Dazed and Confused

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Gixene, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. Gixene, Oct 29, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016

    Gixene macrumors regular

    Gixene

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2016
    Location:
    Indiana
    #1
    Hello MacRumors community,

    Coming from a MacBook 7,1, I have become accustomed to the USB (not sure of the technical name these days). It has 2 USB ports and another port I've never used in the 6 years of ownership (I can't even tell you the name of the port or what it does).

    Now I have upgraded to the 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID. I'm not 'tech savvy' compared to many in my age group (20's) or many here in the MacRumors community. Though when I don't understand something, typically I have success using Google to find the answer.

    Here on MacRumors and when shopping I see many terms. Thunderbolt 1, 2 and 3. USB-C, USB-3 and 3.1, etc. I understand that the MacBook Pro I purchased has Thunderbolt 3, except shopping for the proper cables before the MacBook Pro arrives has been quite an experience.

    I read a few articles about all of these cables, believe I understand. Then I read one more and I'm more confused than I was before. I shop for cables, but it quickly comes to an abrupt end because I'm worried I'm purchasing an incompatible cable and thereby becoming more costly.

    Many here use a lot of accessories with their Apple machines. I'm quite the opposite. I use a mouse on occasion (once a month) when gaming (Leage of Legends) with friends, but prefer the touchpad for everything else. I plug in a iPhone 6 Plus and an electronic cigarette, but more out of convenience (or laziness) and could simply charge from the outlet. I believe there has only been a few occasions when I have relied on the MacBook to power a device via USB. I've used an Ethernet cable twice during ownership of the MacBook (while gaming) for increased internet speed. I also occasionally use a flash drive to backup the whole 5 GB of data on the MacBook (crazy right?).

    Okay, down to the skinny. Please help.

    1.) Can someone please provide a source that can accurately and easy describe what I should know about these cables?

    2.) Is there a Thunderbolt 3 mouse? To avoid any kind of attachment and/or dongle between the MacBook Pro and the mouse. If so, any recommendation?

    3.) If there is not a Thunderbolt 3 mouse, wouldn't an attachment and/or dongle between the MacBook Pro and mouse remove the benefits of Thunderbolt 3 itself? This goes with any non-direct Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 3.

    4.) Based on this unique situation and from those with experience with these ports, what would someone recommend for someone such as myself? Dongles or attachments?

    Thank you, Gixene
     
  2. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #2
    According to http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook/specs/macbook-core-2-duo-2.4-white-13-polycarbonate-unibody-mid-2010-specs.html#macspecs2, your old
    Apple MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 13" (Mid-2010)
    has two USB 2.0 ports and one mini-DisplayPort. (You'd use the latter to connect to an external monitor.) So I'm assuming any devices you've been using like the flash drive are using the USB 2.0 protocol and, physically, a USB Type-A connector.

    To use them with your new MacBook Pro, you could use a USB-C to USB adapter like Apple's here:
    http://www.apple.com/shop/product/M...=f=thunderbolt-usbtypec&fh=4595%2B44c3%2B309a

    There is also USB-C to lightning cable if you want to connect your iPhone to sync or charge:
    http://www.apple.com/shop/product/M...=f=thunderbolt-usbtypec&fh=4595%2B44c3%2B309a

    I think there is also a USB-C to ethernet adapter.


    I'm no expert on mice, but here's my take...

    I don't think there will be any Thunderbolt 3 mice anytime soon. A mouse definitely does not need a "fast" connection to the computer -- it just doesn't send that much data. And TB3 technology is relatively expensive. And TB3 means using a cable (wire)! Your existing mouse -- does it connect with a cable to your Macbook, or is it wireless (as most are, these days)? Assuming it is wireless, it might be using Bluetooth, or it might be using a separate transmitter/receiver plugged into a USB (type-A) port, like my old Logitech MX620. If Bluetooth, I think it will work with your new system (though there are different versions of Bluetooth and I might be wrong). If it uses a little USB transceiver, you could plug that into the adapter I linked to above. If you don't like having the adapter, I'd probably look for a Bluetooth-connected mouse. I suppose eventually Logitech and other makers might replace the USB transceiver with tiny Thunderbolt 3 transcievers, but my guess is that would be quite awhile from now because of the cost and the small number of people that would buy them.

    The real benefits of Thunderbolt 3, loosely speaking, are "speed" (very high data bandwidth, which only significant with devices that send/receive LOTS of data, not keyboards or mice), and the ability to "speak" lots of "languages" (protocols) like all the USB protocols, FireWire, DisplayPort, HDMI, etc. But to do that, you generally need adapters or a dock with various ports on it.
     
  3. Phisherman81 macrumors 6502

    Phisherman81

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    #3
    This is a great article from a very reliable apple writer on TidBits:

    Explaining Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, and Everything In Between

    http://tidbits.com/article/16870

    It set me straight as a user of 2010 MacBook Pro now upgrading to the new one.
     
  4. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #4
    You're right -- that is an excellent article. Thanks for pointing it out!
     
  5. Gixene thread starter macrumors regular

    Gixene

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2016
    Location:
    Indiana
    #5
    Thank you everyone, I appreciate the knowledge and resources. I've ordered all of the attachements I need.
     

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