USB 3 ports on Dell P2715Q. Connect laptop to hard drive?

Started Jan 23, 2017 | Discussions
MtnBikerCalif Regular Member • Posts: 227
USB 3 ports on Dell P2715Q. Connect laptop to hard drive?

Can these be used to connect to a drive?

I've got a late 2013 MacBook Pro Retina and am looking at the Dell and LG UD68-P. They seem pretty close from reading several reviews. LG better color gamut. Dell better stand. Bezel doesn't matter to me. Not a gamer.

But the Dell has USB 3 vs 2 on the LG and if I could leave a hard drive hooked up to the monitor and have it connect to my MBP that would be handy. It would be a drive with my photo libraries and maybe another for backups.

Edit: "Charge or power BC1.2-compatible and other USB devices with a high-speed USB 3.0 charging port." from B&H. Sounds like HD isn't going to work.

LG has head phone out which would save hooking up external speakers.

Thanks for any comments.

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Tom_N Forum Pro • Posts: 18,538
Re: USB 3 ports on Dell P2715Q. Connect laptop to hard drive?

MtnBikerCalif wrote:

Can these be used to connect to a drive?

I've got a late 2013 MacBook Pro Retina and am looking at the Dell and LG UD68-P. They seem pretty close from reading several reviews. LG better color gamut. Dell better stand. Bezel doesn't matter to me. Not a gamer.

But the Dell has USB 3 vs 2 on the LG and if I could leave a hard drive hooked up to the monitor and have it connect to my MBP that would be handy. It would be a drive with my photo libraries and maybe another for backups.

Edit: "Charge or power BC1.2-compatible and other USB devices with a high-speed USB 3.0 charging port." from B&H. Sounds like HD isn't going to work.

On the Dell site, the "Connectivity" section of the "Tech Specs" tab says: "4 x USB 3.0 downstream, 1 x USB upstream".  The "Overview" tab says "Charge or power BC1.2-compatible and other USB devices with a high-speed USB 3.0 charging port".

If I had to guess, I'd say that the display had a four-port USB 3.0 hub, but that only one of the ports is set up to provide a lot of power to a connected device.  When you were using both the screen and the hub, you would connect the display to your laptop by two cables ((Mini)DisplayPort, USB).

OP MtnBikerCalif Regular Member • Posts: 227
Re: USB 3 ports on Dell P2715Q. Connect laptop to hard drive?

May as well just connect the drive directly to the laptop. One of my issues is that I'm using a Logitech mouse for some mapping (much easier than trackpad—the app isn't really Mac centric) and I only have two USB ports.

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photosen Veteran Member • Posts: 6,225
Re: USB 3 ports on Dell P2715Q. Connect laptop to hard drive?

It seems like it has a built in usb hub, so connecting a hard drive should be fine, particularly the ones that have their own power cord; however the usb ports are at the back, so you'd need to use them for something always connected, as opposed to something you'd be likely to connect and disconnect regularly.

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bmoag Senior Member • Posts: 2,749
Re: USB 3 ports on Dell P2715Q. Connect laptop to hard drive?

If you have not done so you really want to audition that notebook with a 4k panel before worrying about USB connections. You have to run a demanding application like Photoshop with  large raw files in a big color box and bit depth. Run some video. Open a lot of tabs in a browser with a lot of info in them--tax the CPU/GPU at the same time as they are one and the same.

Sadly in my experience the GPU is just not up to the task of rendering all those 4k pixels without stuttering, tearing and slow screen redraws. On the other hand it will easily drive a 2400 resolution monitor at full gamut (how I use mine) comfortably.

However what I find intolerable may not bother you so much.

But what if it does after you bought the thing?

If you are comfortable with image quality then if the monitor has a USB connector you simply have to connect that to the laptop. I have a Dell 4k with USB pass through that works for me in both OSX and Win10. I believe all the similarly priced near sRGB 27 inch 4k monitors have the same basic innards regardless of the label on the unit.

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OP MtnBikerCalif Regular Member • Posts: 227
Re: USB 3 ports on Dell P2715Q. Connect laptop to hard drive?

Thanks for the response.

I decided to go with the LG. Close decision.

Not that it was part of the decision (both were similarly priced), but when I went to buy it at B&H, it was $430. Don't know if it was because I'd searched earlier or it's the current price.

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Tom_N Forum Pro • Posts: 18,538
Re: USB 3 ports on Dell P2715Q. Connect laptop to hard drive?

MtnBikerCalif wrote:

May as well just connect the drive directly to the laptop. One of my issues is that I'm using a Logitech mouse for some mapping (much easier than trackpad—the app isn't really Mac centric) and I only have two USB ports.

Substituting a Bluetooth mouse for a wired USB one could free up a port.  (But be sure it is a Bluetooth mouse – not merely "wireless".  Many "wireless" mice come with their own USB-port-based transceivers.)

Although Logitech are big on USB transceiver mice, they do make some Bluetooth mice – e.g., the Logitech M535 Compact Bluetooth Mouse.  Another Bluetooth "travel" mouse is the Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600.  I'd like to suggest Apple's Magic Mouse, but some mapping sites are hyper-sensitive to its virtual "scroll wheel",

D Sharp
D Sharp Contributing Member • Posts: 564
Re: USB 3 ports on Dell P2715Q. Connect laptop to hard drive?

I appreciate you have made your decision, but for completeness in case anyone else is looking for the answer:

Yes, you can power a 2.5 inch external HDD from any one of the USB ports on the P2715Q

Two are permanently attached as Time Machine backups and I often have three attached when I am re syncing my offsite backup.  Never noticed any issues.

I also sometimes use one USB with a SSD drive attached which I can boot from.  Blackmagic tells me there is little or no difference in the read write speeds between when the ssd is directly attached and when attached via the Dell.  I plan to pickup a 1TB drive soon which I will use as a boot drive when docked to the screen.

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