Are two data paths to my M1 MacBook Air better than one?

I’m currently using both USB-C connections on my M1 MacBook Air, but I’m wondering if there would be any downside to simplifying things a bit so I’m only using one of the connections? (At least there would be only one thing to unplug when I take the laptop out of my studio.) My fancy Eizo display is for still photography—no video production.

Here’s my current setup:

Mac USB-C #1 to 27" Eizo display with built-in hub, serving:

  • USB microphone
  • Epson 3880 printer
  • Apple USB keyboard with keypad

Mac USB-C #2: Caldigit TS3 Plus, serving:

Via USB 3.1 Type-A:

  • Stream Deck
  • Wacom tablet (usually just for charging, since I normally use it with Bluetooth)
  • 8TB Seagate Expansion, (Time Machine and Storage volumes)
    Via USB 3.1 Type-C, 10Gbps
  • Samsung 2 TB SSD for my photos (raw camera files and Photoshop files up to 1GB each)

I could get everything connected to the CalDigit hub, including the display via HDMI, giving me a single cable to the MacBook Air. That seems like a lot of devices (especially with the display) going through one little cable. My main concern is to have enough bandwidth for quick reads and writes to the SSD, and good stability for the Stream Deck, which seems particularly sensitive to where it sits in the USB hierarchy.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


The more connections you put through a single connection, the more likely there’s latency and/or conflicts.

There’s nothing to stop you trying it though. I’d be tempted to move a single device across every day or two, then if you start to have problems, you’ll have an idea where to start investigating what changed.


Good idea. I’ll give it a try.


I have a MacBook Pro and I plug everything into my CalDigit dock, including the display, so I only have one USB-C port occupied, making it easier to pickup the laptop and go. I’ve been doing this for years and never noticed any problems with latency.

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