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Old 11-28-2021, 04:13 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 36

I have a similar constellation, a MacBook Air M1 with two external 27" 4k monitors. I also wanted to run one monitor directly (without display link) for better performance and ease of use.

My solution:
  • One monitor is connected directly to the MacBook via a USB-C to Display Port adapter.
  • The second port of the MacBook goes to the USB docking station (Kensigton SD4780P in my case).
    The second monitor is then connected to the docking station (using DisplyLink).
  • Both monitors run at 4k @ 60 Hz.

I was originally looking for a solution that required only one cable on the MacBook, i.e. I wanted to connect one monitor to the docking station via alt-mode and one monitor via DisplayLink. But alt mode doesn't work on USB docking stations, and I haven't found any Thunderbolt docking stations with DisplayLink. Thus, you would still need an additional external DisplayLink adapter at the Thunderbolt docking station. So there was no really perfect solution for that.

Overall, now that the HiDPI problem is solved for me, I am very happy with the solution. The performance is perfectly adequate for me. Even moving large windows runs without visible delays.

But you have to be aware that DisplayLink also brings some disadvantages. No HDR, no multimedia with DRM (Netflix and co.)... But the only alternative would be only one external monitor...
JanB is offline   Reply With Quote