Review: OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock is the only game in town for FireWire 800

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 46
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,770member
    spheric said:
    For one, that needs an extra Thunderbolt 3 —> Thunderbolt 2 adapter, and for another, it's not a dock. 
    Which Macs have a Thunderbolt 3 port? I think only the MacBook Pro October 2016. Otherwise you only need the single Apple adapter. With the new USB-C only notebooks you would also need multiple adapters to get FireWire 800, but it is still less expensive than this dock if all you are looking for is Firewire 800. So no, there is not only ONE choice as the article states.
  • Reply 22 of 46
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,770member

    spheric said:


    "
    Users can either drop about $100 to get Apple's Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter and then a Thunderbolt 2 to FireWire 800 adapter -- and even that is iffy and not universally compatible."
    The Thunderbolt 3 incompatibilities are mostly due to Apple's intentional blacklisting of various third party devices for whatever reason, plus, Apple's implementation is not entirely compliant with Intel's own specifications.
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 23 of 46
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    volcan said:
    spheric said:
    For one, that needs an extra Thunderbolt 3 —> Thunderbolt 2 adapter, and for another, it's not a dock. 
    Which Macs have a Thunderbolt 3 port? I think only the MacBook Pro October 2016. Otherwise you only need the single Apple adapter. With the new USB-C only notebooks you would also need multiple adapters to get FireWire 800, but it is still less expensive than this dock if all you are looking for is Firewire 800. So no, there is not only ONE choice as the article states.
    There is one choice for fully functional FireWire 800 if you have Thunderbolt 3. This is it. 

    Apple's blocking of the older TI controller chip for TB3 is a problem, but unrelated to the dual-adapter situation without a dock and controller chip from TB3 to FW800 and the myriad compatibility problems it induces.
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 24 of 46
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,730member
    volcan said:
    spheric said:
    For one, that needs an extra Thunderbolt 3 —> Thunderbolt 2 adapter, and for another, it's not a dock. 
    Which Macs have a Thunderbolt 3 port? I think only the MacBook Pro October 2016. Otherwise you only need the single Apple adapter. With the new USB-C only notebooks you would also need multiple adapters to get FireWire 800, but it is still less expensive than this dock if all you are looking for is Firewire 800. So no, there is not only ONE choice as the article states.
    What a bizarre contention. Yes, it's technically correct, but it makes sense only if you're completely deaf to the actual topic of this thread, which is... a Thunderbolt 3 dock. 
    Soli
  • Reply 25 of 46
    jdwjdw Posts: 696member

    USB drive transfer on USB

    As we've mentioned before, some cases and docks don't support UASP. Assuming both your enclosure and dock support it, the protocol provides for faster file transfers than gear that doesn't support it.

    That's all fine and well, but the article is seriously lacking in that you provided no external drive benchmarks over USB so that we can confirm just how fast the USB ports are in practice, which isn't always the maximum theoretical speed.  Even more frustrating is that you provided SD card performance data, which makes it all the more mysterious as to why the USB performance data is missing.  Please update the article with this important information.  Thanks.
  • Reply 26 of 46
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    jdw said:

    USB drive transfer on USB

    As we've mentioned before, some cases and docks don't support UASP. Assuming both your enclosure and dock support it, the protocol provides for faster file transfers than gear that doesn't support it.

    That's all fine and well, but the article is seriously lacking in that you provided no external drive benchmarks over USB so that we can confirm just how fast the USB ports are in practice, which isn't always the maximum theoretical speed.  Even more frustrating is that you provided SD card performance data, which makes it all the more mysterious as to why the USB performance data is missing.  Please update the article with this important information.  Thanks.
    It's not really notable, though. With the UASP support, both this and the Caldigit TS3 lite aren't restricted in USB speeds. Enclosures are the limiting factor, and have been since Thunderbolt 2. I'll make a remark to that effect in the review a bit later today, I guess.

