Here is my problem:
Said docking station only supports input via USB 3.0 (5 Gbps), which would be fine if it weren't for said MacBook which can only output via USB 2.0 (480 Mbps) over its USB ports since that was the standard at the time this laptop was built. So at the moment I'm connection said MacBook via an USB 2.0 A port via an USB 2.0 A-B cable to the USB 3.0 B port of said docking station.
Everything else - apart from power which is connected directly to the laptop - so ethernet, DVI monitor, sound via 3.5 mm jack, USB mouse, USB keyboard and some additional USB devices (external drive and a USB HUB) are connected to said docking station and all those signals have to be transmitted via the USB 2.0 cable between the docking station and the laptop.
With this setup I'm getting hard delays on the attached screen of up to one second, e.g. when I type (maybe 1/4 of a second), but especially when scrolling down internet pages or anything within the browser. The same delays, even longer ones, occur when I open folders in the MacOS (10.11) dock: The fan and grid view take quite some time to be displayed, not to talk about when I try to click an item... Also some minor screen errors occur (pinkish grey instead of grey as color of the top bar of windows). But all in all the delays annoy the most.
All of those problems do not occur when I'm opening my laptop and work (windows etc. displayed on) its own screen but still being connected to the internet and USB devices etc. via the docking station (DisplayLink Drivers seem to work fine)...
D) Leads / How I'm trying to solve my problem
So I reckon this is because I demand too much of that USB 2.0 connection, 480 Mbps might be not enough for all this data, especially for transmitting the video signal as it seems. But please correct me if I'm wrong or you see the problem somewhere else.
I therefore think about changing the connection type.
According to this, my MacBook Pro has three wired data in- and output ports other than USB 2.0 (and SD card slot and 3.5 mm socket), which might serve as alternative for the connection to the docking station:
Ethernet 1000BASE-T (IEEE 802.3ab) port at up to 1 Gbps, depending on the used ethernet cable.
FireWire 800 port at 800 Mbps.
Thunderbolt 1 port at 10 Gbps.
I will therefore need an adapter at some point, I guess. As of my inquires (e.g.), a FireWire signal cannot be translated into a USB signal easily with an adapter, at least not at a reasonable cost.
So only 1. and 3., ethernet to USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 1 to USB 3.0 will be in question. I am looking for the most reliable or at least working option for the best price. I've found the following three options:
- Ethernet to USB 3.0 adapter (e.g. here) + USB 3.0 A female to USB 3.0 B male (e.g. here). Probably the cheapest option. But I'm not sure if this, that is ethernet, supports a data connection to a docking station at all; it might only work in the other direction - comments on this are much appreciated! About USD 30 + 8 = USD 38, where I plan to buy.
- Thunderbolt 1 to USB 3.0 adapter (e.g. here, also here). Most straight forward option, but incredibly expensive and quite a large thing (my MacBook is placed vertically in a laptop stand next to the docking station; this adapter will hang down its side...), but will probably do the trick... USD 80-120, where I plan to buy.
- The adapter train: Thunderbolt male-male cable (e.g. here) + Thunderbolt 1/2 to Thunderbolt 3 adapter (e.g. here) + Thunderbolt 3 female-female adapter (I cannot find this in my country though! - suggestions?) + Thunderbolt 3 to USB 3.0 A Adapter (e.g. here) + USB 3.0 A-B cable (I already have this, lucky me...). Incredibly complicated, but should work, if I can get all components (!) and maybe less expensive than option II): USD 24-47 + 31-46 + 10? + 9-20 + UBS 3.0 A-B already owned = USD 74-120...
- A) Is my assumption correct, that the problem comes from the overtaxed USB 2.0 connection?
- B) If yes, can my approach solve the problem? Which option is the most promising?
- C) Or is there a way to upgrade the USB 2.0 ports of my MacBook Pro to USB 3.x ports?
Any suggestions, also on a less complicated option 3, are greatly appreciated!