MacRumors reviews OWC’s Thunderbolt 3 Dock

Although the dock is currently stuck at Intel for certification, MacRumors already got to review OWC’s Thunderbolt 3 Dock. Note that in order to use this dock, your laptop needs to be equipped with Thunderbolt 3 — not just USB-C; Dong Ngo wrote a good explanation about Thunderbolt 3 vs. USB-C.

For some people, this dock is basically the only one they will buy: it’s unique in the sense that it has a FireWire 800 and a S/PDIF port. This is very important if you have audio equipment that uses these ports. If you’re not amongst that group, it’s a pricey dock. Does it deliver?

A few points from the review; MacRumors mentioned as a plus:

  • Offers a wide variety of ports, which they call a major plus for the latest MacBook Pro users (which only have Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports)
  • The Ethernet port didn’t require special drivers, and worked right away on a 2016 MacBook Pro (this is not always the case)
  • Connected an LG UltraFine 5K display via the dock and experienced no problems running the display and the dock’s hub capabilities simultaneously over a single cable

They also found some cons:

  • The USB-A ports support USB 3.1 Gen 1 speeds (i.e. 5 Gb/s), not USB 3.1 Gen 2 (i.e. 10 Gb/s)
  • They connected a USB 3.0 external hard drive to the dock and saw read and write speeds right around 100 MB/s, which seems far too low
  • Sometimes makes a quiet high-pitched hissing sound when powered on

You can pre-order this dock today for $299.

Check out our reviewed hubs and cables.