Those of us on the "throw a lap in where the desktop rig was" crusade - connectivity options?

Soldato
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Probably got my laptop hunt sorted (XMG Neo 16 e23 4090, will be adding the water cooling option for docked at least).

Looking around and trying to get my head around how I get all my existing peripherals into in. Preferably with just the 1 TB4 plug if I can manage it.

Am I right in thinking:

1) a thunderbolt 4 hub (like club 3D CSV-1580, OWC Thunderbolt 4, etc) take the spare USB from that, run it to a USB hub
2) keyboard/mouse etc (sadly a USB network port might be needed here too) obviously into the USB hub
3) 120hz 4K screens on TB4 to DP1.4 cables plugged into the TB4's downstream ports

?


Edit: just for anyone happening upon this. It works.

You need a TB4 hub and at least 1 cable supporting alt mode (the other can be a cheap one).
 
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Soldato
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You want a dock everything can connect to and then a single USB-C cable from that to your laptop. This is what we use at work - dual monitors, keyboards, mice, network all connected to the dock and then a single usb-c into the laptop to charge it and give it the connections. We use Dell ones.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDIT:

Is this what you've got in work:

Dell Thunderbolt Dock WD19​


That ACTUALLY looks quite promising if so.
Ahh... apart from being TB3 :(





I've... kiiiiinda looked.
Machines in my work, same idea. The hard part is genuinely TWIN 4K@120hz. It's generally over the line of 90% of the "USB-C" stuff (the Tb4 USB-C stuff tends to blow it's TB4 trumpet harder). The work machines a surface pro into a dell ultrawide at work, same idea as yours with cheap ass startech docks/hubs (that also provide power).

There are thunderbolt 4 docks with plenty of ports. They tend to be VERY hit/miss on what display ports they have and if they'll support 4K@120hz on DP1.4 - they tend to retail in the £200+ price range.

Price wise, while a "simple" TB4 hub (not all USB-C carries TB4 bandwidth too which add further confusion) is only opening further TB4 downstream ports + usually a couple of simple USB3.2, one of those (around £140) + 2x USB-C to DP1.4 4k@120hz cables (about £12 each) comes in lower than most other options I've seen.

If the dell dock you have DEFINITELY does 2x 4k@120hz + the usual USB+Network port options, throw me a model name.
There's an ABSOLUTE TON of USB-C docks/etc out there that are 20/(30?)GB connections. The TB4 certified/etc ones are 40/50GB(?) - it's something like this. USB-C caps out AWFULLY close to the line, I think it's something like 23.6/26.8GB for 4k@120/144hz.

Totally fine with any corrections on stuff here, definitely into newer territory with this and aware the whole usb 3/3.1/3.2/3.2A/C/4 + various thunderbolt marriages is an absolute shambles/minefield.

From reading around, there was a LOT of folks saying along the lines of "Any TB4 hub will just pass DP alt mode + DSC along, assuming the monitor and GPU support it".
As the TB4 to DP1.4 cable seemed common, plenty of good recommendations... that all seemed like the most hassle free way to handle it, I buy a TB4 hub and 2 cables.

It's still, ultimately, only 1 cable to the laptop (from the TB4 hub) having more downstream ports is probably a minor + for future expansion too.

I think unless anyone can give me a straight up "it won't work because of <this carefully explained technical hurdle>" it might be my best path.
Genuinely wanting to hear options though and genuinely NOT just straight up shooting them down. a TB4 + other ports hub (with 2x DP that can do 120hz on each) in the £150 range would be awesome.
 
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Soldato
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Ahhh, that WOULD absolutely do the trick otherwise. It probably does do what I'm after, looking at the one I mentioned above, it's the TB3 version of this one you've linked :)

The "cheap hubs" option (OWC, Club 3D or "pluggable") all seem to be around the £130 range. Usually have 4x downstream TB4 ports and a couple of USB 3.2. Cables being £13 on top... I'm done around £150/160 with at least 2 TB4 downstream ports and a USB spare for other stuff.
2x TB4 ports for DP adapters/cables.
1x USB3.2 to an existing hub.
1x USB 3.x to gigabit shouldn't be terrible. Takes me down to just the 2 spare TB4 ports, still options enough.
 
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Soldato
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Yeah, saw a review of that in my hunt. It's... possible but it's £280 as well (and HDMI 2.1).
Dunno what to think. If I get ONE screen at 120hz and the other at 60... I think I'll live with that.

TB4 is 40Gb. DP 1.4 with DSC is 25.92Gb so yeah, getting 2 running.... I don't see how.
Probably going to be the guinea pig on this.

This said HDMI 2.0 needs 18Gb at 4:2:0, HDMI 2.1 needs 48Gb... so... I don't see how they're doing that with 1 40Gb connection either.
 
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Soldato
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So, it seems, as predicted, 2x 120hz 4K is a no-go. Gone with 1 at 144hz the other at 60. Might be a screen for sale and just have the laptop on the desk at that side :)

Do wonder how pluggable is doing 2x HDMI 2.1 still
:)

Edit: screw that, got it working.
 
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Soldato
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Update!!!

I got it working!

I bought 1 decent cable, 1 cheap cable, amazon ended up sending me 2 of the cheaper ones (1 free/in error :D ) AND the new one came late.
Was using 2 cheap - didn't work.

Now with 1 cheap, 1 decent. IT WORKS!

2 4K screens:
Acer XV273K, 3840x2160 119.91Hz 8 bit colour YCbCr422 Colour format - using the alt-mode supporting cable
Asus ROG XG27UQR 3840x2160 144Hz 8 bit colour RGB Colour format - using the cheap/basic cable

happy to share parts/etc in the setup but it's basically "a proper thunderbolt 4 hub and decent cables". It ain't any more complicated than that.

So... OWC TB4 hub, £100 on the bay. 1x £12 cable, 1x £14 cable. Bingo, 2 working high hz 4k Screens (and 2x 8k@60Hz should work the same).
 
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Soldato
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The one I want is the Caldigit TS4 as it seems to be the only one with 2.5GbE but at £399..........
Just stick a USB-C to 2.5GbE into a "cheap" hub and call it done? :D
It's what I've done, with just a cheap USB3 one so it'll all run off the 1 (TB4) plug. TB4 to USB hub, stuck a USB3 GbE in that along with keyboard/mouse/SB G5/etc.

I just stick power and TB4 in the back of the laptop and it's as fully functional as my desktop was.
 
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