USB-C/Thunderbolt Dock Megathread

And this is exactly what made Plugable’s dock so… ugly.

Is it silent? This is my next war - I want a dock that is totally silent (if such a thing exists), but so far all I’ve tested are almost as noisy as the laptops themselves.

The dock has a metal body and no fans, so pretty quiet unless you drop it on your foot.

It’s out of stock everywhere… sucks a bit, I have 2 more weeks to return the Anker one, which BTW is OK but I can definitely hear a fan (and when there’s no fan, some kind of static)

Is the static coming from the dock or speakers/a monitor plugged into the dock or the Framework?

Sometimes there is a “coil whine” from PWM (pulse width modulation) controlled fans or screens when powering a device. The Dell XPS series had this pretty bad a while back, they moved some components around and it has gone away in more recent generations.

Following up on this dock - it arrived this week. On up-to-date Arch, seems like the Framework drives a 3440x1440 and 2560x1440 dual-monitor setup at 120Hz each (limits of the monitors); sweet!

GNOME tells me the battery is not charging, though it seems to charge my 13 inch MacBook Pro reasonably well.

Here’s the output from acpi:

scott@framework ~> acpi -V
Battery 0: Not charging, 99%
Battery 0: design capacity 3572 mAh, last full capacity 3536 mAh = 98%
Adapter 0: on-line
Thermal 0: ok, 42.8 degrees C
Thermal 0: trip point 0 switches to mode critical at temperature 210.0 degrees C
Thermal 0: trip point 1 switches to mode hot at temperature 190.0 degrees C
Cooling 0: Processor 0 of 10
Cooling 1: TCPU no state information available
Cooling 2: Processor 0 of 10
Cooling 3: x86_pkg_temp no state information available
Cooling 4: Processor 0 of 10
Cooling 5: TCC Offset 0 of 63
Cooling 6: Processor 0 of 10
Cooling 7: INT3400 Thermal no state information available
Cooling 8: Processor 0 of 10
Cooling 9: SEN5 no state information available
Cooling 10: Processor 0 of 10
Cooling 11: iwlwifi_1 no state information available
Cooling 12: Processor 0 of 10
Cooling 13: intel_powerclamp no state information available
Cooling 14: Processor 0 of 10
Cooling 15: SEN3 no state information available

FWIW, it doesn’t really seem to be decreasing from 99% yet. I’ve only had my hands on this for a bit and the laptop was charged to full before I plugged it in. Will spend a bit more time with this before adding the entry to the table. Anyone know anything else I can try?

Ok… it’s charging now! I ran down the battery to 94% and plugged it back in. I guess it just needed to be below a certain threshold to enter the “charging” state. That makes sense.

USB ports are working well, Gigabit ethernet is working well…

I think that means this dock is working :smiley:

Actually “coil whine” is what perfectly describes the sound, and it does come from Dock.

I bought this one:

From Pluggable. Not the same model you mentioned since that’s sold out but this seemed good enough.

It’s totally silent, but it doesn’t have a power button! For me that makes it unusable, how do I turn on the laptop when it’s in clamshell mode if the Dock is always on?

I have a Dell U2421HE USB-C hub monitor. Any idea if this is supported by the Framework laptop?

I use a TB3 compatible magnetic adapter, and just disconnecting and connecting it will send a power event, and I believe in the BIOS of the Framework you can tell it to “power on when AC power detected” that might work to boot the system if you have it powered down completely.

If it supplies 60w over the USB-C connection it should work fine.

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Isn’t this bad for the laptop since the fan exhaust goes up through the front of the screen?

That’s what I’m doing, but using a power button on the Anker dock. BTW the coil noise I had is gone. Well, it when away after I removed the old Dell Dock from its proximity (of course it was power off, but still it might have had some effect).

So for now all is good :slight_smile:

What do you mean? The exhaust is now totally free as opposed to very close to the table. If anything cooling is better.

I don’t have the physics to prove it, but since I put my laptop there the fan starts less often :slight_smile:

Sorry I should have phrased it a bit better. Since the fan exhausts the hot air out onto the screen, instead of the back of the laptop, wouldn’t it be bad for the laptop to have the screen closed while working on it? I understand that the intake (bottom of the laptop) is free to pull in more air, but it’s now harder for it to exhaust the hot air.

@Rodrigo_Luzuriaga the exhaust is facing out of the edge “towards” the screen but it’s more accurate to say it’s pointing at the screen hinge. The L shape of the screen/screen hinge means that where the exhaust is pushing air out ends up being pushed towards the laptop’s bottom when the lid is closed. The concern would be is the gap smaller than when the laptop is open, and eyeballing it to me it looks close enough to be non-issue. The other concern would be if where the laptop is exhausting air into is too enclosed, but as long as there is some level of openness around it the hot air should escape via convection as well as the laptop’s fan just moving more air into the space and pushing the “old” hot air out.

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I have a CalDigit TS3 Plus which I’m using with my DIY edition running Ubuntu. Most everything works including audio-- except that two of the ports, one USB-A and one USB-C on the back, keep losing functionality. It’s always the same ports. lsusb shows nothing when a device is connected to those ports.

The maddening thing is, CalDigit support says Linux isn’t supported and wants me to connect it to a Mac or Windows machine to test it… and when I connect it to a Mac, the ports work. Then I switch back to the Framework and the ports still work (yay) but after awhile they stop working again. Has anyone seen an issue like this with a dock in Linux?

@Nicholas_Weininger you’re describing the exact problem I had with a TS3+. At the time, they didn’t have a firmware updater for Windows for it, so I just returned it to Amazon and swore off it. If I used Macs, maybe, but even their Windows support is lacking and just not worth the headache in my opinion.

So a bit of an update on the little dock no one but me seems to care about. :stuck_out_tongue:

I got a new 2K monitor today with an HDMI input. It turns out this dock CAN run two external displays.

With one connected it’s 2K @ 75 Hz, the highest the new monitor is capable of. With 2 displays, they’re both 2048x1152@60Hz, so not quite 2K. The specs say 4K@30Hz for 2, so I guess that’s the highest it can do at ~2K?

Setting it was touch-and-go, maybe Linux support is still a little dodgy.

Anyway I’m happy, it’s more than I was hoping for.

I’ll update the first post.


I went ahead and added my experience with my Sonnet Breakaway box and fixed the formatting of the table.

However, it seems like I don’t have permission to mention more than 10 people so I had to break some mentions. If someone else would like to fix those mentions, please go ahead.