Thunderbolt 3 Overview Updated April 29, 2020

Thunderbolt 3

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95 'Thunderbolt 3' stories

June 2015 - April 2020


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 April 29, 2020

VESA has announced today that its DisplayPort 2.0 specs are coming to USB4/USB-C that will bring a jump in the capabilities of video output. The standard will support up to 16K displays with video data throughput of up to 80 Gbps.

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Thunderbolt 3 Stories January 30, 2020

Glyph, perhaps better than any other external drive maker, has a knack for creating solidly-built SSDs that do a great job of passively dissipating heat. These factors are what made me a fan of the original Glyph Atom, and it’s what continues to make me a fan of the company’s latest external SSD offering: the Glyph Atom Pro SSD. Watch our hands-on video review for the details.

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Thunderbolt 3 Stories January 28, 2020

One of the great things about the Mac Pro, and the primary reason why I’ve been anticipating it so much, is its ability to accommodate PCIe expansion. With the Mac Pro we finally have a modern Mac that can be expanded, not only via external Thunderbolt 3 peripherals, but via internal PCIe cards like the OWC Accelsior 4M2 PCIe SSD.

OWC’s newest Mac Pro-friendly accessory allows users to add a significant amount of fast solid state storage to their machines in just a few minutes. But the Accelsior 4M2 may also a viable option for MacBook Pro users looking to add external external storage to their laptops via a simple Thunderbolt 3 enclosure. expand full story

Thunderbolt 3 Stories January 7, 2020

The successor to Thunderbolt 3, aptly named Thunderbolt 4, will arrive alongside new Tiger Lake mobile processors, said Intel during its CES 2020 keynote. The CPU-integrated Thunderbolt 4 will make its debut in a yet-to-be-named thin and light hardware release later this year. expand full story

Thunderbolt 3 Stories November 12, 2019

Plugable’s new Thunderbolt 3 SSD leverages PCIe for speeds up to 2400 MB/s [$100 off launch pricing]

Plugable’s latest release is a Thunderbolt 3 NVMe SSD that uses a PCIe connection. The external drive features an aluminum design, speeds up to 2400 MB/s, an integrated Thunderbolt 3 cable, and more. The company is also doing a launch special, taking up to $100 off the new SSDs.

Thunderbolt 3 Stories November 5, 2019

While there are many Thunderbolt 3 docks on the market already, OWC has designed its latest release for professional creators and producers. It includes 10Gb Ethernet, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, CFast 2.0 and SD 4.0 card readers, an eSATA port, and more.

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Thunderbolt 3 Stories October 22, 2019

Today Universal Audio took the wraps off of two new Thunderbolt 3 desktop audio interfaces, which are ideal for Mac audio creatives. Universal Audio’s Apollo Twin X features two high quality Unison-enabled microphone preamps and is available in either a duo or quad core real time UAD plugin-processing configuration. The more substantial Apollo x4 brings four Unison-enabled preamps to your desktop and comes with quad core real time UAD processing, which makes it perfect for tracking larger projects.

We previously did a review of the smaller UA Arrow, a single-core bus-powered Thunderbolt 3 audio interface that’s ideal for traveling and/or working on smaller projects that don’t demand as many preamps or plugin-in overhead. The Apollo Twin X and Apollo x4 are significant steps up from the UA Arrow, but bring the same vast library of plugins to the table that makes these interfaces so beloved among Mac users. expand full story

Thunderbolt 3 Stories October 9, 2019

OWC’s Mercury Elite Pro Dock does double-duty as RAID storage and Thunderbolt 3 dock

Popular Mac accessory maker, OWC, is out today with a new Thunderbolt 3 peripheral. The Mercury Elite Pro Dock offers a nice selection of I/O including Gigabit Ethernet, UHS-II port, and more along with two bays for 2.5- or 3.5-inch SSDs or hard drives that can be used in a RAID configuration. Read on for all the details…

Thunderbolt 3 Stories September 4, 2019

We all know that the UltraFine displays from LG are some of the best out there for those looking for a high-end Mac display, but if you’re looking for something more tailored for graphic design or a display with more port flexibility, the 27-inch 4K BenQ Thunderbolt 3 display is worth looking into. expand full story

Thunderbolt 3 Stories July 29, 2019

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use bus-powered 10-Gigabit Ethernet solution for Mac, then Sonnet’s Solo 10G Thunderbolt 3 adapter may fit the bill. This portable unit affords quick connections to high-speed networks via a single Thunderbolt 3 cable. Watch our hands-on Sonnet Solo 10G video review for the details. expand full story

Thunderbolt 3 Stories May 24, 2019

After discontinuing the smaller 21.5-inch UltraFine Display, LG has released a new larger 24-inch UltraFine-labeled monitor in its place at the same $699 price point. If the launch of the new display flew under your radar, that’s probably because much of the spotlight was centered on Apple’s new 2019 MacBook Pro models, which launched alongside LG’s new display.

