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The Great USB Hub Caper

Updated: Apr 11



Once upon a time the many organizations that manufacture portable computing devices like laptops and tablets realized they had quite the quandary on their hands that made their profit lines look very bleak indeed ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฒ๐Ÿ‘Žโ›ˆ๐ŸŒจโ›ˆ.


In the interests of making their margins and profits stack up on the sweeter side of the cost equation, they collectively devised a cunning plan to rid themselves of this expensive problem and make it a "victim" problem.


Some of them called it an "opportunity".


They were obviously gifted in the satire department.....


The "victim" being us the customers who buy their portable compute devices in good faith and who now have to worry about the best power and the power budget for all the peripherals we want our compute devices to enjoy and the vast sea of problems this noble quest brings with it to the table.


Overnight, we the victims of these new age portable compute devices also had the tedious burden of figuring out how much money we can afford to spend to power our portable compute devices and their new peripheral power schemas adequately.


Most people go for the cheap option because they just don't know better or they just cannot afford another $300 to cover this cost.


And so the portable USB-C Hub market jamboree was born.


Being a long time electronics and ex-microprocessor engineer myself, I understand all too well what the computer manufacturing industry has done here ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿ It is basically a massive con job.


They have not solved anything either, they just passed the problem on to us to solve as we all see fit.


This is a strange decision that has large cost impacts for several FRED and FRED Gadget manufacturers.


In Windows PC and Laptop land the makers of these Hubs are building them to various standards like E-MARK and PD smartchips appearing in the cables and the Hub devices to literally prevent you from ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ down the house.


๐Ÿ meanwhile did not place enough due diligence and invest time in this issue and it has been expensive for the Orchard.


They should also have got onboard with the mainstream USB-C Hub thing and conformed to E-MARK and PD 100W 5A stuff with suitable cable solutions.


They chose not to. Ooops!!


This is what the emergency two 3.27GB updates in a single week from ๐Ÿ have been all about.


Big Sur 11.2.2 made it worse on my hardware though and I spent time with ๐ŸŽ on the phone fixing issues.


Big Sur 11.2.3 supposedly fixes the problem.


My overheating problems on the USB-C hub devices have gone at any rate...


For me, this situation had already has destroyed one 4K monitor and one M1 ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“— Air so far.


Expensive for ๐ŸŽ.....?


The right way to Connect your HUB


In December of 2020 I was facing replacing my aging 15" ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Pro Retina with something that supported the new ๐ŸŽ OS, Big Sur.


My Old ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Pro machine was not on the list for devices that were to be supported for Big Sur and I always HAVE to have the latest OS from Microsoft or ๐ŸŽ - this is non-negotiable.


When my device no longer gets upgrades it heads to the junk heap.


Being an ex Microprocessor fundi, the new M1 ๐Ÿ silicon and the price made me balance the v1 bugs these devices always come with and I went for it due to low price considerations (being a sado-masochist also helps here).


Now, for my Windows based laptops this latest OS issue was never a problem as I have found few old devices that will not run Windows 10 but bar in mind everything becomes obsolete at some point.


I cannot run Windows 10 on my 1998 Dell D600 Laptop for example.


The USB-C Hub story is a sad smorgasbord that ranges from very good to very bad.


Lenovo and Dell actually sell branded USB-C Hubs that do not present issues (by and large) but they ain't cheap either.

$259 Dell D6000 USB Hub


This portable compute device saga all came about because of some very dire power systems used for general computing devices - in general that is - there are, as always, a few exceptions.


It turns out that decent electronic components are required to build top of the line power systems and decent electronics components are very much more expensive than the average ๐Ÿšฎ turned out en masse by the Taiwanese and Chinese manufacturers of el cheapo electronics ๐Ÿšฎ I will refer to as "craptastic".


Laptop manufacturers also by and large do not sport the same features a full desktop compute device offers with equivalent performance goals in mind.


This I find a tremendously ๐Ÿ˜ฅ situation but these are related to realities of โ™จ and design limitations imposed by โ™จ exchange capabilities of small footprint compute devices.


