Thunderbolt dock - torn between Belkin and Elgato

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by c-Row, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. c-Row macrumors 65816

    c-Row

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Germany
    #1
    Does anybody here have any experience with either the Belkin Thunderbolt Express or the Elgato Thunderbolt dock?

    I want to replace my "old" iMac (2009 model) and use my MBA with a dock instead but haven't yet decided which one to favor. My future setup would include both an external FireWire hard drive as well as an external monitor connected via HDMI, but unfortunately none of the above docks offers both.

    Belkin's Thunderbolt Express comes with a FireWire 800 ports but I'd have to buy an adapter cable to connect my monitor to one of the Thunderbolt ports. The Elgato dock on the other hand offers HDMI out of the box but doesn't include the already mentioned FireWire port.

    There seems to be no way to avoid at least one adapter cable but I am not sure which one makes more sense. Which one would you rather get?
     
  2. Supercherry macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    #2
    One of our users has his MacBook Pro on the Belkin dock and is really happy with it.

    I would get it along with one of these: http://amzn.com/B00APLJ58M
     
  3. Windowsrefugee macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Location:
    Microsoft Land
  4. c-Row thread starter macrumors 65816

    c-Row

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Germany
    #4
    But it doesn't solve the initial problem. ;) The CalDigit dock was in fact the third on my list but in my opinion Elgato's looks more elegant.


    Nice, and not too expensive either. Suggestion thankfully noted. :)
     
  5. willgreene99 macrumors regular

    willgreene99

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Location:
    DFW
    #5
    I have both and here are my observations.

    They both work well with a minimal amount of peripherals.

    When I max out the number of external mini-hard drives connected to the USB3 ports, I notice that the Belkin has problems supplying enough power to drive three whereas the Elgata does not suffer from that problem.

    The Elgatao has a smaller footprint than the Belkin.

    They both can get warm when I am driving an external monitor through the HDMI port.

    If you won't be connecting three drives simultaneously that draw power from the hub, then you should be fine for both. If you find yourself connecting three USB powered drives, then get the Elgato.

    I don't often connect three drives, unless I am transferring files around for backups and stuff, other than that, both will work well.

    One caveat, don't expect to get full USB3 speeds from the Belkin, after running several speed tests using BlackMagic, I did notice an overhead that sucks about 20Mbs off of the native speed compared to when plugged directly into the Mac's USB port. The Elgato also suffered from this but not to the degree that the Belkin did.

    Hope that helps.
     
  6. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #6
  7. c-Row thread starter macrumors 65816

    c-Row

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Germany
    #7
    The Belkin dock has some pretty bad reviews on Amazon regarding both its quality and the company's tech support, so for now I favor the Elgato dock.
     
  8. webstarcool macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    SFO
    #8
    I have the Caldigit dock and it works flawlessly. Mine is stowed away behind my monitor anyway, so design is not very important to me. Stability is and I have heard that the Belkin is not the best on that area. I did have some problems with my Caldigit in the beginning, but after an update (I don't remember which one), it worked just fine.

    I don't have experience with the other two you are mentioning, but I can vouch for the Caldigit.

    Cheers
     
  9. Windowsrefugee macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Location:
    Microsoft Land
    #9
    Completely agree on Caldiit. Have 2 in the office and they are flawless. Never had any problems. Just plug and play.
     
  10. pietrov macrumors regular

    pietrov

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #10
    I'd like to know if anybody has a thunderbolt docking station connected to an Apple Cinema Display 30''.
    The conf I'd like to have is:
    macmini mid 2011 or macbook pro late 2013 (from now on "mac"):apple:
    Apple Cinema Display 30'' (from now on "ACD")

    mac -> docking station -> Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter -> ACD

    In this configuration can I use 2560x1600 resolution?
     
  11. pietrov macrumors regular

    pietrov

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #11
    Answer from Caldigit:

    Dear customer,

    Yes, it should work, but please check the followings:

    1. As you mentioned, you would need the MiniDisplay to Dual-Link DVI adapter
    - the cheaper mDP to DVI adapter will NOT work

    2. Our station only support ONE non-thunderbolt display at a time, which means the ACD will be the only external display from the station. The HDMI port will not support another non-thunderbolt display.
    - In order to run two displays off our station, one of the display must be the Apple Thunderbolt display (ACD or iMac in display mode does NOT count). However, in your case, there's no HDMI to dual-link DVI to support your 30" ACD.
    - There're two other ways to work around this limitation: a) use the USB3.0 DisplayLINK adapter or b) purchase another dual ports thunderbolt device.

    Best regards,

    CalDigit – Support
     

Share This Page