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The Power of Thunderbolt 3 Now Widely Available for PCs

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The recent announcement that Thunderbolt™ 3 would be exclusively delivered via a USB-C connector is an exciting development in the USB Type-C discussion. Historically, Thunderbolt has primarily been associated with Apple products, save for a few high-end PCs. The release of Thunderbolt 3 brings the power of Thunderbolt to the masses. This is certainly a sea change for Thunderbolt and has the potential to impact the entire industry.

Thunderbolt’s PC Potential 

When Thunderbolt was first introduced, with its PCI Express and DisplayPort power support, much was made of its high bandwidth and potential to overtake USB as the dominant standard for connecting peripherals. The industry, as is often the case, had other plans. A vast majority of device manufacturers (and in turn, consumers) had already doubled down on the more familiar USB alternative. There are currently in excess of 20 billion USB devices worldwide. In the world of PCs, Thunderbolt’s adoption was typically limited to higher-end PC models for unique applications.

The makers of Thunderbolt – Intel – created the best single cable user experience by combining all the standards that came before (PCIe, DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA and USB 3.1) to create the cable that does it all. Ultimately, this makes USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 an industry power couple, with the potential to provide more speed, pixels, power and protocols to a wide selection of device makes and models.

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Look to the Thunder….Bolt

If you’re in the market for a new PC, you’ll want to look for one with Thunderbolt 3 in the specs. A laptop equipped with Thunderbolt 3 will give you the highest level of compatibility with other devices.

The challenge is for laptop owners who aren’t looking to upgrade immediately. If your current machine is not equipped with Thunderbolt 3 you will only be able to connect to Thunderbolt 3 peripherals with appropriate cables, adapters, or docks. This includes, for example, connecting to an external monitor, accessing an external drive, or connecting to a docking station.

Further Reading

Stay tuned for our next blog posts about Thunderbolt 3, where we will discuss which manufacturers have announced products that support USB-C and Thunderbolt 3, such as the Dell XPS, Google Chromebook Pixel and ASUS EeeBook.

Still confused? Read our full overview of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3

9 Comments

  1. Sean 2 years ago

    Its great many manufacturers come with this now, but almost no devices have been released to utilize it. The only ones I can find are the HP dock and the Microsoft phone dock(USB-c only not TB3) Both of which seem to be proprietary only, or at least MS claims it only works on the two phones. The HP dock seems to have an extra plug, so I cannot see it working anywhere else.

    Any specs or release info on your Thunderbolt 3 docks, would like to know what video options it will have, and an ETA to market.

    • Susan Mutterback 2 years ago

      Hi Sean,

      We don’t have any information just yet on Thunderbolt 3 docks but we will have some in the coming months, stay tuned!

      • Tayo Runsewe 2 years ago

        Is there something particularly difficult or complex with the tb3 dock architecture? It seems hard to understand why dell hp and others can implement the port but no one is releasing a dock until “sometime in 2016′?

  2. Stewart 2 years ago

    People keep talking but know one is making anything! TB3 / type c was announced almost a year ago and still nothing.

    Here’s a suggestion, some manufacturer ( Startech ) should get off there butts and make an external case with one TB3 / type c connection that will hold an M.2 PCIE 3 x4 gum stick (mvne, sm941 or x941 etc). I for one need a small portable drive that puts out 2Gbps!

  3. Erick 2 years ago

    I see the Thunderbolt 3 to thunderbolt adapter on your site with a “coming soon” im very interested in this product. I Just bought a Maxed out XPS 13 9350 and sold my Razer Blade just for the simple capability of External GPU. I am working on a mini ITX(EVGA Case) to house a GTX 980, Slot loading DVD, Storage Drives.

    But i need this adapter to make it work! I would greatly appreciate an estimate release date as i dont want to pre order if its not coming out until End of 2016 -_-.

    Thank you!

    • Susan Mutterback 2 years ago

      Hi Erick,
      This product will be available before mid-2016 for purchase. Let us know if you have any other questions!

    • Susan Mutterback 5 months ago

      Hi, This picture is of the USB-C connector which can be found on a number of our products and USB-C cables. This picture doesn’t represent any particular product but here is a link to all our USB-C cables: https://www.startech.com/Cables/usb-c/

  4. StaX 4 months ago

    Thanks, Susan; twice after all this time. I knew it was a long shot. I thought it was a pendrive. Thanks again, and Happy New Year!

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