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Mac mini connection

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi folks.

I have a 2012 Mac mini with four USB3 outputs and one Thunderbolt(?) output. The USB's are all in use so I need to discount them. I've ordered a Fiio E18 for portable use but it would be nice if I could hook it up to the Mac now & again via the unused Thunderbolt port. Has anyone done this already or know where I could find a good quality cable for the job?
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorrofox View Post

Hi folks.

I have a 2012 Mac mini with four USB3 outputs and one Thunderbolt(?) output. The USB's are all in use so I need to discount them. I've ordered a Fiio E18 for portable use but it would be nice if I could hook it up to the Mac now & again via the unused Thunderbolt port. Has anyone done this already or know where I could find a good quality cable for the job?

 

Unfortunately you cannot use a USB device over a Thunderbolt connection. You would need an expansion card-like device to communicate with your computer over thunderbolt and then relay the data to a USB chipset. Think of Thunderbolt as cable to hook-up for an external PCIe device.

 

There are some expensive options, like a Thunderbolt docking station that provides a plethora of connection options including some USB3 ports. Although, at that point, it would just be cheaper to use an USB dock from one of your preexisting usb ports  to add more USB connections from your computer.

 

Cheers


Edited by ab initio - 3/4/14 at 11:04pm
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
OK, thanks. A USB dock it is then. I guess there's no point in looking for a USB 3 dock micro USB isn't fast enough to keep up eh?
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorrofox View Post

OK, thanks. A USB dock it is then. I guess there's no point in looking for a USB 3 dock micro USB isn't fast enough to keep up eh?


A USB 3 dock makes sense if you are replicating a USB 3 port so that other devices on the dock are bottlenecked. Also, USB 3 supplies more power than USB 2, so there may be a benefit to the additional power depending on your peripheral devices. However, a USB 2 doc is perfectly sufficient for a USB audio device. I run my Modi from a USB 2 dock because my laptop has few ports and I typically connect mouse, keyboard, data storage devices, and Modi, etc... simultaneously. It works exactly as it's supposed to.

 

Cheers

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
That makes sense, thanks. I'll go for a USB 3 hub I think. Some of them are incredibly expensive though. It's such a shame there's no way to adapt the Thunderbolt display.
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