It is my considered opinion that a laptop or portable compute device should be capable of ๐Ÿƒ XMP and all sorts of GPU options in two modes and this was actually the intent when laptops became a thing back in the early nineties.


As usual, money ๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ‡ (CFO's) have warped the good design intent with low cost aspirations and several solid design goals and ideals were sacrificed to the gods of low cost compute solutions and never mentioned again along the way to where we are today.

If the Craptastic USB-C Hub vendor shows internals like this - go for it!


Several of the large laptop OEMs also lost a lot of ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ on some models as the designs were often plagued by ultra low quality and cheap components being bought by the component purchasers at the various factories in China or had stupid faults QA should have caught.


Instead of solving this in a modular way with standards and such driving such aspirations, each of the manufacturers went forth and did their own mostly proprietary thang.


If you are an ๐ŸŽ Macbook owner of the last 2 years the CalDigit SOHO is available for $79 to fix your issues to ๐Ÿ approval (so says ๐ŸŽ).


If you have the new ๐Ÿ M1 which have USB 4.0 and Thunderbolt 4 ports you will need the CalDigit Element which is $179 and on serious back order.


Mine arrives May 6th 2021.


What has resulted is situations like that which my new ๐Ÿ M1 based ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Air currently features.


I actually had similar problems with my bigger, newer 15" ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Pro Retina model in December of 2019 as well by the way so do not think this is just an M1 silicon issue because it is not.


What I did to solve that particular issue was based on my electronic theory and manufacturing experience days from HP and South African Telkom labs.


I had already purchased a good 30 or so of the cheap USB-C Hubs for my ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– supplied by various organizations I have worked for.


What I noticed about all of them was that plugging in additional monitors had severe limitations to reckon with.

Be sure the Multi Port Graphics works


They all also sport the ๐Ÿšฎ portfolio of craptastic electronic componentry.


My Old 2012 15" ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Pro Retina had a state of the art nVidia card that worked with the Intel GPU in tandem.


That model ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Pro could drive all of the peripherals from the USB interfaces the laptop came with and I often used four 1080P 30" ๐ŸŽ monitors depending on what application I was using for what purpose with no problems at all.


I also went through a great many ๐Ÿ PSU devices on that 2012 ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Pro Retina however.


The poorly designed little white blocks of plastic filled with cheap craptastic have zero airflow to boot and get way too hot.


I rip several apart on a near weekly basis to examine them and I even repair the odd one.


Most crumble from the heat treatment on the PCB....


The various OEMs all claim this is not a problem but I am calling total BS on that claim big time because all I do is buy new PSU units for my vast collection of portable computer devices and I know a thing or three about electronics and their components.


It was here that I began to realize the OEM laptop industry was ultimately going to take the cheap and easy road with everything they could get away with - what Chris Rea termed "The Road to Hell".


As the years have progressed since 2012, the USB-C additional peripherals thang has required the addition of a USB-C Hub per portable compute device to cater for all the other things you may want to plug into your laptop and this ailment is now a standard fact of life to consider when you buy a modern portable FRED.


It is an ailment and an unwelcome hindrance.


The Huawei mate ๐Ÿ“– X Pro I bought in 2018 for example has one USB-A Port and two USB-C ports.


This is unusual as most newer generation laptops just have one or two USB-C ports nowadays.


The issue here is the small power supply that comes with your new portable compute device may range from 45W to 65W, constantly overheats and has a very short lifespan as a result of overheating and the range of craptastic ๐Ÿ—‘ they used to make it from.


The Huawei Mate ๐Ÿ“– X Pro came with one that claimed 65W capability but when I tested it 45W was the max and it sported internal temps of 140 degrees C!!


Plug in a serious USB-C Hub that is rated at 100W and you quickly find out you need power for that as well and that ideally, the USB-C hub should get the 100W power and use its short 100W 5A rated USB-C Cable to power the portable FRED cascade serial style.


Now you can potentially get into a situation where you have a 100W Power brick for the USB-C hub and another one for the Compute device as well.


