Friday, May 3, 2024



These days laptop computers come with very few hardware ports on them. Manufacturer's and designers think wireless connections are better but sometimes you've got gadgets that must connect with wired hardware connections; things like multiport audio interfaces, legacy midi hardware, drum machines and keyboards all depend on hardware connections with physical connectors and wire. The Doc to the rescue!

The top is very shiny and reflects some nearby hanging cables

A dock is an active, powered device with a variety of ports in varying quantities. In the Apple Mac universe, I've been using OWC products since early 1990's. Back then OWC was just a box seller that had Firewire enclosures and memory which cost a lot less than Apple sold it for. I've had an OWC dock attached to every one of my studio computers for the last 10 years; I've become dependent on all the extra connection points for USB and Thunderbolt gadgets plus SD card slot access. 

Click to enlarge

My favorite dock lately is the OWC 14-port Thunderbolt-3 Dock. When used with an Apple Thunderbolt 2-to-3 adaptor this dock adds a Thunderbolt-3 style connection point at the slower Thunderbolt-2 clock speed. This Thunderbolt-3 connection point works great with all the SSD I've tried (San Disk, Samsung, OWC). The dock comes with the necessary external power pack and one Thunderbolt-3 connecting cable. Recently this dock model has been on sale for as low as $99, it's currently selling for $129 so maybe it's inventory clearance and end of life. It sure is a great dock and a fabulous deal at $129.

Apple Thunderbolt-2 to Thunderbolt-3 bidirectional adaptor click to enlarge

A dock like this makes a cylinder style Mac Pro much easier to work with. I use a 2-meter Apple Thunderbolt-2 cable so the dock can sit on my desk for convenient connections and the cylinder computer can sit on the floor out of the way, connected to spinning hard disks and video monitors. 


A cylinder-style Mac Pro has six Thunderbolt-2 ports; I confirmed with OWC support that it is ok to connect more than one dock to a single computer to provide even more connection options and more versatility. OWC has a very responsive chat system available on the company web site. 

The OWC Thunderbolt-3 Dock works great with the Apple bi-directional Thunderbolt-2 to 3 adaptor (see this article on High on Technology for more about the Apple adaptor).


If your Mac computer has Thunderbolt connections and you could use a few more ports for attaching gadgets, then definitely check out the Thunderbolt-3 dock from OWC. Please note, the OWC dock does support Windows computers too, check the OWC web site for more information.

Thanks for reading High on Technology, Good Music Computing to You!

©May 2024 by Mark King, It's not ok to copy or quote without written permission. 

Keep'n it Real: High on Technology is not affiliated with nor do we receive any compensation from OWC for our review and opinion.