Make Thunderbolt 1 port a USB 3.0 port

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MacUse-R, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. MacUse-R macrumors regular

    MacUse-R

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2017
    #1
    So my MBP late 2011 does only have usb 2.0 ports, so if I buy the Apple USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 1/2 adapter, will I then get a USB 3.0 port if i also use a Thunderbolt to thunderbolt cable and a USB-C to USB-A 3.0 adapter?

    I know it involves a few cables and adapters, but thats the possible solution i could think of. I know there are converters from Thunderbolt 1/2 to USB 3.0 but they cost a lot, and I already have the Thunderbolt cable and the USB-C to USB-A adapter.

    Since the USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 1/2 adapter from Apple apparently works both ways, so with a normal thunderbolt cable attached to the adapter that would give me a USB-C connector, and then using a USB-C to USB-A 3.0 adapter.

    Would that be possible, is everything compatible? I hope you didn't get too confused?
     
  2. mick2 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2017
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Errrr no, that won't turn your USB2 port into a USB3 port. The speed of the port is determined by the type of port thats on the motherboard, not by what cables you plug into it. In your case, you have USB 2 ports on your motherboard.
     
  3. chrfr macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #3
    The Apple Thunderbolt adapter won't work for that. You'd need either a Thunderbolt hub or something like the Kanex Thunderbolt-USB adapter. https://www.kanex.com/category/adapters#adapter-thunderbolt
     
  4. MacUse-R, Apr 23, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019

    MacUse-R thread starter macrumors regular

    MacUse-R

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2017
    #4
    Easy easy, Im not talking about the USB-A 2.0 ports on the computer, i´m talking about the Thunderbolt port, it can surely handle faster speeds than a USB-A 2.0.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 23, 2019 ---
    Yep, thats the one which I thought of when said that they are too expensive, its like 130 USD here in Europe and then about 20 USD extra for shipping.

    So do you know why it wouldn't work? I actually seen this solution mentioned on a couple of other places on the internet, don't know if they are accurate though?
    Since the adapter works both ways and as far I have understood a Thunderbolt port can handle data just like a USB-port can?
    So if you reverse the adapter you get a USB-C port/connector, so why not a USB-A port with the right adapter?

    So is there any other converters/ adapters other than the Kanex, which has a price which doesn't cost half of what the MBP is worth?
     
  5. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #5
    Apple's Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 1/2 adapter is for physically adapting Thunderbolt ports. That's all it does. It does not have a USB Controller. It can only pass through protocols supported by Thunderbolt 1/2 (PCIe and Video).

    The reason why you need a dock or some expensive adapter. Is that Thunderbolt 1/2 is just a straight Thunderbolt connection. USB needs a controller chipset to function. The docks are so expensive because Thunderbolt is expensive to implement. Which is also why hardly anyone buys Thunderbolt devices.

    USB C was designed to be a jack of all trades. It allows USB, PCIe and Video to utilize the same connector. It simplified connectors but make life more difficult for consumers. Since now they have to know what the port supports.
     
  6. MacUse-R thread starter macrumors regular

    MacUse-R

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2017
    #6
    Okay I see, thanks for the good explanation. Okay so my only alternative would be to buy one of these kanex converters. Not only that they are expensive but I haven't actually seen many different converters of that kind, I think the kanex one is the only one I've seen, maybe one other but not more than that. So that doesn't leave me with many options.

    Maybe I can find a used one on ebay if I look around for a while? Otherwise I have to be without a USB 3.0 port.
     
  7. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #7
    Any thunderbolt 1/2 dock with USB 3.0 should work. As long as it is Mac compatible.

    I'd like to say Thunderbolt 3 (not USB c) docks would work with the Apple adapter. But I'm not sure if they rely on USB passthrough or have USB controllers. For their USB 3/3.1/3.1 Gen 2 ports
    .
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    OP wrote:
    "Okay so my only alternative would be to buy one of these kanex converters. Not only that they are expensive but I haven't actually seen many different converters of that kind, I think the kanex one is the only one I've seen, maybe one other but not more than that. So that doesn't leave me with many options."

    The Kanex adapter is expensive because there was never much of a market for it. It was a "specialty item" with little demand.

    That's also why there were no "other" products of that type on the market -- few people wanted one.

    You'll note that if you go to the Kanex page, it shows "back order". I'm wondering if they're ever going to be made again.

    It's still possible to find them used, or "new old stock".

    I don't think it's worth it to buy a dock for a 2011 MBP.
    But that's just me.
     
  9. MacUse-R thread starter macrumors regular

    MacUse-R

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2017
    #9
    Yeah, i´m definitely not going to buy it at that price for a 2011 MBP. I just thought it would have been nice to have a USB 3.0 port on my MBP.

    If there is not cheaper alternatives to get a USB 3.0 port then I will just forget about it.
     

Share This Page

8 April 23, 2019