USB or Thunderbolt Hub

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Dougef, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. Dougef macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2011
    Northeastern US
    I am planning to soon buy a 27 in. iMac. For a part time business at home, I have 4 printers/scanners to connect as well as at least one external drive. I am considering a powered USB 3.0 4-port hub (maybe the Belken they have at the Apple store). An alternative I have read about is a Thunderbolt hub, such as one from OWC. This would give me 5 USB ports and also allow a direct 2nd monitor connection by HDMI. Any thoughts? Worth the extra $$ for the Thunderbolt hub? Will all printers and drives work as well on either type?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. brofkand macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2006
    You can get a USB hub and a Mini Display Port to HDMI adapter for less than $50 total from Amazon. Probably a little more from Apple, but still less than $100. The Thunderbolt hub is over $200 last I checked. That seems like a no-brainer to me.
  3. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    No advantage to a thunderbolt hub unless you have thunderbolt peripherals.
  4. Ledgem macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    The advantage of the Thunderbolt hub is really for mobile users, who have a bit more convenience of only needing to plug and unplug one thing despite having many different types of connectors (potentially ethernet, USB, firewire, HDMI, and speakers). Since you'll be going with an iMac, I assume this will be a desk-mounted system that isn't having things plugged and unplugged regularly. Thus a Thunderbolt hub is just more expensive and doesn't offer any advantages; your devices, all being USB-based, will work the same whether they're connected to the USB ports on a USB hub, a Thunderbolt hub, or directly to your computer.

    USB hubs come in a wide variety of styles. I have a powered USB 3.0 hub from Aukey that has seven ports; there's no need to limit yourself to four. Even if you prefer four-port hubs, you have four USB ports on the back of the 27" iMac, and can put hubs to each of them if you needed...

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3 November 23, 2015