Monitor with USB ports - will this work?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by deepakvrao, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. deepakvrao macrumors 6502

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    #1
    What us an 'upstream USB' port? And, if I buy this monitor, and connect my MB to it with an HDMI cable, can the USB ports on the monitor be used for external drives? Will the USB ports provide enough power for portable drives? And, can I access those drives from my laptop?

    Edit: got the up/downstream thingie. Point is still whether if I connect via HDMi, data will be carried? And will the USB ports have power to drive drives?

    http://www1.ap.dell.com/content/pro...dell-p2417h-monitor?c=in&cs=inbsd1&l=en&s=bsd
     
  2. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

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    #2
    Are you asking about a 2015-2017 12 inch Retina MacBook with single USB-C port, or an older MacBook?
     
  3. deepakvrao thread starter macrumors 6502

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  4. Mike Boreham, Apr 18, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018

    Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Not sure I can give the whole answer but a few pointers:

    Obviously the MB does not have a HDMI port so you will need an hub/adapter which will give an HDMI port to connect the monitor, and also be able to charge the MB. There is a huge range of these from the basic Apple one to the big and expensive but capable OWC/Caldigit USB-C docking stations. All these hubs and docking stations provide additional USB ports as well.

    There shouldn't be any problem supplying enough power to a drive connected to either the USB port on the monitor or the OWC/Caldigit docking stations as they all have their own wall power supply.

    The smaller USB-C hubs with HDMI may not supply enough power to a drive connected to them as they will be sharing the computer power supply especially if there is more than one drive.

    However irrespective of power considerations, the single USB-C port on the MB has not got enough bandwidth to supply USB 3 data speed and 60Hz HDMI display signal simultaneously.

    I think you have to choose between 30hz display with USB3 speed drives, or 60hz display with USB2 speed drives.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 18, 2018 ---
    UPDATE: Just noticed your monitor is low res 1920 x 1080, so the bandwidth restriction I mentioned above may not apply. I think the 30hz vs 60hz issue applies to 4K monitors.
     
  5. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

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    #5
    The monitor will need to have a USB connection to the computer (via the hub) for the USB port on the monitor to carry data. It won't do it through HDMI.
     
  6. deepakvrao thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Thanks so much. Got it.

    Last question. If I get one of those monitors with a USB c connection, and USB ports, would the USB c cable from my MB 12 to the monitor charge my MB AND carry data to the monitors USB ports?
     
  7. Mike Boreham, Apr 18, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018

    Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Assuming you mean a different USB-C monitor, not the HDMI one. This article (amongst others) probably answers your questions:

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/1...-apples-usb-c-macbooks-is-as-simple-as-can-be

    Note these are 4K monitors so the 30/60 hz USB2/USB3 bandwidth limitation will apply.

    Note that the charging cable supplied with the MacBook is not intended to be a data cable. The one that came with my 2016 MB would only transfer data at USB2 speeds. There are cables that can supply power and USB3 data if all the components support USB3.
     

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