I'm planning on buying the MacBook pro 2016. I can get it with two or four Thunderbolt 3 ports. However, I want to run two DVI screens with it, and I need one port for charging, and some extra I/O ports would be nice.

I've seen the following online:

but these only have one DVI port per Thunderbolt 3 port. Is there any way to power two displays like this from one port?


Yes, you can. Here is what you can do:

  1. Buy the CalDigit Thunderbolt™ Station 2 (Updated CalDigit TS3 Lite Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station)
  2. Buy a simple HDMI --> DVI adapter
  3. Buy a Thunderbolt --> DVI adapter

Now, using one Thunderbolt port, you have added two monitors. The Thunderbolt Station includes a Thunderbolt Port, a HDMI port, and plenty of other things the new Macs dropped (Cough Cough, USB ports).

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  • Equally I could use two Thunderbolt to DVI adaptors? Both those ports can power a display right? – Tim Apr 6 '17 at 0:10
  • Yeah, sorry, may have misinterpreted your question. I thought you wanted to power everything through one port since you were looking to get a Mac with two thunderbolt ports. – Rushil Srivastava Apr 6 '17 at 0:13
  • I believe even the station doesn't back power? Or not enough to power the MacBook sufficiently... the main concern is just being able to have 2 displays - I wondered if it could be done from one port. The answer is yes - but it's not especially economical! – Tim Apr 6 '17 at 0:29

The first answer (go upvote!) put me on the right track.

I think I will buy the newer version of the thunderbolt station - which has 2x Thunderbolt 3 ports:

CalDigit TS3 Lite Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station

And then one of the USB-C to DVI adaptors

And one DisplayPort to DVI adapter

However, the station is very expensive. I might just get the 4 port MacBook Pro and plug in two USB-C to DVI adaptors. The upgrade is £300 - so £100 more than the station, and you get all the benefits of 4 ports, Touch ID and the Touch Bar. It makes "docking" harder but has significant other benefits.

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