Is the USB C Port on Your Computer Thunderbolt 3?

Is the USB C Port on Your Computer Thunderbolt 3?
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In recent 2 years, more and more devices take USB Type-C as main data port for peripherals, which is a trend in the next few years.However, will you clearly identify those ports USB-C 3.1/3.2/4.0, Thunderbolt 3 even latest Thunderbolt 4? This is always a topic.

 usb c connector

USB Type-C is just an interface standard. Compared with the previous USB Type A interface, the design is thinner, flippable and more expandable. We just need to know that the terminology is the USB Type-C interface, it does not mean any speed or function standard, it is just a kind of interface specification.

time line usb c



Let’s walk through more details.



From the symbols on your PC, you will find obvious differences between them:

usb c symbol

thunderbolt logoOnly USB Type-C Port with a Thunderbolt logo  aside can support Thunderbolt 3/4 protocol.


2. Speed

(from tripplite)

* USB 3.2 Gen 1: originally known as USB 3.0, and previously renamed to USB 3.1 Gen 1. It’s the original USB 3.0 specification, and it can transfer data at up to 5Gbps.
* USB 3.2 Gen 2: Previously known as USB 3.1, and then later as USB 3.1 Gen 2. It offers speeds at up to 10Gbps.
*USB 3.2 Gen 2x2: formally known as USB 3.2, it’s the newest and fastest spec, promising speeds at up to 20Gbps (by using two lanes of 10Gbps at once).



3. Compatibility

During the daily usage, you may be confused that sometimes Thunderbolt 3 cable can instead USB 3.1 Type-C port, but not vice versa, even if these cables share the same Type-C connector. Simultaneously, not all USB 3.1 Type-C cables can actually afford up to 100 Watts power, whatever Thunderbolt 3 or USB 3.1 Type-C.


The thing should be noticed is, Thunderbolt 3 devices cannot work with USB 3 Type-C ports and cables. It can be perfectly inserted without any issues but it doesn’t work at all due to protocol conflict.


But is there a cable rule them all? Absolutely yes!


That’s why Intel release the latest Thunderbolt 4. a port can rule them all.



(Image: Intel)


In general, it depends on your needs and devices you want to connect. A USB Type C 3.1 will meet most of people requirements. But if you need more powerful data transferring or plan to buy a Thunderbolt certified peripherals like  SSD Enclosure and Capture Card, a PC with Thunderbolt 3/4 interface is must-have.


More Introduction from computer Manufacturer:

Apple Macbook:


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