USB C or Thunderbolt wires/block for charger

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by timotay89, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. timotay89 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #1
    I just purchased a new 13 inch MBP that arrives in about a week. I've only had Apple laptops with the MagSafe chargers, so I'm getting ready to buy some new chargers, especially with Prime Day today and tomorrow.

    I'm trying to figure out if I need (or can use) Thunderbolt 3 cables to charge the computer and if those require a certain special try of brick to plug into the wall instead of a USB C brick. I'd want the Thunderbolt cables because I can use them for other purposes and maintain the high Thunderbolt speed, but I also want to make sure I get cables that can be used with all USB C ports regardless of the device (if this is even a thing).

    Is this a viable option? Or if I want the cables to work in all circumstances is it best to buy just the USB C cables? What about the bricks that plug into the wall (I know that the 60W ones are going to be ideal and that's what I plan on getting).

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. Trey M macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    The charging situation is definitely a positive (in my mind) with the newer generation MacBook Pros. While Magsafe was convenient, ingenious, and fun to use, I do enjoy being able to charge my Mac on either side as well as being able to choose from whatever manufacturer I want. I may be in the minority on this :)

    You can definitely use Thunderbolt 3 cables to charge, I do it semi-frequently. Just get a Thunderbolt cable certified for at least 61W (Caldigit is a top manufacturer) and you're good to go.

    The benefit of the stock Apple cable is going to be the length. You'll be hard pressed to find a Thunderbolt 3 cable that's 2M for a reasonable price. For charging, I generally use Apple cables so they can take the wear and tear and I leave the data transfers and important stuff for my TB3 cables. It's worth noting that the USB-C Apple cable which comes in the box only supports USB 2.0 speeds (it's called the 'Charging' cable).

    As far as the charging brick, since you mentioned Prime, pick one of these up:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TC53ZYD/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    This thing is literally smaller than the Apple 29/30W chargers and it supports the full 61W. It even comes in black. It uses the new GaN technology to achieve the small size. I just got one on Sunday and it's mind blowing how portable this thing is. It's as cool as a charger can get.
     
  3. timotay89 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #3
    This is remarkably helpful, thanks! As I don't yet own or have access to anything that relies on a Thunderbolt connection, I'm probably going to just stick with the USB C cables for the moment. I'm trying to find USB C 3.1 cables though so I'm not stuck digging out a different cable when I eventually get an external drive that connects via USB C Does this one look like it'll do what I need it to do?
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F36KZCD/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A21I1NF8DX8ESN&psc=1

    Also, I'm thinking of buying the order version of that power brick because it's got the old USB A on it so I don't have to have two different things in outlets wherever I go. Does this look like it'll still do the same thing?
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PLR7T1M/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A2KUZVNQ9LP7N9&psc=1

    Thanks for your advice!
     
  4. Trey M macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    Cable looks fine.

    As for the charger, it’s 61W total output, so if you had say an iPhone X connected via USB-A and your MBP connected via USB-C, you’re not going to be getting the full 61W charging since it’s a total of 61W. So, if you’re doing something processor intensive, you may charge more slowly or slowly lose charge just depending on the use case. The other factor is just the size- the one you linked looks a bit bigger.
     
  5. jerryk macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #5
    You can use the bricks from 30W on up. Obvious 60W is the best choice. Apple is moving to USB-C on all their devices. I have an iPad Pro 11 and it is USB-C. iPhones will be USB-C soon and that is a good thing.

    USB-C supports Power Delivery (PD) where the device and charger negotiate for the voltage and amperage that is best to power the device. As a results I use same charger on the devices I carry (MacBook Pro 15, S10+, and iPad pro). And have largely moved to only carrying USBC-USBC cables. And use a Anker 60W USBC charger and/or the 94W USB-C charger that came with the 15" MBP to charge all of them.
     

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4 July 15, 2019