Port Features, Limitations, Notes, and Terminology
Alternate Mode (Alt Mode) is a new feature introduced with USB 3.1, allowing USB cables to carry video signals directly from a device over a USB cable. Alt Mode video comes directly from the graphics card or integrated graphics processor on a device, meaning outputs from an Alt Mode video port have the full graphics acceleration of your system.
HDMI 1.4 allows for a maximum output resolution of 4K 30Hz (3840x2160 @ 30Hz). Lower resolutions such as 1920x1200, and 1920x1080 (1080p) are supported at 60Hz. The HDMI 1.4 connection on this dock is provided by converting DisplayPort Alt Mode to HDMI 1.4.
DisplayPort 1.2 allows for a maximum output resolution of 4K 60Hz (3840x2160 @ 60Hz). These ports are Dual-Mode (DP++), allowing the use of simpler and less expensive adapters to convert the DisplayPort outputs to other display types, like HDMI and DVI. However, as a limitation of DisplayLink technology used to provide these video ports, multi-stream transport (MST) is not supported and conversion to dual link DVI is not supported.
DisplayLink is a technology that allows compressed data of various types to be sent over USB data connections. The DisplayLink DL-6950 chipset in this docking station connects all the data and video connections, other than the HDMI 1.4 connection, on this dock.
There are a few important limitations of DisplayLink technology. DisplayLink uses a proprietary compressed video stream that is partially generated by both your computer's CPU and GPU, and is a "virtual" video adapter. Because the video is compressed and packetized as data, then reassembled by the DisplayLink chip, the pacing of new frames of video can be inconsistent, particularly if large portions of the content being sent through DisplayLink is changing (such as with video playback).
Because of how DisplayLink provides video, video outputs provided by DisplayLink technology should only be used to display content like office applications and web browser windows, not games or video content.
HDCP is not supported, this means protected content such as Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube Premium, Hulu, Blu-ray videos, and other protected content, either may not work or will play at a lower resolution, depending on the content provider.
Some USB-C ports on PCs and Macs are labelled as Thunderbolt 3 ports. Thunderbolt 3 ports are USB-C ports with additional functionality that are also compatible with this docking station.
USB Power Delivery (USB PD) is a standard introduced with USB-C that provides enough power for many mobile devices and laptops. This dock is able to supply up to 60W of power to a host. Some laptops may require more power than this. The Dell XPS 15 9550/9560 and Precision 5510/7510, for example, will display a warning during boot if connected to a 60W power adapter, rather than a Dell 130W power adapter. These systems may still charge, but at a slower rate.