Difference Between Dell TB16 and WD15

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Dell TB16 and WD15

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To connect several devices to the laptop without actually touching them, Dell TB16 and Dell WD15 are also used. The term "docking stations" refers to them.

The only AC adapter that supports thunderbolt 3 is the Dell TB16. This allows you to connect peripherals without having to connect everything directly to the laptop, such as external hard drives, mice, keyboards, large-screen displays, etc. All other devices can be linked to a laptop or desktop computer with just one Type-C connection. The Dell WD15 is an AC adapter that can handle thunderbolt three or the Display port over USB-C alternate mode. Access to additional external devices can be made accessible by Dell WD15 without a direct connection to the laptop.

Dell TB16 vs. Dell WD15

The primary distinction between the Dell TB16 and Dell WD15 is that the former only supports thunderbolt technology while the latter also supports USB-C alternate mode. Although both docking stations allow three displays, there is a significant variation between them in terms of compatibility and resolution. Dell TB16 offers a lot more solutions when it comes to the display. 5120 x 2880 at 60 Hz is what we get for a single collection. Finally, for a triple group, we obtained 2560 x 1600 at 60 Hz. For a twin display, we get 3840 x 2160 at 60 Hz. Windows and Linux are the operating systems, but UASP is not supported. Any DC Input power is not suited to the Dell TB16.

In contrast, the display resolution of the Dell WD15 is substantially lower. 3840 x 2160 at 30 Hz is what we get for a single display. Finally, we received 1280 x 1024 at 60 Hz for a triple production. For a twin display, we welcome 2560 x 1600 at 60 Hz. The operating system is Linux Windows and does not include UASP support. The DC input power of the Dell WD15 is 19.5 VDC @ 3.34 A.

Difference Between Dell TB16 And Dell WD15 in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Dell TB16 Dell WD15
Audio Headphone with a line out Headphone and microphone combo with output
Connection The system is connected by a 1 x Thunderbolt 3 Type-C cable 1 x Mini DisplayPort Female secures the system
Interface Data rate The maximum Interface Data rate is 5 Gb/s The maximum Interface data rate is 40 Gb/s
Power Maximum power consumption for Dell TB16 is 180 W with AC adapters Maximum power consumption for WD15 is 130 W with no AC adapter
Weight The weight of TB16 is 26.1 oz or 740g The importance of WD15 is 14.9 oz, or422.42g

What is Dell TB16?

Popular Thunderbolt Dock from Dell, the TB16, has power delivery, ethernet, USB, audio, HDMI, DisplayPort, mini-DP, and VGA. When configured appropriately and with the most recent firmware, it typically performs admirably under Linux, while it performs better with some laptops than others. If you're looking for a new dock, you're better off buying one from Dell's more recent WD19 series because it has received better reviews and doesn't have the problems the TB16 did. To connect all the necessary but external devices to the laptop or computer without creating a jumble of wires, utilize the Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16. It helps link all the other external electronic devices with a single Thunderbolt 3, or C-type, cable.

First, the docking station is correctly connected to all other external devices, such as the keyboard, mouse, external hard drive, speakers, screen display, or other technologies. It can then be connected to a laptop or computer using just one type-C cable. One small DisplayPort, one DisplayPort, one HDMI, one VGA, and one Thunderbolt 3 connector are available. Additionally, there is 1 Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45), one headset connector, one microphone connector, and various USB ports. 7.4 mm is the power or Dc-in. There could be issues with the audio, video, or any USB ports, such as no video on the associated monitor, flickering and distorted video, or no visual at all. But with assistance, all of these issues can be resolved. One of the most excellent docking systems according to performance.

Lightning Security In  Dell TB16

  1. In the BIOS, disable Thunderbolt security (recommended): Use boltctl to attach the dock and cable either permanently or temporarily. Thunderbolt security "works," but it may also cause sporadic instability, including system freezes upon resumption and strange USB HID device behavior (keyboard, mouse). Before allowing this, it is advised to make sure your system is entirely stable.
  2. Type-C Dock Configuration for Dell: The TB16 is frequently used with Dell laptops, which have a unique BIOS setting that might affect stability. Disable the following option instead: Configuration of the Dell Type-C Dock to Always Accept Dell Docks.

Firmware Updates In  Dell TB16

Updates to Firmware: The Windows firmware upgrades offered by Dell's TB16 Support: The ASMedia USB Host Controller firmware, which resolves various USB instability issues, and the Synaptics controller are two examples of firmware on the driver's page that cannot be updated under Linux (DisplayPort).

  1. Linux can flash the NVM updates to the TB controller (using the typical nvm nonactive nvm authenticate sysfs interface).
  2. The ASMedia, Synaptics, and other firmware cannot be installed, so you might as well flash everything from Windows.
  3. For the Docker firmware updater to recognize the TB16, all the most recent upgrades are required.

Latest Updates:

  • BIOS software
  • Microsoft Update
  • The Windows & Dell updates

TB16 firmware updater from the driver's page above should cover Dell Update Thunderbolt NVM firmware (for the Thunderbolt controller on your device).

Even after using the firmware updater, there is still more firmware from the same Dell support website that needs to be downloaded and installed since they supersede the ones in the firmware updater, such as the ASMedia driver and firmware. Install all page updates if you're unsure. Furthermore, according to Jason Clinton, the official NVM upgrades frequently lag significantly behind Intel's most recent releases (for instance, TB16's 1.0.0 firmware contains NVM 16 even though Intel had already published NVM 33 at the time of writing). Whether updating these individually is simple is unknown.

