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Dock accessory company iVANKY recently launched its most powerful Thunderbolt dock yet, the FusionDock Max 1, which takes advantage of dual Thunderbolt chips and connections to offer the greatest amount of versatility I've seen in a Mac-focused dock. I've spent some time testing out the FusionDock Max 1 in my daily workflow, and I think I've found my new daily driver.

ivanky-fusiondock-max-1-installed.jpg

What sets the FusionDock Max 1 apart from other Thunderbolt docks on the market is the inclusion of dual Thunderbolt 4 chips, which essentially doubles the capacity of the dock, allowing you to run all sorts of displays and other peripherals at maximum speed. We'll dig into what that means for connectivity in just a minute, but let's start with an overview of the design and setup. Note that the FusionDock Max 1 is only compatible with Apple silicon Macs, so it won't work with older Intel Macs, Windows PCs, or Chromebooks.

The FusionDock Max 1 offers an eye-catching design in something of a midnight-colored aluminum housing. Rather than just featuring a simple brick shape, the FusionDock Max 1 has a unique "floating" design with a thin metal frame on the left side and bottom of the dock and the main body of the dock elevated on small legs. The design might help ensure some airflow around the dock, though I'm not sure just how much it actually assists in that regard. The dock can definitely get fairly warm during use, but I've never found it to get so hot that it's uncomfortable to leave a hand on it.

Similar to the Satechi USB-C Dual Dock Stand that I recently reviewed, the FusionDock Max 1 uses a dual-cable connection to your Mac, but this is Thunderbolt rather than the slower USB, so the greater bandwidth opens up a lot more possibilities for connectivity. The custom cable includes rather bulky housing on each end with a fixed arrangement of the two Thunderbolt connectors to match the port spacing on the dock and Apple's laptops. This makes it super easy to plug in and unplug the cable in one motion with very little fiddling required to get the connectors lined up properly.

The dock measures in at around 6.7 inches (17 cm) wide, 3.7 inches (9.4 cm) deep, and a little under 2 inches (5 cm) high, and there's a separate 180-watt power brick. The brick does have a fairly bright green light on it that could be distracting in dark rooms, but most users should be able to tuck it away on the floor or elsewhere where it won't be bothersome.

The dock itself has smooth surfaces on all sides, and it can tend to slide around on surfaces if it's bumped or even just under any sort of tension from the attached cables. Fortunately, iVANKY includes some sticky rubber pads you can install for either horizontal or vertical orientation of your dock, and those go a long way toward making sure the dock stays where you want it.

ivanky-fusiondock-max-1-rear.jpg

The dock's 20 ports are clearly labeled, which is great simply because there are so many that it's tricky to keep track of all of them. Aside from the DC-in barrel plug connection for power, everything is driven through a pair of 40 Gbps Thunderbolt USB-C ports stacked vertically on the rear on panel of the dock. iVANKY provides a custom cable with a vertically arranged dual connector on one end to fit these ports and a horizontally arranged dual connector on the other end to fit the exact spacing of adjacent Thunderbolt ports on your Mac.

Once you've hooked the dock up to power and your computer, your Mac will recognize the dock and you'll need to grant a couple privacy-related permissions, and then you'll be ready to go. The dock can deliver up to 96 watts of power to a connected computer, so you won't need a separate power connection for your Mac.

In addition to the DC-in and upstream Thunderbolt ports, the rear of the dock features two additional 40 Gbps USB-C ports that can drive up to 6K displays at 60Hz, and they can each provide up to 15 watts of power. For other types of displays, there are two HDMI ports supporting up to 4K displays at 60Hz, and while the ports officially support HDMI 2.1, iVANKY is only advertising them as supporting HDMI 2.0 due to Apple's limitations on docking stations connecting over USB-C/Thunderbolt. There are also three 10 Gbps USB-A ports delivering up to 7.5 watts of power each, a 2.5 Gb Ethernet port, a 3.5 mm audio out port, and a Toslink optical audio out port. A Kensington lock slot is also included to help physically secure the dock if desired.

ivanky-fusiondock-max-1-front.jpg

On the front of the dock, you'll find another pair of 40 Gbps Thunderbolt USB-C ports capable of driving up to 6K displays at 60Hz, a pair of 10 Gbps USB-C ports (one with 20-watt Power Delivery capabilities and one offering 7.5 watts), another pair of 10 Gbps USB-A ports with 7.5 watts of power, plus a 3.5 mm combo headphone/mic audio port and SD and TF/microSD slots supporting the UHS-II standard. There is a white LED on the front to indicate whether the dock has power, but it's dim enough that it's not bothersome in a dark room.

