Advice on Docking Stations

HarryTurner
HarryTurner Member Posts: 14 Member

Hi Guys,

Just looking for some advice as I'm thinking of buying a docking station to connect my mac to a desktop.

Firstly, is there anyway I could buy one that would improve my mac performance? I stupidly got 8gb of RAM on my mac and it can be slow on Logic however maybe a docking station could improve this?

Also, which docking station do you guys use / would recommend for music production. Just looking for one to plug in a macbook air M2 into a desktop, alongwith my synth, keyboard, midi controller, harddrive etc.

Thanks!

Comments

  • BIF
    BIF Member Posts: 553 Pro
    edited March 2

    "Connect my Mac to a desktop"

    That is SO confusing. I think of "a desktop" as a mini, mid-tower, or tower computer; in other words, a computer that's not really all that portable. Are you trying to connect your Mac to another computer? Or are you asking what port replicators might be available in order to make your MacBook work more like a desktop computer?

    Assuming the latter is the case (because the former wouldn't even be a thing really), then there are tons of options out there, and from a number of vendors/makers. I'd start with Amazon. Be sure to look for something that does what you need it to do. For example, if you need TWO external monitors, don't waste your time looking for port replicators that only have capacity for one monitor.

    Anything you buy is going to plug into one of the ThunderBolt/USB-C ports on the left side of your Macbook, or it will use both ports.

    Some devices will connect to the computer with a cable, while others are designed to be connected directly to both USB-C ports. Yet others might have even different layouts. Devices that need more than one port on the computer may have more capabilities...at least you would hope they do if it's going to require two ports on the computer be tied up with this device.

    I use a Plugable Thunderbolt 3 port replicator, but it's a few years old now and I would think that Plugable would have come out with newer versions by now.

    Good luck!

  • Paul B
    Paul B Member Posts: 56 Helper

    How long ago did you buy your Mac? Apple have a 14 day no questions asked return policy, if you're lucky enough to have bought that recently.

    I don't know much about docking stations, but based on a quick Google search I think the chance of finding what you want is slim. HP have a proposal made in December 2020 to do what you want: https://www.tdcommons.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4989&context=dpubs_series

    But I can't find anything available from them that does this, so it's probably still in the research and development stage.

  • HarryTurner
    HarryTurner Member Posts: 14 Member

    Hi, thanks a lot for the help. Ye I also saw that article and dont think theres any products for it.

    Just clarifying that I mean I want to connect my mac to a computer monitor for production so looking for advice on docking stations and which computer monitors you guys use for this.

    Thanks!

  • HarryTurner
    HarryTurner Member Posts: 14 Member

    I also realise there is no way to improve my RAM...

  • BIF
    BIF Member Posts: 553 Pro

    Well you said in a prior post that you have an M2. That's no slouch, unless you hobbled it with not enough memory. So how much memory do you have in that machine?

    In any event, here's the first search I did on Amazon. It looks like many can be had for under $200 USD. You might have a look at some of these. Or find one made by Apple.

    This is not the end of the world. Far from it, you have a lot of choices. I say do some studying and make it happen!

  • Paul B
    Paul B Member Posts: 56 Helper

    I'm at a point in life and have enough money where I want these things to be easy and I don't want to waste a lot of time researching compatibility. So I tend to stick with something sold (but not always made) by Apple – if they sell it, it's been tested to work with Mac hardware and software. For monitors that meant I bought the Apple Studio Display (with height adjustment, which for me was well worth the substantial extra cost). Expensive (cost almost as much as my 12-core M2 Pro 32GB RAM Mac mini), but I knew it would work. If I was going to buy something to connect me to a monitor (I'm assuming you need this because there are no unused ports available or none of the correct type) I'd buy one of the docks/hubs Apple sells, whichever is cheapest and has the monitor connection you need.

    Sorry if that's not very helpful. There should be other Mac users here who use non-Apple monitors and docks/hubs from various sources who can recommend something else. I've had good luck in the past with Samsung monitors and Macs. I don't remember which exact models I've used, but I generally trust Samsung as a brand and they'd probably be the first I'd have looked at if I didn't get the Apple display.

    Whatever dock/hub you buy, I'd steer clear of many on Amazon made by various lesser known brands. It's not that they can't be good, it's that they're generally less well tested by enough people with similar requirements. Stick with brands that have established reputations. E.g., for docks/hubs, both Belkin and CalDigit have a good reputation (and Apple sells devices from both, meaning they agree on the quality).

  • HarryTurner
    HarryTurner Member Posts: 14 Member

    Thanks a lot for the help. Bif I have 512GB of memory on this computer with 8GB RAM

  • Simchris
    Simchris Member Posts: 230 Advisor

    i have the owc tb3 hubs for both macs and one pc notebook....flawless.... check owc aka macsales.com

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