Super Sticky Thread for USB-C Docks, Cables and Accessories [MERGED]

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,342
2,213
US
Not sure if this thread includes info about good, third-party charging cords, but I need a suggestion for some good, sturdy ones that won't break the bank.

Any ideas? I posted a thread asking, but have had no responses. Needed for 2017 and 2018 iPads.

Also, any good third-party blocks? The bigger ones for the iPads, not the phone ones? I need to get some replacement items for my grandkids' iPads and I just can't do that many Apple ones at once.
FWIW this thread is aimed at USB-C related stuff, so unless you're referring to the newest iPad Pro it probably doesn't apply much to your Lightning connector iPads.

Generally speaking though, any MFI certified lightning cable should be fine. That's probably why you haven't seen much response. Go onto Amazon and look for stuff with high ratings and lots of reviews. Amazon Basics brand has been good in my experience, as has Monoprice brand.

For power supplies, go with well known names -- Anker has a solid reputation and is often my go-to. Aukey seems to be doing some good stuff too. Again, look on Amazon and see what the reviews say. Take with a grain of salt -- there are some people out there posting poor reviews blaming the product for their own lack of understanding or for the shipping company screwing up or other stuff unrelated to the item's quality.
[doublepost=1543354883][/doublepost]
Only $300 to plug in a monitor that I could attach to my last MacBook Pro with a $10 cable. Ingenious. Those guys at Apple just can't stop innovating, can they?
What's with the histrionics. Just go buy a USBC to Displayport cable and you're done.
Here's the one I'm using https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XTZZYKX

Not Apple's fault if you weren't aware that such a cable exists.

I think I can buy a direct USB Type-C to DisplayPort cable, which appears to be the ONLY sub-$300 solution for attaching a 4K60 display to the USB Type-C MacBook Pros.
Not at all. A quick google search of "USB-C Hub 4k60" produces several options supporting 4K60.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lobo1978

mattjackson

macrumors regular
Mar 11, 2014
183
24
For anyone interested, I ended up going for the CalDigit USB-C dock (http://caldigit.com/usb-3-1-usb-c-dock/).

Really pleased with it. It sits neatly on my desk by my monitor and all my 'permanent' cables plug into the back so I don't see them (DisplayPort, ethernet, power cable for the dock, USB C connector going to my MacBook Pro), and then on the front is a USB port and audio jacks).

It's worked flawlessly so far from the moment I plugged it in. Only thing you have to do is install a driver if you want to use the ethernet port, but the instructions with the dock tell you how to do so and it took literally a minute or so.

I'd highly recommend this.
 

Alameda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 22, 2012
623
103
What's with the histrionics. Just go buy a USBC to Displayport cable and you're done.
Here's the one I'm using https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XTZZYKX
Exactly. All you have to do is buy another cable which does exactly what the old one already did!

Not at all. A quick google search of "USB-C Hub 4k60" produces several options supporting 4K60.
That’s not so. These docks say all sorts of stuff, and it’s up to you to read the fine print and make sure you’ll get 4K60 and not 4K30. It’s not easy at all.

I bought a Thpe-C to HDMI: They claim 4K60, but I can only get 4K30. Then I bought a Kensington Nucleum hub. It said 4K. After you buy it, they tell you it’s 4K30, not 4K60. Thanks, Kensington! I thought you were the high quality brand. I finally bought the Thpe-C to DP cable. It works. But through a hub, I think you need a pretty expensive hub.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,342
2,213
US
it’s up to you to read the fine print and make sure you’ll get 4K60 and not 4K30. It’s not easy at all.

I bought a Thpe-C to HDMI: They claim 4K60, but I can only get 4K30. Then I bought a Kensington Nucleum hub. It said 4K. After you buy it, they tell you it’s 4K30, not 4K60. Thanks, Kensington! I thought you were the high quality brand. I finally bought the Thpe-C to DP cable. It works. But through a hub, I think you need a pretty expensive hub.
I haven't had need to buy 4K capable hubs, so haven't had the experience -- yet if I'm buying from an Amazon listing that lists 4K60 and find out the device doesn't actually support it, the device is going back on their dime.

All that said, the Google search I mentioned has this unit at the top of the results (for me): https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-Multiport-DisplayPort-Ethernet/dp/B06Y5N3YCD

A quick glance at the reviews suggests it does indeed deliver 4K60.

Buyers do need to remember though that you're not going to get much else out of any USB3 hub that supports 4K60. Really need to go to Thunderbolt for that sort of capability, which entails spending more to get something that's going to work well. Such as the Caldigit TS3+.
 

