New OWC Thunderbolt Hub expands Thunderbolt 4 connectivity

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2020
OWC has announced a new hub that, for the first time, allows users to turn a single Thunderbolt 4 port into several.

Credit OWC
Credit OWC


Thunderbolt 4 is Intel's latest iteration of the speedy port standard, available on 11th-generation Tiger Lake processors.

OWC's new Thunderbolt Hub features three Thunderbolt ports and a single USB port, allowing users to connect additional storage or high-resolution displays. Each Thunderbolt port can support a pair of 4K displays, or a single 5K, 6K or 8K display, alongside other accessories.

The new hub's multi-port accessory architecture enables daisy-chaining, allowing users to create independent "tree branches" and connect multiple bus-powered devices to a computer. And removing one device from a chain won't affect the others.

Other features include an adjustable LED indicator, a built-in Kensington slot for anti-theft cabling, and OWC's own ClingOn cable stabilization.

Although there aren't currently any Mac devices that support Thunderbolt 4, Tiger Lake processors are slated to ship in October. Before the first Apple silicon Mac debuts, the Cupertino tech giant is likely to release Mac products with Tiger Lake-based CPUs.

Additionally, Apple has also made it clear that Apple silicon Macs will support Thunderbolt 4 when they debut.

The OWC Thunderbolt Hub retails for $149 and is available for preorder starting today.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,213member
    60WATT CHARGING POWER

    Boo

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 22
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,016member
    I just received my 2020 iMac and while I love everything about it, the one thing that just irks me is Apple's decision to limit it to two TB3 ports.  It should have four.

    I have dual monitors, and two TB2 drives RAID towers.  Which means for now, I can't plug in any USBc devices.  WTF Apple?
    lkruppAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 22
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 959member
    Also, WINDOWS!

    No mention of Mac as released.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 22
    It's really weird how OWC is always on the cutting edge, delivering absurdly well-built and reliable devices, at perfectly reasonable prices… and is still this niche, obscure brand. Folks go out and buy Belkin and LaCie junk, meanwhile OWC is just sitting there on a pile of awesome components that were ready before the market even realized it needed them.

    I guess their bullshit logo and "Tiger Direct catalog" aesthetic don't help. OWC needs serious branding and marketing triage.
    razorpitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 22
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,097member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    It's really weird how OWC is always on the cutting edge, delivering absurdly well-built and reliable devices, at perfectly reasonable prices… and is still this niche, obscure brand. Folks go out and buy Belkin and LaCie junk, meanwhile OWC is just sitting there on a pile of awesome components that were ready before the market even realized it needed them.

    I guess their bullshit logo and "Tiger Direct catalog" aesthetic don't help. OWC needs serious branding and marketing triage.
    I disagree that OWC is on the "cutting edge."  Their TB3 dock can charge just one iPad Pro, and since the dock requires one port, the net gain is zero.  Their customer support sucks as well. Last time I emailed the, it took a week and a half to hear back "due to COVID."  I guess COVID has infected email servers. 
    commentzillawatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 22
    S12S12 Posts: 22member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    It's really weird how OWC is always on the cutting edge, delivering absurdly well-built and reliable devices, at perfectly reasonable prices… and is still this niche, obscure brand. Folks go out and buy Belkin and LaCie junk, meanwhile OWC is just sitting there on a pile of awesome components that were ready before the market even realized it needed them.
    I have had five OWC docks and none have worked reliably. I have two, 14 port Thunderbolt 3 docks right now (one connected to a Mac and one to an HP Spectre), and both are so buggy that I keep a spare for when one craps out. Any time I reboot a system, I have to unplug and re-plug the Ethernet cable multiple times hoping it will somehow start working again. Once they are up and running, they're great ... until the next time I have to reboot one of my machines. I will say that their tech support and service are better than many others I have dealt with. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 22
    anomeanome Posts: 1,486member
    mknelson said:
    Also, WINDOWS!

    No mention of Mac as released.
    No Macs currently support Thunderbolt 4, and since Thunderbolt 3 doesn't allow you to split Thunderbolt channels like that, it probably won't support them until we have TB 4 Macs. Hopefully either the Apple Silicon MacBooks/Mac mini or the last gasp Tiger Lake x86 Macs.

    But, 60W charging isn't the best, unless the Apple Silicon MacBooks are that much more energy efficient. (No reason they can't be, but we haven't seen them yet.)

