USB-C/Thunderbolt Dock Megathread

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.

Dell WD19TBS seems to be working better w/ Framework Beta BIOS and Drivers, along with Disabling USB Selective Suspend. Not enough time to call supported yet.

Update on Dell WD19TBS, had to reboot the Dock again this morning. Seemed to behave yesterday for the most part.

I’m getting the cheaper CPU, with 1*16 GB ram, and will be running linux. Specific distro is not too important, but I’d rather not require being limited to a specific distro. I’d like to set myself up to have the option of pushing pixels for 3*1440p monitors at 60Hz, or an pixel-pushing with fewer screens (ultra wide, large UHD, etc), ideally while using my laptop screen as well.

Would the Dell 452 be a good choice, or can anyone think of one more suitable/better value?

Just got my batch 4 framework in last week and want to share my setup. I’ve only used this setup for a day or two but it seems like it is going to work well! Note I’ve only tested this with PopOS.

TL;DR: with just a single thunderbolt cable I’m charging the framework, getting ethernet + 3 USB A ports, connecting to a 2K monitor (usb c) and a 4k monitor (hdmi)! All for < $250! This will be so great when moving around the coworking space I’m at.

So while researching all the thunderbolt dock options I came across and eventually their thunderbolt 4 hub: Plugable Thunderbolt 4 and USB4 Hub – Plugable Technologies

Notably they don’t have a thunderbolt 4 “dock” - instead, they have this hub that serves as the base to build out a more custom dock. The hub itself supports 60W PD and comes with a USB C → HDMI adapter! I think they could advertise this better, I didn’t realize how this worked until I watched the video: Meet the Plugable Family of Thunderbolt 4 and USB4 Products - YouTube

I paired the hub with this combo ethernet + 3 port USB A adapter: Plugable USB 3.0 3-Port Bus Powered Hub with Gigabit Ethernet – Plugable Technologies

Ethernet and USB has been super solid but I’ve had a little trouble with the 4k monitor (but this is likely software not hardware/thunderbolt related). Sometimes I’ve had to power cycle the 4k monitor before it displays anything, the display is detected but just won’t show anything. I also had issues using the 2 displays while fractional scaling was turned on but I’m fine using the native resolution so it isn’t a prob for me!


Are you still happy with the Anker Apex dock? I want to start with a Thunderbolt 4 dock if possible. I am running Windows 11.

Personally I’m quite happy with my Anker dock, everything works well. Note that I’m only using one monitor.

I looked at HB4 docks but there aren’t so many to choose from, and the reviews I read weren’t stellar.

On top of everything working well (obviously) I care a lot about noise. Any noise is a non starter.

If you try a TB4 dock let us know how it goes :slight_smile:

Thanks for the info. I ordered one of the Anker Apex docks. I will be using dual monitors (hopefully). Will let you know how it goes.

Ordered 1 Anker Apex to test myself as well.

We have a few HP USB-C Dock G5 (5TW10UT#ABA) in our office and my initial testing shows that it works without issue.

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