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tekcor

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
65
122
I have a 2017 MacBook Pro and an Apple Thunderbolt display. Connecting them is easily solvable, but it leaves me with a different problem. My goal is a true single-cable connection when at the desk. So with a Thunderbolt 3-to-2 adapter and an Elgato Dock, I can achieve that. But I'll use up both TB3/USBC ports on the dock, so should I ever want to add additional USB-C devices in the future, I'd have to connect to the MacBook directly instead of leaving them connected to the dock and therefore lose my single-cable design.

What I'm looking for is some way to add a TB3 port to the mix. If the Elgato had 3 TB3 ports instead of 2, this wouldn't be a problem. Of course, I know it isn't like splitting a headphone jack, but that's ok. Searching around has not yielded anything that would help, so I'm asking here.

If Henge Docks ever released anything promptly, that might be an option. A vertical dock from them would allow me to leave a USB-C a and Elgato dock connected to that. But it isn't available yet and probably won't be for another year given Henge Docks' track record. Plus, it's another $150 on top of the Elgato and doesn't allow me to use TouchID and the built-in screen.

Their Horizontal Dock has the potential to be perfect if it ever releases. So I'm thinking I just wait, but wanted to know if anybody else had other ideas.
 

Brookzy

macrumors 601
May 30, 2010
4,952
5,482
UK
On the plus side, most USB-C devices that you'd connect to the dock could just as easily be connected to a USB-A port.

And most Thunderbolt 3 devices have another downstream Thunderbolt 3 port (e.g. if you wanted to add a Thunderbolt 3 hard drive to that setup, you'd connect it to the dock, and then connect the Thunderbolt 3 display to the hard drive. And you can keep going, so long as the display remains the final link of the chain). Then you retain the single-cable life.
 

gee4vee

macrumors newbie
Sep 15, 2016
8
0
CA
I have a 2017 MacBook Pro and an Apple Thunderbolt display. Connecting them is easily solvable, but it leaves me with a different problem. My goal is a true single-cable connection when at the desk. So with a Thunderbolt 3-to-2 adapter and an Elgato Dock, I can achieve that. But I'll use up both TB3/USBC ports on the dock, so should I ever want to add additional USB-C devices in the future, I'd have to connect to the MacBook directly instead of leaving them connected to the dock and therefore lose my single-cable design.

What I'm looking for is some way to add a TB3 port to the mix. If the Elgato had 3 TB3 ports instead of 2, this wouldn't be a problem. Of course, I know it isn't like splitting a headphone jack, but that's ok. Searching around has not yielded anything that would help, so I'm asking here.

If Henge Docks ever released anything promptly, that might be an option. A vertical dock from them would allow me to leave a USB-C a and Elgato dock connected to that. But it isn't available yet and probably won't be for another year given Henge Docks' track record. Plus, it's another $150 on top of the Elgato and doesn't allow me to use TouchID and the built-in screen.

Their Horizontal Dock has the potential to be perfect if it ever releases. So I'm thinking I just wait, but wanted to know if anybody else had other ideas.
CalDigit makes arguably the best TB3 dock of all (http://shop.caldigit.com/us/TS3Plus-US05). I have the non-plus model and love it. If you used that in combination with https://www.startech.com/AV/thunderbolt-3-video-adapters/thunderbolt-3-to-dual-displayport~TB32DP2T you could in theory hook up 3 monitors total over single USB-C port.
 

tekcor

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
65
122
CalDigit makes arguably the best TB3 dock of all (http://shop.caldigit.com/us/TS3Plus-US05). I have the non-plus model and love it. If you used that in combination with https://www.startech.com/AV/thunderbolt-3-video-adapters/thunderbolt-3-to-dual-displayport~TB32DP2T you could in theory hook up 3 monitors total over single USB-C port.
Hot damn, that’s the kind of device I’ve been looking for. I don’t need so many monitors, but the dual USB-C ports is the feature I’ve been missing on the other docks. Thank you.
 

Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
4,199
1,463
BUMP!

Anything new on the market?
I have CalDigit TS3+ and all four ports taken.

Port1: CalDigit TS3+, UltraFine 4K on the passthrough port
Port2: USB-C to miniDP Adapter for PackedPixels display (doesn't work over the fullsize display port on CalDigit)
Port3: Firewire audio interface (will be upgraded to thunderbolt audio interface)
Port4: TB3 NVMe SSD

None can be connected to the USB-C 3.1 and 3.0 ports on the CalDigit.
Both displays are just a waste of bandwidth too, so I could easily get away with a splitter, if it existed

edit: also, none of the devices (except CalDigit) have a passthrough port, so I can't daisy chain. The audio interface i'm gonna get doesn't have a daisy chain port either.

edit2: a usb-c to 2x display port splitter won't do good either, because it's annoying hard to convert USB-C input of the ultrafine 4K to display port.
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
9,979
2,264
BUMP!

