New Sonnet Echo 5 hub has three downstream Thunderbolt 4 ports, one USB-A

Posted:
in macOS edited December 2021
Sonnet's new Echo 5 Thunderbolt 4 hub provides not just more downstream Thunderbolt ports to modern Macs, but also a fast USB-A port for older peripherals.




The Echo 5 hub features four Thunderbolt 4 ports, with one connecting to the host computer. The rear of the device has three Thunderbolt 4 ports, and the power socket. The front features one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A port capable of speeds up to 10 gigabits per second while providing 7.5 watts of power, and one Thunderbolt 3 port that connects to the host.

Sonnet's hub delivers up to 85 watts of charging power to the host device, and is compatible with all computers with Thunderbolt 4 ports. This includes all of the Apple Silicon Macs, all Mac computers with Thunderbolt 3 ports running macOS Big Sur or macOS Monterey, and iPad Pro models with a Thunderbolt port.

On Apple's M1 Max or M1 Pro machines including the 14-inch MacBook Pro and the 16-inch MacBook Pro, the Echo 5 hub can connect up to two 5K displays or a single display at 8K resolution. Apple's M1 lineup including the Mac mini, MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and 24-inch iMac can support one display at up to 6K resolution.

External monitor support and resolution varies across the Intel MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 3 port lineup.

When used with an iPad Pro with a Thunderbolt port, the Echo hub provides users the capability to connect multiple devices to the tablet at the same time, while also charging it at full power. Users may also connect a single display with resolutions up to 6K to mirror the content on the iPad's built-in display.

The Echo 5 Thunderbolt 4 Hub is available now from Sonnet at the suggested retail price of $199.99.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    This looks to be exactly what I was looking for (2 LG 5K display support)! Only concern is that it only supports 85W while the M1Max computer can peak up to 110W.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 12
    pmcpmc Posts: 10member
    I use a less than 100w USBC charger regularly with my m1max 16. And while it isn't as fast, when I am plugged in, I do not care. It'll be fine
    aderutterwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Sounds pretty good, similar to the Caldigit Element - it seems to sacrifice 2 USB-A ports for dual 5K vs the Caldigit dual 4K.
    Hope the build quality is good.

    I have a Caldigit Element but can see me possibly buying one of these to have two hubs plugged into an M1 Max MBP to provide 4 additional Thunderbolt 4 ports.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 12
    I just looked further and dual 5K may not be supported on current Apple Silicon Macs with this hub:

    https://www.sonnettech.com/support/downloads/manuals/Thunderbolt_4_Dock_Compatibility.pdf

    Weirdly it does seem to state 2x Pro Display XDR or 4K with no mention of 5K for M1 Pro/Max.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 12
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,013member
    This hub is like OWC's 4-port Thunderbolt hub. It also says it can drive two 4K displays and costs $20 less. The Sonnett hub will also have limitations when connecting too many devices that want to use as much of the TB bandwidth as possible. I've seen questions about using a hub like this to create a RAID using three NVMe external drives and software RAID. It might be fun to try but I wouldn't expect the full 5000Mb/s TB3 bandwidth. This hub will be used to connect multiple devices that don't require simultaneous use. 

    I'd love to be proved wrong but I only have a 2020 M1 MBA to test with and it has Thunderbolt limitations.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 12
    rob53 said:
    This hub is like OWC's 4-port Thunderbolt hub. It also says it can drive two 4K displays and costs $20 less. The Sonnett hub will also have limitations when connecting too many devices that want to use as much of the TB bandwidth as possible. I've seen questions about using a hub like this to create a RAID using three NVMe external drives and software RAID. It might be fun to try but I wouldn't expect the full 5000Mb/s TB3 bandwidth. This hub will be used to connect multiple devices that don't require simultaneous use. 

    I'd love to be proved wrong but I only have a 2020 M1 MBA to test with and it has Thunderbolt limitations.
    I have two of the OWC hub you mentioned, and a number of high end NVMe drives in various enclosures, and I've tried to do exactly this.  Sadly, there are some limitations.