    That's why a card we routinely get 105MB from only getting 80MB was worth mentioning -- it fell outside expected parameters.
    neo-tech
  • Reply 27 of 46
    Were you able to test the DisplayPort with a 30" Cinema Display? OWC stated that this will work with the older Apple 30" Cinema Display and a 2016 MacBook Pro. Would be interested to see if that works...
  • Reply 28 of 46
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    Were you able to test the DisplayPort with a 30" Cinema Display? OWC stated that this will work with the older Apple 30" Cinema Display and a 2016 MacBook Pro. Would be interested to see if that works...
    I can test that when I get the dock back from our videographer.
    Soli
  • Reply 29 of 46
    jdwjdw Posts: 696member
    It's not really notable, though. With the UASP support, both this and the Caldigit TS3 lite aren't restricted in USB speeds. Enclosures are the limiting factor, and have been since Thunderbolt 2. I'll make a remark to that effect in the review a bit later today, I guess.
    That's why a card we routinely get 105MB from only getting 80MB was worth mentioning -- it fell outside expected parameters.
    Mike, here is why I asked the question:



    I've watched other videos from the same reviewed who showed the same thing, which is why I was curious if the OWC dock is the same.
  • Reply 30 of 46
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    jdw said:
    It's not really notable, though. With the UASP support, both this and the Caldigit TS3 lite aren't restricted in USB speeds. Enclosures are the limiting factor, and have been since Thunderbolt 2. I'll make a remark to that effect in the review a bit later today, I guess.
    That's why a card we routinely get 105MB from only getting 80MB was worth mentioning -- it fell outside expected parameters.
    Mike, here is why I asked the question:



    I've watched other videos from the same reviewed who showed the same thing, which is why I was curious if the OWC dock is the same.
    I guess I should have been more clear in my statement here in the forums, so I'll take that hit.

    Properly executed, TB2 and 3 docks with UASP support don't have the transfer limitations. This issue is why HighPoint's enclosures and whatnot could (and did!) charge so much.

    Once upon a time, a venue ago, I tested some TB2 Caldigit and Sonnet docks, and they were just as fast as you'd expect. The El Gato (and somebody else's, I forget who) didn't have UASP support at launch - which is why when plugged in directly to a USB port on a host computer, the speeds were better. Some got them later with firmware updates, but most did not.

    I'll be happy to plug it back in and run some more tests before it goes back to OWC after it comes back from our video guy.
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 31 of 46
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,027member
    Does anyone know if a dock like this is backward compatible with prior Thunderbolt ports/machines? The reason i ask is that I'm hoping to update my MacBook Air (TB1) to a MacBook Pro some day, but currently could really use some of expansion provided. (ex: since I'm using DisplayPort w/ an external monitor, I can't use my Ethernet adapter, etc.). If this were compatible, it would solve my current problems but still be useful down the road when I get to upgrading.

    I know it won't achieve the speed, but just curious if it would work. I'm primarily concerned about Ethernet and display, and USB ports.
  • Reply 32 of 46
    To bad the optical output is only stereo and not 5.1 https://www.cmedia.com.tw/products/USB20_FULL_SPEED/CM6533N
  • Reply 33 of 46
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    cgWerks said:
    Does anyone know if a dock like this is backward compatible with prior Thunderbolt ports/machines? The reason i ask is that I'm hoping to update my MacBook Air (TB1) to a MacBook Pro some day, but currently could really use some of expansion provided. (ex: since I'm using DisplayPort w/ an external monitor, I can't use my Ethernet adapter, etc.). If this were compatible, it would solve my current problems but still be useful down the road when I get to upgrading.

    I know it won't achieve the speed, but just curious if it would work. I'm primarily concerned about Ethernet and display, and USB ports.
    Sorry, I didn't see this question when you posted it. You'll need to adapt it to TB1 with Apple's TB3 to TB2 adapter. It'll work fine, but at TB1 speeds you'll be limited to 1080p, and the downstream Thunderbolt 3 port will technically work, but as a really slow Thunderbolt 3 port and not as USB-C gen 1 or 2. 
    cgWerksfastasleep
  • Reply 34 of 46
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,027member
    Mike Wuerthele said:
    Sorry, I didn't see this question when you posted it. You'll need to adapt it to TB1 with Apple's TB3 to TB2 adapter. It'll work fine, but at TB1 speeds you'll be limited to 1080p, and the downstream Thunderbolt 3 port will technically work, but as a really slow Thunderbolt 3 port and not as USB-C gen 1 or 2. 
    Thanks Mike. That might be worth it then, as I could really use real Ethernet, primarily. And, if the monitor (it's 1080p) would work too, I wouldn't lose any more ports but just gain some for now (even if slower). I just have to decide if I'm really going MBP, otherwise I suppose I wouldn't need the dock all that badly.
  • Reply 35 of 46
    jdw said:
    It's not really notable, though. With the UASP support, both this and the Caldigit TS3 lite aren't restricted in USB speeds. Enclosures are the limiting factor, and have been since Thunderbolt 2. I'll make a remark to that effect in the review a bit later today, I guess.
    That's why a card we routinely get 105MB from only getting 80MB was worth mentioning -- it fell outside expected parameters.
    Mike, here is why I asked the question:



