OWC upgrades Thunderbolt 3 Dock with separate SD & microSD slots, new USB-C port

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in Current Mac Hardware
OWC on Tuesday announced a new 14-port version of its Thunderbolt 3 Dock designed to be more convenient than its predecessor with two card readers, and a wider array of modern ports for users than previous versions.

OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock


Upgrades include a front-facing 10-gigabit USB-C port, capable of 15 watts of power delivery. That's enough to charge iPhones, iPads, and other compatible mobile devices.

The front also offers separate SD and microSD slots with support for the SD Express format, which can handle speeds up to 985 megabytes per second, and storage up to 128 terabytes.

On the back are two Thunderbolt 3 connections. One of these is a powered port able to supply as much as 85 watts, more than enough for a MacBook Pro.

Other connections options include five USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, S/PDIF audio out, a gigabit Ethernet jack, and Mini DisplayPort 1.2 capable of connecting a display at 4K resolution with a 60Hz refresh rate. The FireWire 800 port has been removed in this version of the dock, however.

OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock


Preorders of the 14-port dock are now underway for $299. Space gray and silver models should ship in the next few weeks.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    It would be nice if we could easily buy USB C gen 3.1 ver 2 cables for 10Gbs transfer. You really have to be careful buying these cables. Some of the shorter ones are gen 1, with 5Gbs transfer. But the longer ones seem to be high speed charging (they will say that), but only built to usb 2 data standards, meaning just 480Mbs speeds. Often it will say USB C 2. You may think that means 3.1 gen 2, but it means usb 2.

    i don’t know what the problem is.
    edited November 2018 macseeker
  • Reply 2 of 33
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,602administrator
    melgross said:
    It would be nice if we could easily buy USB C gen 3.1 ver 2 cables for 10Gbs transfer. You really have to be careful buying these cables. Some of the shorter ones are gen 1, with 5Gbs transfer. But the longer ones seem to be high speed charging (they will say that), but only built to usb 2 data standards, meaning just 480Mbs speeds. Often it will say USB C 2. You may think that means 3.1 gen 2, but it means usb 2.

    i don’t know what the problem is.
    https://appleinsider.com/articles/17/08/15/psa-thunderbolt-3-cables-longer-than-05m-generally-dont-support-usb-31-speeds

    We're revisiting this very soon. It isn't better.
    chasmroundaboutnow
  • Reply 3 of 33
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,544member
    I'm surprised that TB cables longer than 0.5m (around 20 inches) don't generally support USB Type C 3.1, but luckily I haven't needed anything longer than that so far. I hope manufacturers will start making cables for both USB-C and TB3 that support at least the USB Type C 3.2 standard so that no matter what kind of cable you buy, you're getting at least the full 10Gbps of USB-C 3.1 most recent computer users have. There's really no excuse for TB-compatible cables not to support full USB-C specs.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 33
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,622member
    This is about as complete as it would be to satisfy me.  I'm surprised it took this long to include a USBc port on front and an SD-card slot.  I would buy this.  If I had one small gripe, it's that they didn't include additional USBc ports on the back.  I understand that TB3 is also USBc, but there will come a day where our cables will all be USBc and it would be nice if this could accommodate that.  It's nitpicking though.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 33
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    melgross said:
    It would be nice if we could easily buy USB C gen 3.1 ver 2 cables for 10Gbs transfer. You really have to be careful buying these cables. Some of the shorter ones are gen 1, with 5Gbs transfer. But the longer ones seem to be high speed charging (they will say that), but only built to usb 2 data standards, meaning just 480Mbs speeds. Often it will say USB C 2. You may think that means 3.1 gen 2, but it means usb 2.

    i don’t know what the problem is.
    https://appleinsider.com/articles/17/08/15/psa-thunderbolt-3-cables-longer-than-05m-generally-dont-support-usb-31-speeds