The only problem here is all the compute device manufacturers insist you use their inadequate and under powered PSU jokes to power the compute device.


And they are all serious jokes, the lot of them.


There are seriously good reasons for using the OEM supplied PSU in theory at any rate as ๐ŸŽ themselves are finding out right now with the M1 ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Air devices which are getting fried by these third party USB-C Hubs.


The problem is the OEM compute devices also sport PSU of the cheap and nasty kind alluded to in this blog which are surprise-surprise also made of craptastic.


Some of the USB-C hub devices are real good devices like some of the UGREENs but most of these devices are real bad craptastic class devices.


Ripping a good number of them apart to determine why some are better than others reveals that the differentiator between the good ones and the bad ones is down to a lottery of the craptastic componentry that happens to be in them.


Obviously some craptastic is better than other craptastic.


Some of the real good and expensive USB devices are toasting new ๐Ÿ M1 devices though, I know of three thousand cases where this happened.


Here I am talking about USB-C Hubs that start at $199 and reach to over $600.


I actually have about 40 of the craptastic class USB-C Hub thangs at the moment and just 2 of the decent ones made by Plugable and Dell.


My company ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– pro was so flakey with the various craptastic USB-C Hubs that I just went and bought the biggest baddest Plugable USB-C Hub for that device and it has given me zero problems since I did that.


However, it cost me $279.


For my new ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Air I went cheap and got a UGREEN 9 in 1 and a UNI 8 in 1 but I also tried the Startech.com DKT30CSDHPD device on it.


These all sport 1 GB Ethernet as I do not like WiFi for business use with Zoom voice and video.


The Startech is not a viable option on the M1 ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Air and so-so on the 15" ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Pro.


It overheats and that is a very bad sign.


All my ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ€ are also TeckNet Bluetooth ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ€ and I use either wired or Bluetooth keyboards from Logitech or Microsoft.


I have been having issues with some of my monitors with these setups.


My Samsung monitors are very picky about what USB-C hub devices they are connected to while my big ASUS monitors just don't care.


My Viotek 120Hz monitor however will not run on ANY USB-C hub I have bar the Plugable and no way at 120Hz.


The Plugable is also the only USB-C hub with no HDMI, it only has the Integrated Display Port Output so I have an Active Display Port to HDMI 2.0 adapter for that sucker.


I also found the UGREEN 9 in 1 does not run HDMI and VGA at the same time as some of their photos show.


They claim one 4K MONITOR on the HDMI port and one 1080p on the VGA port but that just mirrors the HDMI port.


It's this sort of ๐Ÿ’ฉ you have to research before you buy one.


What impresses me with UGREEN is they share the craptastic they glued to the circuit board on their website and they seem to have a better quality control regimen than some of the cheap and nasty ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ like Techstar.


They also answered my questions real quick.


UGREEN seem a lot more serious than some of these one stop Mickey Mouse electronic chop shops that make these things.

My 15" ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Pro setup with Plugable USB-C Hub


This offers 4K at 60Hz on one monitor and will drive several (2) 1920 x 1080p monitors with no problem.


There are solutions to use USB-C cables from the ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– to drive newer monitors with that connection type as well.


The range and quality of ๐ŸŸ(*) inside these USB-C Hub devices also come to bear here and what you have is a literal minefield of mostly piss poor devices to connect your USB-C enabled compute device to.


* In the UK Fries are called Chips (๐ŸŸ = CPU Chips)


The only issue is you can totally destroy your expensive portable compute device by using the wrong ones and its all because of a combination of the cables people are using and the lottery of what craptastic components ended up in your particular USB-C hub selection.


I just discovered this USB-C Cable thing is exactly what I said it was to Jaguar 2 years ago when I first looked at why cars do not respond well with normal USB-C Cables in use these days.


Here is the issue:


Jaguar USB-A connectors are USB 1.1.....They have no idea what a USB-C cable is....I had to cycle through 50 offerings of cable before I found one that worked.


This exercise tells you that cable vendors are wiring these things very differently.


Walk in off the street to Best Buy or some other electronic parts store and buy some High Power fast charging USB-C Cables and you will be shocked at what they will give you.


