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MacBook Pro 2019 and USB C

Discussion of general issues, not related to a specific Mac or iDevice operating system.
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Stephen Hart
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MacBook Pro 2019 and USB C

Post by Stephen Hart » Tue May 14, 2019 9:27 am

I'll be (finally) replacing a 2010 MacBook Pro with a 2019 model later in the summer.
That means I'll have to confront the issue of USB C.
I have an OWC Thunderbolt dock with USB A ports, FireWire 800, etc. And Apple makes a Thunderbolt 3 (USB C) to Thunderbolt 2 adapter. So I'm good for a desktop dock, I think.
I have a microscope camera that I'll need a USB B Superspeed to USB C cable for.

One thing I will do with the MacBook is to transfer and backup photos when on trips, and it might be more convenient to use a card reader instead of the camera's USB A cable. Or maybe I can get a USB micro B to USB C cable for the camera.

So, do any SMUG members have experience with a portable plug-in mini hub for USB C?
Any other tips about USB C?
Last edited by Stephen Hart on Wed May 29, 2019 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ray Bentsen
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Re: MacBook Pro 2019 and USB C

Post by Ray Bentsen » Tue May 14, 2019 1:59 pm

Stephen,

Like you, I am currently thinking about USB-C ... since I just bought a new iMac from Costco last week. The new iMacs now have two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports in place of the almost square Thunderbolt ports that were on my old 2015 iMac. I had purchased my current 6Tb Lacie external HD specifically because it had dual Thunderbolt 2 ports (20 Gb/s), although it also has one USB 3 port (5Gb/s) ... and I had been using the Thunderbolt cable to connect to the iMac.

So, now the choices are to either use the USB 3 cable included with the Lacie, buy a Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 adapter ($50 from Apple), or buy a new external HD with a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port. I decided on choice #1 and am now using the USB 3 cable included with the Lacie to go from the external drive to one of the new iMac's four USB 3 ports.

Here is my thinking, and let me know if it is incorrect. Because the new iMacs still use a Fusion drive (32Gb SSD and the rest HD), transfer speeds between the internal Fusion drive and the external HD would be pretty much the same whether using USB 3 or Thunderbolt 3 ... even if I bought a new external HD with Thunderbolt 3 (60 Gb/s). My thinking is that the transfer rate is determined by the slowest component ... the internal Fusion drive (max 2.5 Gb/s). The other part of the thinking is that my Carbon Copy Cloner backups are scheduled to happen in the middle of the night ... so the transfer rate is not really much of an issue, anyway.

I will probably only use the iMac's USB-C ports on the iMac to do backups of my iPhone X and iPad Pro Gen3 ... both of which use USB-C.

;)
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Ray Bentsen
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Re: MacBook Pro 2019 and USB C

Post by Ray Bentsen » Tue May 14, 2019 2:40 pm

Stephen,

But to get to your original question, yes I do have experience with a HyperDrive adapter that was purchased to use with my MacBook Pro (see screenshot). The thinking was that I would need an HDMI port to do presentations at user group meetings. At this point, the adapter rarely gets used.

Note that there are different Hyper products depending on which MacBook you have https://www.amazon.com/stores/node/5425 ... 5425396011

;)
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Jay Cline
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Re: MacBook Pro 2019 and USB C

Post by Jay Cline » Tue May 14, 2019 7:23 pm

Drives and hubs I bought for my 2018 Mini.

WD 4TB My Passport for Mac Portable External Hard Drive, USB-C for photo storage
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0792 ... UTF8&psc=1

I also have an external USB-3 4TB for TM backups.

AmazonBasics USB 3.1 Type-C to 4 Port USB Adapter Hub for camera card readers.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MC ... UTF8&psc=1

I don't notice any slowdowns writing to the USB-C drive from Photos app. I had a lot of beach balls with the installed 8 gigs of RAM but it works great now that I upgraded to 32.

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Stephen Hart
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Re: MacBook Pro 2019 and USB C

Post by Stephen Hart » Wed May 22, 2019 10:56 am

Ray Bentsen wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:40 pm
HyperDrive adapter
According to the Hyper web site:
HyperDrive DUO 7-in-2
Hub for USB-C MacBook Pro/Air
Compatible Devices
2016/2017/2018/2019 MacBook Pro
2018 MacBook Air
Does not support Apple SuperDrive
USB ports will not charge an iPad
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Stephen Hart
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Re: MacBook Pro 2019 and USB C

Post by Stephen Hart » Wed May 22, 2019 4:34 pm

Ray Bentsen wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 2:40 pm
HyperDrive adapter
Ray,
Do you have any thoughts on the plug-directly-in hubs vs. the dongle-style hubs, such as this one:
https://www.amazon.com/HyperDrive-Multi ... 3-fkmrnull
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Ray Bentsen
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Re: MacBook Pro 2019 and USB C

Post by Ray Bentsen » Wed May 22, 2019 5:12 pm

My first thought is that the direct hub eliminates the wire, which would probably be the first component to get damaged. My second thought (not confirmed) is that since the direct hub uses both USB-C ports on the left side of a MacBook Pro, transfer speeds may be faster. The dual connection also provides for a more solid connection to the MacBook Pro.
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Re: MacBook Pro 2019 and USB C

Post by Stephen Hart » Wed May 22, 2019 6:58 pm

Thunderbolt 3 ports can transfer data much faster than USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 ports, supporting transfer speeds up to 40Gbps. They also support 100 watts of power delivery as well as two 4K 60Hz displays, four lanes of PCI Express Gen 3, eight lanes of DisplayPort 1.2, and daisy-chaining for up to six devices.
Daisy-chaining lets you connect more than one peripheral using a single Thunderbolt 3 port, so you can do more even when you have a limited number of ports at your disposal. Thunderbolt 3 is also bi-directional, letting you transmit and receive data at the same time.
https://arstechnica.com/features/2019/0 ... b-c-docks/

From this, I'd assume the speed is controlled by the output port. The hubs I've looked at have one of the output hubs labelled Thunderbolt 3. So one of the used ports is probably wired straight through. The other one supports all the other ports.

The MacBook I ordered has four Thunderbolt ports, two on each side, so even if a hub takes up two ports, and offers only one out, I'd still have two more. Once it arrives next week, I'll have to think through the value of a hub vs. separate USB plugins for different camera/mic cards, etc.
Also, I have to think about whether to use one of my existing mini 2T drives or get a new one with USB C or maybe just empty cases to replace the old cases.

Ah, well, it's better than Sudoku!
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Stephen Hart
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Re: MacBook Pro 2019 and USB C

Post by Stephen Hart » Wed May 29, 2019 5:39 pm

And Apple makes a Thunderbolt 3 (USB C) to Thunderbolt 2 adapter.
It just occurred to me that this will come in handy to dramatically speed up copying from my iMac to my new MacBook Pro.
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Re: MacBook Pro 2019 and USB C

Post by Stephen Hart » Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:44 pm

Here's a doohickey I saw while searching for a special cable. It might come in handy in certain circumstances:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GX ... UTF8&psc=1

USB C to Type C Adapter Converter Right Angle M/F 10Gbps 3A
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