What is Thunderbolt 3?


Thunderbolt 3 is the latest version of the Thunderbolt standard for connecting computers and electronic devices. It is capable of the following:

  • Total bandwidth up to 40 Gbps. (Data transfer speeds are dependent on the other features that you are using in your setup.)
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2 support.
  • 4K 60Hz video on one or two separate displays.
  • 5K 60Hz video on a single display.
  • A 10 GbE network connection between two Thunderbolt 3 compatible computers.
  • Up to six devices daisy-chained from a single Thunderbolt 3 port.
  • Alternate modes, such as DisplayPort Alternate Mode (DP alt mode).
  • Bi-directional power delivery up to 100W (not all Thunderbolt 3 devices support power delivery).

USB-C and Thunderbolt 3

Thunderbolt 3 uses the USB-C connector, but not all host connections, cables and devices with a USB-C connector support Thunderbolt 3. This means that a USB-C device is compatible with a Thunderbolt 3 host connection, but a Thunderbolt 3 device is not compatible with a USB-C host connection. Therefore, it is important to know whether you have a USB-C or a Thunderbolt 3 host, cable or device.

To determine if your component is a Thunderbolt 3 device, look for the Thunderbolt 3 symbol: TB3 Symbol Small

USB-C devices do not include this symbol.

Are DisplayPort devices able to be connected to Thunderbolt 3?

Yes, the Thunderbolt 3 ports are fully compatible with DisplayPort devices and cables.

Backwards compatibility

If you use an adapter, Thunderbolt 3 host connection are compatible with Thunderbolt 1 and Thunderbolt 2 devices.

Thunderbolt 3 devices are not backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 1 or Thunderbolt 2 host connections.

TB3 Symbol Example

For more information on Thunderbolt 3, please see our Thunderbolt 3 Information page.

Thunderbolt 3 Products by VisionTek