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Dell Thunderbolt Docks and Apple USB-C Hosts

Summary: A guide for providing guidance on using an Apple USB-C host (example: MacBook Pro) with the Dell Thunderbolt Dock WD19TB and WD22TB4 explaining the limitations or issues you might encounter when using them together. ...

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Article Content


Symptoms

Table of Contents:

  1. Functionality
  2. Limitations
  3. Dual Monitor Setup
  4. Support

 

Functionality

 

The WD19TBS dock with v1.0.14.1 update (which includes NVM43 firmware) and the WD22TB4 dock with 00.00.07.01 update (which includes NVM36 firmware) was certified by Apple. The known functionality provided by the dock when connected to an Apple USB-C host is outlined below.

 
Apple USB-C Host External Displays Port Functionality
MacBook Pro, MacBook Air w/
Thunderbolt 3 or 4 ports (USB-C)
Up to Dual 4K@60Hz*
Up to Single 5K@60Hz
Thunderbolt, USB & Ethernet
MacBook w/ USB-C port Up to Single 4K@60 Hz** USB & Ethernet
iPad Pro w/ USB-C port Up to Single 5K@60 Hz** USB & Ethernet***
 

Table 1. Apple USB Type-C dock functionality

*See the Dual Monitor Setup section below for more information about dual monitor connections through WD19TB/WD19TBS/WD22TB4.
**Connection to the monitor should happen through DP/HDMI/USB-C port on the dock, not through the Thunderbolt port.
***See Apple support pages for the list of USB connections/devices supported by iPad Pro.


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Cause

Limitations

 

Below are some known functionality limitations when using WD19TB/WD19TBS/WD22TB4 Dock with Apple USB-C host computers. A comparison with Dell commercial laptops is shown to clearly bring out the limitations.

 
Functionality Dell Commercial Notebooks Apple USB-C Host
Multi-Stream Transport (MST) support for monitors "Extended Desktops" mode. Yes No (workaround required*)
The dock power button emulates the computer power button. Yes No
Dock cable LED Yes Yes
Power Delivery Up to 130 Watts Up to 90 Watts
Audio through 3.5 mm headset jack** Yes No
MAC address pass-through Yes No
Wake on Dock Yes No
Wake on LAN Yes No
Firmware update using computer native operating system (Firmware Update Utility) Yes No (Must be connected to a Dell Windows operating system computer).
 

Table 2. WD19TB/WD19TBS/WD22TB4 dock functionality comparison when connected to a Dell Commercial Notebook vs. Apple USB-C Host

*See the Dual Monitor Setup section below for more information about dual monitor connections through WD19TB, WD19TBS, and WD22TB4. Dual external monitor support is not available on MacBooks with an M1 chip due to a limitation of the M1 chip.

** WD19TBS/WD22TB4 are not equipped with 3.5 mm audio connections.
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Resolution

Dual Monitor Setup

 

To connect to two monitors in "Extended Desktops" mode, connections should be made only in the way that is shown in either of the figures below. This limitation is due to a lack of support for Multi-Stream Transport in macOS.

Dual Monitor Setup-1
Figure 1. Dual Monitor Setup-1 with WD22TB4 dock that is connected to an Apple USB-C Host. Monitors are connected to the dock using a dual Thunderbolt connection.

Dual Monitor Setup-2
Figure 2. Dual Monitor Setup-2 with WD19TB/WD19TBS/WD22TB4 dock that is connected to an Apple USB-C Host. Monitors connected to the dock using Thunderbolt and DisplayPort/HDMI/DisplayPort over USB Type-C connections.

  • One monitor must be first connected using the DisplayPort port (DP/HDMI/USB-C port) and the other monitor must be connected using the Thunderbolt port on the dock.
  • The displays are mirrored if both the monitors are connected using the DisplayPort on the dock (that is, DP and HDMI (or) DP and DP (or) DP and USB-C).

Dual Monitor Setup-3
Figure 3. Dual Monitor Setup-2 with WD19TB/WD19TBS/WD22TB4 dock that is connected to an Apple USB-C Host. The first monitor is connected to the dock using Thunderbolt and the second monitor is daisy-chained to the first.

*This setup uses daisy chaining with Thunderbolt monitors (Figure 3).
Note: USB Type-C cable/adapter connecting to the Thunderbolt port on the dock to the monitor is not included with the WD19TB/WD22TB4 dock.


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Support

 

Dell Technical Support can troubleshoot when Dell docks are used with Dell computers but cannot troubleshoot when Dell docks are used with non-Dell computers. For non-Dell computer issues, contact the computer manufacturer. In this case, Apple.


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Article Properties


Affected Product

Dell Thunderbolt Dock - WD19TB, Dell Thunderbolt Dock – WD19TBS, Dell Thunderbolt Dock – WD22TB4

Last Published Date

18 Jan 2023

Version

13

Article Type

Solution