With this array of ports, the FusionDock Max 1 can support up to four external displays, but it depends on which Mac you have, as that's where the graphics horsepower is ultimately coming from. If you've got a Mac with the base M1, or M2 chip such as a MacBook Air, Mac mini, or entry-level MacBook Pro, you can only drive a single external display at up to 6K resolution. M3-based machines like the latest MacBook Air and entry-level MacBook Pro models should be able to drive a pair of displays as long as your Mac is in clamshell mode with the display off.

If you've got a Mac with an M1 Pro, M2 Pro, or M3 Pro chip such as a higher-end Mac mini or a mid-level MacBook Pro, you'll be able to drive dual displays at up to 6K via the dock in additional to an internal display for the MacBook Pro, and if you've got a Max or Ultra chip from any of those families, you can drive a total of four external displays at up to 6K resolution.

It's important to keep in mind that only the USB-C ports support 6K resolution, but there are four downstream ones available for display connections, two on the front and two on the back. The HDMI ports on the back can only support a maximum of 4K resolution.

I don't have any machines in my possession equipped with Max-level chips, so I wasn't able to push the FusionDock Max 1 to its limit when it comes to displays, but it had no trouble driving a pair of 5K displays from my 16-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro chip. I tried several other combinations of displ... Click here to read rest of article

Article Link: Review: iVANKY's FusionDock Max 1 Delivers Extreme Versatility With Dual Thunderbolt Connectivity
 
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MacRS4

macrumors 6502
Aug 18, 2010
330
467
London, UK
I have one of these, and it's solved several problems I was having with my docked 16 M3 Max Pro and 14 M3 Max Pro. I have a Studio Display, an LG 5K, and a Dell 4K screen plugged in. Before this dock I had two thunderbolt docks, but I'd have to have the LG plugged directly into the Mac, otherwise randomly one of the screens wouldn't wake up. Also, I was not getting great performance when a 10Gbe adapter was plugged into my old docks.

With this however, I've the two connections from the MBP and everything else plugged in to the Ivanky. So three screens and the 10Gbe. Everything works just fine, and all those waking/irritating problems have gone away.

I know screens take a lot of bandwidth, so I assume that's the issue I was running into before. With this setup however...it just works.

Apart from the cost - which was a little uncomfortable - it's solved my issues. Very happy with it so far.
 

LilyAa

macrumors newbie
Feb 10, 2023
5
3
Really missed opportunity that it doesn't have CFExpress type B and such a shame about apple being weird about hdmi 2.1 stuff, because DSC should easily enable 10 bit 4:4:4 4k120 signal with just 24gbps or somerhing, otherwise really cool product. I'm looking for a future of using a macbook pro as main pc at home so this dock is absolutely something I will consider when/if that time comes.
 

Bonte

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2002
1,165
506
Bruges, Belgium
That cable looks very badly designed. It looks like it will fit the spacing of the USB-C ports of currently available Macs, but what if Apple slightly changes the spacing of those ports on future Macs?
Then you need another cable, I think this is necessary to cut the connection in one go. Probably some weird stuff going to happen with only one cable.
 
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jimthing

macrumors 68000
Apr 6, 2011
1,987
1,158
I don't think I could have that product in my home or business simply because the name reminds me of a certain individual. 😝
Who on earth thought up the name iVanky? It sounds wrong on so many levels... the T guy, masturbatuon, Russian connotations right now... need I say more. o_O

Presumably it comes from the Chinese school of Amazon brand names, like Xgjddnj, TruPooo, PeeFree, ...anyone.
 