    For one, I'm not exactly sure of the details, but I believe the 40Gb/s TB channel (in TB3 at least, and I believe this part is unchanged in TB4) is split into some specifically for data and the rest specifically for video, and neither gets the full 40. It's likely there's some part of that sentence that isn't quite right, but the upshot, as I understand it, is that the maximum SSD throughput you can get out of a single TB3 channel is about 2800MB/s or 2.8GB/s  (note: MBytes/GBytes, not Mbits/Gbits).

    This 2800 is usually stated on TB drives and enclosures from companies who are honest with their marketing (while everyone else says misleading statements like "full 40Mb/s bandwidth"), and I would say it mostly agrees with my experience in practice... or at least that's the case under ideal conditions, though most conditions are short of ideal (eg. background processes doing stuff that chews up some of the bandwidth etc).

    Based on those numbers I bought myself two OWC 4M2 TB3 enclosures and I get about 2200 MBps throughput on each of those, and when I stripe them all I get at most about 3500, usually not quite that much. That's the case on both my maxed out 2020 M1 13" MBP and my maxed out 2019 Intel 16" MBP.  And I've generally got similar performance out of other striped NVMe SSD configurations I've tried (eg. with some of the bus powered single drive enclosures).  When I had an iMac Pro I got better speeds out of the same configurations.  But despite trying various different configurations and setups, no setup has ever got me anywhere near the 5000MBps you'd expect/hope from a theoretically maxed out single 40Gbps TB channel, and in fact, I've never even got that much out of two channels striped.

    Important to note that all this is per CHANNEL, not per port. The Intel Macs share two ports per channel, so the four port Intel MBPs and iMac Pro have two channels. The two port Intel 13" MBP and MBA have one TB channel. On all Apple Silicon Macs so far I believe it's one port per channel, which means the low end 13" M1 MBP and MBA have two channels, despite only two ports -- which is an upgrade over the 2-port Intel machines they replaced.  And on the new 2021 14" and 16" M1 Pro/Max MBP's, the three ports, although a downgrade in number of ports are a 50% upgrade in bandwidth over the previous 4-port (2-channel) 13" and 16" Intel MBPs.

    That's a bit of a ramble, to include a lot of detail.  The point is it's my understanding that the maximum theoretical data (ie. SSD drive) throughput of any single thunderbolt channel is 2800MBytes/s.  And in practice it's generally significantly slower.  I believe there are some other overheads interfering with drive performance, which no doubt include background processes trying to do stuff among other things.  The other factor I've found (and this might be where the iMac Pro benefited most) is that these ports get very hot, and if allowed to get too hot will burn out the electronics, and they have built in throttling to slow them down if they get there.  Things like ice packs or keeping your Mac in a refrigerator might help with that... that's something I want to try one day.

    So needless to say... unfortunately these hubs don't really improve speed because the bottleneck is the channel more than anything else.  Some drive enclosures are slower than the channel bottleneck, but the best these hubs will give us is bringing multiples of those enclosures, striped over one channel, up to similar speeds as the already fast enclosures can do. There might also be some benefit in spreading the heat around, although there's still the heat at the single host port, the management of which may or may not have improved in the newer MBPs.

    I'm keen to get a new M1 Max MBP and see if that's the case, and how fast I can get drives striped across all three channels to go. I'll probably do a brand new clean install to minimize other overheads, and for theoretical/experimental interest I might try it in the fridge and see if that helps. 😉   I'll report back my findings when I can get my hands on one of those machines.


    entropysapplguywatto_cobrakurai_kagetht
  • Reply 7 of 12
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,013member
    Detnator said:
    rob53 said:
    This hub is like OWC's 4-port Thunderbolt hub. It also says it can drive two 4K displays and costs $20 less. The Sonnett hub will also have limitations when connecting too many devices that want to use as much of the TB bandwidth as possible. I've seen questions about using a hub like this to create a RAID using three NVMe external drives and software RAID. It might be fun to try but I wouldn't expect the full 5000Mb/s TB3 bandwidth. This hub will be used to connect multiple devices that don't require simultaneous use. 