Most of these are for Android Smart phones. These are not the 5 Amp 100W cables you would think equates to Fast Charging for portable compute devices.


As said earlier, I bought 50 different USB-C Cables and tried them all in my various electric vehicles mainly out of curiosity on the subject.


The Chevrolet Bolt which did understand USB-A 2.0 works the best by the way.


Turns out that for an Android phone a 3A Metal shielded 28 AWG braided cable = Fast Charging.


This is totally unsuitable for use with a device like a ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Air M1 or a Huawei Mate ๐Ÿ“– X Pro portable compute device and offers no guarantee it will work in any vehicle either.


For computer power delivery you need a 5A 100W metal braided cable and these are quite stiff and inflexible. Only use one of these 100W cables for connection to a 4K monitor and look for the 4K Ultra HD logo as well as the PD logo.




If you touch your USB-C hub device with your current USB-C hub setup and this movement causes all the devices to disconnect or be intermittent you have a Mickey ๐Ÿญ USB-C Hub and USB-C cable setup.


None of my USB-C Cables which are 3A 28 AWG Fast Charge cables that I specially bought for the task were 5A 100W cables.


My shipment of 4 INUI 100W 5A USB C to USB C cables just arrived care of Amazon and I just replaced the lot of the cables I was using with these beasties.


Instant sanity prevailed in USB-C Hub connection land......!!


They also have an LED to tell you connection status which let me tell you will prove invaluable should one ever go wonky on me.


I recently bought a Hyppr USB-C PSU device and it came with a short cable that is 100W 5A rated.


I became curious that it solved my power issues on my Huawei Mate ๐Ÿ“– X Pro and as a consequence I started to look at the ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– M1 devices as well.


Mate ๐Ÿ“– X Pro with UGREEN 9 in 1 setup with straight wire into FRED


It was a shocking discovery to find I was falling very short here.


The Plugable device also has the 100W 5A cables by the way.


It turns out this USB-C 5A 100W Cable issue is a real serious minefield.


There are also newer USB-C cables that sport the PD chip and PD standard with LED indicators and I urgently advise you all to order some from Amazon Pronto Maximus as you are in danger of burning out your Portable compute device that is plugged into these deficient USB-C Hub and their various USB-C cable combinations.


Just make absolutely sure you are running Big Sur 11.2.3 BEFORE you connect one to your new pride and joy ๐ŸŽ based FRED.


I am running a few hubs on our M1 ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Air devices to see if the ๐ŸŽ fix tests out.


๐ŸŽ is sending me one new one that got toasted by my UGREEN USB-C PD Hub.


My first job in the S.A Telkom POTELIN lab years ago was designing portable PSU units for Telekom test gear.


I swiftly learnt then that the more expensive Japanese diodes, capacitors and transformers would result in much more reliable devices.


I got into a lot of trouble building the prototypes I was tasked with building with components that were sometimes 400x more expensive than the cheap Taiwanese craptastic crud my colleagues in the lab were using.


Nothing has changed in this regard in the ensuing 32 years.


However, I have learnt from the S.A Telkom lab that still supports these one to 10 device designs that I made back then that they have not had one of my units fail - not ever.


The ones my colleagues built with the craptastic parts are in the workshop getting components replaced almost every year, like clockwork.


They tell me that when they troubleshoot these devices if they have the square root of 5 symbol (โˆš5) on the circuit boards they rule out the PSU.


I had the โˆš5 symbol etched into all my PCB flows when I was there.


Looking at the components in the ๐ŸŽ and HP PSU units has me curling my lip in disgust that the user experience could be bad based entirely on a 69 cent crappy diode or a sub standard $3.47 transformer coil.


For these more low end USB-C Hubs to work properly they need smooth 100W power.


They also need good quality 100W 5A USB-C cables for the job.


Ideally, you would buy a decent PSU from Hyppr or some such company which comes with one of the right USB-C to USB-C 100W 5A cables.


Plug that cable into the USB-C Hub.


