Can I connect 3 Apple Thunderbolt 2 displays?
I have a 15-inch MacBook Pro 2018 (ID 15,1). I've got 3 Apple Thunderbolt 2 displays that I would like to connect via this hub. I saw in the description that it can accommodate 2 displays (using appropriate adapters) via both the USB-C port and the DisplayPort. Does that mean two each port for a total of 4 or is this hub limited to a total of 2 displays combined from all the ports? If limited to 2 overall, is anyone aware of another solution that can accommodate 3 displays?
- Asked by fn from Beverly
Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock HD
Product No Longer Available
1 Answer from the Community
As I understand it, there are only 2 video streams available per Thunderbolt 3 connection. A single stream will support up to a 4K display, each display will use one stream. To attach 3 4K (or lower resolution) displays, that would require 3 streams. A 5K display utilizes both streams because of the additional pixels, it is only possible to connect 2 5K displays to a TB3 MacBook Pro (one to each side of the laptop).
You can connect 1 Apple Thunderbolt display to the Belkin dock's, Thunderbolt 3 connection via Apple's TB 3 to TB 2 adapter. You can then connect a 2nd Apple Thunderbolt display to the Thunderbolt port on the rear of the first display, connecting them via a daisy chain. You cannot connect a 3rd display to the back of the 2nd as there are no more available video streams on that device chain.
You can connect a 3rd Apple Thunderbolt display to an available Thunderbolt 3 port on the other side of the MacBook Pro from where the Belkin dock is connecting. Each side of the 15-inch MacBook Pro can supply two video streams. That's how you could connect 3 Apple Thunderbolt displays to one computer.
The DisplayPort connection on the dock isn't going to help you with an Apple Thunderbolt display. This would use one available video stream for a 2nd monitor that is DisplayPort compatible. You can even use DisplayPort to DVI adapters on the dock if that's what your monitor has. There are no DisplayPort to Thunderbolt monitor adapters.
I don't look at it as a limitation of the dock, all TB 3 docks work this way, its a limitation in the Thunderbolt 3 connection and the available video streams on a single connection.
- Answered by Bryant D from Salt Lake City