Jul 25, 2015

OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock and the ASUS PB278Q Monitor

I recently acquired a MacBook Pro 15 and I like to move it from my desk to other areas of the house. I thought this would be quite a bit easier with a dock so I ended up going with the OWC Thunderbolt 2 dock. Unfortunately the dock didn’t play so well with my new ASUS PB278Q monitor (which is as goregeous as everyone says). I then tried an Elgato Thunderbolt 2 dock and had the same issues. When the laptop boots or comes out of sleep the laptop screen just flashes and changes resolutions and it never wakes up the monitor. After two docks did the same thing I got suspicous about the monitor. I’ve written to ASUS but haven’t received a reply yet (it’s the weekend).

However I did find a work-around. Originally I was toggling off/on the monitor and it was somewhat hit or miss trying to get it synch up to the laptop. Then I started messing around with the On Screen Display (OSD) menu. I think the key is just to hit the menu button next to the power button, but here’s the full set of steps I first took.

I placed my index finger on the button next to the power button and each of the next fingers on the adjacent buttons. I pressed the menu button and that brought up the main menu. Now my ring finger was on the input select menu so I pressed that. That allows you to select things like VGA, DVI, HDMI, or Display port. I made sure HDMI was selected and hit the checkmark button to accept. The signal from the laptop showed up a few seconds later. Now I’ve tried sleep and restarting a few times. When the laptop starts flashing I just press the button next to the power button. The input select menu shows and I do NOTHING. Just bringing up the menu seems to wake up the monitor enough to to the trick. The menu will disappear and the monitor will still be black. BUT, a few seconds later the correct resolution gets set and the monitor displays the desktop.

By the way I sent back the Elgato dock. It has two fewer USB ports, no firewire, and worst of all its audio port was really noisy making it unusable.

About Me

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Tod Gentille (@todgentille) is now a Curriculum Director for Pluralsight. He's been programming professionally since well before you were born and was a software consultant for most of his career. He's also a father, husband, drummer, and windsurfer. He wants to be a guitar player but he just hasn't got the chops for it.