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I'm thinking about buying the new MacBook Pro with 4 USB-C ports.

I want to attach two screens, mouse and keyboard and ethernet to the MacBook Pro while using the fewest number of USB-C ports possible.

So what I need is an adaptor with:

  • two DP or HDMI ports (or one DP port with daisy chaining support)
  • two or more USB ports
  • an ethernet port

Best case would be a hub to which all devices are connected with a single connection to the MacBook Pro, including power supply. Worst case if attaching the MacBook Pro to the devices would require me to use all four of USB-C ports.

Given the answers up to far, I can tell that:

  • Daisy chaining might or might not work with the MacBook Pro (since it requires DP1.2 which is supported by the graphics chipset, but it's uncertain if it's supported by the MacBook Pro itself)
  • I can attach the monitors with two cables as a last resort, leaving me with two ports for the remaining peripherals.

What I still don't know:

  • Would daisy chaining work with a hub or does it require the first monitor to be directly attached to the MacBook Pro?
  • Does some kind of hub exist supporting attachment of all listed devices with a single upstream connection to the MacBook Pro?
  • It's helpful if you provide the specific products you are considering purchasing, this way we can provide you with accurate info. – Allan Oct 30 '16 at 11:56
  • Well, I'm not settled at all, that's why I'm asking for recommendations :) But the monitors I considered yet are Dell Ultrasharp U2515H – Patrick Schönfeld Oct 30 '16 at 12:17
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    According to Apple's own support memo, they describe what is supported and not: support.apple.com/en-us/HT206587 In order to support daisy chaining on MBPs, it requires a late model macs that support MST displays. From there you have to have monitors that support MST, from which you then have to designate one primary and secondary which is done via the monitor's menu. On DELL displays, after enabling MST, this is done with a lit display selecting the display port input source and holding the button with the green check mark for 8 secs to be prompted for primary/secondary. – Jim Jul 27 '17 at 1:02
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We have a brand new Late 2016 Macbook Pro and 2 Apple/LG 21.5 USB-C 4K monitors. Daisy-chaining/MST does not work. We are using the monitors and nothing else with the original cables. Only way to get it to work is to connect each to individual USB-C ports on the MBP. Sad but true.

  • Welcome to Ask Different! This does not really answer the question. If you have a different question, you can ask it by clicking Ask Question. You can also add a bounty to draw more attention to this question once you have enough reputation. – Tetsujin Dec 8 '16 at 20:12
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    I beg to differ; this answers the question very well. It factually states that DisplayPort 1.2 MST (aka "daisy chaining") does not work (confirmed by me with similar hardware). It also provides the correct solution unless/until Apple supports MST in MacOS: connect each individual display using a DisplayPort to USB-C adapter cable. This is the best, most accurate answer in this question despite being short. – allquixotic May 6 '17 at 21:07
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    Actually, it does work, but not with 4K displays. Try it with 1080P displays and it will work just fine. – MarqueIV Jan 20 '18 at 6:53
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After doing a little research on Dell's daisy chaining monitors, I came across this bit of info on their support site:

Multi-Stream Transport (MST), also known as Daisy Chaining, is a new connection specification that allows multiple monitors to be connected in series with the video signal being passed from the computer to a monitor, and then from the first monitor on to the second monitor and so on. This differs from the traditional configuration of having a separate video cable run from the graphics adapter to each monitor in parallel. This simplifies the video wiring in most situations, but does have some specific configuration requirements to enable it.

enter image description here

Daisy chaining monitors is supported in the Display Port (DP) 1.2 specification....

I've been searching Apple's specs page on the new MacBook Pro's and I haven't found anything that specifically states they support the Display Port 1.2 spec. Though the Intel HD Graphics (15" MBP) supports it as does the Intel Iris Graphics 550 (13" MBP).

So, there's no reason why it can't be supported, but at present, I don't know of anyone who can test this. However, what you would need if DP daisy chaining is supported is:

If daisy chaining is not supported then you just need Qty 2 of the first item and then you just plug it into two separate ports

As noted in the comments, this has been tested and found that Apple doesn't support MST daisy chaining. Therefore, the only two options at this time is to use 2 direct TB to DP cables (first option above) or daisy chain the monitors with a third TB device (like storage) between the two monitors if you have that OS requirement.

