MacBook Pro and usb ports

marklcfc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 5, 2007
26
4
I’m probably asking something here that’s been asked a lot, but I’ve not had a MacBook since my old one I bought back in 2009.

I notice USB ports are now just thunderbolt. I have 2-3 usb 2 devices I’d want to plug into, potentially one usb 3 and also I’d like to show my screen on a bigger monitor too sometimes so I need to plug that in too.

How can I achieve all this on the new MacBooks?
 

BootLoxes

macrumors 6502
Apr 15, 2019
379
288
You will need dongles. There are ones that have multiple ports like usb, ethernet, and hdmi all in one. You can pick them up in most electronic stores or online if you arent in that big a hurry
 

s66

macrumors regular
Dec 12, 2016
192
134
Thunderbolt 3 ports on your computer also have all they need to
  • allow you to directly connect usb-c devices.
  • usb2 and usb3 can be connected through a usb-c to usb-a convertor. Apple and others sell them.
  • a display:
    • Thunderbolt 3 (and earlier do too) carry displayport signals, some monitors can hook up to that directly
    • there's a whole slew of possible convertors to hook up things ranging all the way back to a 15 pin VGA
There are docking stations as well that connect to one thunderbolt 3 port on your computer and where you can connect multiple other devices to.

So as long as you have the right convertor, all you need on your laptop is are thunderbolt 3 ports.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ascender

marklcfc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 5, 2007
26
4
If I buy a laptop that only has 2 thunderbolt 3 ports can I fit what I mentioned in or do I need one with 4 ports?
 

salamanderjuice

macrumors member
Feb 28, 2020
44
26
If I buy a laptop that only has 2 thunderbolt 3 ports can I fit what I mentioned in or do I need one with 4 ports?
You can do it with one port. Browse Amazon or your favorite retailer for USB C hubs. You'll find a number of devices that will give you multiple USB A ports, usually an HDMI, SD card slot or ethernet, etc. Some even have power passthrough so you can plug your AC adapter into the hub then like a USB keyboard, mouse and a monitor and have it all connected in a single cable. I kind of like this because it's super simple to get my laptop ready for transport. Pick the one that has the ports you'll think you'll need. If you do get one with power passthrough make sure it supports the wattage of your MB though.
 

marklcfc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 5, 2007
26
4
I see them, there's alot to choose from. I can see some attach to the macbook itself through using both ports. Can you still charge the macbook through this hub?
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,677
5,193
Your laptop comes with a bunch (depending on which one you own) of high-speed USB ports that use most recent USB standard connector. You can either upgrade the USB cables on your external devices (if they are detachable), or, as other have said, use a USB hub that offers legacy connectors. Each of the USB ports on your laptop natively supports DispayPort protocol (I am not sure whether they also support HDMI directly), so if your monitor does not support the newest standard you can always get a USB-to-DP cable or USB-to-HDMI adapter (depending on what your monitor uses). Or again, use a USB hub that integrates a HDMI port — most of them do.
 

salamanderjuice

macrumors member
Feb 28, 2020
44
26
I see them, there's alot to choose from. I can see some attach to the macbook itself through using both ports. Can you still charge the macbook through this hub?
Yes, if they support Power delivery. Read the specs and see what they say. Usually they'll say something like Power Delivery Port or USB-C pass-through charging with some wattage rating next to it like 45W or 60W or 100W. Get one that corresponds to the wattage of your MacBook's charger (e.g. 16" MBP would need 100W). I don't think there's much benefit to getting one of the ones that attaches to the MacBook through both ports, it's less flexible on what devices it'll support and unless you're running a ton of power hungry, speed hungry devices using both ports is overkill IMO.
 

marklcfc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 5, 2007
26
4
I don't think there's much benefit to getting one of the ones that attaches to the MacBook through both ports, it's less flexible on what devices it'll support and unless you're running a ton of power hungry, speed hungry devices using both ports is overkill IMO.
You’re probably right it just looks a bit of a mess when it isn’t
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,390
6,701
"I notice USB ports are now just thunderbolt"

NO.
STOP RIGHT THERE.


They are NOT "thunderbolt" ports.
They ARE "USBc ports" that also support thunderbolt connections.

Words mean things.
Repeat the above to yourself 15 times in succession, so that you remember this from now on.

What you need:
You can get short "dongles" like this that will enable you to connect USBa type cables to them:

Or... if your drives have removable cables "at the drive end", you could get cables with a USBc connector on one end, and a USBa connector on the other, like this:
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.