Thunderbolt 4 - The Strong Rival of USB 4 (2)

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After the previously chapters explaining the features of USB4 and thunderbolt 4, it is known that the connector Type C is used in both standard with no doubt. You may wonder why Thunderbolt 4 (TB 4) is described as the strongest rival for USB4. You are going to know the answer soon.

Photo Credit: PCmag.com

USB4 is developed based on Thunderbolt 3 (TB 3), and Thunderbolt 4 is evolved from Thunderbolt 3. Strictly speaking, Thunderbolt 4 and Thunderbolt 3 are not technically different; they are also fully compatible (meaning that Thunderbolt 4 can be compatible with USB4.) It's just that Thunderbolt 4 is much stricter than Thunderbolt 3 or USB4 in terms of specifications of minimum requirements, which ensures that a USB-C port that complies with the Thunderbolt 4 specification will support all Thunderbolt 3 and USB 4 devices.

Photo Credit: Intel

Thunderbolt 4 is capable of providing transfer rate reaching up to 40Gbps (20Gbps x 2) and 100W of power for connecting to an external graphics card to the laptop. It is compatible backward with USB 3.2 (Gen1, Gen2x1, Gen2x2), USB 2.0 standard sand Thunderbolt 3 and DP (Display Port). Thunderbolt 4 also have the capacity of connecting two 4K @ 60Hz or single 8K monitors. Moreover, devices that are equipped with Thunderbolt 4 will also have 4 Type C ports (1 port for connecting to the computer, 3 ports for connecting to other devices, i.e. Thunderbolt Hub). On In contrast, Thunderbolt 3 only requires a single 4K screen and transfers data at 16GB/s via PCIe; while USB4 only requires a single screen (unlimited resolution), transfer rate of 20Gb/s, and it does not require data transfer via PCIe.


Although Thunderbolt 4 is obviously indistinguishable from USB4/Thunderbolt 3, it still has an interesting advantage: it truly surpasses the highest specs that USB4 can offer.

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