Sonnet Launches Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort Adapter Compatible With Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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
  2. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
    Price may go down as time passes.

    I desperately need a new Mac. Mine only supports TB and USB 2.0 and barely 2 displays.
  3. HenrikWivel macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2016
    Can anyone confirm that it supports 2560*1440? I can’t see it mentioned on their website.
  4. zigzag801 macrumors member

    Apr 5, 2008
    As someone who currently has 4 monitors hooked up to 2016 MBP, does this mean I can now have my laptop monitor, giving me
  5. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    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…
  6. kyjaotkb macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2009
    London, UK
    it's just that portrait-mode29K is not that commonly used in apps these days :rolleyes:
  7. Joe Rossignol Editor

    Joe Rossignol

    Staff Member

    May 12, 2012
    I meant to write 2560x1600. It's not listed, but I've reached out to Sonnet to see if 2560x1440 is supported too.
  8. kyjaotkb macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2009
    London, UK
    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.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 9, 2017 ---
    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.
  9. pat500000 Suspended


    Jun 3, 2015
  10. manu chao macrumors 603

    Jul 30, 2003
    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).
  11. DRDR macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2008
  12. palter macrumors member


    Feb 17, 2006
    Boston, MA
  13. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    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.

    Further verified by Caldigit's current FAQ:
    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.
  14. DRDR macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2008
    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.
  15. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    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.
  16. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Perhaps, but this seems to come up often in even the Thunderbolt threads, and some of the warnings don't make it clear.

    (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...
  17. JosephAW macrumors 68020


    May 14, 2012
  18. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    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)
    --- Post Merged, Aug 9, 2017 ---
    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...)
  19. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    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.
  20. HenryAZ macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2010
    South Congress AZ
    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.
  21. jlforester macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2007
    Morgantown, WV
    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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