    I'd love to be proved wrong but I only have a 2020 M1 MBA to test with and it has Thunderbolt limitations.
    I have two of the OWC hub you mentioned, and a number of high end NVMe drives in various enclosures, and I've tried to do exactly this.  Sadly, there are some limitations.

    For one, I'm not exactly sure of the details, but I believe the 40Gb/s TB channel (in TB3 at least, and I believe this part is unchanged in TB4) is split into some specifically for data and the rest specifically for video, and neither gets the full 40. It's likely there's some part of that sentence that isn't quite right, but the upshot, as I understand it, is that the maximum SSD throughput you can get out of a single TB3 channel is about 2800MB/s or 2.8GB/s  (note: MBytes/GBytes, not Mbits/Gbits).

    This 2800 is usually stated on TB drives and enclosures from companies who are honest with their marketing (while everyone else says misleading statements like "full 40Mb/s bandwidth"), and I would say it mostly agrees with my experience in practice... or at least that's the case under ideal conditions, though most conditions are short of ideal (eg. background processes doing stuff that chews up some of the bandwidth etc).

    Based on those numbers I bought myself two OWC 4M2 TB3 enclosures and I get about 2200 MBps throughput on each of those, and when I stripe them all I get at most about 3500, usually not quite that much. That's the case on both my maxed out 2020 M1 13" MBP and my maxed out 2019 Intel 16" MBP.  And I've generally got similar performance out of other striped NVMe SSD configurations I've tried (eg. with some of the bus powered single drive enclosures).  When I had an iMac Pro I got better speeds out of the same configurations.  But despite trying various different configurations and setups, no setup has ever got me anywhere near the 5000MBps you'd expect/hope from a theoretically maxed out single 40Gbps TB channel, and in fact, I've never even got that much out of two channels striped.

    Important to note that all this is per CHANNEL, not per port. The Intel Macs share two ports per channel, so the four port Intel MBPs and iMac Pro have two channels. The two port Intel 13" MBP and MBA have one TB channel. On all Apple Silicon Macs so far I believe it's one port per channel, which means the low end 13" M1 MBP and MBA have two channels, despite only two ports -- which is an upgrade over the 2-port Intel machines they replaced.  And on the new 2021 14" and 16" M1 Pro/Max MBP's, the three ports, although a downgrade in number of ports are a 50% upgrade in bandwidth over the previous 4-port (2-channel) 13" and 16" Intel MBPs.

    That's a bit of a ramble, to include a lot of detail.  The point is it's my understanding that the maximum theoretical data (ie. SSD drive) throughput of any single thunderbolt channel is 2800MBytes/s.  And in practice it's generally significantly slower.  I believe there are some other overheads interfering with drive performance, which no doubt include background processes trying to do stuff among other things.  The other factor I've found (and this might be where the iMac Pro benefited most) is that these ports get very hot, and if allowed to get too hot will burn out the electronics, and they have built in throttling to slow them down if they get there.  Things like ice packs or keeping your Mac in a refrigerator might help with that... that's something I want to try one day.

    So needless to say... unfortunately these hubs don't really improve speed because the bottleneck is the channel more than anything else.  Some drive enclosures are slower than the channel bottleneck, but the best these hubs will give us is bringing multiples of those enclosures, striped over one channel, up to similar speeds as the already fast enclosures can do. There might also be some benefit in spreading the heat around, although there's still the heat at the single host port, the management of which may or may not have improved in the newer MBPs.

    I'm keen to get a new M1 Max MBP and see if that's the case, and how fast I can get drives striped across all three channels to go. I'll probably do a brand new clean install to minimize other overheads, and for theoretical/experimental interest I might try it in the fridge and see if that helps. 😉   I'll report back my findings when I can get my hands on one of those machines.


    Thanks for correcting my Mb/s to MB/s. The 4M2 has a single channel interface while the Envoy Express has a dual and the Envoy Pro I believe has a four-channel TB interface. As you know the 4M2 has a single TB input and might have a hardware RAID, I didn't check. Nothing wrong with the 2000 MB/s but it can go higher. My 2020 M1 MBA (same hardware in MBP, I bought 512GB storage so got 8+8 cores) has hardware limitations imposed by Apple on write speeds to external drives. This has been discussed on the OWC forums extensively. I'm still trying to get OWC/MacSales or a youtube person to actually so the same tests on the 2021 MBPs.