The short cable from your USB-C Hub should also be a suitable 100W 5A cable. This cable is soldered into the USB-C Hub circuit board and the other end is the standard USB-C connector that you plug into your PC.


If it is not rated at 100W 5A, my advice is to throw it away and get one that is.


I have seen several Ultrabooks and expensive laptops fried because of this single issue.


The new ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– M1 Airs have an even worse problem that highlighted the fact that ๐ŸŽ did not put too much thought into this very serious problem.


Some customers had the right USB-C Hubs and the right USB-C Cables Sporting the new USB PD Chippery in the expensive 100W 5A cables but because of poor Power circuit control inside the laptop many of these expensive PD cables and USB-C Hubs totally fried the motherboard.


The crappier and thinner gauge wire acting as a fuse in this case if the 5A cable was not used.


๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Air M1 with UNI 8 in 1 Craptastic USB-C Hub


On March 1๐ŸŽ rushed out a 3.27 GB Big Sur 11.2.2 update to prevent their ๐Ÿ FREDs from being damaged by these USB-C hub devices and they are ALL being damaged by these USB-C hub devices by the way.


On March 8th they rushed out another 3.27GB update, Big Sur 11.2.3 with some story about it being a security patch.


That may be but the Hardware went nutz with Big Sur 11.2.2.


Big Sur 11.2.3 seems to have brought sanity back to the M1 devices.....


I have spoken to the PSU gurus at ๐Ÿ, Dell, HP, Huawei, Inspur, Razer, Fujitsu, Acer and Mustek on this issue and they all concur.


In this M1 ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Air case, if you had the shitty 3A Cable, chances are the cable took the damage and not the M1 FRED.


๐Ÿ have also replaced many of these damaged compute devices no questions asked because the fact is that they screwed up here big time.


They have an even bigger nightmare to deal with now however, that will ultimately see ๐ŸŽ launch a new USB-C Hub line of their own which will also come with Apple sanctioned cables or they may just go back to designing them properly (what a concept!?).


This is the only way they can control the power these devices get.


All they have succeeded in doing here is creating two products out of one with a bigger nightmare as a bonus.


Where are the standards bodies regulating the quality and fire hazards that this mess brings?


By the way its not just the new ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Airs that have this issue, the newer 16" ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Pros have a long dark record of suffering from this very same problem.


I wonder how long it will be before we start seeing all in one devices again?


Now that we are here at this unfortunate square though, it is nice to have the option of roll Royce quality power vs the cheap Taiwanese or Chinese craptastic options you know will be expensive when it burns out.


However, mating a Rolls Royce with a bearing free roller skate does not help much either.


Why do I say that?


Well, the electronic internals inside the machine needs to be a suitable match and there is a thing called impedance you need to fret over as well.


The whole idea of extending power on a bus that introduces noise and disconnects from various potential sources with non matching impedance is a designers worst nightmare.


Failure of your device using craptastic is a lottery and you are playing Russian roulette with your compute device by using craptastic USB-C Hubs and inferior cable combos. FACT!!


My only issue here is mating Rolls Royce Quality USB-C cables and the high quality USB-C Hubs when the compute device itself is populated with craptastic componentry.


The other thing to note here is that you can seriously damage your monitors with this mess as well.


If you are using USB-C cables make sure they are all rated for 5A & 100W.


Also note the precise fit of the more expensive and serious 100W 5A cables with LED into your USB-C Hub and the PSU - they click when homed properly and they do not wobble and drift - this is because they are made properly.


USB-C cables that wobble and drift and do not sit properly cause lots of problems - chuck them!


I am throwing all of mine away apart from a few for use in my ๐Ÿš˜ with my Samsung S21 Ultra phone but these are USB-A to USB-C 3A braided cables.


Trust me, in general, the more you spend on quality cables and a quality USB-C hub the better your experience will be and I advise you not consider the vast sea of craptastic devices out there unless you are happy with playing the craptastic lottery and the potential consequences it may bring.


Some other observations you may want to take into account when you select a USB-C Hub:


It is a common fact amongst us electronic folk that power systems generate heat.