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v3rlon

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2014
893
712
Earth (usually)
Sorry, but two TB ports for that? Never mind the dollars.
Why not include NVME (or 2)?
I have a CF Xpress reader, micro SD reader, NVME, SATA SSD, and a handful of USBC and A connections for less money and a lot more functionality - and it only takes 1 TB connection.
 
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kelvin.lau

macrumors member
Jan 22, 2019
37
36
Got the dock a few months ago and it is awesome. With M1 Max, I can run 3XDR displays and a studio display flawlessly.

This was an upgrade compared to my previous setup:

1. Doubled my ethernet connection speed (ports on the XDR displays capped me at 500 mb/s). I could get this if I hooked it directly into MacBook, but my ports were fully utilized to power the XDRs already.
2. Enabled the ability to hook an Apple Studio display. Somehow the iVanky dock can enable the studio display at 5k, even though Apple advertises that M1Max can only support a fourth 4k monitor.
3. Freed up a USB-C port on the right.
4. Revived a malfunctioning XDR display.

Reviving the malfunctioning display was huge. After 4 years of ownership, one of my XDRs failed to boot up. The issue seems to have to do with the fact that MacBooks draw power from the display, and that interfered with the connection? (The faulty XDR works fine with my Mac Studio).

It is working fine with the iVanky dock, presumably because the dock doesn't draw power from the display.


I will say that the dock runs pretty hot. Hope that doesn't harm the lifespan of the dock. Overall very pleased

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Screenshot 2024-04-15 at 5.35.46 PM.png
 

Dj64Mk7

macrumors 65816
Sep 15, 2013
1,307
597
Got the dock a few months ago and it is awesome. With M1 Max, I can run 3XDR displays and a studio display flawlessly.

This was an upgrade compared to my previous setup:

1. Doubled my ethernet connection speed (ports on the XDR displays capped me at 500 mb/s). I could get this if I hooked it directly into MacBook, but my ports were fully utilized to power the XDRs already.
2. Enabled the ability to hook an Apple Studio display. Somehow the iVanky dock can enable the studio display at 5k, even though Apple advertises that M1Max can only support a fourth 4k monitor.
3. Freed up a USB-C port on the right.
4. Revived a malfunctioning XDR display.

Reviving the malfunctioning display was huge. After 4 years of ownership, one of my XDRs failed to boot up. The issue seems to have to do with the fact that MacBooks draw power from the display, and that interfered with the connection? (The faulty XDR works fine with my Mac Studio).

It is working fine with the iVanky dock, presumably because the dock doesn't draw power from the display.


I will say that the dock runs pretty hot. Hope that doesn't harm the lifespan of the dock. Overall very pleased

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That desk setup looks wicked cool!

What do you do for work that requires five monitors plus the internal display? (Or is it four monitors, the internal display, and an iPad?)
 

lairdo

macrumors member
Sep 27, 2008
33
44
I'm curious and have ordered one. I have mostly used CalDigit products which have generally been fine. I've not gotten them to run my XDR display in a way I like, so I am hoping this dock can do that (based on the above posts, it sounds like yes as I only have one and have a M2 Max MBP). Price was $399 with the MacRumors code.

I think the issue with a 10G ethernet connect is heat generation/cooling. 10G over ethernet requires a lot of processing power, and that generates a ton of heat. If you have a Thunderbolt 10G adapter, you know what I mean. It also is obvious when using 10G switches via Ethernet (as compared to a fiber connection). I think these docks max at 2.5G for that reason. So, I will still be using my 10G adapter via a Thunderbolt port.
 

BeatCrazy

macrumors 603
Jul 20, 2011
5,009
4,348
I don't get why anyone in this day and age would try to save a few cents by not having a 10Gb ethernet.
Is "anyone" an end customer, or manufacturer?

Early in this thread, I specifically called out the lack of 10Gbps Ethernet. Although it's niche, it's definitely a "pro" type feature. But 10Gbps (compared to 1G/2.5G) is not "a few cents" more. It brings with it a lot of heat as well, maybe some driver issues for macOS. I'd just like iVanky (or whoever) to tell me why they don't include it. I can speculate, but I acknowledge there's more to it than just a few cents added to the BOM.
 
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