Difference Between Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3

By: | Updated: Oct-17, 2021

The technology that is used to connect computers and other devices is very much important. One of the technologies that are used to connect these devices is the Thunderbolt. There are many advantages to using Thunderbolt. One of the advantages is that it is very fast. The technology has many different types such as Thunderbolt 1, Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3. There are many types of devices such as computers, laptops, tablets and even smartphones that can be connected with Thunderbolt. The speed of this technology is much faster than the other technologies.

Summary Table

Thunderbolt 2 Thunderbolt 3
Introduced in 2011 Introduced in 2013
Cheaper retail price More expensive retail price
Has one port Has two ports

Difference Between Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3

In terms of connectivity, there are different types of the connection that can be used such as USB 3.1, Thunderbolt and Gigabit Ethernet. The difference between these technologies is that the technology that is used to connect these devices is different.

Thunderbolt is a technology developed by Intel that allows data to be transferred at speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second. It uses the PCI Express interface, which is the same as USB 3.0.

Thunderbolt 2 is an update to Thunderbolt that adds support for DisplayPort 1.2 and faster transfer speeds of up to 20 gigabits per second. It also supports daisy chaining, which allows multiple devices connected via Thunderbolt 2 to share one cable connection.

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Thunderbolt 3 is an update to Thunderbolt 2 that adds support for USB 3.1, which allows data transfer speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second. It also supports daisy chaining, which allows multiple devices connected via Thunderbolt 3 to share one cable connection.

But what is Thunderbolt? Is it not the same as Thunderbolt 2? What are the differences between them? To answer these questions, this article will explain the definitions of Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2, the causes and effects of both, as well as their relationship to each other.

What is Thunderbolt?

Thunderbolt is a new interface created by Intel and Apple to replace the 30-year-old USB 2.0. The Thunderbolt family of standards includes the following:

Thunderbolt 1:

A four-lane version of the interface, designed for high-performance data transfers over up to 5 Gbps (10 Gbps on the 5Gbit/s version). It was developed to be backward compatible with USB 2.0 and uses the same type of connector as USB 2.0.

Thunderbolt 2:

A new, four-lane version of the interface that provides an increased data transfer rate up to 10 Gbps (20 Gbps on the 5Gbit/s version). Thunderbolt 2 is backward compatible with Thunderbolt 1, so you can use any Thunderbolt device that has a Thunderbolt connector with a Thunderbolt 1 port. It also supports PCIe Gen 2.

Thunderbolt 3:

A newer four-lane version of the interface that provides an increased data transfer rate up to 40 Gbps (80 Gbps on the 5Gbit/s version). Thunderbolt 3 is backward compatible with Thunderbolt 2, so you can use any Thunderbolt device that has a Thunderbolt connector with a Thunderbolt 2 port. It also supports PCIe Gen 3.

What are the similarities between Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3?

Now that you know the definitions of Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3, let’s look at their similarities. The following is a list of the most common features that these two concepts have in common:

They both have an extra power supply port on them

This is another similarity between these two concepts. Both of them have an extra power supply port on them. This means that you can connect multiple devices to these two concepts.

They both have USB 3.0 technology

The Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 both have USB 3.0 technology in them. This means that you can connect any type of device to the two concepts with ease. The Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 also support the USB 3.1 technology.

They both have Thunderbolt power delivery technology

The Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 both have the Thunderbolt power delivery technology in them. This also means that you can use the two concepts to charge your devices with ease.

They both have the same type of cable

The Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 both have the same type of cable in them. The cable that is used with the two concepts is called a Thunderbolt cable. The Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 both use the USB type C technology in them.

What are the differences between Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3?

After looking at the similarities between the two, it is time to look at the differences between them. The following are the differences between Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3:

The release

Thunderbolt 2 was introduced in 2011 and is still supported by Apple and some other companies. The speed of the standard was only 10Gbps but the maximum speed of a Thunderbolt cable is now 20Gbps. It is backward compatible with Thunderbolt 1, which means that it can be used with older computers.

Thunderbolt 3 was introduced in 2013 and is still supported by Apple, too. The maximum speed of a Thunderbolt cable is 40Gbps. It is also backward compatible with Thunderbolt 2.

Compatibility

Thunderbolt 2 is compatible with Macs and PCs that support Thunderbolt. This means that you can use it with Macs and PCs, such as Dell, HP, Sony, etc. Thunderbolt 3 is only compatible with Macs and PCs that support Thunderbolt 3. You cannot use it with a Mac or PC that supports Thunderbolt 2.

Cost

Thunderbolt 2 is the cheaper of the two since it is backward compatible with Thunderbolt 1 and is still supported by Apple. However, Thunderbolt 3 is the most expensive option since it is the latest and supports 40Gbps.

Ports

Thunderbolt 2 has one port while Thunderbolt 3 has two ports. You can connect a device to the port that you want. For example, if you want to connect your iPhone to the second port, you can do so easily. Thunderbolt 3 also supports USB-C, but not all devices support it.

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