Can I connect Mac Pro 2013 (Thunderbolt 2) to a Thunderbolt 3 device, like the OWC Envoy Pro EX, using the Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter?

Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter

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  • Yes, if you mean the OWC Envoy Pro EX Thunderbolt 3 or other Thunderbolt 3 device. There is also an OWC Envoy Pro EX that uses USB 3.0 (5 Gbps) which does not require an adapter (it is much slower than Thunderbolt 3's 40 Gbps).

    Apple Support document HT207266 "About the Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter" has more information in the last paragraph. For some reason, Apple removed the statement that says "Support for Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter is limited to devices that require less than 10W of power".

    The OWC Envoy Pro EX Thunderbolt 3 has a captive (non-detachable) Thunderbolt 3 cable. The Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter also has a captive Thunderbolt 3 cable. Therefore, you also need another Thunderbolt 3 device that has two Thunderbolt 3 ports (such as a dock, raid, or PCIe expansion box) to connect both the adapter and the OWC Envoy Pro EX Thunderbolt 3. The specs for the Envoy Pro EX Thunderbolt 3 doesn't state if it takes more than 10W of power, but that doesn't matter because it will be connected to a different Thunderbolt 3 device that will supply all the power.

    Some older Thunderbolt 3 devices created before the first Thunderbolt 3 MacBook Pro are not compatible with macOS without a Thunderbolt enabler patch.

    Thunderbolt 2 is slower than Thunderbolt 3, so the Thunderbolt 3 drive will not perform at full speed when connected to a Thunderbolt 2 Mac, but it should still be faster than 10 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 2 (which the Mac Pro doesn't have either but you can add it with a Thunderbolt 3 device or a Thunderbolt PCIe expansion chassis and USB 3.1 gen 2 PCIe card).

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