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Thunderbolt 3
Thunderbolt 2 Dock Thunderbolt 3 Dock Charging Laptop Thunderbolt 3 Dock Thunderbolt 3 Storage RAID USB-C Storage Hub USB-C Dock Charging Laptop Portable Drive with IP57
TS2 TS3 TS3 Lite T4 AV Pro 2 USB-C Dock Tuff

Intel’s Jason Ziller talks Thunderbolt™ 3

Both USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt™ 3 offer a greater level of flexibility and performance compared to the iterations that came before them, but what are the major differences?

Thunderbolt 3 Performance
USB 3.1
This latest version of USB doubles the throughput compared to USB 3.0, from 5Gb/s to 10Gb/s. USB 3.1 is a great option for bus-powered storage including single-drive SSDs.

USB 3.2
Devices featuring USB 3.2 won’t be available until 2018. This version of USB features 20Gb/s throughput and is ideal for products that require higher performance such as USB RAID storage.

Thunderbolt™ 3
Thunderbolt™ has doubled from 20Gb/s to 40Gb/s and incorporated 100W power delivery. This extra bandwidth is ideal for people who need maximum performance from their devices without any compromises.

Thunderbolt 3 Support 4K Display

One of the biggest new features of USB 3.1 is the ability to connect a display to a USB Type-C port. USB 3.0 was not capable of powering a display, and was predominantly used for storage devices and accessories.

Thunderbolt™ 3 now has the ability to support up to two streams of DisplayPort 1.2 video bandwidth. It can be two 4K@60Hz monitors simultaneously or one 5K@60Hz. Previous generations of Thunderbolt™ only allowed users the ability to support one 4K@60Hz monitor or up to two 4K@30Hz monitors in the entire Thunderbolt™ daisy chain. Thunderbolt™ 3 provides professional users a simple way of connecting two displays thanks to the 40Gb/s throughput.

Thunderbolt 3 & USB-C Storages of CalDigit

Thunderbolt™ 3 takes the potential performance of ultra fast hard drives such as SSDs and allows them to shine. The 40Gb/s throughput allows for unbelievable performance. The CalDigit T4 RAID with SSDs can reach speeds of 1370MB/s making it an ideal storage device for applications that require fast storage. Thunderbolt™ 3 also allows the T4 RAID to offer DisplayPort for adding a 4K monitor and provides 85W power delivery for charging a laptop.

The latest USB 3.1 technology allows desktop storage devices to advance their functionality and reach new limits. The AV Pro 2 not only offers storage, it will also charge a laptop up to 30W, and provides two USB 3.0 ports for connecting extra devices to your laptop.

USB 3.1 is the best interface for a portable drive and the Tuff’s universal connectivity options allows the device to be used on virtually any computer. The Type-C connectivity allows the Tuff to be used on Thunderbolt™ 3, USB-C and USB-A computers. The 10Gb/s throughput is more than enough bandwidth for a single-drive storage solution.


USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt™ 3 provide up to 100W of power. This allows expansion docks like the CalDigit USB-C Dock the ability to power and charge the computer it is connected to.


One feature only available on Thunderbolt™ 3 is peer-to-peer networking at 10 GbE speeds in order to transfer files and to even share storage.

Thunderbolt™ 3 Networking at 10GbE speeds


Thunderbolt™ 3’s 40Gb/s throughput is so powerful that users can even connect external graphics cards to their laptops in order to achieve faster graphical performance for their older laptops.


As with previous generations of Thunderbolt™ users can daisy-chain up to 6 devices to a Thunderbolt™ 3 daisy-chain.
Daisy-Chain Thunderbolt Devices


USB-C cables can be shared between USB 3.1 Type-C and Thunderbolt™ 3 computers. However, if you are using a Thunderbolt™ 3 device on a Thunderbolt™ 3 computer you must use a Thunderbolt™ USB-C cable in order to utilize the full 40Gb/s throughput.

In order to tell if a USB-C cable is a Thunderbolt™ cable there will be a Thunderbolt™ logo on the cable. If a USB-C cable does not have a Thunderbolt™ logo it will be a regular USB Type-C cable.

USB 3.1 Device Thunderbolt™ 3 Device Thunderbolt™ 2 Device
Max. Throughput 10Gb/s (Gen2) 40Gb/s 20Gb/s
Support 4K@60Hz Display Yes Yes Yes
Connect 5K@60Hz Display No Yes No
Power Laptop Yes Yes No
Compatible w/t USB-C
(USB 3.1 Gen1/Gen2) Computer
Yes No No
Compatible w/t Type-A
(USB2.0/3.0) Computer
Yes No No
Compatible w/t Thunderbolt™ 1 & 2 Computer No Yes. With use of an Adapter Yes
Compatible w/t Thunderbolt™ 3 Computer Yes Yes Yes. With use of an Adapter
Daisy-Chain No Yes (6 Devices) Yes (6 Devices)
Expandability Through USB Hub Daisy-Chian up to 6x TBT3 devices or ends with USB device Daisy-Chain up to 6x TBT 1/2 devices
10 GbE Networking No Yes Yes
Ideal For Bus-Powered Storage,
Docking Stations,
Charging Computers,
4K / 5K / 8K Workflows,
RAID Storage,
Networking, Docking Stations, PCIe SSD, Gaming
4K Workflows,
RAID Storage,
Networking, Docking Stations, PCIe SSD