    We're revisiting this very soon. It isn't better.
    It’s true. I’m not even talking about thunderbolt either, just usb ver. 3.1 gen 2 which is supposed to support 10Gbs in all lengths up to, I think it is, just 1 meter. That’s IFs;Eva. But I do know, having been in this field earlier on, that with larger conductors, and a heavier gauge wire, those lengths can be extended. So far, no one seems to be doing that. A company that offered, or offers, if they’re still around, cables for usb and FireWire that are longer than the standard is Granite. Or, a repeater cable can be used. But it’s not easy, or possible to get these yet. I don’t know why.
    edited November 2018
  • Reply 6 of 33
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member

    A company I buy USB cables from. This is their USB C 3.1 line of straight cables.

    https://www.newnex.com/usb-3-1-straight-cables.php
    edited November 2018
  • Reply 8 of 33
    anomeanome Posts: 1,270member

    Oh well, another dock that I'd like, but can't afford. Glad to see they finally got it to 85W Power Delivery.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 33
    That looks like a solid dock!  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 33
    Anyone know if this for sure works with the 30” ACD?
    sweetheart777watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 33
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,802member
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    It would be nice if we could easily buy USB C gen 3.1 ver 2 cables for 10Gbs transfer. You really have to be careful buying these cables. Some of the shorter ones are gen 1, with 5Gbs transfer. But the longer ones seem to be high speed charging (they will say that), but only built to usb 2 data standards, meaning just 480Mbs speeds. Often it will say USB C 2. You may think that means 3.1 gen 2, but it means usb 2.

    i don’t know what the problem is.
    https://appleinsider.com/articles/17/08/15/psa-thunderbolt-3-cables-longer-than-05m-generally-dont-support-usb-31-speeds

    We're revisiting this very soon. It isn't better.
    It’s true. I’m not even talking about thunderbolt either, just usb ver. 3.1 gen 2 which is supposed to support 10Gbs in all lengths up to, I think it is, just 1 meter. That’s IFs;Eva. But I do know, having been in this field earlier on, that with larger conductors, and a heavier gauge wire, those lengths can be extended. So far, no one seems to be doing that. A company that offered, or offers, if they’re still around, cables for usb and FireWire that are longer than the standard is Granite. Or, a repeater cable can be used. But it’s not easy, or possible to get these yet. I don’t know why.

    Lit is very difficult to get copper wire to operate at those high data rates.   Making the conductors thicke doesn’t really hep either.   Effectively you are building a high speed transmission line in cheap cable.  It you remember back a couple of years TB2 cables had active hardware in each cable to match the electronics to the cable.  

    Apparently USB-C tries to do this on the motherboard.  This may be a case of trying to satisfy consumer demand in a compromised way.  Frankly I haven’t heard anything about uSB-C opitical cables but if long distances are needed  I believe optical is the only real choice here.   For intermediate ranges the answer might be out there with high end cable vendors.  I would imagine validating a cable for these high data rates would be expensive.  
  • Reply 12 of 33
    sflocal said:
    This is about as complete as it would be to satisfy me.  I'm surprised it took this long to include a USBc port on front and an SD-card slot.  I would buy this.  If I had one small gripe, it's that they didn't include additional USBc ports on the back.  I understand that TB3 is also USBc, but there will come a day where our cables will all be USBc and it would be nice if this could accommodate that.  It's nitpicking though.
    It's not a nitpick. We are in the situation where dock makers don't provide sufficient USB-C ports because there aren't enough devices in the wild using USB-C and people aren't buying USB-C devices because there aren't enough available ports. A few months ago I looked for a 4 port USB-C replicator/splitter/dock/whatever and could find absolutely zero that provided it -- except the MBP.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    BittySon said:
    Not saying there is, as I haven’t used it. But I’ve thrown away literally hundreds of cables of various types over the years. Mostly they work for a while, and then don’t. As you should know, trusting reviews on a sellers site is a waste of time, unless there are hundreds, at a minimum, and even there, given that most of what you see are really cables made in China with various branding, a cable that gets excellent ratings may be changed out for something worse at any point in time.

    another problem is that, as Apple found out a year, or so ago, you can’t even trust brand name products on Amazon, eBay and others as actually being that product, as Apple found that 90% of Apple branded accessories were fake.

