USB-C vs Thunderbolt 3 – Thunderbolt and USB-C Differences

The USB-C and Thunderbolt are the two major common ports for computers, smartphones, and tablets nowadays. Both ports happen to offer high-speed I/O and offer support to a wider range of devices. While the two ports happen to be indistinguishable, there remain some significant things that differentiate them.

USB-C vs Thunderbolt 3

USB-C vs Thunderbolt 3

The latest version that is available in the USB interface, USB-C, was quickly adopted by lots of manufacturers. Now, computers include PCs and Macs are making use of the USB-C. even smartphones and tablets also do so all thanks to the small parts to the versatility of the ports.

USB-C offers up to around 100W of power to devices that happen to be attached (via Tech Advisor), making things impossible to daisy-chain devices, meaning that one particular port can offer support to multiple peripherals. Now, manufacturers design computers that come with fewer ports, without limiting the number of peripherals that the customers get to use simultaneously.

USB-C latest version also offers support for data transfer with a speed of up to 20Gbps, yet another factor that makes it a great port for peripherals.

Thunderbolt and USB-C Differences

Although the USB-C comes with some advantages, the Thunderbolt has been proven to be a lot better.


The was designed by Apple and Intel, and it has gotten its physical port to change as the years go by. Initial versions of the Thunderbolt were using the Mini DisplayPort as the physical connector.


With the USB-C on the rise, Intel switched to that style of connector as the hardware interface for the Thunderbolt. Based on that, Thunderbolt cable can be used interchangeably with any USB-C port, although it doesn’t mean all the USB-C ports are ports of the thunderbolt.


The major difference between the two cables is the speed. While The USB-C offers support of up to 20 Gbps transfer speeds, Thunderbolt 3 doubles that, offering up to around 40 Gbps.

Thanks to the increased speed, The thunderbolt is great for media professionals and anyone that engages in a large amount of data transfer. Again, it is important for you to note that the Thunderbolt only offers faster speeds when the two devices support it. Plug in a Thunderbolt peripheral right into a USB-C port and the connection would work two times slower.


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