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Difference between Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3
  • Last Updated : 13 Jul, 2020

1. Thunderbolt 2 :
Thunderbolt 2 is released in 2013 that is the second iteration of Thunderbolt standard. Like the Thunderbolt, it is based on the Mini DisplayPort connector that is developed by Apple that means it is compatible with any USB port And its cable also will not fit in the Thunderbolt 3 port. Thunderbolt 2 offers a maximum throughput of 20 Gbps which is twice the throughput of Thunderbolt and half the throughput of Thunderbolt 3.

2. Thunderbolt 3 :
Thunderbolt 3 is released in 2015. It is the newest and fastest version of Thunderbolt that can offer a maximum throughput of 40 Gbps. Unlike Thunderbolt 2, in Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C connector is used and it is backward compatible with USB 3.1. Also it offers 100 W power to that devices.

We can distinguish Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 port. if port shape is like mini DisplayPort then definitely its either Thunderbolt 1 or 2. And if the port shape like USB C it’s a Thunderbolt 3 Port.



Difference between Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 :

S.NO Thunderbolt 2 Thunderbolt 3
1. In Thunderbolt 2, Apple’s mini DisplayPort connector is used. Whereas in thunderbolt 3, Type-c connector is used.
2. It is provides a maximum throughput of 20 Gbps. While it can provides double throughput of thunderbolt 2 which is 40 Gbps.
3. It is two bi-directional 10 Gbps channels is provided. Whereas in thunderbolt 3, two bi-directional 20 Gbps channels is provided.
4. Thunderbolt 2 is not backward compatible with USB-C. Whereas thunderbolt 3 is backward compatible with USB-C.
5. Thunderbolt 2 is not backward compatible with USB 3.1. Whereas thunderbolt 3 is backward compatible with USB 3.1.
6. Thunderbolt 2 is slower than thunderbolt 3. Whereas thunderbolt 3 is faster than thunderbolt 2.
7. Thunderbolt 2 port provide very low power to any connected device as compared to thunderbolt 3 port. Whereas thunderbolt 3 port can provides maximum 100 W power to any connected device.
8. Thunderbolt 2 ports do not support USB 3.1 generation 2 and thunderbolt 3. Whereas the thunderbolt 3 ports support USB 3.1 generation 2 as well as thunderbolt 3.
9. Thunderbolt 2 can support one 4K monitor per port. Whereas it can support one 4K monitor at 120 Hz or two monitors at 60 Hz per port.
10. In thunderbolt 2 protocol 4x PCI express 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 are used. Whereas in thunderbolt 3, protocol 4x PCI express 3.0, HDMI-2, USB 3.1 generation-2 and DisplayPort 1.2 are used.

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