    If you look at the fine print on the OWC/MacSales website you'll see that these fast speeds are produced on a Windows PC with a special Thunderbolt interface card. If they can get to this speed on a Windows PC they can get there on a Mac as long as Apple doesn't restrict it. I know the Envoy Pro running on a 21.5" Intel iMac as the system disk can go over 2000GB/s because I put one on to get rid of the internal 5400 rpm sloooooooooooow HDD. 

    There's some tricky nomenclature about PCIe channels (might be called lanes). There's the x1, x2, x4 and not sure how high it goes. These are different from PCI buses. The 2020 M1 Macs share one PCIe bus for the two ports. The 2021 MBPs each use their own PCIe bus for each USB4 port. BTW: USB4/TB4 have the same Thunderbolt speed, 40Gb/s, as Thunderbolt 3. TB4 has a few extra things it can do. I have the OWC Envoy Express with the Aura/Phison NVMe blade. It has two channels. I also have the Fledging which uses the same Phison blade but it's enclosure interface is PCIe x4 (four channels). The fledging does run faster but nowhere near 2800 MB/s on my MBA. 

    I agree with your statement in the second to last paragraph which is why I suggested the hub is good for multiple devices that aren't running at same time. I saw a SSD with hub that allows four computers to connect to it but also lets you connect two TB ports to it (using separate buses/channels/????) to get more speed when striping the NVMe blades. I hope the 2021 MBPs let you do the same thing but unless you're using a powerful RAID box with 2 or more TB inputs I don't think we'll ever get anything approaching the full bandwidth. That said the M1 Pro and M1 Max are really fast when using the unified memory so Apple is doing something right that hopefully will be made available to external storage using that "hidden" bus discovered on the latest M-series SoCs.
    watto_cobrakurai_kage
  • Reply 8 of 12
    rob53 said:
    Detnator said:
    rob53 said:
    This hub is like OWC's 4-port Thunderbolt hub. It also says it can drive two 4K displays and costs $20 less. The Sonnett hub will also have limitations when connecting too many devices that want to use as much of the TB bandwidth as possible. I've seen questions about using a hub like this to create a RAID using three NVMe external drives and software RAID. It might be fun to try but I wouldn't expect the full 5000Mb/s TB3 bandwidth. This hub will be used to connect multiple devices that don't require simultaneous use. 

    I'd love to be proved wrong but I only have a 2020 M1 MBA to test with and it has Thunderbolt limitations.
    I have two of the OWC hub you mentioned, and a number of high end NVMe drives in various enclosures, and I've tried to do exactly this.  Sadly, there are some limitations.

    For one, I'm not exactly sure of the details, but I believe the 40Gb/s TB channel (in TB3 at least, and I believe this part is unchanged in TB4) is split into some specifically for data and the rest specifically for video, and neither gets the full 40. It's likely there's some part of that sentence that isn't quite right, but the upshot, as I understand it, is that the maximum SSD throughput you can get out of a single TB3 channel is about 2800MB/s or 2.8GB/s  (note: MBytes/GBytes, not Mbits/Gbits).

    This 2800 is usually stated on TB drives and enclosures from companies who are honest with their marketing (while everyone else says misleading statements like "full 40Mb/s bandwidth"), and I would say it mostly agrees with my experience in practice... or at least that's the case under ideal conditions, though most conditions are short of ideal (eg. background processes doing stuff that chews up some of the bandwidth etc).

    Based on those numbers I bought myself two OWC 4M2 TB3 enclosures and I get about 2200 MBps throughput on each of those, and when I stripe them all I get at most about 3500, usually not quite that much. That's the case on both my maxed out 2020 M1 13" MBP and my maxed out 2019 Intel 16" MBP.  And I've generally got similar performance out of other striped NVMe SSD configurations I've tried (eg. with some of the bus powered single drive enclosures).  When I had an iMac Pro I got better speeds out of the same configurations.  But despite trying various different configurations and setups, no setup has ever got me anywhere near the 5000MBps you'd expect/hope from a theoretically maxed out single 40Gbps TB channel, and in fact, I've never even got that much out of two channels striped.