    while too many people are cheap these days, and don’t remember when cables were expensive, buying cables is difficult. Looking for the cheapest cable with 50 great reviews is possbly a waste of time.
    edited November 2018
  • Reply 14 of 33
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,357member
    I saw it, read about it, wanted it. Then saw the price. For a hub!
    Even at half that price I would still be questioning a purchase.
  • Reply 15 of 33
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member

    wizard69 said:
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    It would be nice if we could easily buy USB C gen 3.1 ver 2 cables for 10Gbs transfer. You really have to be careful buying these cables. Some of the shorter ones are gen 1, with 5Gbs transfer. But the longer ones seem to be high speed charging (they will say that), but only built to usb 2 data standards, meaning just 480Mbs speeds. Often it will say USB C 2. You may think that means 3.1 gen 2, but it means usb 2.

    i don’t know what the problem is.
    https://appleinsider.com/articles/17/08/15/psa-thunderbolt-3-cables-longer-than-05m-generally-dont-support-usb-31-speeds

    We're revisiting this very soon. It isn't better.
    It’s true. I’m not even talking about thunderbolt either, just usb ver. 3.1 gen 2 which is supposed to support 10Gbs in all lengths up to, I think it is, just 1 meter. That’s IFs;Eva. But I do know, having been in this field earlier on, that with larger conductors, and a heavier gauge wire, those lengths can be extended. So far, no one seems to be doing that. A company that offered, or offers, if they’re still around, cables for usb and FireWire that are longer than the standard is Granite. Or, a repeater cable can be used. But it’s not easy, or possible to get these yet. I don’t know why.

    Lit is very difficult to get copper wire to operate at those high data rates.   Making the conductors thicke doesn’t really hep either.   Effectively you are building a high speed transmission line in cheap cable.  It you remember back a couple of years TB2 cables had active hardware in each cable to match the electronics to the cable.  

    Apparently USB-C tries to do this on the motherboard.  This may be a case of trying to satisfy consumer demand in a compromised way.  Frankly I haven’t heard anything about uSB-C opitical cables but if long distances are needed  I believe optical is the only real choice here.   For intermediate ranges the answer might be out there with high end cable vendors.  I would imagine validating a cable for these high data rates would be expensive.  
    Yes, I know. There are usb optical cables. The site I linked to makes them, if you go the and look. But they require, as do all optical transmission sets, converters which are very expensive. But you can get repeaters which cost much less, for copper. But then all of this just works for 5Gbs, so far. I read that newer longer cabling will go to 10Gbs next year.

    but as you can see from this link, 10G copper Ethernet cables are available. They cost what good SCSI cables used to cost. The company is a major American manufacturer.

    https://www.cablesondemand.com/ClearSV/True/category/91/URvars/Catalog/Library/InfoManage/SFP+_CABLES_•_SFP+_MODULES.htm?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIvrb4tsfU3gIVEwOGCh3DqAFBEAAYASAAEgI3xPD_BwE
    edited November 2018
  • Reply 16 of 33
    linkman said:
    sflocal said:
    This is about as complete as it would be to satisfy me.  I'm surprised it took this long to include a USBc port on front and an SD-card slot.  I would buy this.  If I had one small gripe, it's that they didn't include additional USBc ports on the back.  I understand that TB3 is also USBc, but there will come a day where our cables will all be USBc and it would be nice if this could accommodate that.  It's nitpicking though.
    It's not a nitpick. We are in the situation where dock makers don't provide sufficient USB-C ports because there aren't enough devices in the wild using USB-C and people aren't buying USB-C devices because there aren't enough available ports. A few months ago I looked for a 4 port USB-C replicator/splitter/dock/whatever and could find absolutely zero that provided it -- except the MBP.
    This dock technically has 3 USB-C ports. But the thing is, there really aren't many USB devices that can saturate USB 3.1 Gen1 (625 MB/sec) much less a USB 3.1 Gen 2 (1250 MB/s). It's not so much the number of USB devices out there either, it's just that the vast majority of people simply don't need that many high-end ports. Two Thunderbolt ports and maybe 2 USB-C ports will cover about 99% of the people out there. This is why all these docks still come with so many USB-A ports. Besides, you can use USB-C devices on a USB-A port by simply buying a USB-C to USB-A cable for $6; no dongle or converter required.