    I've watched other videos from the same reviewed who showed the same thing, which is why I was curious if the OWC dock is the same.
    I guess I should have been more clear in my statement here in the forums, so I'll take that hit.

    Properly executed, TB2 and 3 docks with UASP support don't have the transfer limitations. This issue is why HighPoint's enclosures and whatnot could (and did!) charge so much.

    Once upon a time, a venue ago, I tested some TB2 Caldigit and Sonnet docks, and they were just as fast as you'd expect. The El Gato (and somebody else's, I forget who) didn't have UASP support at launch - which is why when plugged in directly to a USB port on a host computer, the speeds were better. Some got them later with firmware updates, but most did not.

    I'll be happy to plug it back in and run some more tests before it goes back to OWC after it comes back from our video guy.
    How did those additional tests come out?
  • Reply 36 of 46
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,782member
    appex said:
    Nice, but a shame it does not have eSATA ports. On the other hand... "SDXC cards will reach about 80MB/second —a bit less than the peak 105MB/sec allowable by the specification." Nope. Get the facts: UHS-III SDXC with 624MB/s Full Duplex read/write speeds. Check out https://www.sdcard.org/developers/overview/bus_speed/index.html
    Give me an f'ing break will you. What's this obsession with legacy ports that some have. Current technology far outperforms the old. "Well, I've got these old, defunct storage devices that I still use." How about moving in to the 21st century. Was in my local MicroCenter the other day and saw a 4TB USB 3 drive for $120.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 37 of 46
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    jdw said:
    It's not really notable, though. With the UASP support, both this and the Caldigit TS3 lite aren't restricted in USB speeds. Enclosures are the limiting factor, and have been since Thunderbolt 2. I'll make a remark to that effect in the review a bit later today, I guess.
    That's why a card we routinely get 105MB from only getting 80MB was worth mentioning -- it fell outside expected parameters.
    Mike, here is why I asked the question:



    I've watched other videos from the same reviewed who showed the same thing, which is why I was curious if the OWC dock is the same.
    I guess I should have been more clear in my statement here in the forums, so I'll take that hit.

    Properly executed, TB2 and 3 docks with UASP support don't have the transfer limitations. This issue is why HighPoint's enclosures and whatnot could (and did!) charge so much.

    Once upon a time, a venue ago, I tested some TB2 Caldigit and Sonnet docks, and they were just as fast as you'd expect. The El Gato (and somebody else's, I forget who) didn't have UASP support at launch - which is why when plugged in directly to a USB port on a host computer, the speeds were better. Some got them later with firmware updates, but most did not.

    I'll be happy to plug it back in and run some more tests before it goes back to OWC after it comes back from our video guy.
    How did those additional tests come out?
    The video guys actually did them. They should be in the video. If not, I'll pester them about their results.
  • Reply 38 of 46
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,524member
    I ordered one in Nov 2016 and it arrived July 3, 2017.
  • Reply 39 of 46
    tpf1952 said:
    So when is this "only game in town" device coming to town? I preordered in late 2016. OWC emailed an apology for the delays. I take it as a good sign that AppleInsider received one. Anyone else?
    I ordered mine in February and received it a couple of weeks ago. The long wait is not forgotten.
  • Reply 40 of 46
    I have one and like it. The only changes I'd make would be a couple more TB3 ports and/or integrated TB2. Of my two TB3 ports, one is used to connect the dock, the other to plug in a TB3-TB2 adaptor. I plug my LG display directly into my MacBook.
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