USB-C = TB+USB 3 on the Pro?

Macalway

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 7, 2013
2,718
1,093
Ok, if I understand this right, USB-C is more like a connection standard. You can configure it for TB or USB 3, both, or whatever. At least I hope this is the case as I need thunderbolt for audio. Seems rather strange. I have doubts :D

So I would need a USB-C thunderbolt cable, no adapters. It would have to be just thunderbolt. If this is the case, this change would be welcome (minus Apple charging you $$ for cables :( )
 

Macalway

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 7, 2013
2,718
1,093
Thanks, but I don't have the patience to listen to the history of USB for ten minutes :D.

It's pretty simple question. (that probably will not be answered, oh well :D )
 

Floris

macrumors 68020
Sep 7, 2007
2,381
1,451
Netherlands
Thanks, but I don't have the patience to listen to the history of USB for ten minutes :D.

It's pretty simple question. (that probably will not be answered, oh well :D )
If we never bother to learn :) We will get nowhere.

Short answer is: sure, it's an all in one solution. Hope that helps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jerryk

Macalway

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 7, 2013
2,718
1,093
Anyone?

It's hard pill to swallow considering the cost and change involved. I wonder if anyone has any actual experience regarding this,
 
Last edited:

Floris

macrumors 68020
Sep 7, 2007
2,381
1,451
Netherlands
I think if you have a thunderbolt display. You can put a usb-c cable into your system. And then the end of that is thunderbolt, which goes into the monitor.
If your speakers are on usb3, and your mac is usb-c, then it goes from usb-c cable in the system to usb3 at the end for the audio device.

You just need to the right usb-c ---> x cable.

if you have 1 port ,and 3 devices to connect, you need a type of hub that has the right ports, and usb-c into your systems usb-c port.

There's nothing to configure.
 

JTToft

macrumors 68040
Apr 27, 2010
3,405
754
Aarhus, Denmark

Macalway

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 7, 2013
2,718
1,093
- That isn't possible. Do you mean a simple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 3 cable? Or are you looking to connect Thunderbolt 1/2 devices to a Thunderbolt 3 port?

In the first case: https://www.startech.com/Cables/thunderbolt-3-cables/thunderbolt-3-40gbps-usb-c-cable~TBLT34MM50CM

In the second case: https://www.startech.com/Cables/thunderbolt-3-cables/thunderbolt-3-usb-c-thunderbolt-adapter~TBT3TBTADAP
Yes, thank you (the second one). TB 3 is backwards compatible to TB 2 and TB1, but I'm not sure an active DATA adapter would work for me, (unless it's passive DATA and it's a power thing), but then a simple cable would work if it's passive?. Just trying to sort this out, thanks!

BTW, in the second link that's 'Windows only', apparently.
 
Last edited:

JTToft

macrumors 68040
Apr 27, 2010
3,405
754
Aarhus, Denmark
Yes, thank you (the second one). TB 3 is backwards compatible to TB 2 and TB1, but I'm not sure an active DATA adapter would work for me, (unless it's passive DATA and it's a power thing), but then a simple cable would work if it's passive?. Just trying to sort this out, thanks!

BTW, in the second link that's 'Windows only', apparently.
- I don't know of a simple cable, but perhaps it will come later if it's possible.

I think it's Windows only simply because no Macs with Thunderbolt 3 exist, so it can't be compatible with macOS. Could be wrong, though.
 

killawat

macrumors 65816
Sep 11, 2014
1,443
2,185
but I'm not sure an active DATA adapter would work for me, (unless it's passive DATA and it's a power thing), but then a simple cable would work if it's passive?. Just trying to sort this out, thanks!
There is no passive solution (aka "cheap") for TB3 hosts to connect to TB2/1 devices, some active circuitry is required.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JTToft

Macalway

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 7, 2013
2,718
1,093
There is no passive solution (aka "cheap") for TB3 hosts to connect to TB2/1 devices, some active circuitry is required.
If it's backward compatible, than what would an adapter do? If it's a power adjustment than it's not 'entirely' backward compatible. If it's a pin thing, than of course they could just supply cables. If it's a data thing, than it's simply not truly backward compatible.
 

Rkuda

macrumors regular
May 23, 2016
146
199
If it's backward compatible, than what would an adapter do? If it's a power adjustment than it's not 'entirely' backward compatible. If it's a pin thing, than of course they could just supply cables. If it's a data thing, than it's simply not truly backward compatible.
Not sure the exact reasons but according to this page the wording looks like TB1/2 will always need an adapter:

https://thunderbolttechnology.net/tech/faq

Is Thunderbolt 3 backwards compatible with Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2?
Yes, solutions and products built to Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 specifications will work with Thunderbolt 3 via an adapter.
 

arbitrage

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2009
564
184
Are we expecting all 4 ports to be TB3 or only some and the others just USB-3.1? I finally read about all these specs and now understand the differences between USB-C (the connector) and the actual port being different specs. Is USB-C port on the 12" rMB just a 3.1 port (Gen 2) with no TB support? Or is it actually just a USB 3.0 port (now called USB 3.1 Gen1)??
 