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    From memory, at Apple's keynote event reference was made to the new MacBook Pro supporting the Display Port 1.2 spec. – Monomeeth Oct 30 '16 at 12:58
  • @Monomeeth - I thought I heard that as well, but I can't find it in writing anywhere. Plus, all of Apple's daisy chaining examples show a TB device between the MBP and the display. – Allan Oct 30 '16 at 13:23
  • @allan That's helpful, thanks. Unfortunately it still leaves me puzzled what's the best option for me, since I also need to attach two usb hid-devices and ethernet as said in the original question. – Patrick Schönfeld Oct 30 '16 at 13:50
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    RE: DisplayPort version #… The Apple.com brochure page for Thunderbolt 3 mentions “DisplayPort” & “ Mini DisplayPort” but no mention of a version number. And no version number on the Apple Support page, Connect with Thunderbolt 3 on your late-2016 MacBook Pro. But this infographic from Intel (ThunderboltTechnology.net) documenting Thunderbolt 3 does specify: 8 lanes of DisplayPort 1.2 (Two 4K 60Hz displays) – Basil Bourque Oct 30 '16 at 20:22
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    I have tested this, and daisy chaining is not working under macOS Sierra. – jksoegaard Dec 12 '16 at 16:29
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I'm not sure if this answers the question but I'm testing this out right now with a new MacBook Pro Touchbar 13" with 4 USB-C ports.

In the testing I'm using the Minix Neo C Hub which has

  • 2x USB3 - Type A ports
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • SD Card Reader
  • HDMI
  • Another USB-C that you can use for your power adapter

I'm able to get two monitors working, one through HDMI on the Minix (Dell U2415) and one through DisplayPort (Dell U3014) using a USB-C to DisplayPort cable. I CAN daisy chain from the Dell U2415 to another Dell U2415 for 3 monitors but they will only mirror and not extend the display.

From what I've read, it's a MacOS limitation and not a hardware limitation. Evidently, if you bootcamp into Windows you can daisy chain on DP 1.2 with no problem.

I started typing this and then got sidetracked with a bunch of things so hopefully this is coherent.

  • Correct, mirroring works but not multi-monitor when you MST them together. – allquixotic May 6 '17 at 21:08
2

Okay, after some further research, I want to share my findings.

Is it possible to have a single-connected hub to which all monitors (DP or HDMI) and peripherals are connected?

Apparently not. I have not found any product which supports more then one DisplayPort or more then one HDMI port. In fact I was unable to find any hub or dock that supports more then one display device via HDMI or DisplayPort.

But there is such a device, if one display has a native USB-C port and the other display has a DisplayPort. Then one can go with the Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock which seems to be the only device supporting two display devices, but with the said constraints.

Which options do I have?

So that leaves me with the following options:

  1. buying a DP-monitor and a USB-C monitor (while for the latter there is not so much to choose of, in fact I'm only quiet certain about the LG Ultrafine display promoted by apple) and the above mentioned hub.
  2. buy any USB-C hub "with power delivery" and a HDMI-port; use this for the first screen and the peripherals, and connect the other screen with a fitting adapter (e.g. usb-c to hdmi, usb-c to displayport)
  3. buy an arbitrary USB-C hub for the the peripherals, use fitting adapters for both display devices and (unless the chosen usb-c hub is "with power delivery") use the last port for power supplying the macbook.

USB-C hub with power delivery

There are several USB-C hubs out there with at least one HDMI-port and which are connected to the macbook via one USB-C port and are able to supply the macbook with power. Those hubs are labelled as "USB-C hub with power delivery". Unfortunately some of them are only said to support mirroring, so support of screen expansion is uncertain.

A hub that does support it does seem to be the best bet, since those hubs are reasonably priced, one can basically choose of every available display on the market and a maximum of two ports need to be plugged into the macbook to connect the devices in my question (five).

One such device is a HooToo deivce, which - together with a standard HDMI-cable and a USB 3.1 to displayport cable - should do the trick.