As such airflow over power components is a real good idea unless the internals have heat sink arrangement and capability to dissipate said heat.


If you touch a PSU or a USB-C Hub and it's so hot you cannot hold it or you burn yourself, bad shit is happening - IPSO FACTO.


If you are lucky the first component to die is the PSU Diode set or the crappy cable.


If you are not so lucky you fry everything.


If you have bought an ๐ŸŽ M1 without the ๐Ÿ device 3 year extended insurance and have plugged any craptastic USB-C hub device into it, do yourself a favor and buy it before your year is up.


๐ŸŽ will worm out of fixing it if you give them half a chance... I had this experience with ๐ŸŽ twice myself over the years.


๐Ÿ have not got their sh1t together on this third party USB-C added hub power issue and this is an old and nasty problem.


I have been speaking to several folks I know there and the entire PSU and peripheral issue leaves much to be desired.


In the future ๐ŸŽ will either build their own USB-C hub devices or they will incorporate this into the main board design with better designed PSU units.


My old 2012 ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Pro that I plugged into 4 x 30" Apple monitors fried a PSU every 14 months. Some of the ๐ŸŽ replacements only lasted 2 days....


This has always been an ๐Ÿ problem.


In the quest for thinner and sleeker designs the fact remains the power and cooling they get is still an issue.


My solution to this is an industry standard heatsink that clips to a metal computer stand and acts as a full heatsink and then some.


When the ๐Ÿ’ป is clipped into these heatsink stands XMP is activated and they also run additional cooling fans to ensure the temps stay in the desired envelope (62-82 degrees C).


Clip it out and XMP is turned off and lower CPU and ๐Ÿ clock profiles are in effect - like clipping the CPU's wings to a 90% performance max within the thermal envelope.


These are things we can do today very easily.


These stands could also offer eGPU features for serious CAD work.


I know this can be done as I have worked with ASUS on prototypes of this sort of device.


This also creates a whole sub line of accessory add-ons that can suit a customers wallet.


What we have right now with all these USB-C hub devices with horrid chipsets and less than adequate USB-C cables connecting them that can fry your compute pride and joy is beyond the pale.


Thin is only beautiful to a certain point of functionality, when you want to do serious compute work on it, you need to dissipate heat and deliver power.


The laws of physics are not going away any time soon. We still need to solve the thermal problems.


Duh!!



The Hail Hydra Awards for Best Craptastic Class USB-C Hub goes to Dell with the DA300.


I highly recommend the Dell DA300 6-in-1 USB-C hub as the best USB type-C Craptastic class hub if you have fund limitations.


This product is perfect for those seeking a craptastic class USB type-C hub that is both aesthetically pleasing and high performing. I admire the DA300 for its portability and small footprint -- its circular shape and retractable cable are some of its eye-catching, head-turning features.


For the Best Serious USB-C Hub there is no clear winner but they all fall in the $189-$340 price range.


My favorite is the Corsair TBT 100 Thunderbolt 3 hub for $249.99

I also like the Anker Docking Station a lot Due to its superior airflow slots and low temps. $249.99 this one...

The Plugable Thunderbolt 3 TBT3-UDZ or the TBT3-UDV is also a solid choice.


Just be aware the UDZ only pushes 60W power suitable for the 13" ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Pro or Airs with the i5/i7/M1 CPU.


I just discovered my 15" ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– pro has not been charging since I connected the Plugable device so I learnt a thing or three myself here....


This explains a few things re CPU power as well...


If you want to power 3 x 4K monitors the Plugable Dock DVK stuff is for you.



A word of caution on the TBT3-UDV docks if you have the 15" or 16" ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Pro.


The TBT3-UDV (pictured above) power capability is only 60W and this must be supplied via the black Plugable Thunderbolt cable. DO NOT use the white ๐ŸŽ Thunderbolt cable with this device.


If you have the later 15" or 16" ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– pro get the TBT3-UDC3 model instead. This sucker does deliver 96W to power those beasts.



TBT3-UDC3


There are many of these higher end devices knocking about, some support the new 8K Video format (one port) or two 4K outputs.


