Sonnet Launches Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort Adapter Compatible With Mac

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Sonnet today released a Thunderbolt 3 to dual DisplayPort adapter compatible with both Mac and Windows PCs.


The bus-powered device enables users to connect up to two 4K Ultra HD displays or one 5K display with DisplayPort to a single Thunderbolt 3 port, each at 60Hz, including the 2016 or later MacBook Pro. The adapter also works with displays with lower resolutions like 1,920×1,080 or 2,560×1,600.

Supported Resolutions
5120 x 2880
4096 x 2160
3840 x 2160
2560 x 1600
1920 x 1200
1920 x 1080
1280 x 720The adapter is also compatible with "active" DisplayPort-to-HDMI, DisplayPort-to-DVI, and DisplayPort-to-VGA adapters.


Sonnet's Thunderbolt 3 to dual DisplayPort adapter can be purchased on its website for $79 in the United States, although the company's press release says it has a suggested price of $89. DisplayPort cables are sold separately.

StarTech also sells a Thunderbolt 3 to dual DisplayPort adapter for $78.99 on B&H, but it's only compatible with Windows.

Article Link: Sonnet Launches Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort Adapter Compatible With Mac
 

HenrikWivel

macrumors member
Nov 2, 2016
30
53
Can anyone confirm that it supports 2560*1440? I can’t see it mentioned on their website.
 

zigzag801

macrumors member
Apr 5, 2008
48
0
As someone who currently has 4 monitors hooked up to 2016 MBP, does this mean I can now have 8...plus my laptop monitor, giving me 9....lol
 

campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
3,413
951
Can anyone confirm that it supports 2560*1440? I can’t see it mentioned on their website.
Confirmed that it's not in their supported resolutions (yet?) at this writing. I'll hazard a guess they'll edit their spec page soon given that the adapter shows that it does support 5120 x 28830…
 

kyjaotkb

macrumors 6502a
Nov 20, 2009
664
335
London, UK
As someone who currently has 4 monitors hooked up to 2016 MBP, does this mean I can now have 8...plus my laptop monitor, giving me 9....lol
I don't think your graphics card can handle it. I think this device is for people who want to use legacy monitor (e.g. Apple CinemaDisplay) as opposed to daisy-chaining newer TB display.
[doublepost=1502295718][/doublepost]In a world of 2-port low-end Macbook Pros, It would be nice if those dongles had another TB port or at least a USB3 port for daisy chaining peripherals.
 

manu chao

macrumors 604
Jul 30, 2003
6,596
2,608
I don't think your graphics card can handle it.
Graphic cards have a maximum data throughput rate (which number of displays, resolution, refresh rate, bit depth all add up to), but they also have a maximum limit of distinct displays that can be driven by them. I think this number is five for the graphic card(s) in the 15" MBP (which includes the built-in display).
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,685
3,289
I'm not sure what the purpose of this when, as far I as I know, MacOS still does not allow for multiple displays over a single Thunderbolt connection. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7866674?start=0&tstart=0

Further verified by Caldigit's current FAQ:

http://www.caldigit.com/usb-3-1-usb-c-dock/faq.asp
Can I connect dual external monitors to the 2016 MacBook Pro using the USB-C Dock on Mac OS?

Dual external monitors connected to the USB-C Dock are supported on Mac OS when using a mirrored desktop. For users looking to have an extended desktop over the two external monitors, this is not possible as Mac OS does not support MST (Multi Stream Transport) for docks within the OS. An extended desktop is supported on Windows OS which implements MST.
I would be glad to hear otherwise, but this has been a common limitation users have been running into with the current crop of docks, and it appears to be a MacOS software thing, rather than hardware.
 

DRDR

macrumors regular
Jul 23, 2008
101
118
Dual displays with this adapter are supported and work well. I used the Startech adapter with a 4K and a Cinema display. You could also use it with two 4k displays.
 

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2011
5,407
206
I'm not sure what the purpose of this when, as far I as I know, MacOS still does not allow for multiple displays over a single Thunderbolt connection. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7866674?start=0&tstart=0

Further verified by Caldigit's current FAQ:

http://www.caldigit.com/usb-3-1-usb-c-dock/faq.asp


I would be glad to hear otherwise, but this has been a common limitation users have been running into with the current crop of docks, and it appears to be a MacOS software thing, rather than hardware.
You're mistaking plain (cheap(ish)) USB-C docks to full-fledged (and expensive) Thunderbolt 3 docks. The latter are far more advanced and capable. The former indeed can't serve more than one display (without major restrictions); the latter can.
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,685
3,289
You're mistaking plain (cheap(ish)) USB-C docks to full-fledged (and expensive) Thunderbolt 3 docks. The latter are far more advanced and capable. The former indeed can't serve more than one display (without major restrictions); the latter can.
Perhaps, but this seems to come up often in even the Thunderbolt threads, and some of the warnings don't make it clear.

