What’s The Difference Between USB-C And Thunderbolt 3

Tips & Tricks

When you look around your house or the office, there’s a high probability of finding a USB cable than anything else. Ever since the computers have become common, the need for rapid data transfer was felt. Although, there have been various modes through which you could transfer your data from one to another device. However, nothing could be more convenient and speedy as the USB. Then, the Thunderbolt appeared on Apple devices.

USB and Thunderbolt are two types of media transfer peripherals that fulfil almost the same purposes. However, you may find a significant difference between the data transfer rates of both the cables. Today, we’re going to point down differences between USB-C and Thunderbolt.

type c or thunderbolt

What’s the difference between USB-C and Thunderbolt?

Now that technology offers you with various options to transfer your data, it is important that you know the differences between the two most popular data transfer cables. Below is the detailed information to explain the difference between both.

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Thunderbolt:

Now that Thunderbolt 3 is in the market, the cable is largely different than its predecessors, Thunderbolt 2 and the original Thunderbolt, which shared the same cable type. The Thunderbolt 3 offers a connection with state-of-the-art speed and versatility, which is the reason why Apple is majorly using its ports over other media buses. To be specific, Thunderbolt 3 offers a bandwidth of 40 Gbps, which is double than Thunderbolt 2 at 20 Gbps and four times than the original Thunderbolt that gave 10 Gbps. What made these cables speedy is their active property, meaning that the cables act as a device that requires power to run. This is one of the biggest reasons why Thunderbolt 2 and the original were amongst expensive solutions as they costed 10 times more than a USB cable.

With Thunderbolt 3 launching in 2015, the data transmission speed reached to up to 40 Gbps on active and short cable and up to 20 Gbps on a long and passive cable. Now that Apple Mini DisplayPort connection type has been transformed into a USB-C type port, the Thunderbolt 3 is suitable. Also, the Thunderbolt 3 can work on all the USB C type ports and vice-versa.is type c faster then thunderbolt

Revision Year released Port type Top speed Super set of
Thunderbolt 2011 Mini DisplayPort 10Gbps Mini DisplayPort
Thunderbolt 2 2013 Mini DisplayPort 20Gbps Thunderbolt
Thunderbolt 3 2015 USB-C 40Gbps (short or active cable) 20Gbps (long, passive cable,) Thunderbolt 2 (adapter required,) DisplayPort, PCIe 3rd Gen, USB 3.1

USB-C Type:

USB-C type is one of the most popular data cables that you may hear very often. What makes this port the best is its size that measures jus 8.4mm x 2.6mm, which makes it to go with almost every peripheral device. Moreover, the Type C USB cable comes with same connectors at both the ends, allowing reversible plug orientation.

USB-C has been in use in many devices since its launch in 2015. Almost every device that uses USB 3.1, uses the USB-C port and getting a whopping up to 10 Gbps data transfer speed. One of the major benefits of USB Type C is that it is able to deliver power output of up to 20 volts (100 watts) and 5 amperes. This is why you could see new MacBook has just one USB-C port as the sole peripheral and power port.

thunderbolt good or type c

Top speed Year Released Max power output Power direction Cable configuration Availability
USB 1.1 1998 12Mbps N/A N/A Type-A to Type-B
USB 2.0 2000 480Mbps 5V, 1.8A Host to peripheral Type-A to Type-B
USB 3.0 / USB 3.1 gen 1 2008 5Gbps 5V, 1.8A Host to peripheral Type-A to Type-B
USB 3.1 / USB 3.1 gen 2 2013 10Gbps 20V, 5A Bi-directional / Host to peripheral (compatible) Type-C at both ends, reversible plug orientation / Type-A to Type-C (compatible)

Overall, USB-C type and the Thunderbolt suffice the same purpose of data transmission at high rate. However, if you’re looking for a higher speed data transmission, Thunderbolt would go for you. In case, if you’re looking for something pocket-friendly that goes well for your personal usage, you can consider going with USB-C type. It is important to understand that both the peripherals deliver high speed data transmission. If you wish to share some tips and tricks about the USB or Thunderbolt cables, do let us know in the comments below.

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