Troubleshooting In Dell TB16

Bus troubles: By following all of the steps mentioned above (specifically, *disabling* Thunderbolt Security, "Dell Type-C Dock settings choices," and firmware upgrades), problems like the USB bus (and all attached devices) failing while plugging/unplugging peripherals are resolved. Pay close attention to the firmware updates section. Not all updates are Linux-compatible.

Features that are exclusive to Dell laptops and 2-in-1s

End users of Dell Precision, Latitude, or XPS laptops with Thunderbolt 3 ports can charge their devices with up to 130W, wake them when docked, and use the handy dock button. At the same time, IT managers can quickly distribute images to connected systems, lockdown dock ports, and release updates to the documentation.

What is Dell WD15?

Docking station for Dell, The docking station WD15 also aids in attaching additional external devices. Dell WD15 aids in the USB-c cable interface needed to connect external devices to a laptop or computer. This enables DisplayPort over USB-c as an alternative method in addition to Thunderbolt 3 technology. The Dell WD15 is compatible with Dell laptops that feature a USB-C connector and can support Thunderbolt 3 or Displayport over USB-C. With some USB-c ports, this does not function. One small Display Port, one HDMI, and one VGA port are on the Dell WD15.

We also receive one audio line-out and one headphone or microphone in the Dell WD15. We obtain 1 Gigabit Ethernet network port. Two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port with PowerShare USB, one USB 3.0 port, and two USB 2.0 ports are available on USB ports. Every piece of technology has flaws, and this docking station may have issues with the video on the attached monitor flickering and distorting, or not showing up at all, with the audio, or with any of the USB ports not functioning. With some unique features from the Dell TB16, this docking station is also listed as one of the top docking stations.

Performance In  Dell WD15

The WD15 was tricky to set up, but when it did, it functioned beautifully. The dock can support one 4K monitor or two full-HD monitors. We typically test our ports on twin 4K monitors that are scaled to a resolution that the dock can handle. However, even at lesser resolutions, the WD15 could not accommodate two 4K displays. This is because Dell's port does not employ DisplayLink technology, in contrast to the majority of other universal docking stations. Instead, a video signal is sent straight from your GPU to the dock via the USB Type-alternative C's method.

Once you find the perfect set of monitors to get the Dell WD15 Docking Station up and running, it offers good performance. However, while the dock aims to be future-proof, it's still a touch challenging to use today due to its difficulty balancing 4K displays and the absence of a USB Type-C connector for adapters to use with earlier laptops. An improved and more affordable option is Plugable's planned USB-C Triple Display Docking Station, which can power up to three monitors, one of which can be 4K, for $20 less.

Update the system's BIOS Steps for troubleshooting

  1. Navigate to the Dell Support website using a browser.
  2. To access the pages customized for your PC, enter your Service Tag or Express Service Code, or choose your system type from the product list.
  3. Choose Drivers and Downloads in the menu on the left.
  4. From the Category drop-down menu in the search window, choose BIOS.
  5. Follow the onscreen prompts to install and fix the program by clicking the Download button to the right of the necessary entry.
  6. As with any BIOS upgrade, take note.

Dell WD15 Ports

Although the WD15 has several ports, some of our favorites are still absent. An HDMI port, a Mini DisplayPort port, a VGA port, an Ethernet jack, two USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and the dock's power port are all located and displayed on the rear of the device. Whereas there is a Kensington lock slot, and on the front, Two USB 3.0 ports are there, along with a headphone/mic combination connector. The decision to link the DisplayPort over the USB-C cable to the dock, which prevents customers from replacing it in the event of damage, is the most bizarre, though. A USB-C port and cable, like what Plugable offers, would have been ideal. I couldn't test connecting an earlier laptop to a USB Type-C-to-USB Type-A converter without the USB-C port.

Features Of  Dell WD15

One of the first universal docking stations with power, 4K video output, and a variety of USB Type-C connecting choices is the Dell WD15. Instead of using DisplayLink compression technologies like rivals like the Plugable USB-C Triple Display Docking Station, Dell's dock uses USB Type-new C's Alt Mode to transfer video straight from your laptop's GPU. As a result, the WD15 provides a reliable dual 1080p monitor (or single 4K monitor) experience at your desk. Still, it cannot be connected to a laptop that isn't USB Type-C, and its DisplayPort connector won't support the maximum resolution.

Main Difference Between Dell TB16 vs. Dell WD15 in Points

  1. As we can see, the Dell TB16 has a far greater resolution than the WD15.
  2. Dell TB16 is seen to use more energy (180W), whereas WD15 is observed to use less power (130W).
  3. The weight of the Dell TB16 is 740g, while the importance of the Dell WD15 is 422.42g.
  4. Compared to Dell WD15, which only has 3 video ports, Dell TB16 has additional ports, totaling 5.
  5. The network and audio ports have the same features, while USB has different characteristics. For example, Dell WD15 has 5 USB ports compared to Dell TB16's 6 USB ports.
  6. For Dell WD15, the technology must support either Thunderbolt 3 or Display Port over USB-C alternate mode to function, whereas Dell TB16 requires a system that supports Thunderbolt 3.


The Dell TB16 and the WD15 docking stations are highly practical and reliable. Every person has various priorities, which mainly causes all products to differ. Both are docking stations that assist in connecting the laptop or computer to external technologies. However, each of these technologies has unique qualities that must be chosen based on the needs. One device has six USB ports, whereas the other has five. One uses a lot of power, whereas the other uses less. Customer needs are constantly taken into consideration while choosing a product.


  • https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/accessories/dell-wd15-docking-station

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"Difference Between Dell TB16 and WD15." Diffzy.com, 2024. Wed. 17 Jul. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-dell-tb16-and-wd15-769>.

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