http://caldigit.com/usb-3-1-usb-c-dock/faq.asp#Video

The current MacBooks (USB-C version) and MacBook Pros (Thunderbolt 3 version) do not support multiple monitors in extended mode through MST hub. When you connect the USB-C Dock to two 4K monitors, you will have two mirrored 4K monitors extended from MacBook. In other words, the MacBook cannot support dual monitors in extended mode. It will only support one extended monitor and if two monitors are connected to the dock, both of the external monitors will mirror each other.
(I have a Thunderbolt 3 dock I use with Windows at my desk, and a 12" rMB for personal use, so it's not like I'm completely in the dark here regarding the differences). :D

It does look like even Caldigit's TB3 dock does allow for extended displays so, carry on...

http://www.caldigit.com/thunderbolt-3-dock/Dual-Monitor/
 

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2011
5,407
206
Perhaps, but this seems to come up often in even the Thunderbolt threads, and some of the warnings don't make it clear.

http://caldigit.com/usb-3-1-usb-c-dock/faq.asp#Video



(I have a Thunderbolt 3 dock I use with Windows at my desk, and a 12" rMB for personal use, so it's not like I'm completely in the dark here regarding the differences). :D

It does look like even Caldigit's TB3 dock does allow for extended displays so, carry on...

http://www.caldigit.com/thunderbolt-3-dock/Dual-Monitor/
Yup, it's always worth warning people in TB threads NOT to purchase a very similar but much less capable USB-C dock instead (because of the much lower price)
[doublepost=1502311110][/doublepost]
What no 480p for svideo?
actually. not a single TB3 dock, not even even 300-400 USD ones, support analogue SD video out. Get a decent converter (it won't be cheap...)
 
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theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,651
3,475
Perhaps, but this seems to come up often in even the Thunderbolt threads, and some of the warnings don't make it clear.
DisplayPort has its own standard ("DisplayPort Hub") that lets you drive two independent displays off a single DisplayPort stream. Regular USB-C (without thunderbolt) only carries a single (4-lane) DisplayPort stream so "DP Hub" is the only way a USB-C hub can support dual displays. Unfortunately, MacOS doesn't support this - you just get the same display mirrored. Even when supported, with DisplayPort 1.2 this can't support dual 4k displays at 60Hz.

Thunderbolt carries two separate DisplayPort streams (4 "virtual" lanes each) encoded into the thunderbolt signal. So, you've always been able to daisy chain displays using Thunderbolt. However, Thunderbolt 1 and 2 had the restriction that you could only extract one DisplayPort stream per thunderbolt peripheral - so each display had to be attached to a separate Thunderbolt device (or be a Thunderbolt display). So, you couldn't daisy-chain a DisplayPort device direct from a TB display, but if you chained a TB dock or disc drive between them, it worked. If you see a TB1/2 dock with dual display outputs, its probably relying on "DP Hub" and won't work on a Mac.

TB 3 peripherals, however, can use both DP streams in the same device - TB3 needs this to be able to run a 5k display, which needs two DP1.2 streams. It also makes dual-display devices possible. The give-away is that these devices can support dual 4k displays at 60Hz - impossible with a single DP1.2 stream.

So, yeah, one big reason to pay for a TB3 dock over a cheaper USB-C dock is if you're using 4k displays. Even though a USB-C dock can support a single 4k display @ 60Hz, that uses up all the high-speed wires will throttle any other devices on the dock to USB2 speed.
 

HenryAZ

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2010
627
109
South Congress AZ
Can anyone confirm that it supports 2560*1440? I can’t see it mentioned on their website.
I have never encountered a video card that did not support both. 2560x1440 is a 16:9 display (TV type), and 2560x1600 is 16:10, the more traditional computer monitor proportion. Both are in effect the same resolution, with the 16:10 giving you a bit more vertical space. The same difference applies to 1080p monitors. 1920x1080 for 16:9, and 1920x1200 for 16:10.
 

jlforester

macrumors member
Sep 3, 2007
31
17
Morgantown, WV



Sonnet today released a Thunderbolt 3 to dual DisplayPort adapter compatible with both Mac and Windows PCs.


The bus-powered device enables users to connect up to two 4K Ultra HD displays or one 5K display with DisplayPort to a single Thunderbolt 3 port, each at 60Hz, including the 2016 or later MacBook Pro. The adapter also works with displays with lower resolutions like 1,920×1,080 or 2,560×1,600.

Supported Resolutions
5120 x 2880
4096 x 2160
3840 x 2160
2560 x 1600
1920 x 1200
1920 x 1080
1280 x 720The adapter is also compatible with "active" DisplayPort-to-HDMI, DisplayPort-to-DVI, and DisplayPort-to-VGA adapters.


Sonnet's Thunderbolt 3 to dual DisplayPort adapter can be purchased on its website for $79 in the United States, although the company's press release says it has a suggested price of $89. DisplayPort cables are sold separately.

StarTech also sells a Thunderbolt 3 to dual DisplayPort adapter for $78.99 on B&H, but it's only compatible with Windows.

Article Link: Sonnet Launches Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort Adapter Compatible With Mac
The Startech adapter will work with MacOS, provided you're willing to use the tb3-enabler to patch the OS to make it work. I'm using it now. It's a pain, because you have to patch it for each new MacOS release. For that reason, i've ordered the Sonnet adapter. It using it to drive a 5K Dell monitor.
 
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