Apple’s new M1-powered iMac is here. Previously, Apple Silicon was limited to the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini. Like all of Apple’s laptops these days, the new iMac only has USB Type-C ports, so you’ll need some dongles and docks.
You know what that means: you’re going to need some dongles and docks. Luckily, all you really need with this product are more ports. Apple’s M1 is missing some key features that you’ll find on its Intel products, such as multi-monitor support and external GPU support. Right out of the gate, that takes away a lot of the benefits of Thunderbolt. And since this is a desktop, you don’t even have to worry about power delivery.XDA-Developers VIDEO OF THE DAY
The 24-inch iMac comes with two Thunderbolt 3 / USB 4 ports, which support up to 40Gbps speeds, HDMI, DVI, VGA, DisplayPort, and more. If you get the higher end model, there are an additional two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports, which are good for 5Gbps speeds.
We can break this down into dongles, Thunderbolt docks, and non-Thunderbolt USB Type-C docks. There isn’t much difference for most users between Thunderbolt and regular USB Type-C docks for this device, since you can’t use dual external monitors or an external GPU. Still, you might want Thunderbolt for the additional bandwidth or if you have another Thunderbolt device around.
When deciding which one to buy, the key thing to remember is that the Apple M1 doesn’t support multiple external monitors, doesn’t support external GPUs, and won’t make use of power delivery. That means that when selecting the dock for your iMac, all you really need is ports.
However, docks are plug-and-play solutions. You can easily disconnect from the 24-inch iMac and connect a laptop that you might be using. If it’s an Intel-powered laptop, you’d definitely be able to do a lot more with Thunderbolt there, and you’d be better off with a proper Thunderbolt dock.
If you’re looking for iMac accessories aside from docks, make sure to check out our guide on the best keyboards and best mice and trackpads.