USB-C introduced simplicity: a simple flat connector with rounded edges that can be connected on the right side and the wrong side. The elongated part can be inserted into any compatible port without paying attention.
It is universally used for USB 3, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt 3 ports, as well as other standards. In addition, it can withstand high voltage and power loads.
It’s pretty easy to tell if your port only supports something called USB 3.2 Gen 2 (maximum 10 Gbps), also known as “SuperSpeed +” or “SuperSpeed USB. 10 Gbps ”, or if in addition to high speed USB it also supports Thunderbolt 3.
All Macs with USB-C are Thunderbolt 3 compatible, with the exception of the now discontinued 12-inch MacBook released in 2015. And some iPad models include a USB-C connector that only supports USB protocols. (On non-Apple computers, you will need to check the specifications.)
But how do you know if a cable with USB-C on both ends only supports USB up to 3.2 Gen 2 or up to 40 Gbps between two Thunderbolt 3 devices (like a computer or high performance drive)?
- Check the ends of the cable. A Thunderbolt 3 cable should have a lightning bolt symbol printed on both ends. Some manufacturers even add a “3”, although the shape of the USB-C and Thunderbolt 2 cables is different (same as the Mini DisplayPort). A USB-only cable will have a “SuperSpeed +” symbol, which may vary depending on its high voltage rating.
- If the cable does not have a label, you can connect it between a Mac with Thunderbolt 3 and a Thunderbolt 3 device. Does the Mac recognize the device? Otherwise it is not a Thunderbolt 3 cable (or is it faulty).
- If your Mac recognizes it, verify that the Equipment does not automatically switch to a compatible standard slower than Thunderbolt 3 by going to ‘System Information (‘ Option ‘key>’ Apple ‘menu>’ System Information ‘), click’ Thunderbolt ‘and check if the device closes list .
But at the moment of truth, the truth is that there is nothing that can assure you unless you make it clear. If the cable does not come with clear markings of the standards it should support, I would return it or exchange it for another. If the manufacturer didn’t bother to put the proper label on it, I would be concerned about the standards of its production.
Since you are here, you might be interested to know which are the best adapters for charging the new iPhone 12.
Original article published in igamesnews US.