Thunderbolt device through USB 3.1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Melodist, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. Melodist macrumors regular

    Melodist

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    #1
    Hello there,

    Will it be possible to connect a Thunderbolt device to my USB 3.1 / C port?

    I know this is not mac related but I'm transitioning from my Mac to a Windows computer.

    Mike
     
  2. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #3
    This is the Mac Pro thread, I think you're talking about the newly released MacBook Pro? If you are I'm not sure why you're then transitioning to Windows?!

    Anyway, what you're asking about won't work; Thunderbolt 3 happens to have a USB-C connector and works for USB-C devices, but it doesn't work the other way around.

    USB-C is still just USB to an extent, whereas Thunderbolt is the equivalent of exposing a full PCIe 3.0 4x slot via a cable.

    Also, there are no USB-C ports on any Mac Pro (at the time of writing this).
     
  3. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    #4
    The answer is no. Thunderbolt devices have their own protocols for communication even if they share the same port design.
     
  4. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #5
    Old-style, non-reversible USB "A" port (2.0, 3.0, 3.1 - lots of PCs and Macs): No.

    Regular USB-C port (e.g. 12" MacBook, Chromebook Pixel, various phones): No.

    Combined Thunderbolt3/USB-C port (e.g. new MacBook Pros, Dell XPS, various PC motherboards): Yes - but you'll need a TB3-to-TB1/2 adapter if its a TB1 or TB2 device - subject to PC/Mac driver issues.

    Note: USB-C (the new reversible ones) and USB3-type-A (the old chunky ones that you have to turn around twice to get the right way up) are types of connector. USB 2/3.0/3.1 are protocols that can run on either type of connector. TB3 is a protocol that uses the same connector as USB-C but isn't supported by regular USB-C ports. USB 3.0 is now called USB 3.1 gen 1 and USB 3.1 gen 2 is the new superfast USB, thunderbolt 3 can run over USB-C cables if they're less than 1m & thunderbolt certified, but USB 2/3 can't run over Thunderbolt 3 cables and DisplayPort can run over both but in subtly different ways, USB-C might support DisplayPort 1.3 but TB3 never will and Chewbacca is a Wookey from Cashyyk but he lives on Endor...

    Yup. USB-C will greatly simplify our data connections. Sigh.
     

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