    Doesn't seem to be available on the main Australian affiliate for OWC stuff yet. But then, I'm not in the market for it. Yet.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 22
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,213member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    It's really weird how OWC is always on the cutting edge, delivering absurdly well-built and reliable devices, at perfectly reasonable prices… and is still this niche, obscure brand. Folks go out and buy Belkin and LaCie junk, meanwhile OWC is just sitting there on a pile of awesome components that were ready before the market even realized it needed them.

    I guess their bullshit logo and "Tiger Direct catalog" aesthetic don't help. OWC needs serious branding and marketing triage.
    Some of their stuff is great, a lot of it is fine, and some of it is garbage. I don't think they're particularly amazing.

    Currently giving the evil eye to my 10 port USB-C dock which I have to power off and power back on to get the external display to wake up, and when they offered me a firmware update for it, it was Windows only which I had to apply by way of Parallels — for a dock specifically marketed towards Mac users.

    Their service is friendly though? ¯\(°_o)/¯ 
    commentzillawatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 22
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,213member

    sflocal said:
    I just received my 2020 iMac and while I love everything about it, the one thing that just irks me is Apple's decision to limit it to two TB3 ports.  It should have four.

    I have dual monitors, and two TB2 drives RAID towers.  Which means for now, I can't plug in any USBc devices.  WTF Apple?
    Of course you *can*. Just get USB-A to C cables or adapters if you need them.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 22
    Eric_WVGG said:
    It's really weird how OWC is always on the cutting edge, delivering absurdly well-built and reliable devices, at perfectly reasonable prices… and is still this niche, obscure brand. Folks go out and buy Belkin and LaCie junk, meanwhile OWC is just sitting there on a pile of awesome components that were ready before the market even realized it needed them.

    I guess their bullshit logo and "Tiger Direct catalog" aesthetic don't help. OWC needs serious branding and marketing triage.
    Their acquisition of Akitio filled a lot of holes in their RAID and Thunderbolt offerings. OWC is really big on SoftRaid but I'm not a fan. I prefer Akitio's hardware RAIDs.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 22
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,016member

    sflocal said:
    I just received my 2020 iMac and while I love everything about it, the one thing that just irks me is Apple's decision to limit it to two TB3 ports.  It should have four.

    I have dual monitors, and two TB2 drives RAID towers.  Which means for now, I can't plug in any USBc devices.  WTF Apple?
    Of course you *can*. Just get USB-A to C cables or adapters if you need them.
    You need to go back to sleep.
    commentzilla
  • Reply 12 of 22
    anomeanome Posts: 1,486member

    sflocal said:
    I just received my 2020 iMac and while I love everything about it, the one thing that just irks me is Apple's decision to limit it to two TB3 ports.  It should have four.

    I have dual monitors, and two TB2 drives RAID towers.  Which means for now, I can't plug in any USBc devices.  WTF Apple?
    Of course you *can*. Just get USB-A to C cables or adapters if you need them.
    No, not "adapters"! We can't possibly use "adapters"! That would ruin the entire user experience...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 22
    All that, and… ONLY 60W?? Why??
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 22
    marc gmarc g Posts: 51member
    sflocal said:
    I just received my 2020 iMac and while I love everything about it, the one thing that just irks me is Apple's decision to limit it to two TB3 ports.  It should have four.

    I have dual monitors, and two TB2 drives RAID towers.  Which means for now, I can't plug in any USBc devices.  WTF Apple?
    Not trying to be an apologist but want to point out that 2 TB ports are what come on the motherboards in these iMacs. I had a feeling TB4 was going to be announced but needed to replace my “ancient” 2007 iMac and am really glad I did.  
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 22
    flydog said:
    ...
    I disagree that OWC is on the "cutting edge." …
    huh. I've had nothing but great experiences with them going all the way back the G4 Powerbook days. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

    I don't think the "only 60 watt" thing is a big deal, that covers most models, the 16" is practically an edge case. I suppose it'd be nice to see a regular and "pro" model but I'm still impressed that they have one out the door already.

    Note that we're five years into USB-C now and there still isn't a single "real" USB-C Hub that expands the number of C ports, so this is a leap over what was already on the market.
    edited October 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 22
    Eric_WVGG said:
    flydog said:
    ...
    I disagree that OWC is on the "cutting edge." …
    huh. I've had nothing but great experiences with them going all the way back the G4 Powerbook days. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

    I don't think the "only 60 watt" thing is a big deal, that covers most models, the 16" is practically an edge case. I suppose it'd be nice to see a regular and "pro" model but I'm still impressed that they have one out the door already.

