Thunderbolt 3 Basics

Thunderbolt 3 Basics

The year was 1981. REO Speedwagon was at the top of the Billboard 100 list. Raiders of the Lost Ark was invading local theaters. And the portable computer debuted at a whopping 25-pound, $1,800 investment. Since then, computer manufactures have attempted to make PCs more compact and efficient. Recently, Google introduced the Pixelbook 2-weighing in at only 2.4lb with a depth of .4”!. As laptops are becoming thinner, the need for more compact ports has become clear. As if an answer to techies prayers, Thunderbolt™ 3 (TB3) rose to meet this need- and many more. In this blog we'll discuss the capabilities and features that Thunderbolt provides. We will also discuss a few reasons why integration into mainstream tech might be more challenging than anticipated.


What is Thunderbolt3?

Thunderbolt 3 is a new interface that provides the fastest, most versatile connection ever. It uses a method called lane bonding to enable high-speed data transfer. Essentially, controllers bond 2 lanes in each direction to create 20 Gbps or 10 Gbps links, enabling high – speed data transfers in each direction simultaneously.

Thunderbolt 3 provides four times the data and twice the video bandwidth of any other cable. It supports data transfer speeds up to 40Gbps. That means if you used a Thunderbolt 3 cable you could backup a year’s worth of MP3’s in under 5 minutes!


Thunderbolt 3 cables can support large displays with amazing detail. It provides 2x the video bandwidth of any other cable. You can display 5K video on a monitor or 4K video on two connected monitors. TB3 also supports high bit depth audio for immersive sound.


You can also power connected devices with a Thunderbolt 3 cable. It can provide 15W of power to a connected device.


Thunderbolt 3 Challenges

Many laptops, hard drives, and mobile devices have a USB-C port but do not support Thunderbolt 3 circuitry. This means your TB3 cable will fit the USB-C port but the device will not support TB3 specifications. To determine if your device is TB3 compatible, check for the Thunderbolt symbol next to the USB-C port. If the symbol is present – your device has internal circuitry to support TB3. If the symbol is not next to the port your device will not support the TB3 specifications. You will not have the same data transfer speed, bandwidth, or power delivery. Thunderbolt devices must be paired with a Thunderbolt device for maximum efficiency.

Uses for Thunderbolt 3

For many end users the introduction of Thunderbolt 3 means that we can simply do more in less time with one cable. We can quickly backup documents, charge our camera as we download pictures, and share HD video with our friends gathered around a display. For some users Thunderbolt 3 marks an important moment in the capabilities of our devices.

Are you wondering how TB3 will impact your life? Check out a few ways thunderbolt 3 can make a difference in your profession or hobby:
• Edit photos and video in HD
• Create 3D models for video games and other media
• Connect external graphics cards for HD file storage
• Connect Multiple displays with 4K resolution

Looking to incorporate Thunderbolt 3 technology into your office? Check out our TB3 Cables

Listed below are the PC’s and displays that currently use this technology. For more details visit:


About The Author
Stephanie Chester

Stephanie Chester

Stephanie Chester is the veteran digital marketing coordinator at C2G. Her passions include writing blogs, creating detailed marketing plans, and analyzing web data.

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