that is made by dell. If I remember correctly, though, you do not get a USB-C port to plug power in to. Here it is:


    So you will need to have a use case of not needing both power for an extended time along with external display and Ethernet.

    The Macbook Pro 13" offer either two or four TB3 ports which eliminates this particular issue. But, assuming you will try to configure them as "like-to-like" as possible, the lowest end 13" is $200 more expensive. Since cost is not an issue, and since you do not mention that portability is the absolute most important thing, I recommend the Macbook Pro 13" (without touchbar) base model with the exception of increasing the storage to either 256GB or 512GB (whatever your media collection might need). 128GB is the default, and that can get a bit tight quickly if you have a sizable video, song, and/or photo collection. Although . . . Cloud storage is an option to address that if you will almost always be connected, and wired speeds should be able to support any kind of streaming you will likely need on a 13" screen.
  5. Richdmoore macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    Troutdale, OR
  6. waigx macrumors member


    Jan 21, 2014
    You need a MacBook Pro, this MacBook is simply not a primary computer for you....
  7. pixelatedscraps macrumors 6502


    Jul 11, 2017
    Hong Kong
    I second the use of MacBook Pros - as a minimum really. You mentioned video editing and I assume rendering, effects and the ability to process and output in 4K. I would say you're much better served by a Mac Pro for in-studio work and a MacBook Pro strictly for travel or on-set light editing. MBPs really aren't great for professional 4K editing at all, even the top end 2017 models.
  8. Softy, Jul 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017

    Softy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2009
    Thanks, all of you for the replies. But it seems that you are imagining a different kind of user than me. I don't think that there's anybody out there who could offer me better a perspective on the relative merits or applicability of the various models. My questions are strictly about whether or not I can use the Macbook and/or the Macbook Pro with hardwired Ethernet LANs (I've not been paying attention to the technical spec's of either laptop for years, and so don't know about the ways that can be used to "divide" high speed I/O channels like ThunderboltX, and others).

    Also, this is not about making a choice between the Macbook and Macbook Pro. If both of them can do the video & LAN simultaneously, we will probably buy multiples of each. We don't need any advice about what either is appropriate for. They both have their uses here. And certainly, we don't need them to take the places of more high-end machines like the Mac Pro or other high performance Unix boxes. We're awash in such machines.

    Elwe seems to be closest to my wavelength. Thanks Elwe for the dock idea. I hadn't thought of that. But I will in fact be using 4096 x 2160 resolution on the external displays, and will want to use Ethernet (and power) at the same time (with the displays). I don't prefer to use an adapter. A dock would be fine if it could do what we want. Your whole paragraph about the MBP is congruent with my thinking, and just the kind of reply that I was hoping for. Except no, the "configuring like to like" thing isn't of concern at all, and no, I don't have a video, song or photo collection to take into consideration, either. I will upgrade them to bigger storage anyway though, since we'll be using video all the time (we produce video). We loathe cloud storage, for whatever that's worth, and won't incorporate it into our model.

    So if we can use Macbook Pros with (at least 1Gb) Ethernet, while simultaneously driving two 4096 x 2160 external displays, we will buy some of those. If we can use Macbooks with Ethernet while simultaneously driving one 4096 x 2160 display, we will buy some of those too.

    Thanks again everyone, for taking the time to reply.
  9. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    Maybe its me but this reply is a tad rude. Folks here offered good advice. Perhaps you should have started the thread with a clear description of your challenge?
  10. Softy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2009
    I apologized for not being more clear in my question. But I never asked for recommendations about anything other than the issues regarding using wired Ethernet.

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