    Note that we're five years into USB-C now and there still isn't a single "real" USB-C Hub that expands the number of C ports, so this is a leap over what was already on the market.
    It's a Thunderbolt 4 hub, so one would expect a bit of being future-proof with a product like that; and not only does that clash a bit with it being only 60W, but MBP16 people are probably the ones more likely to need/want (and be willing to pay) for a product like this.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 22
    aegeanaegean Posts: 161member
    I went through my at least 5 months of research in getting the best dock for my iMac Pro and 2020 mini, price was no object, ended up buying CalDigit TS3 Plus dock from Apple store. Not the best one but at least better than rest of the stuff currently available in the market. So far I am happy with my choice though sound coming out from headphones are not as good as you would get connecting directly to your iMac or mini. So I had to fork out on RME interface separately. But it's got most of the ports I needed with 85w of charging. No other dock provides the same amount of ports. I need something with separate headphone jack and spdif output as well as ethernet port. Though I was hunting for 10g ethernet port but that's was the only thing that it's lacking, and I desperately needed something and didn't want to wait either. Yes both my iMac Pro and mini come with 10g ethernet port but I wanted something external to extend the life of internal ports of my investments.

    My fingers crossed to see more docks in the near future with 10g ethernet port, dual source connectivity, quality audio outputs (if possible) with at least 4-5 thunderbolt 3/4 ports and at least 3 USBc ports, and one HDMI should serve my current needs.

    edited October 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 22
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,213member
    sflocal said:

    sflocal said:
    I just received my 2020 iMac and while I love everything about it, the one thing that just irks me is Apple's decision to limit it to two TB3 ports.  It should have four.

    I have dual monitors, and two TB2 drives RAID towers.  Which means for now, I can't plug in any USBc devices.  WTF Apple?
    Of course you *can*. Just get USB-A to C cables or adapters if you need them.
    You need to go back to sleep.
    If you say so. Just saying you *can* plug those devices with the correct cable. Ignore that fact if you want.

    anome said:

    sflocal said:
    I just received my 2020 iMac and while I love everything about it, the one thing that just irks me is Apple's decision to limit it to two TB3 ports.  It should have four.

    I have dual monitors, and two TB2 drives RAID towers.  Which means for now, I can't plug in any USBc devices.  WTF Apple?
    Of course you *can*. Just get USB-A to C cables or adapters if you need them.
    No, not "adapters"! We can't possibly use "adapters"! That would ruin the entire user experience...
    USB-A to USB-B cables on millions of devices (printers, scanners, audio interfaces, etc) never stopped people from using them.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 22
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,213member

    Eric_WVGG said:
    flydog said:
    ...
    I disagree that OWC is on the "cutting edge." …
    huh. I've had nothing but great experiences with them going all the way back the G4 Powerbook days. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

    I don't think the "only 60 watt" thing is a big deal, that covers most models, the 16" is practically an edge case. I suppose it'd be nice to see a regular and "pro" model but I'm still impressed that they have one out the door already.

    Note that we're five years into USB-C now and there still isn't a single "real" USB-C Hub that expands the number of C ports, so this is a leap over what was already on the market.
    And every 15". My OWC dock has 60W and it's fine for light use, but if you start rendering video and stuff it's not going to keep up and your battery will drain.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 22
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,714member
    sflocal said:

    sflocal said:
    I just received my 2020 iMac and while I love everything about it, the one thing that just irks me is Apple's decision to limit it to two TB3 ports.  It should have four.

    I have dual monitors, and two TB2 drives RAID towers.  Which means for now, I can't plug in any USBc devices.  WTF Apple?
    Of course you *can*. Just get USB-A to C cables or adapters if you need them.
    You need to go back to sleep.
    If you say so. Just saying you *can* plug those devices with the correct cable. Ignore that fact if you want.

    anome said:

    sflocal said:
    I just received my 2020 iMac and while I love everything about it, the one thing that just irks me is Apple's decision to limit it to two TB3 ports.  It should have four.

    I have dual monitors, and two TB2 drives RAID towers.  Which means for now, I can't plug in any USBc devices.  WTF Apple?
    Of course you *can*. Just get USB-A to C cables or adapters if you need them.
    No, not "adapters"! We can't possibly use "adapters"! That would ruin the entire user experience...
    USB-A to USB-B cables on millions of devices (printers, scanners, audio interfaces, etc) never stopped people from using them.
    Odd how it’s ok that you have to tote adapters around with MBPs but if you need one for a permanent installation like an imac it’s not. 🤔 Either way, you’re totally right - a $10 adapter will fix the problem in seconds.
    watto_cobrafastasleep
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