Firmware Upgrade-Dell G5


#1

Hi Mates

Just got a TBT3-UDV dock , so far is working great .

Just two questions
1 I know it is a dell G5 issue , every time I switch on the laptop i get the message (Bios or OS) that the dell port does not accept power thru the thunderbolt port , the question is is there a way to disable the power delivery option from the dock?

2 does the dock check for firmware upgrades or I have to check once in a while to see if there any available.

Thank YOU!!


#2

Hello and thanks for posting!

Glad to hear that the TBT3-UDV is working well with your new system.

For the benefit of others, can you let us know which specific model system you have? I ask because it appears that Dell offers two different G5 models:

Dell G5 15 5587

Dell G5 15 5590

To your questions:

  1. The power delivery provided by the dock’s two Thunderbolt 3 ports cannot be disabled.

That said, there may be possible workarounds for the behavior you are seeing. A little background…the dock has two Thunderbolt 3 ports. The port with the computer icon over it can provide up to 60W of power to charge a compatible host system. The other port can provide up to 15W of power in order to power USB-C or Thunderbolt peripherals, and is not intended to charge a host system.

If you connect the laptop to the dock’s non-charging port, that may prevent the warning messages from appearing due to the lower level of power being advertised.

If using the ‘other’ Thunderbolt 3 port does not help, many Dell systems have an option within their System BIOS, under the POST Behavior section, an option called ‘Adapter Warnings’ (example photo from a Dell XPS 13 9350 system attached below). If your system has this option and you disable it, it may prevent the message you receive from the BIOS during startup.

  1. The dock does not ‘phone home’ or perform any other automatic check for updates, and the device’s internal firmware should not need to changed during the life of the unit. Typically, all relevant updates that control Thunderbolt 3 device behavior are within the host laptop. These updates include the System BIOS, Intel Thunderbolt software driver and the Thunderbolt NVM firmware (Dell posts these updates from time to time for their systems).

Thank you,

Bob
Plugable Technologies


#3

Hi Bob

Thanks for your reply

My system is a G5 15 5587.

I changed to the 15W port and the BIOS warning is gone ( Thanks!!), i did not try disabling the adapter warning in the bios…

regarding both ports the 60W and the 15W , performance wise is there any difference , same speed same capabilities ??

And what about if in the future i wish to use and adapter to use a second monitor can i still use it on the 60W port?

Regarding point 2 , ok understood

Thanks
Tony


#4

Hi Tony,

Thanks for getting back, and glad to hear using the other port helped.

To your question, the only difference between the two Thunderbolt 3 ports within the dock is the power output otherwise they are functionally identical. The 60W port can be used to add a second display using a USB-C video cable or adapter, assuming that your laptop’s Thunderbolt 3 port supports driving two displays.

I say that because not all systems can support two displays via a single Thunderbolt 3 port, and in our experience helping others some of Dell’s high end gaming systems (such as their Alienware systems) only support one display via Thunderbolt 3. This is an internal design decision made by the manufacturer, and cannot be changed.

Dell unfortunately does not call out specifically how many displays are supported via Thunderbolt 3 on their product page (https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-laptops/dell-g5-15-gaming/spd/g-series-15-5587-laptop) or in the manual for your system (https://topics-cdn.dell.com/pdf/g-series-15-5587-laptop_setup-guide_en-us.pdf). If the information in the manual on page 10 is taken literally, it would appear that only one display is supported via the system’s Thunderbolt 3 port.

If the system in fact only supports one display via Thunderbolt 3, then only one display connected to the dock will work. Again this would be an internal laptop limitation, not a limitation of the docking station.

Thank you,

Bob


#5

Hi Bob

Cristal clear mate , thank for such a great support, I am really impress.

Now for the extra credit… I know is not a Plugable related problem, regarding the two display limitation of some Th3 systems , could be possible to drive one display from the dock and the other directly from the laptop?

Once again thanks


#6

Hi Tony,

You are most welcome for the help, and I thank you for the kind words they are much appreciated.

To your extra credit question, a little additional background is necessary in order to answer effectively (and hopefully be useful to others moving forward).

The number of displays supported via a single Thunderbolt 3 port depends on how many video outputs the manufacturer routed internally from the system’s internal graphics adapter (GPU) to the TB3 port. This can be even more complex (in terms of what works and what does not) if the host system has two internal GPUs in a hybrid setup.

Without the manufacturer specifically stating how many displays are supported via TB3 or providing a diagram of how everything is routed internally, it typically is not possible to ‘know’ what will actually work via the TB3 port.

I mention this because the behavior of any video output built-in to the host laptop (such as the HDMI output in your Dell G5) can be affected by this internal routing configuration as well.

For example, with some Dell Precision laptops that have a Thunderbolt 3 port and a built-in HDMI video output the total number of external displays supported is two regardless of how they are connected.

If one of our Thunderbolt 3 Dual Display DisplayPort adapters is connected to such a system (https://plugable.com/products/tbt3-dp2x-83) via its Thunderbolt 3 port, both video outputs will work. However, in that configuration the built-in HDMI output will not function. This is because the two available video output streams are being used by the Thunderbolt 3 Dual adapter.

Again using the same example, a simpler configuration of a USB-C to DisplayPort cable (https://plugable.com/products/usbc-dp) to connect one display to the host’s Thunderbolt 3 port and a standard HDMI video cable to connect a second display to the system’s built-in HDMI video output would work. This is because the total number of displays is still only two.

Adding additional complexity to the issue, things can get even more confusing if the host system has more than one built-in video output. For example, we have helped some customer’s with a Clevo laptop that had one Thunderbolt 3 port, one mini-DisplayPort output and one HDMI output built-in to the laptop.

Out of the box, the Thunderbolt 3 port would not provide a video signal to drive a single attached display. It was only after making a setting change within the BIOS to route a video signal to the system’s Thunderbolt 3 port that a display connected to the TB3 port would work. ** However, making this change disabled one of the system’s built-in video outputs. As before, the limiting factor is the total number of video output streams available from the host’s GPU and how they are routed internally. That this could be changed in this specific instance was very unusual, and this option was buried deep within the BIOS settings and system manual **

In your specific case with your Dell, I would expect that one display can be driven by the Thunderbolt 3 port, and at the same time one display can work when connected to the laptop’s built-in HDMI output. Please keep in mind that is only a guess, but such behavior would align with what we have seen in the past.

Thank you,

Bob


#7

Mate A+++

totally clear , I guess there is only one way to know for sure i will have to try… but it make total sense what you explained.

Once again , great support well beyond the expected.

thanks !!!


#8

I am glad the information I provided was useful Tony, and I thank you again for the kind words.

If you elect to try adding a second display via the dock, I would recommend using either our USB-C to HDMI cable -> https://plugable.com/products/usbc-hdmi-cable or our USB-C to DisplayPort cable -> https://plugable.com/products/usbc-dp, purchased separately of course and depending on your second monitor’s available inputs. Other cables or adapters from other manufacturers can work, however we can only guarantee the performance of our own products.

Thank you,

Bob


#9

Thanks for the info Bob

Take care


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