    Important to note that all this is per CHANNEL, not per port. The Intel Macs share two ports per channel, so the four port Intel MBPs and iMac Pro have two channels. The two port Intel 13" MBP and MBA have one TB channel. On all Apple Silicon Macs so far I believe it's one port per channel, which means the low end 13" M1 MBP and MBA have two channels, despite only two ports -- which is an upgrade over the 2-port Intel machines they replaced.  And on the new 2021 14" and 16" M1 Pro/Max MBP's, the three ports, although a downgrade in number of ports are a 50% upgrade in bandwidth over the previous 4-port (2-channel) 13" and 16" Intel MBPs.

    That's a bit of a ramble, to include a lot of detail.  The point is it's my understanding that the maximum theoretical data (ie. SSD drive) throughput of any single thunderbolt channel is 2800MBytes/s.  And in practice it's generally significantly slower.  I believe there are some other overheads interfering with drive performance, which no doubt include background processes trying to do stuff among other things.  The other factor I've found (and this might be where the iMac Pro benefited most) is that these ports get very hot, and if allowed to get too hot will burn out the electronics, and they have built in throttling to slow them down if they get there.  Things like ice packs or keeping your Mac in a refrigerator might help with that... that's something I want to try one day.

    So needless to say... unfortunately these hubs don't really improve speed because the bottleneck is the channel more than anything else.  Some drive enclosures are slower than the channel bottleneck, but the best these hubs will give us is bringing multiples of those enclosures, striped over one channel, up to similar speeds as the already fast enclosures can do. There might also be some benefit in spreading the heat around, although there's still the heat at the single host port, the management of which may or may not have improved in the newer MBPs.

    I'm keen to get a new M1 Max MBP and see if that's the case, and how fast I can get drives striped across all three channels to go. I'll probably do a brand new clean install to minimize other overheads, and for theoretical/experimental interest I might try it in the fridge and see if that helps. ߘ頦amp;nbsp; I'll report back my findings when I can get my hands on one of those machines.


    Thanks for correcting my Mb/s to MB/s. The 4M2 has a single channel interface while the Envoy Express has a dual and the Envoy Pro I believe has a four-channel TB interface. As you know the 4M2 has a single TB input and might have a hardware RAID, I didn't check. Nothing wrong with the 2000 MB/s but it can go higher. My 2020 M1 MBA (same hardware in MBP, I bought 512GB storage so got 8+8 cores) has hardware limitations imposed by Apple on write speeds to external drives. This has been discussed on the OWC forums extensively. I'm still trying to get OWC/MacSales or a youtube person to actually so the same tests on the 2021 MBPs.

    If you look at the fine print on the OWC/MacSales website you'll see that these fast speeds are produced on a Windows PC with a special Thunderbolt interface card. If they can get to this speed on a Windows PC they can get there on a Mac as long as Apple doesn't restrict it. I know the Envoy Pro running on a 21.5" Intel iMac as the system disk can go over 2000GB/s because I put one on to get rid of the internal 5400 rpm sloooooooooooow HDD. 

    There's some tricky nomenclature about PCIe channels (might be called lanes). There's the x1, x2, x4 and not sure how high it goes. These are different from PCI buses. The 2020 M1 Macs share one PCIe bus for the two ports. The 2021 MBPs each use their own PCIe bus for each USB4 port. BTW: USB4/TB4 have the same Thunderbolt speed, 40Gb/s, as Thunderbolt 3. TB4 has a few extra things it can do. I have the OWC Envoy Express with the Aura/Phison NVMe blade. It has two channels. I also have the Fledging which uses the same Phison blade but it's enclosure interface is PCIe x4 (four channels). The fledging does run faster but nowhere near 2800 MB/s on my MBA. 

