What is Thunderbolt 3?

Next Level Performance

Thunderbolt 3 not only doubles the performance of the previous generation of Thunderbolt, but it also takes it to a whole new level. Thunderbolt 3 allows us to achieve incredible performance and expand our connectivity like never before.

What is Thunderbolt™ 3?

Thunderbolt has revolutionized connectivity during the last decade. The original version brought high-performance connectivity, whilst the second iteration doubled that performance and added higher-resolution display connectivity.

The latest generation of Thunderbolt has added features that go beyond what came before, helping to make Thunderbolt 3 the most powerful and convenient interface of them all.


Laptop Charging

Arguably the greatest feature of Thunderbolt 3 is its ability to provide 100W of PD (Power Delivery). But what does this mean for Thunderbolt 3 users? It allows external docking devices or storage devices to provide power to your laptop all through a single Thunderbolt 3 cable. This means that you do not need to use your laptop’s charging cable to recharge your laptop.

Docks

With limited ports, there needs to be a way of connecting legacy devices such as USB and monitors to your laptop. Thunderbolt 3 docking solutions solve this problem by providing single cable charging and connectivity in a compact device. Simply connect one cable to your laptop and all your devices will be connected and charging your laptop.

Dual 4K Displays

The 40Gb/s throughput of Thunderbolt 3 allows users to conveniently connect dual monitors up to 4K 60Hz resolution. Many users are connecting two displays to their laptops for an easier workflow. By using a docking solution, you can connect dual monitors and have a total of three displays, including your laptop monitor.

Storage

For professional users looking to take their performance to the next level, or for casual users that just want to get things done faster, Thunderbolt 3 storage devices take advantage of the 40Gb/s throughput to produce incredible speeds.

For people looking to use SSDs or even PCIe SSDs, Thunderbolt 3 will give you incredible performance when working with high-resolution files.

10Gb/E

Are you working on projects on a Local Area Network? Need fast performance? Thunderbolt 3 to Gb/E Adapters will allow you to get performance up to 10Gb/s and connect over distances of 100M.

External GPU

When using ultra-thin laptops upgrading your graphics card can be difficult. Thunderbolt 3 allows users to connect an external GPU unit via Thunderbolt 3 to your laptop and upgrade your laptop’s performance.

Daisy-Chain

Thunderbolt 3 devices that feature dual Thunderbolt 3 ports allow users to daisy-chain 5 additional Thunderbolt devices for a total of 6 devices to one port.

Cables

Thunderbolt 3 cables offer 40Gb/s throughput and 100W Power Delivery. The reversible Type-C cables are also backward compatible with USB-C devices.


What to look out for when buying a Thunderbolt 3 Device?

A lot of devices on the market will brand themselves “Thunderbolt 3” but are actually USB-C devices that are Thunderbolt 3 compatible and offer either 5Gb/s or 10Gb/s performance in comparison to the 40Gb/s of Thunderbolt 3. Devices that are genuine Thunderbolt 3 devices have gone through testing with Intel and Apple and require certification before they can be released to the market. USB-C devices, on the other hand, do not need certification and can be freely released, which is why you will see an abundance of USB-C devices that will often brand themselves as Thunderbolt 3 but are actually not.

We recommend checking Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 site to look for approved and certified Thunderbolt 3 devices that offer full performance and compatibility.

More info: Thunderbolt Technology Website.

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