Tip #1131: Thunderbolt 4 = Thunderbolt 3 (Mostly)

… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1131: Thunderbolt 4 = Thunderbolt 3 (Mostly)

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

For Mac users, Thunderbolt 4 provides no new capability compared to Thunderbolt 3.

(Image courtesy of Intel.)

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Thunderbolt 4, which is available for some PCs but not Macs (yet), is causing a lot of confusion in terms of performance and capability. To learn more, I interviewed Larry O’Connor, CEO of OWC, a company that specializes in Thunderbolt peripherals.

Here are four relevant quotes:

“Thunderbolt 4 is the latest “version” of Thunderbolt created by Intel. While Thunderbolt 3 brought a brand new connector and a doubling of bandwidth over the prior Thunderbolt 2 standard, Thunderbolt 4 is more a new name, rather than a new technology.”

“While Apple implemented Thunderbolt 3 in the fullest way, that is not the case with PC/Windows. There are multiple, different, allowed implementations that are possible for PCs as Intel pushed for broader Thunderbolt adoption. The result is an inconsistent experience between different PCs listed as having Thunderbolt or being Thunderbolt-ready.”

“What Thunderbolt 4 does is tell PC users that, no exceptions, you have the full Thunderbolt implementation. For Apple users, all Thunderbolt 3 equipped Macs since 2016 already have the full implementation across the board. So for Mac users, there’s no change.”

“Unlike Thunderbolt 3 cables, Thunderbolt 4 cables will universally provide the fully-rated interface speed that host and device support. This solves many tech support issues regarding cable length, speed and power delivery.”

Read the full interview here – it is worth your time.

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