    I only buy USB-C devices now. Not because I need the speed, I'm just future proofing my gear.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    linkman said:
    sflocal said:
    This is about as complete as it would be to satisfy me.  I'm surprised it took this long to include a USBc port on front and an SD-card slot.  I would buy this.  If I had one small gripe, it's that they didn't include additional USBc ports on the back.  I understand that TB3 is also USBc, but there will come a day where our cables will all be USBc and it would be nice if this could accommodate that.  It's nitpicking though.
    It's not a nitpick. We are in the situation where dock makers don't provide sufficient USB-C ports because there aren't enough devices in the wild using USB-C and people aren't buying USB-C devices because there aren't enough available ports. A few months ago I looked for a 4 port USB-C replicator/splitter/dock/whatever and could find absolutely zero that provided it -- except the MBP.
    This dock technically has 3 USB-C ports. But the thing is, there really aren't many USB devices that can saturate USB 3.1 Gen1 (625 MB/sec) much less a USB 3.1 Gen 2 (1250 MB/s). It's not so much the number of USB devices out there either, it's just that the vast majority of people simply don't need that many high-end ports. Two Thunderbolt ports and maybe 2 USB-C ports will cover about 99% of the people out there. This is why all these docks still come with so many USB-A ports. Besides, you can use USB-C devices on a USB-A port by simply buying a USB-C to USB-A cable for $6; no dongle or converter required.

    I only buy USB-C devices now. Not because I need the speed, I'm just future proofing my gear.
    A dual SSD raid using newer drives can easily over drive 10Gbs ports. Some new drives can do that with a single drive, offering 2,000Mbs in serial read and writes.

    In addition, most usb controllers control 2 ports, giving just half speed to each port if both are used at the same time. The 2013 Mac Pro had similar problems with its Thunderbolt ports. Some were faster than others. I wonder what the situation is with the new Mac Mini’s 4 TB ports?
    edited November 2018
  • Reply 18 of 33
    melgross said:
    linkman said:
    sflocal said:
    This is about as complete as it would be to satisfy me.  I'm surprised it took this long to include a USBc port on front and an SD-card slot.  I would buy this.  If I had one small gripe, it's that they didn't include additional USBc ports on the back.  I understand that TB3 is also USBc, but there will come a day where our cables will all be USBc and it would be nice if this could accommodate that.  It's nitpicking though.
    It's not a nitpick. We are in the situation where dock makers don't provide sufficient USB-C ports because there aren't enough devices in the wild using USB-C and people aren't buying USB-C devices because there aren't enough available ports. A few months ago I looked for a 4 port USB-C replicator/splitter/dock/whatever and could find absolutely zero that provided it -- except the MBP.
    This dock technically has 3 USB-C ports. But the thing is, there really aren't many USB devices that can saturate USB 3.1 Gen1 (625 MB/sec) much less a USB 3.1 Gen 2 (1250 MB/s). It's not so much the number of USB devices out there either, it's just that the vast majority of people simply don't need that many high-end ports. Two Thunderbolt ports and maybe 2 USB-C ports will cover about 99% of the people out there. This is why all these docks still come with so many USB-A ports. Besides, you can use USB-C devices on a USB-A port by simply buying a USB-C to USB-A cable for $6; no dongle or converter required.

    I only buy USB-C devices now. Not because I need the speed, I'm just future proofing my gear.
    A dual SSD raid using newer drives can easily over drive 10Gbs ports. Some new drives can do that with a single drive, offering 2,000Mbs in serial read and writes.