Alameda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 22, 2012
623
103
I haven't had need to buy 4K capable hubs, so haven't had the experience -- yet if I'm buying from an Amazon listing that lists 4K60 and find out the device doesn't actually support it, the device is going back on their dime.

All that said, the Google search I mentioned has this unit at the top of the results (for me): https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-Multiport-DisplayPort-Ethernet/dp/B06Y5N3YCD

A quick glance at the reviews suggests it does indeed deliver 4K60.

Buyers do need to remember though that you're not going to get much else out of any USB3 hub that supports 4K60. Really need to go to Thunderbolt for that sort of capability, which entails spending more to get something that's going to work well. Such as the Caldigit TS3+.
It took me a while to figure out what that thing does for $40. The answer? Very little.
It says it requires DP-Alt Mode.
What's that mean? Besides Power, a USB Type-C cable has six differential pairs for sending high speed data. Two of those pairs are used for USB 2.0. The other four can be used for USB 3.0/3.1, or DisplayPort, or Thunderbolt.
It's possible to use two pairs for USB 3.0 and two pairs for DisplayPort. But if you use DisplayPort 4K60, all four pairs are used for DisplayPort, so this little hub is just DisplayPort + USB 2.0. Pretty "Meh," if you ask me, especially for $40.00.

This is a big problem I have with USB Type-C connectivity: It's extremely difficult to know what you're buying and how it will perform. As a standard, it seems to be designed specially to reward shady manufacturers who will advertise "4K" when they mean "4K30" and "USB" when they mean "USB 2.0," even though, these days, nobody can purchase a display which is only 4K30 and barely any USB 2.0 devices are sold.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,342
2,213
US
This is a big problem I have with USB Type-C connectivity
USB Type C is a connector. Like USB Type A is a connector. Or Type B.

You can have Thunderbolt 3 on a Type C connector or you can have USB3 on a type C connector. USB3 is also seen on a Type A connector, and also a variant of Type B and micro B connectors. You can even get DisplayPort on a USB Type C connector.

I've not seen any USB3 over Type C devices mistakenly marketed as Thunderbolt 3, nor vice versa.

Still, yes - when you go to a common connector for different thing, the tradeoff for those benefits (which I think are huge*) is the end user has to actually do a little research to understand things.

It's extremely difficult to know what you're buying and how it will perform. As a standard, it seems to be designed specially to reward shady manufacturers who will advertise "4K" when they mean "4K30" and "USB" when they mean "USB 2.0," even though, these days, nobody can purchase a display which is only 4K30 and barely any USB 2.0 devices are sold.
Again, "Type C" is connector -- you're confusing the connector type with the data protocol (TB3 / USB3 and it's flavors)

If manufacturers are lying to or misleading consumers, that's NOT the fault of the port or technology. So don't blame USBC or USB Type C for scummy vendors trying to make a quick buck with substandard stuff.

If a company is fraudulently advertising a capability it doesn't have, you return it. File a complaint with the retailer. File a complaint with the FTC or appropriate governing body where you live. In the mean time, do your research and read the reviews before you make your purchase.

Sure, if you buy some cheap crap it's likely not to perform. So READ REVIEWS and see what it is you're really getting. Guess what, just like always, you need to do your own research.

If you want the most out of a dock/hub, go with a Thunderbolt 3 dock. Of course, you have to spend more for it. Thunderbolt hubs have always cost a bunch. If you're okay with USB2 ports plus 4K display, then a USB3 class hub will do the job for a lower price. Just don't expect TB3 performance from a USB3 hub.

(*) benefits -- I can connect power to whichever side of the computer is most convenient and least in the way. Same for external video or ethernet or external drives. Left side, right side, doesn't matter. Whichever works best for the situation. Huge plus vs. the discrete port type scenarios from years past where your power connector was in the same place no matter which side your outlet might be on in that particular place you're working. Or which side is more convenient for the external video connection - used to always be in one spot regardless of situation.
 
Last edited:

Alameda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 22, 2012
623
103
USB Type C is a connector. Like USB Type A is a connector. Or Type B.

You can have Thunderbolt 3 on a Type C connector or you can have USB3 on a type C connector. USB3 is also seen on a Type A connector, and also a variant of Type B and micro B connectors. You can even get DisplayPort on a USB Type C connector.

I've not seen any USB3 over Type C devices mistakenly marketed as Thunderbolt 3, nor vice versa.

Still, yes - when you go to a common connector for different thing, the tradeoff for those benefits (which I think are huge*) is the end user has to actually do a little research to understand things.



