Mac mini thunderbolt issue?

chukwithak

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 28, 2008
154
17
Sacramento, CA
Im new to the thunderbolt and USB-C stuff. My understanding is while they are the same there are some small differences in power and speed. I received my Mac mini today and while watching videos on the Mac mini wanted to take notes on the iPad Pro. It came with a USB-C charging cable. I plugged it into both ports to find it would not charge and also was not recognizing the iPad in iTunes. Luckily I had an Anker Poweline+ C 6ft cable that does work. Do I need a dedicated Thunderbolt cable or is it more of a port issue?
 

IngerMan

macrumors 65816
Feb 21, 2011
1,343
310
Michigan
The charging cables do not transmit data. You need a thunderbolt 3 cable. Those cables are typically over $50.
 

BayouTiger

macrumors 6502
Jul 24, 2008
437
206
New Orleans
USB-c and Thunderbolt3 are not the same and are in fact very different in both speed and power delivery. The iPad does not support TB3 and is USB-C only. To connect them you need a USB-C cable. TB3 shares the same connector, but for example you cannot connect a TB3 device with most USB-C cables, but most passive TB3 cables can do either. Active cables are TB3 only and cannot connect USB-C devices.

Most folks may never have a need for TB3, but if you do need it, it is an amazing interface. I connect two docks, multiple monitors, a raid array, and many USB devices via TB3 on my iMac Pro, and almost as many devices on my MBP.
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,274
2,571
The charging cables do not transmit data. You need a thunderbolt 3 cable. Those cables are typically over $50.
The iPad Pro is not a Thunderbolt device. There is no need to use a Thunderbolt cable.
 

Spectrum

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2005
1,373
743
Never quite sure
Active cables are TB3 only and cannot connect USB-C devices.
Do you have a source for this information? I didn't realise this!

Regarding the OP. This sounds like a problem with the cable or ports. There should be no reason why a USB-C cable doesn't work for a new iPad Pro.
 

FreakinEurekan

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2011
3,390
328
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Im new to the thunderbolt and USB-C stuff. My understanding is while they are the same there are some small differences in power and speed. I received my Mac mini today and while watching videos on the Mac mini wanted to take notes on the iPad Pro. It came with a USB-C charging cable. I plugged it into both ports to find it would not charge and also was not recognizing the iPad in iTunes. Luckily I had an Anker Poweline+ C 6ft cable that does work. Do I need a dedicated Thunderbolt cable or is it more of a port issue?
Apple's current "USB-C Charge Cable" does state that it can be used for "charging, syncing, and transferring data between USB-C devices". I don't believe that was always the case, I seem to recall when I got my first 12" Retina MacBook in 2015 it was a charge-only cable and in order to sync, I needed a different one.
 

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chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,274
2,571
Apple's current "USB-C Charge Cable" does state that it can be used for "charging, syncing, and transferring data between USB-C devices". I don't believe that was always the case, I seem to recall when I got my first 12" Retina MacBook in 2015 it was a charge-only cable and in order to sync, I needed a different one.
The Apple USB-C charge cable will transfer data, but only at USB 2.0 speeds. That is documented in the box in the "Charging" section of this article: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208368
 

chukwithak

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 28, 2008
154
17
Sacramento, CA
Apple's current "USB-C Charge Cable" does state that it can be used for "charging, syncing, and transferring data between USB-C devices". I don't believe that was always the case, I seem to recall when I got my first 12" Retina MacBook in 2015 it was a charge-only cable and in order to sync, I needed a different one.
The Apple USB-C charge cable will transfer data, but only at USB 2.0 speeds. That is documented in the box in the "Charging" section of this article: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208368
The Mini had bad ports. Returned it and went with a MBP instead. I realized once I got him I still need the mobility for education purposes. Mini will be in the house after I'm through school.