Intel NUC + OWC Thunderbolt three Dock

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I’ve been utilizing an Intel NUC as my main PC for a few month, with no points. At this time, I lastly added a Thunderbolt three dock to the system.

And should you take heed to First Ring Every day, it’s possible you’ll know that I initially struggled with that: As I famous in Friday’s episode, the dock—a 14-port OWC Thunderbolt three surprise—labored simply tremendous with a number of laptops I examined. However with the NUC, it was solely driving video-out; all the different ports, together with the USB ports, had been invisible to the PC.

I had requested whether or not any listeners/viewers had strategies, and some did, so thanks for that. However I had resolved to determine this out at present, by hook or by crook. And in the long run, I’m semi-proud to let you know that I figured it out myself. And semi-embarrassed that I didn’t determine it out sooner.

My first thought was that I wanted to get the Intel Thunderbolt three utility that I generally see on different PCs. So I went to the NUC’s software program obtain web page, looked for Thunderbolt three, and began downloading the Thunderbolt three DCH driver for Home windows 10. As I did so, it abruptly occurred to me—sure, I’m an actual genius—that possibly the NUC already had this software program put in. And that possibly it simply wanted to be configured.

Bingo.

Positive sufficient, there was a Thunderbolt three Management Middle software in Begin. And when run, it confirmed me that the dock was related to “Port 1” on the NUC. (Which is the one TB3 port on the NUC.) However the Connection Standing hyperlink beneath System Information mentioned “Not related.”

Not related. Ah boy. So I clicked that hyperlink and was offered with three selections for the port: Join solely as soon as, All the time join, and Do Not Join. (Sure, with that blend of capitalized and non-capitalized phrases; Intel will need to have the Home windows Insider bloggers moonlighting on the aspect.)

Clearly, I selected All the time join. After which Home windows pinged and issued a notification: “‘OWC Thunderbolt three Audio System’ is about up and able to go.” Success.

Positive sufficient, I unplugged the three USB units that had been initially hooked up to the NUC—the webcam, the keyboard/mouse dongle, and the USB interface to my podcast mic—and plugged them into the dock. All the things works usually, which is what I had initially anticipated after I first hooked up the NUC.

And that means that there’s now just one (non-power) cable coming from the NUC: The USB-C/Thunderbolt three cable which connects the PC to dock. In different phrases, this works because it does with a laptop computer now. (I’ve not tried powering the NUC from the dock, however I doubt that will work: One of many dock’s Thunderbolt three ports can drive 85-watts, which ought to fulfill nearly any appropriate PC or system. However the NUC makes use of a desktop-class 28-watt processor and doubtless can’t be powered over USB-C/TB3. I could take a look at this later for the heck of it.)

The USB-C/Thunderbolt three ports on the again of the OWC Thunderbolt three Dock.

That is good for numerous causes. However the massive one, for me, is that it’s going to assist me swap out my NUC for different computer systems, particularly moveable computer systems, rather more simply; I can merely use all my peripherals by swapping a single cable now. That can assist particularly with the “Dwelling with…” sequence, the place I’m testing numerous (usually non-Microsoft) applied sciences over durations of time. I’ll take a look at this setup with a Chromebook or two someday this weekend.

The USB ports on the again of the OWC Thunderbolt three Dock.

Now, the OWC Thunderbolt three Dock is the middle of my daily-use PC setup. And the NUC is only a bit participant. An easily-swappable bit participant.

Tagged with Intel NUC, OWC Thunderbolt three Dock, Thunderbolt three, USB-C

Paul Thurrott

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