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Thunderbolt v3 Expansion & Connectivity Options

Article ID = 174
Article Title = Thunderbolt v3 Expansion & Connectivity Options
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 19th October 2016
Article Last Updated = 19th October 2016
Article URL = http://www.macstrategy.com/article.php?174

Article Brief Description:
An list of Thunderbolt v3 expansion and connectivity options/products

Thunderbolt v3 Expansion & Connectivity Options

Thunderbolt (codenamed Light Peak) is an interface technology developed by Intel and adopted by Apple in 2011. Modern Apple Mac computers now only have Thunderbolt/USB-C ports with MagSafe, Ethernet, DisplayPort, HDMI, standard USB and FireWire ports having been dropped altogether. The newest Mac models with Thunderbolt 3 have limited internal expansion capabilities too so this article has a list of some of the best external Thunderbolt adapters and expansion options available. We'll regularly update the article with up-to-date product information so please do check back.

Thunderbolt cables are available as copper or optical and Thunderbolt carries PCI Express (PCIe) and DisplayPort (DP) as one signal alongside electrical power, transmitted over one cable. Up to six peripherals can be supported by one connector through various topologies as long as the expansion device has a Thunderbolt connector on it itself otherwise the device becomes the "end of the line".

There are currently three versions of Thunderbolt:
  • v3 - up to 40Gbit/s - supports 2x4K monitors and up to 100W power (launched 2nd June 2015 with USB-C connector)
  • v2 - up to 20Gbit/s - supports 1x4K monitor (launched 2013)
  • v1 - up to 10Gbit/s (launched 2011)
If you're looking for information/products related to Thunderbolt v1 or v2 see this article

Q. Which Mac do I have?
A. You can check "Processor", "Memory" and macOS/OS X/Mac OS X "Version" by going to Apple menu > About This Mac > Overview tab if necessary (hint - clicking on the version number will give you the "build" number).
A. To check your Mac's "Model Name" go to Apple menu > About This Mac > Overview tab if necessary > check for the computer name in the top line e.g. "MacBook Pro" (this can only be checked with OS X 10.7 or later)
A. To check your Mac's model date version go to Apple menu > About This Mac > Overview tab if necessary > check the details after the Model Name e.g. "Early 2015" (this can only be checked with OS X 10.7 or later) - to be more specific and exact you can check what "Model Identifier" your Mac has by:
  • If you are running Mac OS X 10.6 or earlier go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "More Info…" button > (the System Profiler application will open) select "Hardware" in the top left > check what it says for 'Model Identifier' on the right.
  • If you are running OS X 10.7 or OS X 10.8 go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "More Info…" button > (the System Information application will open) select "Hardware" in the top left > check what it says for 'Model Identifier' on the right under 'Hardware Overview'.
  • If you are running OS X 10.9 or later go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "Overview" tab in the top left > click the "System Report…" button > (the System Information application will open) select "Hardware" in the top left > check what it says for 'Model Identifier' on the right under 'Hardware Overview'.
A. To check what graphics capability your Mac has:
  • If you are running Mac OS X 10.6 or earlier go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "More Info…" button > (the System Profiler application will open) select "Graphics/Displays" under 'Hardware' in the top left (click the triangle down if necessary) > click on the 'Video Card' on the right to see the technical information below.
  • If you are running OS X 10.7 or OS X 10.8 go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "More Info…" button > (the System Information application will open) select "Graphics/Displays" under 'Hardware' in the top left (click the triangle down if necessary) > click on the 'Video Card' on the right to see the technical information below.
  • If you are running OS X 10.9 or later go to Apple menu > About This Mac > click the "Overview" tab in the top left > click the "System Report…" button > (the System Information application will open) select "Graphics/Displays" under 'Hardware' in the top left (click the triangle down if necessary) > click on the 'Video Card' on the right to see the technical information below.
A. To check your Mac's "Model Number" it is usually printed/engraved on the outside of the computer somewhere (it usually begins with the letter A or M).
Q. How can I tell which version of macOS / OS X / Mac OS X I am running?
A. Go to Apple menu (top left) > About This Mac > check the version reported for macOS / OS X / Mac OS X.

If you know your Mac has a Thunderbolt 3 port click here to skip straight to the product listings.

Apple Mac Models Supporting Thunderbolt 3

  • No Macs support Thunderbolt 3…

Thunderbolt Products

Adapters and Cables
Monitors
No products yet…
4K/UltraHD TVs and Monitors
No products yet…
Docking Stations/Docks
  • Plugable Volume Thunderbolt 3 Dock (part code = TBT3-UD1)
    • 1x Gigabit Ethernet port
    • 2x USB 3.0 ports (1 on the back/1 on the front)
    • 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 port (on the front)
    • 1x 3.5mm Headphone Output jack
    • 1x 3.5mm Audio Input Jack
    • 2 additional Thunderbolt v3 ports
    • 1x DisplayPort video out port
Hard Drives and SSDs (Desktop)
No products yet…
Hard Drives and SSDs (Mobile)
No products yet…
Hard Drive Enclosures/Docks
No products yet…
Hard Drives and SSDs (RAID1 - no drives)
No products yet…
Hard Drives and SSDs (RAID1 - with 2 drives)
No products yet…
Hard Drives and SSDs (Large RAID - no drives)
No products yet…
Large RAID or specialist drives
Expansion Cards and External Chassis
Audio
No products yet…

Article Keywords: Macintosh MacBook Pro Air mini server iMac Mac Pro Thunderbolt 3 v3 light peak lightpeak expansion cards chassis products adapters adaptors cables docks monitors screens

This article is © MacStrategy » a trading name of Burning Helix. Apple, the Apple logo, and Mac are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.


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