In the blast of publicity surrounding the new M1 chips and the contemporaneous release of macOS Big Sur, the new capability of Thunderbolt 'hubbing' got slightly overlooked.
It has been a busy few weeks for Apple news. New Apple M1 chips, a new macOS and of course for us, FCP 10.5.
All good headline fodder. However, macOS Big Sur also bought in Thunderbolt hubbing. Up until now, Thunderbolt devices had to be daisy chained, which led to the annoying problem of having to power down everything if you wanted to remove the middle peripheral in the chain.
The new Thunderbolt Hub from OWC allows users to have three Thunderbolt 3 devices connected to your Mac via a single Thunderbolt 3 cable via the hub. As the unit is powered, it will also charge a laptop you have connected (up to 60W) and power the other devices (15W each).
We can see this being especially useful for editors who have media spread over multiple Thunderbolt drives. A lot of portable Thunderbolt drives do not have the extra socket to allow daisy chaining. Also for M1 MacBook Air, Mac Mini and 13 inch MacBook Pro users, this helps get around the problem of only having two ports on the machines.
With the caveat of 'we haven't tested it' it could allow users to have more than one monitor connected to the new M1 Macs. Please let us know if you have managed to do this successfully.
The Thunderbolt Hub is priced at $149 and should be available in early December through OWC/MacSales.
Larry O'Connor from OWC gave FCP.co a great rundown of the differences between Thunderbolt 3 & 4 (Spoiler - it's mainly a PC thing). He also talked about the new Goshen Ridge chips used for Thunderbolt 4 and what that will allow when it comes to how many and what peripherals can you plug in!