Thunderbolt 1 to USB3 hub for 2011/2012 Macbook Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by serr, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. serr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #1
    I need a thunderbolt 1 to USB3 hub for the 2011/2012 Macbook Pro with TB1 ports. (TB2 backwards compatible would be just fine too.)

    What are the recommended models with full support?

    What I mean by that is full USB3 support (which is obviously supported within TB1 spec) for use with USB3 HD cameras.

    I'm aware that there are budget adapter products sold that are aimed more at adapting the "new" TB connection for "old" devices that don't even attempt to offer the bandwidth available. More of a band aid to allow use of low bandwidth devices with "old style plugs" for the "average consumer". That's not what I need.

    What are the "pro" recommendations?

    Thanks!
     
  2. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #2
    I own/run a small engineering company and, therefore, have vendors showing up with toys, er, equipment to demo. I am moving it, and myself, to the USB-C interface by the end of this year. That written…

    Relevant to what you're looking for I can only recommend one adapter and one "dock". The adapter is made by Kanex and there's two versions, which was created by a user poll on their website; another company sells a re-branded product. Version one is a TB>eSATA/USB3 adapter and version 2 is a TB>Ethernet/USB3 - both have served us well. I'll be looking to Kanex again for a TB3 solution like this. The TB electronics' cost put these at about $70-80. IMO there isn't anything else like it out there.

    If it were my personal money, I'd spend about $125 more and buy the dock we're using in my offices, the HighPoint RocketStor 6351A TB dock. I looked, they're still available on Amazon. Funny bit, the unit w/o the cable is $300 but w/ the cable it's $90 less. $210 gets several more ports than the Kanex unit including USB3 ports that have charging capability, plus eSATA, plus Ethernet, plus TB passthrough. The units in play here have been bulletproof.
     
  3. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #3
    The AKiTiO Thunder2 Dock has been extremely consistent for my usage and far more consistent than other Thunderbolt docks I have used - this is especially true in regards to FireWire 800 chains. IIRC you can sometimes find them on sale for around $150. As an added benefit, you also get two eSATA ports, which are really nice for secondary storage devices that are connected to the system for extended or continuous periods of time (IMO nicer than USB 3.)
     
  4. serr thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    #4
    Thank you all for the replies!

    Does anyone have any comments regarding TB1 vs. TB2?
    Obviously TB1 should support multiple connected USB3 hubs at full speed just looking at the calculator. But it's all fun in theory... Anything to watch out for aiming to use a TB1 machine with these newer TB2 hubs? Any TB2 model that might be known to limit USB3 when connected to TB1 even though it shouldn't?
     
  5. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #5
    Honestly, I notice little difference between TB1 and TB2 for the general personal usage I use TB for - I use both a 2012 i7 Mini Server (TB1) and a late-2013 rMBP (TB2) generally with DAS. At work, there's several of the same Mini Servers as part of xMac-based video ingest stations; they're equipped with dual 1TB Samsung 850 Pro SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration - they're workhorses that keep up with the attached arrays and make a nice profit for me (rather, my company), and TB really makes the combination sing. I honestly couldn't tell much of a difference when one of our TB2-equipped PCs or Macs are swapped out for one of the TB1 Minis.

    IMHO, the limiting "factor" in measuring throughput almost always is the device's bus/controller and the software being used. FWIW, one of my vendors emailed me over the weekend - he knows I'm wanting to move to hardware with USB-C ports (my xMacs are upgradeable to TB3!) - and he indicated that a LOT of now-older hardware with the USB-A and TB1/2 DP interface got an "EOL" tag; the June 30 inventory reminders went out too - there ought to be some good sales on soon-to-be-legacy hardware coming up!
     

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