Again, "Type C" is connector -- you're confusing the connector type with the data protocol (TB3 / USB3 and it's flavors)

If manufacturers are lying to or misleading consumers, that's NOT the fault of the port or technology. So don't blame USBC or USB Type C for scummy vendors trying to make a quick buck with substandard stuff.

If a company is fraudulently advertising a capability it doesn't have, you return it. File a complaint with the retailer. File a complaint with the FTC or appropriate governing body where you live. In the mean time, do your research and read the reviews before you make your purchase.

Sure, if you buy some cheap crap it's likely not to perform. So READ REVIEWS and see what it is you're really getting. Guess what, just like always, you need to do your own research.

If you want the most out of a dock/hub, go with a Thunderbolt 3 dock. Of course, you have to spend more for it. Thunderbolt hubs have always cost a bunch. If you're okay with USB2 ports plus 4K display, then a USB3 class hub will do the job for a lower price. Just don't expect TB3 performance from a USB3 hub.

(*) benefits -- I can connect power to whichever side of the computer is most convenient and least in the way. Same for external video or ethernet or external drives. Left side, right side, doesn't matter. Whichever works best for the situation. Huge plus vs. the discrete port type scenarios from years past where your power connector was in the same place no matter which side your outlet might be on in that particular place you're working. Or which side is more convenient for the external video connection - used to always be in one spot regardless of situation.
I think that's a lot of "caveat emptor" talk which is just the mentality of putting the consumer last.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,342
2,213
US
I think that's a lot of "caveat emptor" talk which is just the mentality of putting the consumer last.
Welcome to the real world. There's a reason "caveat emptor" has been around for hundreds of years. It's called human nature.

Sure you can wish it to be different. Wish in one hand and sht in the other, see which fills up first.

By the way, any time you find a for-profit company that claims to care about you, they're typically lying. They care about profits and making their shareholders happy. Some companies position themselves to tap into certain markets, and act a certain way to do so, but at the end of the day they're focus is on their own success not yours.
 

roland.g

macrumors 604
Apr 11, 2005
6,560
1,485
2018 15” MacBook Pro Space Gray

Monitor: Dell 34” Curved 21:9 3440x1440
No need for dual monitor support

Wants:
Pass through full 87W charging or dedicated charging via dock power
Some array of connectivity
Monitor via HDMI, DisplayPort, or Mini DisplayPort (Dell has variety of inputs)

Would like but not dealbreakers:
Card reader
Nice form factor and matching color

Not critical to attach vs cable in.
Looking at USB-C for price. Don’t need TB3 performance.

Looked at:
Belkin Express
CalDigit USB-C
OWC USB-C
Hyperdrive (Satechi)
Henge Stone (soured a bit after reading on it some and pricing)

Recommendations from real world use. I’ve tried reading the thread. And the articles online don’t really help.

Is lower 60 or so power from some docks ok? Just slightly slower charging?

Are there some I need to plug a charger into. Options for a replacement MacBook Pro charger and USC Cable to dock for passthrough to keep always connected to dock if it isn’t self powered (and keep OEM charger in my bag).

Thanks for any help!!
 
Last edited:

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,342
2,213
US
@roland.g As for power - the MBP will be just fine with 60W power -- sure it'll charge a little more slowly, but that's likely not going to matter. In general usage, you'll really need to push the MBP to outrun a 60W power supply. Possible, but not a common use case.

At least with the Caldigit TS3+, it comes with its own power supply. I just got mine from the BF $240 refub deal on Caldigit's site. Smaller than I thought. Key for me is dual monitor support

As for USBC vs TB3, just remember you're looking at 10Gbps vs 40Gbps bandwidth. So think through what you plan to do with the device in the long term. I decided to abide by the "buy once, cry once" creed.
 

Alameda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 22, 2012
623
103
2018 15” MacBook Pro Space Gray

Monitor: Dell 34” Curved 21:9 3440x1440
No need for dual monitor support

Wants:
Pass through full 87W charging or dedicated charging via dock power
Some array of connectivity
Monitor via HDMI, DisplayPort, or Mini DisplayPort (Dell has variety of inputs)

Would like but not dealbreakers:
Card reader
Nice form factor and matching color

Not critical to attach vs cable in.
Looking at USB-C for price. Don’t need TB3 performance.

Looked at:
Belkin Express
CalDigit USB-C
OWC USB-C
Hyperdrive (Satechi)
Henge Stone (soured a bit after reading on it some and pricing)

Recommendations from real world use. I’ve tried reading the thread. And the articles online don’t really help.

