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What you need to know about Thunderbolt 2

Thunderbolt 2 made its debut while Apple launched the trendy model of its MacBook Pro closing October, however it’s end up greater distinguished with the relase of the brand new Mac Pro. How exclusive is Thunderbolt 2 from its predecessor? Here’s what you want to know.

What is Thunderbolt?

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On the lower back of the Mac Pro are six Thunderbolt 2 ports, 4 USB ports, unbiased Gigabit-ethernet ports, an HDMI-video port, and audio jacks.

Thunderbolt is an interconnect generation advanced with the aid of using Intel in cooperation with Apple. Thunderbolt combines PCI Express and DisplayPort right into a unmarried connection, making an allowance for a aggregate of up to 6 peripherals, like garage gadgets and monitors, to be daisy-chained together. You also can join USB and FireWire peripherals through Thunderbolt, so long as you’ve got got the right adapter. Those connections won’t run any quicker simply due to the fact they’re on a Thunderbolt connection.

We blanketed lots of Thunderbolt’s historical past in our FAQ on Thunderbolt. If you’re inquisitive about taking a deeper dive into Thunderbolt at an introductory level, you need to study that FAQ. I’m specializing in Thunderbolt 2 here.

What is Thunderbolt 2?

Thunderbolt 2 is an replace to the unique Thunderbolt specification and takes the unique’s  10 Gbps bi-directional channels and combines them right into a unmarried 20 Gbps bi-directional channel. The quantity of information capable of undergo a Thunderbolt connection hasn’t increased, however the throughput of a unmarried channel has been doubled.

What does Thunderbolt 2 need to do with 4K video?

4K video (a video layout that has 4 instances the decision as 1080p and is gaining reputation with video professionals) calls for greater bandwidth than the unique Thunderbolt can accommodate. Thunderbolt 2 may be capable of circulate that 4K video and write it to disk on the equal time.

How many peripherals does Thunderbolt 2 aid?

Thunderbolt 2 will nevertheless aid up to 6 peripherals and could maintain to aid USB and FireWire through adapters.

Can you join Mini DisplayPort presentations to Thunderbolt 2?

Thunderbolt 2 does paintings with presentations that use Mini DisplayPort. Thunderbolt 2 additionally helps the trendy DisplayPort 2.1 specification, however now no longer the daisy-chaining abilities covered withinside the spec. And don’t forget that 4K video layout we simply talked about? DisplayPort 1.2 provides aid for that extremely excessive decision layout.

Will drives the usage of the unique Thunderbolt paintings with Thunderbolt 2?


Yes. Thunderbolt 2 makes use of the equal connectors because the unique Thunderbolt, so Thunderbolt 2 gadgets may be backwards well matched with Thunderbolt peripherals and vice versa. But a Thunderbolt tool linked to a Thunderbolt 2 port will carry out on the Thunderbolt velocity of 10 Gbps.

Do older Thunderbolt gadgets on a Thunderbolt 2 daisy chain have an effect on performance?

Yes. If you’ve got got a combination of generations on a Thunderbolt 2 daisy chain, make certain that the Thunderbolt gadgets take a seat down after the Thunderbolt 2 gadgets at the chain. Anything positioned after a primary era Thunderbolt tool will perform at Thunderbolt speeds.

My Mac has Thunderbolt. Can I improve it to Thunderbolt 2?

Unfortunately no. A new Thunderbolt 2 controller might want to be soldered down at the system’s motherboard. That’s why there has been by no means a Thunderbolt improve provided for the contemporary Mac Pro.

How does Thunderbolt 2 examine to USB 3.1?

Thunderbolt has a most throughput of 10 Gbps. Thunderbolt 2 has max throughput of 20 Gbps. SuperSpeed USB has a most throughput of five Gbps, which makes Thunderbolt 2 as much as 4 instances as rapid as USB

Recently, the USB Promoters Association introduced the USB 3.1 spec, which permits USB to switch up to ten Gbps. USB 3.1 remains some time farfar from shipping, though. Also, whilst USB hubs are common, USB gadgets (like printers and tough drives) don’t commonly have USB output ports to permit daisy chaining, that is a key characteristic of Thunderbolt.

Which Macs have Thunderbolt 2?

The most effective Mac structures that presently consist of Thunderbolt 2 are the contemporary Mac Pro, and the trendy era of Retina MacBook Pros. Thunderbolt 2 will probable make its manner into the iMac, MacBook Air and Mac mini while Apple updates them.

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