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How Well the Apple 15" MacBook Pro (2018) Charges Through the Anker Premium 7-in-1 USB-C Hub Connected to the Apple 87W USB-C Power Adapter Over USB Power Delivery

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The Apple 15" MacBook Pro (2018) and the Anker Premium 7-in-1 USB-C Hub both support USB Power Delivery 2.0 charging over Type-C which we observed a total of about 136 minutes to near full charge. At the same time the Anker Premium 7-in-1 USB-C Hub was getting its power supplied through its USB Type-C charging in port by the Apple 87W USB-C Power Adapter that shipped with the Mac.  

When the Mac at 26% battery level was first plugged in to the Anker hub, no current was pulled by the Mac as the voltage started off on a 5 volts rail. The Mac only began pulling quick changing current after the voltage reached up to 20 volts rail to initially charge up to 52.5 watts (20.2 volts @ 2.6 amps). When approaching the first minute the current became more stable allowing about the same 52.5 watts (20.2 volts @ 2.6 amps) steady state power to be drawn. The Mac later went on to charge alternately between 40.4 watts (20.2 volts @ 2 amps) and 52.5 watts (20.2 volts @ 2.6 amps) after the first hour. As the battery almost reached full charge, the current gradually went down to about .3 amps. This eventually followed by some quick bouts of residual charging where the Mac was pulling up to 52.5 watts at repeated intervals over bouncing voltage and current towards the end of charging. The Mac could be seen to use aggressive power management schemes such that even while the hub is connected to the Mac, the current repeatedly goes up close to 2-2.6 amps at repeated intervals. Click here to download the trace captured by the GRL-A1 power analyzer to see more details on the entire power charging cycle.

We can observe that the hub limits the power thus connecting the Apple 87W charger to the hub would be the same as connecting a 60W charger to the Mac but with additional penalty since the hub itself consumes own power which causes the Mac to only get about 52W of power. We can also see how the hub translates different power profiles using the USB Power Test App from Granite River Labs with the Granite River Labs USB Power Delivery Compliance C2 Tester in this review. From the pass through power results the hub was observed to limit down a 20V, 5A advertised PDO to just about 50W power. We can also confirmed that the hub uses 15W for own power consumption. Since the hub consumes power itself, the Mac on a dead battery will not immediately start up. For the Mac to immediately start up, the Apple 87W charger needs to be connected to the Mac.

Download the A1 software from Granite River Labs here to view the trace.




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