Anything new on the market?
I have CalDigit TS3+ and all four ports taken.

Port1: CalDigit TS3+, UltraFine 4K on the passthrough port
Port2: USB-C to miniDP Adapter for PackedPixels display (doesn't work over the fullsize display port on CalDigit)
Port3: Firewire audio interface (will be upgraded to thunderbolt audio interface)
Port4: TB3 NVMe SSD


The new UltraFine 4K has two TBv3 ports. Should be able to do :

Port1: Ultrafine 4K , CalDigit TS3+ and there would be a "downstream" TBv3 port on dock that could provision a legacy DP stream (presuming video on TS3 not used and GPU isn't over loaded and not another video sink on port 2). Or do the TB->FW adapter conversion (if not particularly loading the TS3+ too hard).

or similarly

Port1 : Ultrafine , TB->FW adapter
....
Port 4: Caldigit , TB3 NVMe SSD


Port2: USB-C to miniDP Adapter for PackedPixels display (doesn't work over the fullsize display port on CalDigit)

This dock has miniDP.

https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/docks/owc-thunderbolt-3-dock


Although in the configuration Caldigit , Ultrafine if put anything that attempts to get a DisplayPort stream on port two the DP port on the Caldigit may/may not get a DP stream since probably tapped out on that TB controller ( shared by Port 1 and Port 2 ).
[automerge]1572416468[/automerge]
....
What I'm looking for is some way to add a TB3 port to the mix. If the Elgato had 3 TB3 ports instead of 2, this wouldn't be a problem. Of course, I know it isn't like splitting a headphone jack, but that's ok. Searching around has not yielded anything that would help, so I'm asking here.

The current TB controllers don't work that way. The future USB 4 probably won't work that way either.
To a large extent TB controllers are a switch. The data coming downstream is either for this system or the one next on the daisychain. That makes for a each switch decision. So it is easy to make even at 40Gb/s. That keeps the costs down.

A 40GB/s Ethernet switch costs no where near what a TB controller chip costs. Fast and minimal fan out or more fan out and slower. If constrained on cheap/affordable that is a pick one or the other situation.

That is also a major contributor why "dead ender" TB devices ( no downstream ports ) are also cheaper ( zero fan out .... cheaper still ).

More future TBv3/USB4 docks will show up with more USB 3.(1-2) only Type C ports (i.e., USB hubs) , but the TBv3/USB4 ports will probably still number zero , one , or two. If USB4 brings the costs down incremetnally perhaps will get more devices that are twos ( i.e., less dead enders). Sort of like the transtion the Ultrafine 4K made from 2016 to 2019 models.
 
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Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
4,199
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The new UltraFine 4K has two TBv3 ports. Should be able to do :

Port1: Ultrafine 4K , CalDigit TS3+ and there would be a "downstream" TBv3 port on dock that could provision a legacy DP stream (presuming video on TS3 not used and GPU isn't over loaded and not another video sink on port 2). Or do the TB->FW adapter conversion (if not particularly loading the TS3+ too hard).

or similarly

Port1 : Ultrafine , TB->FW adapter
....
Port 4: Caldigit , TB3 NVMe SSD




This dock has miniDP.

https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/docks/owc-thunderbolt-3-dock


Although in the configuration Caldigit , Ultrafine if put anything that attempts to get a DisplayPort stream on port two the DP port on the Caldigit may/may not get a DP stream since probably tapped out on that TB controller ( shared by Port 1 and Port 2 ).
Unfortunately i have gen1 Ultrafine 4K that doesn't have a passthrough port. And i quite like it.


The caldigit generally supports two streams, the problem is that PackedPixels gen1 won't work well with -any- dock (as manufacturer said), so OWC probably wouldn't help.
If i connect packedpixels through thunderbolt passthrough with miniDP adapter, it doesn't work either. However the UltraFine 4K works fine.

I was thinking about something like this:
https://www.giztop.com/huawei-vr-2-computer-connection-cable.html
so i can connect ultrafine4k to the existing DisplayPort and regain a thunderbolt connection it now occupies.

In the mean time, i'll probably just connect the second drive to usb3.1 gen2 10gbit.
 
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