Questions & Answers for Thunderbolt 3 (USB‑C) Cable (0.8 m)
9 Questions from the Community
Can you use the Thunderbolt 3 on a 2012 mini mac with server?
- Asked by Paul R from Pioneer
- 1 Feb 2019
- Flag as inappropriate (Can you use the Thunderbolt 3 on a 2012 mini mac with server?)
Can I connect this to a power adapter and add a power cable for super fast charging?
- Asked by Jetpakturtle from Cupertino
- 22 Jan 2019
- Flag as inappropriate (Can I connect this to a power adapter and add a power cable for super fast charging?)
Cables needed to migrate a mid 2010 iMac to new 2018 iMac?
I am assuming I will need to buy the Thunderbolt 3 cable when I purchase my new iMac. To migrate from my mid 2010 iMac to the new iMac, what else will be required? There is no Thunderbolt portal on my 2010 iMac.
- Asked by Rebecca L H from Plano
- 3 Nov 2018
- Flag as inappropriate (Cables needed to migrate a mid 2010 iMac to new 2018 iMac?)
Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C cable and adapter options are quite complex and confusing.
The simplest and cheapest option seems to be a USB-A to USB-C cable; Apple sells the Belkin USB-A to USB-C Cable.
- Answered by Marc S from Portola Valley
- 22 Nov 2018
- Flag as inappropriate Answer (Cables needed to migrate a mid 2010 iMac to new 2018 iMac?)
is this an active or passive thunderbolt 3 cable?
the thunderbolt 3 standard is only supposed to support its full capabilities in passive cables that are up to 0.5m long (40Gbps data transfer speeds, 4 lanes of PCIe Gen 3, 8 lanes of DisplayPort 1.2, full USB 3.1 Gen2, and 100W power delivery).
since this cable is 0.8m long, is it an active cable?
- Asked by Ozgun S from San Jose
- 4 Sep 2018
- Flag as inappropriate (is this an active or passive thunderbolt 3 cable?)
Short answer: It seems this is a passive cable. But I'm not 100% certain.
Long answer: After 45 minutes on a call with Apple support, the rep could not get a definitive answer, but we both concluded that this must be a passive cable for these two reasons:
1) The connector on the 0.8m Apple cable is fairly compact. It is much shorter than the connector on my active 2m and 0.5m TB3 cables from OWC. The longer connector hardware on the OWC cable would assumedly accommodate the active circuitry. OWC's connector hardware (between the USB C connector and the cable itself) is about twice as long as Apple's. Well, you may say Apple may be capable of making a much more compact active transceiver than OWC, so moving along...
2) Per Apple's specs, the Apple 0.8m TB3 cable is capable supporting USB 3.1 Gen 2. According to an apple insider article (link not provided as it prevents me to post this answer with an external link), indicates that only a passive TB3 cable can support USB 3.1 Gen 2. Once the active circuity is involved, the tradeoff is you lose the full 3.1 g2 USB speed.
Now what gets confusing is that a passive cable longer than 0.5m may not support the full 40Gb/s TB3 speed. But Apple does claim this cable to support 40Gb/s, so perhaps Apple discovered they achieve 40Gb/s at 0.8m, but to jump to 1m or 2m would result in slower speeds. For most users the distinction may not matter, but to the power user it does. I have an enclosure that RAIDs four NVMe M2 SSD chips which are extremely fast, so I want the full TB3 40Gb/s spec. As such, I either need to connect via a very short 0.5m passive or an active TB cable of up to 2m. If you want one cable that can give you both USB 3.1 get two speed but is also rated for the full 40Gb/s TB3 spec, then you ideally use a short passive TB3 cable, but 0.5m is very constraining.
- Answered by Thomas M from New York
- 7 Dec 2018
- Flag as inappropriate Answer (is this an active or passive thunderbolt 3 cable?)
Can I use this with the 2018 iPad Pro (3rd gen) to display onto my 2017 iMac 27inch?
If not what is the best way to connect iPad to iMac?
- Asked by Zoe H from Success
- 8 Nov 2018
- Flag as inappropriate (Can I use this with the 2018 iPad Pro (3rd gen) to display onto my 2017 iMac 27inch?)
Can I use this cable between my 2018 MacBook Pro and a 2017 Intuos Pro tablet? Thanks
- Asked by Scott S from Bainbridge Island
- 30 Jul 2018
- Flag as inappropriate (Can I use this cable between my 2018 MacBook Pro and a 2017 Intuos Pro tablet? Thanks)
Is this cable available in a longer version Thunderbolt 3 (USB‑C) Cable
- Asked by Gordon M from Bluffton
- 14 Dec 2017
- Flag as inappropriate (Is this cable available in a longer version Thunderbolt 3 (USB‑C) Cable)
No, full speed Thunderbolt 3 cables (40 Gbit/sec) that are 1m or longer can't support both full 40 Gbit/s Thunderbolt 3 speeds and USB 3.0/3.1 speeds. They and are limited to USB 2.0 when connected to USB devices. That is simply due to the physical limitations of the spec/cable materials.
For example, this is why Belkin's 2m 40 Gbit/sec Thunderbolt 3 cable is limited to USB 2.0 speeds when connected to USB devices.
This is likely why Apple chose the rather peculiar 0.8m length. It allows this cable to have the best of all three worlds, Thunderbolt 3 speeds up to 40 Gbit/sec, USB 3.1 speeds up to 10 Gbit/sec, and full 100W of power.
I'm actually pretty impressed, as far as I'm aware this is the first cable of its kind to reach 0.8 meters and it does it without being super bulky at the end.
- Answered by Andy G from Saint Paul
- 28 Dec 2017
- Flag as inappropriate Answer (Is this cable available in a longer version Thunderbolt 3 (USB‑C) Cable)
can i use this cable to connect my MacBook pro with LG 5k Display?
- Asked by Tanvir Y from Abu Dhabi
- 17 Apr 2018
- Flag as inappropriate (can i use this cable to connect my MacBook pro with LG 5k Display?)
If it is a November 2016 or newer MacBook Pro, then yes.
- Answered by Andrew G from Saint Paul
- 9 Jul 2018
- Flag as inappropriate Answer (can i use this cable to connect my MacBook pro with LG 5k Display?)