Apple Silicon on a M1 Mac is changing monitor support. How will this affect our hubs/dockings usage?

Nov. 20, 2020



Apple has released the new M1 powered MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13-inch, and Mac Mini. They included Thunderbolt 3/USB 4 ports in their new Macs running these M1 processors.  

We know that our customers want to know about compatibility between the new M1-based Macs and hub adapter solutions… 

All of  our USB-C hubs/docks are fully compatible with the new M1-based Macs including the ability to charge a laptop and more.


However, the only limitation is that the new M1-based Macs cannot support dual “Extended” displays through their Thunderbolt 3 ports, which is a big departure from previous Thunderbolt 3 Macs. 

During our testing, we have discovered that Dual Extended display support (with the Dual HDMI and Dual Multimedia adapters) are not possible on either the new Apple MacBook Air or MacBook Pro 


The first M1-based Macs can only handle two screens. The specs for the M1 MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air say they support “one external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz” in addition to the laptop’s built-in screen. Intel-based Macs support between 2-4 displays over Thunderbolt. 


The M1 Mac mini can handle a 6K display and a 4K display (one through USB-C and one through the included HDMI port). Where an Intel Mac can handle 2 external 4K displays, and a single 6K display, in addition to the built-in HDMI.  

This means that when using the adapters, users cannot extend their desktop over two displays, and will be limited to either dual “Mirrored” displays or 1 external display. 

  • This is not a limitation of our USB-C hubs/docks, but of the Thunderbolt 3 / USB4 ports on the new M1-based Macs. 

  • Users with Intel-based Macs and (some) Windows 10 PC users can still benefit from dual “Extended” displays when using our DUAL hubs/docks.  

 All other functionality of our docks including laptop charging will work as normal. 

We hope this information helps explain the new compatibility with video output on the new Mac line-up. We are working closely with our solution partners for a possible workaround/firmware update in the future. 

Thank you for choosing C-Smartlink and stay tuned for updated content and new releases. As technology changes, so do we! 

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