One other thing that plays to the Plugable devices advantage by the way is that they come with serious PSU's of their own.


The TBT3-UDV PSU in the box is 137W, the TBT3-UDC3 PSU is a whopping 170W.


If you buy some of the others in this class the PSU is not in the box on some of them.


The Anker PSU is 135W and will push only 85W to your compute device.


It would seem the days of driving four monitors from a single portable compute device is over and this is now a job for desktop class compute gear with a couple of GPU cards in it or connecting your laptop to one of the eGPU systems on offer with suitable GPU in that thing.


The eGPU would then connect to the 4K monitors with 4K UHD USB-C 100W 5A cables.


I myself have not found the eGPU devices very worthwhile but it can be done.


If you are a home stock trader, I have set this up for a few guys driving 8 stock chart monitors per eGPU device using GTX2060 nVidia cards in pairs.


That works fine but playing stuff like Crysis in Gaming mode on these sucks.


If you are into driving that much video output you should be using a workstation class compute platform anyways.


For most of us driving two external monitors from a high end laptop is at the top end of our capability list.


I have recently cut my AMD Threadripper rigs from dual 4K monitors to a single curved screen 42" 2K Viotek monitor because I can do everything I need on a single screen.


4K monitors need a pretty decent GPU to drive them and for a business class device I cannot really find a justification to use them, even though I have them juiced GPUs in all my boxes.


Light and functional Laptops or Ultrabooks do not have the GPU to drive these 4K monitors either. The Razer laptop range and the top end ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– stuff being the exceptions.


My company 15" ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Pro has a Radeon 555X and Intel 630 GPU combo which I paired with my 4K Samsung monitor and it has no issues with the Plugable TBT3-UDV Dock but I had to use the ๐Ÿ 87W brick as well.


In closing on this USB-C Craptastic Hub issue, do check your compute device supports DP Alt Mode - no ๐ŸŽ devices do!! I kid you not!!! Almost all of these new USB-C Hubs do......If you check the small print on the sea of craptastic USB-C Vendors web sites out there they mention this not insignificant little fact..........Oi Vey!


I just discovered (via ๐Ÿ) another USB-C Dock vendor called CalDigit and they have a brand new USB Dock they call the Element that does work with the ๐ŸŽ FREDs sans the DP Alt Mode issue and the new M1 devices support USB-4.0 & Thunderbolt 4.0.


So if you have a new ๐Ÿ M1 Processor based FRED, these are for you but pay attention to the Power output part, these are a mere 60W, which is fine for the new M1 chip shod devices but not the 15" or 16" ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Pro's...thems be needing 87W and 96W power dollops.


Update Monday March 8th 2021: ๐Ÿ have rushed out yet ANOTHER 3.27 GB update, hot on the heels of last weeks Big Sur 11.2.2 comes 11.2.3.


I was on the phone to ๐Ÿ at Lunch time as my ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– air was pretending its a fading Neon light - screen flickering - intermittent networking, SSD and OS hang issues, system suddenly decided it was in Vietnamese format from keyboard input sans me telling it........


Boy what a hot mess!!


They told me to update all my devices pronto hastus ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐Ÿš€ so I did them all in a hurry.


My company laptop, a 15" i9 shod ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Pro is updating as I type this.


The bizarre ๐ŸŽ M1 screen flickering behavior appears to have gone on the M1 Air for now and it seems to have its speed back too!!


It would not go into safe mode on the ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“– Air, so I decided to upgrade to 11.2.3 on advice from the Apple support folk.


I just ordered the new Element Dock from the CalDigit web portal and elected the new PayPal pay in 4 installments every 2 weeks option which is very nice to hoodwink the ball and chain with while I am at it!!


They ship in Mid May 2021 by the way.....long wait...

Double Oi Vey!!


Meanwhile, in AMD Ryzen, Threadripper and EPYC land, a new USB Glitch has risen from the dead.....


Triple Oi Vey!!!!


chaanbeard.com, IT Tech-Talk Blog focusing on AMD and Nutanix with Cloudy things

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