With 2018 being full of product launches, the dock has seen steady growth with the launch of USB-C solutions early in the year followed by Thunderbolt 3 and Mini Docks. OWC earlier in the year launched a 12-Port Thunderbolt solution but went back to the drawing board to get one more product out before the end of the year, the 14 Port iteration of their Dock.
The 14 Port Thunderbolt 3 Dock from OWC takes advantage of the same enclosure as the 12 Port model. As in the original, the 14 Port model retains SD 4.0, USB 3.1 and the Hybrid Audio port on the front of the device. On the back, we have four USB 3.1 ports along with Optical audio, Thunderbolt 3 host and client connectivity and miniDP with support for 5K@60hz. Upping the port count to 14, adds a microSD 4.0 to the front of the unit taking advantage of the same chipset with UHS-II support along with a USB 3.1 Gen 2 10Gbps port with 5v 3A power delivery.
Compatibility includes Windows 10 and macOS 10.12+. MSRP of the 14-Port OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock comes in at $299.99 with a two-year warranty.
Packaging for the 14 Port OWC Dock came to us in a plain white box, sticker to the right with model info.
Inside, we have the power adapter, Thunderbolt 3 cable, and port guide.
The power adapter is rated at 180w.
As mentioned this uses the same enclosure as the 12 Port model with the addition of microSD and USB-C on the front. That said color options are the same with space grey and silver. The front houses the two SD ports sharing one controller internally. To the right USB 3.0 with charging and USB-C.
On the back, we have four USB 3.0 ports, the first supporting battery charging. This is followed by optical output, gigabit ethernet and both Thunderbolt 3 port. To round out the dock we have miniDP for 5K60 Display support or pair with Thunderbolt for dual 4K displays.
We start our testing on the front of the unit with SD and our SanDisk Extreme UHS-II card. Here we reach 257 MB/s read, and 179 MB/s write.
Moving to front panel USB 3.0, we reach 351 MB/s read, and 318 MB/s write with our SanDisk Portable SSD.
Using the same SanDisk Portable SSD, we test USB-C reaching 713 MB/s read, and 521 MB/s write.
Last, we switched to our G-Drive Pro SSD to test Thunderbolt 3. Read results came in at 904 MB/s followed by 862 MB/s write.
The 14Port model of the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock with the addition of USB-C Gen 2 is a fantastic solution and really eliminates any need for the 12Port model. This new solution even adds on microSD with UHS-II support the downside being it shares resources with the SD slot, so they cannot be used at the same time.
Moving on, build quality is great just as it was in the past, we have an aluminum structure with piano black on top. No sharp edges to speak of everything appears to be smoothed over.
The performance was quite good among most ports; the SD port reached 257 MB/s followed by 351 MB/s for USB 3.0. USB-C topped out at 713 MB/s and Thunderbolt at 904 MB/s. I was able to test 4K monitor support with both the miniDP and Thunderbolt 3 port and came away with no issues to speak of both connecting at 60Hz.
Up against the competition this solution fairs quite well, the TS3 Plus from CalDigit and SD5000T from Kensington both come in $10 to $20 more expensive than the 14-Port offering similar connectivity options. That said, OWC does offer a longer warranty than CalDigit and on par with Kensington at two-years.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Prime Z370 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i3 8350K (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB 4x8GB DDR4 3200 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H115i (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Air 540 (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Samsung 960 EVO 250GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
- Wi-Fi NIC: ASUS PCE-AC88 (buy from Amazon)
- 10Gbe NIC: ASUS XG-C100C (buy from Amazon)
- Thunderbolt 3: ASUS Thunderbolt EX3 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line: OWC finally gets up to speed with its 14-Port Thunderbolt 3 Dock, offering all the connectivity of its competitors at a lower price point.
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