    I agree with your statement in the second to last paragraph which is why I suggested the hub is good for multiple devices that aren't running at same time. I saw a SSD with hub that allows four computers to connect to it but also lets you connect two TB ports to it (using separate buses/channels/????) to get more speed when striping the NVMe blades. I hope the 2021 MBPs let you do the same thing but unless you're using a powerful RAID box with 2 or more TB inputs I don't think we'll ever get anything approaching the full bandwidth. That said the M1 Pro and M1 Max are really fast when using the unified memory so Apple is doing something right that hopefully will be made available to external storage using that "hidden" bus discovered on the latest M-series SoCs.


    Right, some good points there.  Some of the things you're saying you're not sure about I think I am fairly sure about.  I did a little more research for the following, and these points are all "as I understand it" based on all that (plus my memory from previous research efforts). However, if anyone else here knows better for sure, please feel free to correct me.  Also, in the abbreviations here, b = bits, B = Bytes.

    1. Yes, TB3 and TB4 are both 40Gbps. The key difference between TB3 and TB4 is that TB3  comes with multiple possibilities but not all of them are always implemented in every implementation.  TB4 requires everything to be included, to qualify to be called TB4.

    2. You've made a correct distinction between buses and lanes.  You used the word channels referring to lanes, when I believe channels refers to busses.  But I could be wrong, so I'll forego channels completely and refer to buses now. As you noted, each PCIe bus has multiple lanes -- The x1, x2, x4 are the lanes.  There are multiple versions of PCIe -- I believe they're up to 5 now, although 4 is still pretty new, and 3 is the most common.  TB3/4 are based on PCIe3.  I did a little research to clarify some stuff I said previously, about how TB3/4 split up the feed between data and video.  Wikipedia explains it like this (somewhat paraphrased): "TB3 allows up to 4 lanes of PCIe (8.1Gb/s each = 32.4 Gb/s) for general-purpose data transfer, and 8 lanes of DisplayPort 1.4 (4.05Gb/s each = 32.4 Gbit/s) for video, but the maximum combined data rate cannot exceed 40 Gb/s. When both are competing, video will prioritize (ie. use all needed speed, potentially limiting data). Other overheads are possible on PCIe data and Thunderbolt 3 protocol."

    Looking at the data side of things, that 8Gb/s is 1GB/s, the 32Gb/s is 4GB/s which has me wondering why there seems to be some upper limit of 2.8GB/s.  From what I've been able to find so far it seems to be a limitation of the controller, except I really don't know what that is.  How much of thunderbolt isn't the controller? If TB3/4 = PCIe 3x4 at 32Gb/s then it should be able to keep up with the high speed drives like high end Samsungs quoting 3500MB/s... etc.  So 
    There's definitely something I'm missing on this point.  

    3. I'm not sure the details but I understand NVMe is very closely related to PCIe as well. I see them described as PCIe 3 x4 drives. It seems, as you mentioned, any standard single input TB3/4 enclosure (that isn't specifically limited like the Envoy Express -- again I think you mean lanes there not channels) is supposed to be passing the 4 lanes on the NVMe drive through to the 4 thunderbolt lanes to the computer and vice versa.  (Which again has me stumped why said enclosures can't keep up with eg 3500MB/s Samsungs etc.). The 4M2 is also four lanes, but it connects one lane to each of the 4 drives inside it.  The four drives between them have 16 lanes, but the TB can still only handle four of them, and it splits them evenly (the one lane per drive). If you stripe them (which is what I do -- software RAID to answer that part of your comment) you're getting more or less the same performance as a single slot x4 enclosure (like the Envoy Pro), you just have the added benefit of up to four times the storage (and a cooling fan and mains power).  On the other hand consider this: https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ssd/owc-accelsior-4m2 -- four x4 drives on a PCIe x16 card, and so it screams.  Though still nowhere near what PCIe x16 should get (per my "stumped" comments above again).  And if that's not fast enough, there's this: https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ssd/owc-accelsior-8m2.  Lol.)

