Thunderbolt Docks & USB 3.0

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by childoftheko4n, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. childoftheko4n macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2011
    Hey All,

    Quick general question i believe. I have been shopping around for a Thudnerbolt dock for my rMBP. I have a thunderbolt display, but the USB 2.0 ports are just not cutting it for my 3.0 externals. I do a lot of photo editing and such, so end up have to plug them directly into my Mac.

    So i have been looking around at some TB docks. I did see a comment on here from last winter that the docks tend to throttle the USB 3.0 speeds, it was the first i saw of that. Does anyone have clarification on this potentially? Would be a bummer to spend to get the TB dock and then essentially be throttled down to USB 2.0 o_O
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    You'll have to do your homework, and do a thorough investigation of EACH thunderbolt dock, to find which ones yield "full speed" USB3 support vs. which ones do not.

    Otherwise, you could end up disappointed.
  3. childoftheko4n thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2011
    You wouldn't happen to know of any off the top of your head that do , do you? Haha
  4. HenryAZ macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2010
    South Congress AZ
    I am happy with a first generation CalDigit dock. I can get just about the full speed of an external drive case with an SSD in it (as I would if the the same SSD were internal), through the dock's USB 3 port, and that's pretty close to the maximum USB 3 is capable of. A spinning hard drive, though, not even going to approach USB 3 maximum speeds, though it is capable of more than USB 2 or Firewire. The best platter drives are still under 200MB/s in the disk-to-buffer speed.

    One thing to be aware of is that you cannot boot from a bootable drive connected to the dock's USB 3 port. I believe this is true of any TB dock, and is a limitation of how USB is being connected to the system (through TB).
  5. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Both my first and second generation Startech TB Docks have robust USB3 implementation, as good as direct connection to the rMBP. USB3 hubs, not so much.
  6. childoftheko4n thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2011
    Very good to hear :) may have to pull the trigger on the startech. Their online rep said the same this morning , but wasn't sure how confident that answer was :p
  7. BoneDaddy Suspended


    Jan 8, 2015
    I have the same question. I've narrowed my choices down to OWC TB2, or Elgato TB2 docks

    Does anyone have experience with either?

    Elgato only has 2 less USBs but they can all run at 1.5mah. Otherwise, they are the same thing. Also, Elgato is cheaper and comes with a TB cable. OWC does not. So in my mind Elgato seems to be where to go, but I want to hold out to anyone's opinion, or better, experience on both.

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