USB 3.2 & Thunderbolt 3


Both USB 3.2 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?

USB 3.1 This version of USB offers performance up to 5Gb/s and is ideal for connecting to various USB accessories that don’t require fast performance.
USB 3.2 This version of USB offers performance up to 5Gb/s and is ideal for connecting to various USB accessories that don’t require fast performance.
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.
Intel’s Jason Ziller talks Thunderbolt™ 3

One of the biggest new features is the ability to connect a display to a USB Type-C port. It 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 with a simple way of connecting two displays thanks to the 40Gb/s throughput.


RAID 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.
DESKTOP The latest USB 3.2 technology allows desktop storage devices to advance their functionality and reach new limits. The AV Pro 2 not only offers storage, but it will also charge a laptop up to 30W, and provides two USB 3.2 ports for connecting extra devices to your laptop.
PORTABLE USB 3.2 is the best interface for a portable drive and the tuff nano’s universal connectivity options allow the device to be used on virtually any computer. The Type-C connectivity allows the tuff nano 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 3.2 and Thunderbolt™ 3 provide up to 100W of power. This allows expansion docks like the CalDigit USB-C Pro 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’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.

What is Thunderbolt™ 3?

USB-C cables can be shared between USB 3.2 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 3.2 Device Thunderbolt™ 3 Device Thunderbolt™ 2 Device
Max. Throughput 10Gb/s (Gen2) 40Gb/s 20Gb/s
Support 4K@60Hz Display
Connect 5K@60Hz Display
Power Laptop
Compatible w/ USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen1/Gen2) Computer
Compatible w/ Type-A (USB2.0/3.0) Computer
Compatible w/ Thunderbolt™ 1 & 2 Computer Yes. With the use of an Adapter
Compatible w Thunderbolt™ 3 Computer Yes. With the use of an Adapter
Daisy-Chain 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
Ideal For Bus-Powered Storage, Docking Stations, Charging Computers, Flexibility PCIe SSD 4K / 5K / 8K Workflows, RAID Storage, Daisy-Chaining, Networking, Docking Stations, PCIe SSD, Gaming 4K Workflows, RAID Storage, Daisy-Chaining, Networking, Docking Stations, PCIe SSD

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