    I think you meant 2,000 MB/s.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    linkman said:
    melgross said:
    linkman said:
    sflocal said:
    This is about as complete as it would be to satisfy me.  I'm surprised it took this long to include a USBc port on front and an SD-card slot.  I would buy this.  If I had one small gripe, it's that they didn't include additional USBc ports on the back.  I understand that TB3 is also USBc, but there will come a day where our cables will all be USBc and it would be nice if this could accommodate that.  It's nitpicking though.
    It's not a nitpick. We are in the situation where dock makers don't provide sufficient USB-C ports because there aren't enough devices in the wild using USB-C and people aren't buying USB-C devices because there aren't enough available ports. A few months ago I looked for a 4 port USB-C replicator/splitter/dock/whatever and could find absolutely zero that provided it -- except the MBP.
    This dock technically has 3 USB-C ports. But the thing is, there really aren't many USB devices that can saturate USB 3.1 Gen1 (625 MB/sec) much less a USB 3.1 Gen 2 (1250 MB/s). It's not so much the number of USB devices out there either, it's just that the vast majority of people simply don't need that many high-end ports. Two Thunderbolt ports and maybe 2 USB-C ports will cover about 99% of the people out there. This is why all these docks still come with so many USB-A ports. Besides, you can use USB-C devices on a USB-A port by simply buying a USB-C to USB-A cable for $6; no dongle or converter required.

    I only buy USB-C devices now. Not because I need the speed, I'm just future proofing my gear.
    A dual SSD raid using newer drives can easily over drive 10Gbs ports. Some new drives can do that with a single drive, offering 2,000Mbs in serial read and writes.

    I think you meant 2,000 MB/s.
    Yeah, I did.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    melgross said:
    linkman said:
    sflocal said:
    This is about as complete as it would be to satisfy me.  I'm surprised it took this long to include a USBc port on front and an SD-card slot.  I would buy this.  If I had one small gripe, it's that they didn't include additional USBc ports on the back.  I understand that TB3 is also USBc, but there will come a day where our cables will all be USBc and it would be nice if this could accommodate that.  It's nitpicking though.
    It's not a nitpick. We are in the situation where dock makers don't provide sufficient USB-C ports because there aren't enough devices in the wild using USB-C and people aren't buying USB-C devices because there aren't enough available ports. A few months ago I looked for a 4 port USB-C replicator/splitter/dock/whatever and could find absolutely zero that provided it -- except the MBP.
    This dock technically has 3 USB-C ports. But the thing is, there really aren't many USB devices that can saturate USB 3.1 Gen1 (625 MB/sec) much less a USB 3.1 Gen 2 (1250 MB/s). It's not so much the number of USB devices out there either, it's just that the vast majority of people simply don't need that many high-end ports. Two Thunderbolt ports and maybe 2 USB-C ports will cover about 99% of the people out there. This is why all these docks still come with so many USB-A ports. Besides, you can use USB-C devices on a USB-A port by simply buying a USB-C to USB-A cable for $6; no dongle or converter required.

    I only buy USB-C devices now. Not because I need the speed, I'm just future proofing my gear.
    A dual SSD raid using newer drives can easily over drive 10Gbs ports. Some new drives can do that with a single drive, offering 2,000Mbs in serial read and writes.

    In addition, most usb controllers control 2 ports, giving just half speed to each port if both are used at the same time. The 2013 Mac Pro had similar problems with its Thunderbolt ports. Some were faster than others. I wonder what the situation is with the new Mac Mini’s 4 TB ports?
    If I had a dual SSD raid and I needed that kind of speed I'd use Thunderbolt (40Gbps), since USB-3 GEN 2 cannot max out the drive. Who needs that kind of speed via a hub? Maybe 0.1% of the population? They're simply aren't that many real world situations where you'd need a drive like that, much less two drives like that connected to the same computer that need to operate at full speed for a sustained period of time. These are real niche requirements. This is why these hubs come with at most, 2 Thunderbolt, two USB-C and a bunch of USB-3 ports. Even if you had a 4-port USB-C hub, the primary port to the computer would have to be Thunderbolt to handle the bandwidth.

    The Mac Mini has 4-ports with 2-controllers (period), because INTEL doesn't make 4-port Thunderbolt interfaces with one controller, it's not an option. The issue is not the number of ports or controllers, it's the PCI Express bandwidth allocated to the controllers.

    I'm sure they'll be some 4-port USB-C hubs in the future, considering that almost every new computer comes with USB-C and/or Thunderbolt.

    To me all of this is a non-issue.
    edited November 2018
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