I am planning to buy a new monitor, QHD resolution (1440p) and 60Hz, for a desktop computer. Ideally, it should also be possible to use the same display with a couple of laptops: A late 2016 XPS 13 (9360) and a late 2016 MacBook pro, both of which have Thunderbolt 3 ports. I am ok with connecting and disconnecting a cable or two when changing the display from desktop to laptop and back, if needed.

I have found Thunderbolt 3 docking stations that solve the connectivity issue for the laptops, but these are expensive (over 200 euros). I have also found Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C to HDMI adapters, but these seem to be unable to drive a QHD display at 60Hz. I have not found any Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C to Displayport adapters -- do they exist?

What are my options for connecting the laptops without degrading the resolution or refresh rate for the monitor? Keep in mind that I have not chosen a monitor yet, so if specific connectors on the monitor are helpful, that may be possible to achieve.

EDIT: Corrected XPS 13 version.

  • 1
    The Thunderbolt port on the 2017 XPS 13 (9365) is a DisplayPort Port. You just need the right cable. EDIT: I can confirm it is the same for both 2016 Macbooks (I assume you have 13" one though?) Ctrl-F Thunderbolt on these spec sheets and you'll see DisplayPort XPS 13, 13" Macbook Pro – timuzhti Oct 21 '17 at 12:50
  • So, no adapter needed, just a $15 cable. – timuzhti Oct 21 '17 at 13:00
  • This sounds like great news, thanks! I guess you mean a cable like this? kanex.com/usb-c-dp-adapter – josteinb Oct 22 '17 at 17:37
  • I made a mistake on the XPS 13 version, it is in fact late 2016 (9360), sorry! The spec sheet of the Mac clearly lists the DisplayPort capability, but the XPS spec sheet (dell.com/en-uk/shop/laptop-and-2-in-1-pcs/xps-13/spd/…) does not. Is that cause for concern for the XPS, or will the USB-C adapter I linked to above still work? – josteinb Oct 22 '17 at 18:00
  • 1
    According to the last post of this thread on the Dell TechCenter the 9360 supports Displayport Alternate Mode with the USB C. IMO, you should go with a cable, like this one from Amazon (or really, any other). What you linked is USB C to female USB A, and you'd still need another cable, which seems like a bit of a hassle to me. – timuzhti Oct 23 '17 at 9:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.