Building a desktop around the TBTe-UDZ

I have a very old workstation with a lot of peripherals including dual monitors and a WD MyCloud and other peripherals. My wife has become a PI and wants to be able to plug her laptop into “something” and use the peripherals. I’m going to buy a new desktop which will include a USB-C Thunderbolt, as her laptop does. I don’t understand some of the pluggable specs about what it can and can’t charge and what graphics are and are not available through the TBT3. (I expect to front-end all of this with a Plugable USB switch. Are there any whitepapers or suggestions out there?

Hi there,

Welcome to the community! I would be happy to help. The first important thing to keep in mind is that Thunderbolt 3/4 is not very common on desktop motherboards. When it is, it will generally require an expansion card that must be purchased separately or come bundled with the system. Additionally, desktop systems will require more power than any of our docking stations can provide, so they aren’t ideal for this use case.

Our Thunderbolt 3/4 docks will provide up to 100W to any laptop that supports Power Delivery. Some laptops may have specific power requirements and require the laptop’s included power adapter. Additionally, these docking stations will provide power to USB peripherals. For USB 3.0, each port will provide 5v and 900mA as per the USB specification and additional amperage for USB 3.2 Gen 2 and beyond. This will cover most peripherals. Some devices, such as the WD MyCloud, may require the power adapter that is included if one comes with it.

Another essential factor to consider is how many displays the Thunderbolt controller can support. For example, not all Thunderbolt 3 controllers can support dual displays, and this is because the specifications outline that any system that integrates Thunderbolt 3 must support at minimum one display.

In contrast, Thunderbolt 4 outlines that any system incorporating Thunderbolt 4 supports a minimum of dual displays over that connection. If you purchase a laptop or a desktop with Thunderbolt 3, it’s best to contact the manufacturer to confirm how many displays are supported over the Thunderbolt 3 connection.

In terms of graphics, Thunderbolt utilizes the onboard graphics controller to drive up to dual displays. In most cases, this is done via the built-in Intel graphics, but it can also be supported by AMD if your system does not utilize Intel architecture.

Please provide me with the following so I can better understand the capabilities of both of the systems you plan to use.

  1. Please provide me with the make and model of your wife’s laptop.
  2. Please provide me with the make and model of the desktop you plan to purchase.

Having this information handy will make it easier to determine compatibility and answer any additional questions.

Thank you,

Plugable Technologies

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