JTToft

macrumors 68040
Apr 27, 2010
3,405
754
Aarhus, Denmark
Are we expecting all 4 ports to be TB3 or only some and the others just USB-3.1? I finally read about all these specs and now understand the differences between USB-C (the connector) and the actual port being different specs. Is USB-C port on the 12" rMB just a 3.1 port with TB2 support?
- I'm betting all USB-C ports will have Thunderbolt 3 support.
The alternative with physically identical ports with different capabilities would be too confusing for people. You don't see Apple mixing USB 3.0 with USB 2.0 ports on the same machine, either (as some manufacturers do).

The rMB has only USB-C with no Thunderbolt of any kind.
 

arbitrage

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2009
564
184
- I'm betting all USB-C ports will have Thunderbolt 3 support.
The alternative with physically identical ports with different capabilities would be too confusing for people. You don't see Apple mixing USB 3.0 with USB 2.0 ports on the same machine, either (as some manufacturers do).

The rMB has only USB-C with no Thunderbolt of any kind.
Thanks, and on the rMB, the port is only USB 3.0 (3.1 Type 1)?
 

maratus

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2009
630
146
Canada
- I'm betting all USB-C ports will have Thunderbolt 3 support.
The alternative with physically identical ports with different capabilities would be too confusing for people. You don't see Apple mixing USB 3.0 with USB 2.0 ports on the same machine, either (as some manufacturers do).

The rMB has only USB-C with no Thunderbolt of any kind.
Each pair of thunderbolt 3 ports requires a separate Alpine Ridge controller. The first one comes from Skylake CPU, the second one must be an extra chip on a logic board.

Unless Apple really wants to reduce confusion, I highly doubt they won't try to save a few bucks by not using an extra chip (you've all seen how they skimped on RAM in iPad "Pro" 9.7")

And 4x thunderbolt ports seems like an overkill, really
 

wegster

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2006
328
79
If it's backward compatible, than what would an adapter do? If it's a power adjustment than it's not 'entirely' backward compatible. If it's a pin thing, than of course they could just supply cables. If it's a data thing, than it's simply not truly backward compatible.
I think you're making much ado about nothing here.
USB-C is basically the port and cable specification. TB3 requires hardware and software behind those ports. To be TB3 'compliant,' think of it as it MUST be able to work with TB1/2 devices and not only TB3 devices.

Sure, there are differences between active or passive (e.g. pin/format swaps only) cables, but the end result is the same. Keep your existing devices, run a cable that plugs into a TB3/USB-C port and done.

Yes, there is AFAIK a cable difference - think of USB-C as the connector only, and depending on the electronics and cables, may support either USB 3.1/Gen 1 (~5GB/sec), Gen 2 (10GB/sec), or TB3(bi-directional and supports DisplayPort and PCI-Express, 40GB/sec). Of course, you also have backward compatibility both back to USB1 + TB1 or 2 assuming you are using USB-C TB3 ports and the right cable.
[doublepost=1477243230][/doublepost]
Each pair of thunderbolt 3 ports requires a separate Alpine Ridge controller. The first one comes from Skylake CPU, the second one must be an extra chip on a logic board.

Unless Apple really wants to reduce confusion, I highly doubt they won't try to save a few bucks by not using an extra chip (you've all seen how they skimped on RAM in iPad "Pro" 9.7")

And 4x thunderbolt ports seems like an overkill, really
Yeah, this is the interesting question - it's possible we see two ports on the left and two on the right and e.g. left ports are TB3, right are USB3g2 only, or all in across all four. I'm not seeing either path as a huge impact to me, as you can always use the right ports, for example, for connecting to projectors and external displays on the go, using USB-C -> DP or HDMI regardless, and I'd use the left for 'docking and power at desk' or similar.
 

arbitrage

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2009
564
184
Does TB3 require a special USB C cable to make use of the TB3 functions? If so then if all 4 ports were TB3/USB 3.1(Gen2) could you use a standard USB C cable to just have USB 3.1 (Gen2) function and only have to buy the better (more $$) cable to use the TB3 functions.
 

Macalway

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 7, 2013
2,718
1,093
The problem is that I use it for audio, and it's a latency thing, that's why i'm nitpicking. TB 2 gets really low latency compared to USB and firewire (which is gone anyway). It's not bandwidth thing, it's a speed thing.

A simple analogy is if your car only can go 50 MPH having ten lanes will not make it go faster. So I have to make sure there's not a degrading of this. I don't think there is, as the Intel site is very clear about just this thing, but the adapter? I have to figure it out, as I have invested into the TB2 thing; you know how that goes......

It actually surprised me a bit that Intel is very clear about this (from the link above). But it's the 3rd party adapters that worry me as this needs to be tested, and they will try to sell you anything. There's that Windows adapter now, that was linked in this thread, that's a good example.
 
Last edited: