While USB-C gets all the attention, there is another type of connection that new owners of MacBook Air and Pro should know about. Thunderbolt 3 is a technology that allows ultra-fast connections between all connected devices. It can load, produce videos, consolidate data transfers and much more. First announced in 2015, it arrived on Apple MacBook Pros in 2016. Capable of delivering up to four times more performance than previous connection types, it’s no wonder Apple has ensured compatibility. Let’s see some of the best uses of Thunderbolt 3 on Mac computers.
What is Thunderbolt 3?
Launched for the first time in the world in 2011 by Intel, Thunderbolt was one of the first connectivity options to compete head-on with USB 3.0. Capable of transferring speeds at up to 10 Gbps, Thunderbolt can also handle almost any type of data. Fast forward to Thunderbolt 3 and it no longer uses a different connection type than other devices.
Instead, it uses the same design as the USB-C. Today, Thunderbolt 3 can handle connection speeds of almost 40 Gbit / s. It also adds USB speeds of up to 10 Gbit / s. Thunderbolt 3 can connect two 4K displays / monitors producing audio and video simultaneously. Apple’s early adoption of Thunderbolt means it is not surprising that they continue to support Thunderbolt 3. Switching to a USB-C type connection also means that Thunderbolt 3 can connect to a wide range of PC, laptops and other Windows devices.
One of the best uses of Thunderbolt 3 with Mac computers is the ability to connect multiple displays. As noted above, Thunderbolt 3 is capable of connecting two 4K 60fps displays, one 4K 120fps display, or a single 5K 60fps display. It’s pretty impressive and should be more than enough to cover the needs of everyone except a few Mac users. To achieve this, you will need Thunderbolt 3 compatible monitors or a Thunderbolt 3 docking station.
Speed up data transfer
Anyone who uses Thunderbolt 3 to transfer data will be immediately impressed. With speeds of up to 40 Gbit / s, this is a very attractive option for use with storage systems that contain data. This is good news for anyone who edits videos (especially 4K videos), works with large photo libraries, or just large files in general.
So how does this help Mac users? Anyone with external hard drives, bus-powered devices, or RAID configurations will benefit from incredibly fast speeds. In particular, RAID and SSD devices will benefit greatly from Thunderbolt 3 which can easily overshadow the needs of photo and video editors.
If your Mac doesn’t have a powerful graphics card, Thunderbolt 3 can come to the rescue. Mac computers, in general, haven’t been built for gaming in years, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get by with a little help. The GPU inside your computer probably uses the PCIe system which is often used to connect a variety of computer components. The same internal connection can also be connected via Thunderbolt 3 externally.
External graphics cards are a great way to give your computer all the gaming power it needs without having to purchase a new computer. For laptop users, adding a PCIe expansion chassis that includes a Thunderbolt 3 connection can be a great addition to your Mac machine. Besides games, he can also help with 3D modeling and printing as well as video editing.
Have you ever needed to connect two computers to set up a peer-to-peer connection? It is unlikely that you have ever needed to do it personally, but it can happen professionally. If it’s an instance you’re in, Thunderbolt 3 can come to the rescue.
10 Gbps speeds for peer-to-peer connectivity make it incredibly easy to quickly move files between two computers. On a similar note, you can also use it to transfer data from an old computer to a new one. What if you want to set up a workgroup with a small group of people who all share the same external storage equipment? Again, Thunderbolt 3 is more than possible for Mac users.
If you’re buying a fairly recent MacBook Air 2020 or MacBook Pro, chances are Thunderbolt 3 is already available to you. With fast data transfers, USB-C compatibility, and Apple’s commitment to accessories, there are many reasons to consider this as a solution for your charging, networking and monitor.
Is this article useful?