Thunderbolt 3 Overview Updated November 21, 2017

Thunderbolt 3

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33 'Thunderbolt 3' stories

June 2015 - November 2017


Thunderbolt 3, with bandwidth support up to 40 Gbit/s and the ability to drive two 4K displays at 60 Hz, was developed by Intel using a USB Type-C connector.

Thunderbolt 3 Stories Today

When it comes to Thunderbolt 3 support, there are a handful of companies that immediately come to mind. Akitio, a California-based innovator, is definitely one of those companies.

One of its first big Thunderbolt 3-equipped products, the Akitio Node, made headlines for its inclusion of a macOS-compatible Thunderbolt 3 chipset. Since then, it has released a variety of products that support the high-bandwidth interface.

The latest such release is the Akitio Thunder3 Quad X. Featuring a similar naming convention as earlier releases, the Thunder3 Quad X is notable for a design that pays homage to the classic Mac Pro “cheese grater” design.

Similar to the Thunder3 Quad Mini, the Quad X supports up to four drives, and can harness software RAID to achieve impressive data transfer rates. Should those in need of a direct attached storage solution consider the Akitio Thunder3 Quad X? Watch our hands-on video walkthrough for the details. expand full story

Apple launched its External Graphics Development Kit during WWDC 2017 as a way to assist developers with demanding graphics-intensive apps and VR content creation. The unit included the developer edition of Sonnet’s external eGFX GPU chassis, along with Sapphire’s AMD RX 580 8GB graphics card, and Belkin’s USB-C to 4-port USB-A hub.

Apple priced the External Graphics Development Kit at $599, which was reasonable considering that the Sapphire Pulse RX 580 8GB still goes for around $279, and demanded a higher price during the kit’s launch. The External Graphics Development Kit has been on sale for several months, but now all stock appears to be exhausted.

As a part of its Cyber Week Sale, Sonnet is offering the eGFX Breakaway Box – Developer Edition — the same unit included in Apple’s kit, sans Belkin USB hub, for $499. That’s a $100 price difference from what Apple was charging, and the developer edition of the eGFX units are available to all users, not just developers. expand full story

The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

Thunderbolt 3 Stories November 19

If you’re looking for the fastest bus-powered portable external drive, then look no further than the Sonnet Fusion Thunderbolt 3 PCIe Flash Drive with 1TB of storage. Capable of theoretical data transfer rates up to 2600 MB/s, it’s perfect for 4K workflows and beyond.

The most remarkable thing about this drive is how utterly compact it is, and how with just a single Thunderbolt 3 connection, it allows for blistering-fast data transfer rates that can compete with the real world performance of a 2017 MacBook Pro’s built-in NVMe SSD.

In this hands-on video walkthrough, we explore what Sonnet has labeled as the world’s fastest bus-powered portable storage device. Does it live up to the hype? expand full story

Thunderbolt 3 Stories September 21

The promise of Apple’s USB-C laptop future is expandability, versatility and flexibility. Plugging in single-device dongles for USB and HDMI is a stop-gap, but is wasting the potential of the port.

The OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock ($299) better fulfills the idea: one port, one cable, provides power and a multitude of inputs and outputs like normal USB, a 3.5mm jack, SD card, mini DisplayPort, Ethernet and more. It isn’t perfect, but I’ve been using it for months now with my MacBook Pro and it adds so much convenience and utility. Read on for my full review …

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Thunderbolt 3 Stories September 6

Thunderbolt 3 Stories August 23

I always loved the design of the old ‘cheese-grater‘ Mac Pro, and computer storage company Akitio has used it as the inspiration for its new Thunderbolt 3 drive enclosure.

The company says that the Akitio Thunder3 Quad X was designed for use with the MacBook Pro. The previous version – which had a more generic design – did not support Macs …

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