    4. I believe you're incorrect about "The 2020 M1 Macs share one PCIe bus for the two ports."  That statement is correct for the Intel Macs, but all M1 Macs absolutely have one bus per port. See here: https://eshop.macsales.com/blog/68484-thunderbolt-on-the-m1-mac-mini/.  They're talking about the M1 Mac mini there, but I'm writing this on an M1 13" MBP and I get the same two buses in the System Information window.

    5. Theoretically/presumably a Mac with four TB buses x4 lanes each would get the same speeds as a single x16 lane PCIe direct interface, and it'd be fun to see someone create an enclosure like the (external) 4M2, but that has four thunderbolt ports, one bus x4 lanes per port, to effectively get the same 16 lanes as the Accelsior 4M2 card that I've linked to above.  Except the only Mac that can have that many TB ports in it is the Mac Pro, but since that can take the above card, then there's not much point.  On the other hand with the new 3 port 3 bus MBPs theoretically someone could make an enclosure with 3 TB ports = 3 buses x 4 lanes each = 12 lanes at least.  

    6. That said the other device you mentioned, I'd guess you read about here: https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/12/07/iodyne-pro-data-storage-solution-packs-8-thunderbolt-ports-speeds-up-to-5-gbs and that does a two port version of the three point idea I just described -- in fact it does that to up to four computers at once. It's not clear whether the four computers can all access all 12 or 24TB at once, or if it's simply an enclosure for splitting up the 12 or 24TB into four separate containers, one for each computer.  If the former, then that's pretty cool. If the latter, then I'm not entirely sure how it's significantly better than four or eight separate enclosures, spread across the four computers, except I suppose the flexibility of being able to split the entire storage pool into more arbitrary container sizes...? Either way, from the connectivity point of view, each pair of ports seems to be effectively the same as two separate enclosures striped together (like what I'm doing with my two external 4M2's).  I can only imagine its use case is pretty niche.  Maybe they'll make a 3 ports per computer version like I described above for higher performance for the newer MBPs.  

    7. Needless to say, striping 3 x4 lane TB3/4 enclosures that can reach the 2800 each in real world usage, means we should be able to attach close to 8GB/s external storage to the latest MBPs... today.  I'm not sure what that "hidden" bus you're referring to is,  but if that makes room for a fourth TB4 bus and port on some future MBP, then 16 external lanes for over 10GB/s should be possible (actually probably a bit less than the 8 and 10 because you lose some speed to the RAID processing, but still...)

    8. "... multiple devices that aren't running at same time... ".  Yes.  Exactly.  Or that at least don't need all the full speed at the same time.

    9. Incidentally OWC's hub that you initially mentioned, is, as you mentioned very similar to this one, except the OWC only has 60W of power -- enough for a 13" MBP but my 16" Intel MBP drains when only powered by it, so I'm stuck still powering it from the supplied power brick.  The 85W coming out of this one would be enough to spare me that.  Except my next MBP -- hopefully very soon -- will need 100+W, so not enough again, lol.
    edited December 2021 watto_cobrakurai_kage
  • Reply 9 of 12
    Most of these hubs are just rebranded, like this one. You'll see the exact same port layouts.
  • Reply 10 of 12
    Also, these guys need to stop selling these things with the usual power supplies. Everything should have a USB-C power power and adapter, or just sell without the power supply.
    Detnatortht
  • Reply 11 of 12
    Most of these hubs are just rebranded, like this one. You'll see the exact same port layouts.
    Y’know, that was my first thought when I saw this, until I saw the different power output.  They’re very similar but that power difference (60W vs 85W) is pretty significant. 
    Also, these guys need to stop selling these things with the usual power supplies. Everything should have a USB-C power power and adapter, or just sell without the power supply.
    Agreed on that.  These proprietary power adapters are really annoying and they’re not exactly small either.  Ugh. 





  • Reply 12 of 12
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,371member
    Also, these guys need to stop selling these things with the usual power supplies. Everything should have a USB-C power power and adapter, or just sell without the power supply.
    I don't know, that seems like a recipe for confusion.  You'd have a USB-C power in, a USB-C to PC, and three further USB-C to attached devices.  Sounds like it could be a problem.
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