Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C 3.1 compatibility

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by MarckyG, May 16, 2017.

  1. MarckyG macrumors newbie

    MarckyG

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Location:
    Germany
    #1
    Hello folks!

    I have a question to all the MacBook Pro Touchbar and MacBook owners out there...
    I still have some confusions of what Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C can do and not do...
    For example:
    I own a Samsung T3 external SSD which works with USB 3.1 USB-C.
    I connect it with a USB-C to USB-B cable with my iMac.
    I will get a MacBook Pro next year, might have to get a small portable MacBook until then. I also will likely get a Thunderbolt 3 LaCie Rugged portable drive as soon as they are available here.
    My question is as followed:
    I think about getting a Thunderbolt 3 backup cable, one cable to rule them all. The Apple Store has those nice 50cm Thunderbolt 3 cables from Belkin.
    If I connect the Thunderbolt 3 cable with my USB-C Samsung T3 SSD (will definitely work) and the other end with a small MacBook (which has no Thunderbolt 3), will it work? Will the Thunderbolt 3 cable just act as a USB-C cable and simply backwards-compatible-itself? I know I can make this setup with a MacBook Pro, but what about a non Thunderbolt 3 (only USB-C) Laptop? Will the Thunderbolt 3 cable be clever enough to act as a simple USB-C cable?

    Best wishes from Germany
    Marc
     
  2. MrX8503 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #2
    The Belkin TB3 cable from Apple will work.

    The cable can charge at 60W, supports USB2, USB3 Gen1 and Gen 2, and TB3. It will work with EVERY USB-C port you come across, except it won't charge the 15" MBP.

    100w TB3 USB3 Gen 2 cables exist, but I haven't read any reviews to verify those cables. That would be a cable to rule them all. FWIW, I bought the Belkin TB3 cable because it's been approved by Nathan K.
     
  3. MarckyG thread starter macrumors newbie

    MarckyG

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Location:
    Germany
    #3
    Thank you a lot for the response.
    So if I understand correctly, I can just buy the Belkin Thunderbolt 3 cable and use it with my MacBook and T3 SSD and it will function as a USB-C 3.1 cable until I get a MacBook Pro and plug it into a TB3 port.
    Thanks!
    You bought the cable... is it very stiff? would you say it's a good length for a short mobile TB3 cable to bring to work in the field?
     
  4. MrX8503 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #4
    Yep. It'll work on your MacBook and future MBP TB3 port. If the cable fits, it'll work. The cable isn't too stiff, it's noticeably thicker though. Yeah I would say it's portable.
     

Share This Page