Learn about Thunderbolt 3 as Compared to Its Previous Versions & USB-C

The original Thunderbolt and then Thunderbolt 2 was launched prior to the much-hyped Thunderbolt 3. The previous two versions were used to sharing the same port and cable type (port type same as Apple\’s Mini Display) and they also had really impressive data transfer speeds of 10Gbps, and 20Gbps respectively. The previous Thunderbolt standards had an active cable implying that the cable itself was actually a device which necessitated power for operating smoothly (that is the reason why the majority of all Thunderbolt 1 and 2 devices actually need an additional external power source for functioning perfectly.) However, this fact really made Thunderbolt an exorbitant solution, since the cable itself seems to be at least, 10X more expensive than any USB cable having the same length.

The Difference between USB-C and Thunderbolt 3

Technology is progressing at top speed and there are no cookie cutter solutions that act as universal solutions for all devices or issues. Today, the market is flooded by an unprecedented array of systems, devices, and even features for customizing your technology requirements. So it is certainly not surprising when people ask about the actual differences that exist between Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C.


  • Thunderbolt 3 is reversible, flip-able, and symmetrical and both the sides could be inserted into the port in both the directions and so you do not any longer have to be careful about inserting the cable, right side up.
  • Thunderbolt 3 could be delivering about 100 W of power.
  • Known for supporting alternate nodes like Thunderbolt, DisplayPort etc.

Thunderbolt 3 is known for defining a host of competencies which would be running on USB-C cables and connectors. Briefly speaking, Thunderbolt 3 is responsible in bringing Thunderbolt effectively to the USB-C. Here are some of the superb features presented by the Thunderbolt 3 and what they actually would be providing. You could buy USB-C Thunderbolt hub to enjoy multiple benefits.

  • Thunderbolt 3 is supposed to be bi-directional and has 4 lanes of the standard PCI Express Gen 3 also, 8 lanes of the DisplayPort 1.2.
  • At 40 Gbps, it is regarded as the fastest available connection as compared to the intuitive and original USB 3.1 that would be operating at 10Gbps.

Thanks to the latest Thunderbolt 3 port, now it is easier to connect to any device, dock, display, and that would also include billions of the current USB devices.


Some Differences between Thunderbolt 3 & Its Two Predecessors

  • Thunderbolt 3 comes with the USB-C connection type that substitutes the Mini Display Port type.
  • All the Thunderbolt 3 cables would be functioning as USB-C cables.
  • All USB-C cables would be functioning as the Thunderbolt 3 cables provided they are of extremely good quality.
  • Thunderbolt 3 enjoys the best data transfer speed that is as high as 40Gbps provided the cable is about 0.5 m or even shorter. For 1m or relatively longer cables, Thunderbolt 3 would be supporting cheaper and passive ones having 20 Gbps and expensive and active cables that would be retaining 40 Gbps speed.
  • Thunderbolt 3 is actually backward-compatible with the previous versions of Thunderbolt, however, because of the latest port type, you would be requiring adapters for using legacy Thunderbolt devices.


All USB-C devices such as Google Pixel, when plugged into the latest version would be working smoothly. However, as the new version Thunderbolt 3 devices are known to be using discrete Thunderbolt chips for working, they would not be working when plugged into the USB-C port. All Thunderbolt versions, however, would be allowing for daisy-chaining maximum 6 devices in one go to a host and could be carrying Hi-Def audio and video signals along with the usual data.

Author Bio: Pete Campbell is a Social Media Expert. He loves to share his creative knowledge of social media with his clients & friends. He is passionate about trendy gadgets.


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