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I have a 2017 MacBook Pro (13 inch with two Thunderbolt 3 ports). I wanted to connect 2 monitors as well as a mouse and keyboard to it for work. I was wondering if this would be too much of a workload for the Mac or if this is a normal thing to do with such a device.

I was looking at either buying a Henge dock or a cheaper option such as this 14 in one USB C hub I found on Amazon.

Does the adapter make a difference for this too?

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I was wondering if this would be too much of a workload for the Mac or if this is a normal thing to do with such a device.

What is "normal" is very subjective. What you actually intend to do with your Mac is what determines if it's capable of handling the processing load.

This model is capable of handling two external displays up to 4K each but that doesn't mean you're going to be driving high intensity graphics apps like gaming or video production with this configuration.

  • There's no discrete GPU meaning it utilizes your CPU display chipset and up to 1.5GB of system RAM for video memory
  • There's only one Thunderbolt chip so, your video bandwidth is limited.

Also, just because a computer can do something (it has the capability) doesn't mean it's sized appropriately for doing that thing long term. Example: just because you have the ability to plug in two display's to your MacBook Pro without a discrete GPU doesn't mean you that you've sized it right - you probably should have purchased the 15" with 4 Thunderbolt port model with Radeon GPU. It's even possible you should have gone with a desktop.

I was looking at either buying a Henge dock or a cheaper option [USB Hub] .... Does the adapter make a difference for this too?

Yes! That device you linked to is a USB Hub. Meaning, all the benefits of Thunderbolt will go unused. If you want to get the best possible performance out of your machine, you need to use the components that will make the best possible use out of the resources you have. Get a proper Thunderbolt Dock instead.

The Henge dock, does nothing more than take your TB ports and move them so you can have the Mac "in an upright and closed position." Other than being slick, it gives you no audio, video, Ethernet, USB...nothing. IMO, it's a waste of money.

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  • Do the 2017 13" model Macbook Pros support an eGPU?
    – Anil Natha
    Oct 30 '20 at 15:18
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    Yes, but now you're getting into the territory of "you should have purchased a desktop." In my own personal experience, I've found that getting a well spec'd desktop (iMac w/ i7 Radeon and 128GB of RAM) handles everything I need. I then get a low (cheap) MBA for my "away from desk" stuff which it can remote to. I even get by with an iPad most of the time. It's so much harder to tweak something to make it do what it wasn't designed from the outset to do than to simply "add more" to increase it's capability of what it already could.
    – Allan
    Oct 30 '20 at 15:24
  • I agree with you 100%
    – Anil Natha
    Oct 30 '20 at 16:11
  • I've seen (too many) people spend $2500USD on a MacBook Pro only to find out what they needed was either the $3500 upgraded model or they needed a $1500 desktop and a tablet. It's better to spend a bit more to get what you need (or more) than spend not enough and realize you just wasted all that money.
    – Allan
    Oct 30 '20 at 16:23
  • @Allan I bought this macbook a couple years back for university. Now I would like to have both a Mac and Windows operating system to use on two monitors. I am building a PC for Windows, but I would like to connect this MacBook to two monitors for when I am developing at home. The MacBook will not be for intensive stuff. Mostly for software development and occasionally watching videos on the two screens. I have done more research and decided to go with a dock that creates a better workspace with my MacBook. The Kensington SD5500T most likely as it has the best reviews.
    – PhillyD
    Oct 30 '20 at 16:48

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