This new UltraFine Display is like a combination of the UltraFine 5K and the older UltraFine 4K Display, and for the most part that’s an okay thing. The biggest feature is the inclusion of not just one, but two Thunderbolt 3 ports. That’s an improvement over LG’s previous Apple-centric displays, as you’ll see in our hands-on video review. expand full story

Thunderbolt 3 Stories May 3, 2019

Today we went hands-on with Razer’s new $399 Core X Chroma eGPU enclosure. The Chroma is based closely on the original Razer Core X, but there are several new enhancements, such as RGB lighting, Gigabit Ethernet, and USB ports. Watch our full video walkthrough for the details. expand full story

Thunderbolt 3 Stories April 29, 2019

In this hands-on video walkthrough, I show you how to put together a dual 4K video capture enclosure for saving ProRes videos directly to a Mac. In order to do so, I utilize Sonnet’s Echo Express SEIII and the Blackmagic Design DeckLink Mini Recorder 4K. Watch the full video for the details behind the setup. expand full story

Thunderbolt 3 Stories April 16, 2019

One of the biggest complaints about recent Mac laptops is their lack of ports. Elgato’s Thunderbolt 3 Pro Dock, like other docks we’ve seen over the years, seeks to solve that issue by making it possible to connect to a wide variety of accessories via a single Thunderbolt 3 cable. expand full story

Thunderbolt 3 Stories April 2, 2019

While most ultra wide monitors on the market with Thunderbolt 3 go for well over a thousand dollars, Samsung offers an interesting option with a 34-inch curved display, Thunderbolt 3, and a more affordable price. The CJ791 doesn’t bring a 4K resolution to the table, but it does come in at $800 with a compelling overall package. Read on for our full review of this ultra wide Thunderbolt 3 monitor that works well with the MacBook Pro and other MacBooks.

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Thunderbolt 3 Stories March 21, 2019

If you’re looking for a Thunderbolt 3-enabled external display, then LG is pretty much where it’s at. Not only does the Korean company produce the 34-inch 5K2K UltraWide Display, which is great for creative professionals, but it also produces an LG UltraFine 4K Display with Thunderbolt 3 in tow.

Not to be confused with the 21.5-inch 4K UltraFine Display that’s sold in Apple Stores, this 32-inch display comes with Thunderbolt 3, and features the familiar LG design language found on many of the displays within the company’s lineup.

Is the LG UltraFine 4K Monitor worth considering for those looking to add an external display to their desktop setup? Watch our hands-on video review for the details. expand full story

Thunderbolt 3 Stories March 4, 2019

Less than a week after it announced the ridiculously confusing naming system for USB 3.2, the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has announced the spec for USB 4.

Essentially, this mimics the current spec for Thunderbolt 3

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Thunderbolt 3 Stories February 25, 2019

There are external SSDs, and then there is the ThunderBlade. This is the crème de la crème of fast external storage, and it’s produced by OWC, a company at the forefront of storage and Thunderbolt 3 accessories for Mac.

The ThunderBlade is OWC’s fastest offering — a single drive provides storage up to 8TB and speeds up to 2800 MB/s read — and they can be daisy chained, set up in a RAID configuration, and they are silent.

It’s admittedly overkill for some users, but if you’re a creative professional who needs the best of the best, then the OWC ThunderBlade is one of the most impressive external storage offerings available today. Watch our hands-on video review for more details. expand full story

Thunderbolt 3 Stories February 12, 2019

PowerColor, a Taiwanese-based graphics card manufacturer, launched a brand new eGPU at CES 2019: The PowerColor Mini Pro — a pint-sized eGFX chassis powered by an included small-form-factor Radeon RX 570 graphics card.

Aimed specifically at Thunderbolt 3-enabled machines, the PowerColor Mini Pro provides a healthy graphics lift for GPU-starved Macs like the 2018 MacBook Air and Mac mini.

Should the PowerColor Mini Pro be on your radar if you’re looking for a smaller external graphics solution for the Mac? Watch our hands-on video walkthrough for the details. expand full story

Thunderbolt 3 Stories January 29, 2019

OWC launches new stackable ThunderBlade SSD with $1500 price drop on 8TB model, daisy-chaining, up to 3800 MB/s speeds, more

OWC is out today with an update to its ThunderBlade SSD for Mac. The second generation of the fast, high-capacity ThunderBlade includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports, speeds up to 3800 MB/s, daisy-chaining for up to 48TB or SSD storage, stack-ability, and a $400-$1500 price drop depending on the capacity.

Thunderbolt 3 Stories January 18, 2019

After several delays, the Blackmagic eGPU Pro is now available for purchase at Apple’s online and retail store locations. The Pro version of Blackmagic’s external graphics chassis is an upgraded version of 2018’s initial release.

The original Blackmagic eGPU was a limited device for several key reasons: it was expensive at $699; it couldn’t be upgraded; and with Radeon Pro 580 graphics, it lacked the punch of higher powered cards. Some of those problems carry over with the release of the new Blackmagic eGPU Pro, but it’s unquestionably a better device than its predecessor. Watch our hands-on video review for the full lowdown.

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Thunderbolt 3 Stories January 14, 2019

The long-anticipated Blackmagic eGPU Pro, which became available to order last month, should finally be arriving soon to customers. Those placing orders for the RX Vega 56-powered external graphics chassis should receive the Blackmagic eGPU Pro this week. expand full story

Thunderbolt 3 Stories January 11, 2019

On its own, the 2018 MacBook Air is a downright terrible gaming machine. Connected to my LG UltraWide 5K2K Display, the MacBook Air averages around 1-2 frames per second in Rocket League, and similarly abysmal scores in Unigine Heaven and Valley benchmarks. That’s no fault of the MacBook Air, as it’s a thin and light portable laptop built around maximizing battery life. In other words, it was never intended to be a gaming machine.

But if you own a MacBook Air and are looking for ways to get more out of your laptop, then an eGPU setup within a Windows Boot Camp environment can go a long way towards making that a reality. Watch our hands-on video walkthrough for the step-by-step details. expand full story

Thunderbolt 3 Stories January 5, 2019

Thunderbolt 3 is in a much better state today than it was when it debuted on the 2016 MacBook Pro. Time has been friendly to the technology, with the majority of Macs in Apple’s lineup now equipped with the super-fast I/O. With its growing adoption in mind, watch our hands-on video as we consider some of the best Thunderbolt 3 accessories for the Mac.  expand full story

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