What about daisy chaining?

As said by a commenter, it's not really sure that ne Macbook supports daisychaining, but even if: Apparently there are not usb-c hubs with support for DisplayPort and even then it would be unclear if this combination would work with daisychaining.

  • What is the final solution you chose? I'm facing the same problem and think about combining this "dock" hypershop.com/products/… with an extra USB-C > HDMI adapter. IIRC the named Dell monitors also support HDMI input. – jbndlr Jul 24 '17 at 15:42
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I am working on this same problem, although I plan to get the two-port MBP. There are several USB-C to DP adapters, that supposedly support MST, however, as it was mentioned already, it is not currently clear whether the MBP itself supports MST, let alone whether it will support it in a combination with some adapters.

Therefore my current conclusion is to get two of Apple's own USB-C Digital AV hubs with HDMI - this should provide two USB ports, two HDMI ports and allow me to use one of them for the power supply. I've read some comments that the USB-C in these hubs can only be used for power, not data, which would preclude using them for other USB-C devices, but at least it's only two cables to plug in every morning upon arrival in the office...

The above is a rather expensive solution, at €59 for each of the adapters, but at least, in theory, they shouldn't ruin the USB-C ports on the MBP itself, as some of the knock-off cheap cables are rumoured to do.

  • I have a new Mac with 2 x usb-c can you confirm if this worked? Ideally I want 2 external monitors, 1 keyboard and 1 mouse + power supply to the mac. Is it possible? – Fasani Sep 22 '17 at 8:32
  • Yes, I'm using two USB-C Digital AV hubs for now - I plug my monitors via HDMI, plug the keyboard into the USB and plug the official power adapter into one of them too. The only issue I have is that sometimes the monitor that is connected second starts flickering - seems to happen after sleep and I have to reboot. – Dominykas Blyžė Sep 23 '17 at 19:34
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Thank you for posting your findings, I have the same questions and daisy chain would also be a great answer for my dual dell monitors. If its not confirm I´m going with option number 2:

"buy any USB-C hub "with power delivery" and a HDMI-port; use this for the first screen and the peripherals, and connect the other screen with a fitting adapter (e.g. usb-c to hdmi, usb-c to displayport)"

With the twist of using dell da200 adaptar that has a ethernet port, and using the charger on the 3rd usb-c providing a cheaper solution.

the da200 adapter works -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY2o0ZpA-6E

-1

Interested where this goes, my MBP is coming soon and I would love to be able to daisy chain...

OWC supports hdmi and usb-c, so could you not connect both at the same time and then if the monitor has usb-c daisy chain, connect other monitors to the monitor too?

https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/usb-c/owc/usb-c-dock

Other option is http://www.macrumors.com/2016/10/27/belkin-debuts-thunderbolt-3-express-dock-hd/

Using traditional TB to daisy chain... my current 2013 MBP tapped out at 2 daisy chained TB displays but maybe the new one will be able to push 3?

-2

the new Apple macbook with USB C ports will connect ONLY to thunderbolt equipped screens. It will NOT work with mini-display equipped screen. I learned it the hard way. For me it works only with an Apple thunderbolt screen (apple display), but not to an old iMac 27 (has mini-display, same plug but not a thunderbolt) or any of my Dells including a 4k... Daisy chaining will not work either as the first screen will not work.... The common mistake is to confound a mini display with a thunderbolt.... The type of screen which you can hook are very limited (the new LG sold by apple for example, or the old apple display, which is not a 4k or 5k. Beware beware....

  • 1
    This is not correct. With the right cable, DisplayPort / Mini DisplayPort connectors will work fine. Multi-Stream Transport (MST) doesn't work, but you can still connect a single DisplayPort monitor to each USB-C port on your Macbook Pro (or get a USB-C hub and you can connect even more). – allquixotic May 6 '17 at 21:04
  • I too connect many display types to the new MacBook Pro. USB C (DP embedded) with charge, USB to DB, USB to hdmi, TB 3 to TB 2/mini DP, etc.... – bmike May 7 '17 at 1:01

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