Is lower 60 or so power from some docks ok? Just slightly slower charging?

Are there some I need to plug a charger into. Options for a replacement MacBook Pro charger and USC Cable to dock for passthrough to keep always connected to dock if it isn’t self powered (and keep OEM charger in my bag).

Thanks for any help!!
Here’s what I’ve learned:
The USB-C connection is very ast & flexible EXCEPT when it comes to video. That’s because video takes up so much of the link’s bandwidth, especially 4K60, which uses up about half the total bandwidth. And the docks with true 4K60 support are pretty expensive. A two-cable solution with powered dock + Display cable might make more sense.

I have a Belkin Thunderbolt Dock at my office which includes video. My display is higher than 1080p but less than 4K. I just had to buy a Thunderbolt to Type-C adapter, which was pretty pricey. I’ve had this dock for about five years. It’s got video, USB, and an Ethernet port which I use — so I have to attach the dock’s cable and a separate MagSafe power cable (I had to buy an adapter to make that work. I hate this USB Type-C only approach).

At home, I have a full 4K monitor. I bought an inexpensive “Nucleum” Dock from Kensington. About $60. It has 60W power, HDMI and USB. But the HDMI is only 4K30, and there’s no DP. So it’s also a two cable solution — Dock with power, plus video direct to the MacBook. But this dock is much smaller than the Belkin dock. I had to buy a Type-C to DisplayPort cable to make this work, and I could only get full video performance with one of the four Type-C ports.

And then I bought a Type-C to HDMI and a Type-C to USB Type-A.

Overall, it’s the worst connectivity solution I’ve ever had. The adapters and singles are very inconvenient and clumsy to use. I deliver presentations all the time, and no HDMI is a serious limitation to me.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,342
2,213
US
Yeah. I pretty much decided to spend the money on the TS3+.
Watch for a sale on their refurbs. I got a space-gray TS3+ with 0.5M cable for $240 on Black Friday. Took some of the sting out of it.

Works really well with dual monitors - DP to a Dell U2717D QHD and USBC->DP to a Dell P2217H 1080p (in portrait orientation)
 

roland.g

macrumors 604
Apr 11, 2005
6,560
1,485
Watch for a sale on their refurbs. I got a space-gray TS3+ with 0.5M cable for $240 on Black Friday. Took some of the sting out of it.

Works really well with dual monitors - DP to a Dell U2717D QHD and USBC->DP to a Dell P2217H 1080p (in portrait orientation)
I wish I had been ready on that decision on BF. I do plan to keep an eye out. I only have a single 34” UW 21:9 Dell.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,342
2,213
US
I wish I had been ready on that decision on BF. I do plan to keep an eye out. I only have a single 34” UW 21:9 Dell.
I run dual monitors due as it provides some handy functionality in Photo Mechanic and Lightroom that doesn't entirely exist in a single-monitor setup. Specifically, both let me display a grid (contact sheet) view of photos in the portrait smaller monitor, with the selected image mostly occupying the larger 27" monitor. Not a use-case common to a lot of folks, but it works for me.
 
Last edited:

apiro

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2017
169
104
Hey guys,

I'm going to ask for a strange thing but...

Has anyone seen Thunderbolt 3 to eight (or more) USB-A 3.0 ports dock/adapter? (I'm guessing it should be eight as TB3 40 Gbps / USB 3.0 5 Gbps = 8.) Other ports are not necessary. The cheaper the better.

The nearest I've seen is CalDigit TS3 Plus with 7 USB-A/USB-C ports but it's too expensive as it has a lot of other functionality as well.

Thanks in advance!
 

knownastron

macrumors newbie
Sep 18, 2014
9
2
Is there a USB-C to multiple USB-C hub?

I want to hook up 2 monitors to a single USB-C hub. The 2 Monitors will go HDMI -> USB-C -> Hub -> Macbook.

All the hubs I see usually only have a single USB-C input. I wouldn't mind a hub with 3 USB-C (one for charing) and a couple USB 3.0 as well.
 

Amigaman

macrumors regular
Sep 29, 2007
239
30
Greenville, MI
Is there a USB-C to multiple USB-C hub?

I want to hook up 2 monitors to a single USB-C hub. The 2 Monitors will go HDMI -> USB-C -> Hub -> Macbook. All the hubs I see usually only have a single USB-C input. I wouldn't mind a hub with 3 USB-C (one for charing) and a couple USB 3.0 as well.
Would something like this StarTech hub this work? It has two USB-C ports and an HDMI port.