Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Cables

Jul 4, 2015
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If new Macs are released next month, and knowing Apple's habit of minimising the number of ports; if new Mac Pros and MacBook Pros only have Thunderbolt 3, are we really expected to buy these:

https://www.startech.com/Cables/thu...rbolt-3-usb-c-thunderbolt-adapter~TBT3TBTADAP

Seems expensive and bulky. Can there not just be a cable with different plugs on each end?
Some cables have chippery in the connector. They are active and not passive, this adds to cost. Converting the signal processing will also be costly.
 

nerdynerdynerdy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 22, 2007
127
127
Some cables have chippery in the connector. They are active and not passive, this adds to cost. Converting the signal processing will also be costly.

So a regular thunderbolt cable has chips in it? I didn't know that. You wouldn't know to look at it.

But this thing looks bizarre:



I'm planning to transition my whole edit/composite system from my old fashioned Mac Pro tower to a new style Mac Pro, but most of the external peripherals I'll also be upgrading come with thunderbolt 2 at this stage.

Hopefully Apple will release a more attractive solution.
 
Jul 4, 2015
4,488
2,549
Paris
So a regular thunderbolt cable has chips in it? I didn't know that. You wouldn't know to look at it.

But this thing looks bizarre:



I'm planning to transition my whole edit/composite system from my old fashioned Mac Pro tower to a new style Mac Pro, but most of the external peripherals I'll also be upgrading come with thunderbolt 2 at this stage.

Hopefully Apple will release a more attractive solution.

This is the internal of a Thunderbolt 1/2 connector

http://dharmdutt.com/wp-content/gallery/thunderbolt-technology/CableThunderbolt3_ifixit.jpg

So to use it with a Thunderbolt 3 Adapter some kind of signal conversion would be needed so that the host OS can initialise the device properly. The signals coming in from the Display Port pins need to be remapped to the new USB C style connector.
 

nerdynerdynerdy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 22, 2007
127
127
This is the internal of a Thunderbolt 1/2 connector

http://dharmdutt.com/wp-content/gallery/thunderbolt-technology/CableThunderbolt3_ifixit.jpg

So to use it with a Thunderbolt 3 Adapter some kind of signal conversion would be needed so that the host OS can initialise the device properly. The signals coming in from the Display Port pins need to be remapped to the new USB C style connector.

Sure, but that thing I posted is the size of an Apple Watch. Seems weird to me, but I'm not a tech person so what do I know.
 

fuchsdh

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2014
1,622
983
That's really the size of a lot of active adapters. It's a shame, but there it is.

Wouldn't be surprised if there's a bit of a transitional period where we still have legacy USB-A ports and TB2 in addition to TB3. Not sure if Apple's aiming for an ultimate goal of *no* USB-C ports and just have everything be a super capable TB3.
 

Stacc

macrumors 6502a
Jun 22, 2005
888
353
That's really the size of a lot of active adapters. It's a shame, but there it is.

Wouldn't be surprised if there's a bit of a transitional period where we still have legacy USB-A ports and TB2 in addition to TB3. Not sure if Apple's aiming for an ultimate goal of *no* USB-C ports and just have everything be a super capable TB3.

Yeah its too bad they couldn't do thunderbolt 3 to thunderbolt 2 with a passive adapter. It wouldn't surprise me to see thunderbolt 2 show up in addition to TB 3 on a revised mac pro. Given the limited PCIe bandwidth of Xeon CPUs it may not even be feasible for 3 thunderbolt 3 controllers. My guess is that on Macbook Pro's they ditch thunderbolt 2 entirely for thunderbolt 3.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,400
15,597
TB3 is NOT required to use the USB-C connector, it just CAN.


So buy the thunderbolt 3 cable that looks just like every other thunderbolt cable you've ever seen....
 

Stacc

macrumors 6502a
Jun 22, 2005
888
353
TB3 is NOT required to use the USB-C connector, it just CAN.


So buy the thunderbolt 3 cable that looks just like every other thunderbolt cable you've ever seen....

The shape of the connector is not the reason you need an active adapter. Its due to signaling differences. Besides that, I don't think I've seen any implementations of TB3 that use the mini-displayport connector.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,400
15,597
The shape of the connector is not the reason you need an active adapter. Its due to signaling differences. Besides that, I don't think I've seen any implementations of TB3 that use the mini-displayport connector.
It was my understanding that every instance of TB is backwards compatible with the previous, so I'm not sure why you can't just buy a miniDP TB3 to use with your TB2 gear. Also, Apple will implement TB3 however they see fit, so stay tuned folks!
 

killawat

macrumors 65816
Sep 11, 2014
1,455
2,291
It was my understanding that every instance of TB is backwards compatible with the previous, so I'm not sure why you can't just buy a miniDP TB3 to use with your TB2 gear.

Let us know when you find a TB3 device riding miniDP. You won't, USB-C is the official connector for TB3. Apple could be silly and rig TB3 to miniDP, sure, but it would no longer be thunderbolt 3. Its not really up for debate. The connector is standard.
 

beaker7

Cancelled
Mar 16, 2009
920
5,005
No real surprise here. Pushing the needed connectivity out of the Mac and onto your desk in the way of cables, external boxes, and adapters has been priority #1 for years with Apple.
 
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FireWire2

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2008
363
6
Let assume the new Mac has Thunderbolt 3 port! Great. but using this adapter does not automatically give the user a 40Gb/s. It's complete defeat the update! We need faster and better system.

Instead of adding nothing good to the new Thunderbolt 3 port of new Mac, why not buy a thunderbolt 2 that upgrade-able to thunderbolt 3 solution

http://www.datoptic.com/ec/jbod-raid-data-storage-solutions/thunderbolt-2-products.html

T12-S6.TB2 is what I have

Edit: add a link
 
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