Difference Between Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 (With Table)

Technology has been an important part of human lives from the past few decades, the frequent improvisations and upgrades in technology made life easy for humans. Technology saves time, hard work, and efforts of people. 

There are devices which provide help as well as entertainment, for example, mobile phones, laptop, computers, etc., and there are several devices which are further connected to these devices, for example, CD player, speakers, etc., and add more value to the primary device.

Leading brands in electronics always make sure that devices are able to connected to other peripheral devices, as devices like television, laptops, PCs, etc., are designed in such a way that they can be connected to other devices like printers, home theatres, speakers, etc.

The external peripheral devices are connected to other devices with help of cables and wires. These wires and cables are manufactured by several companies, for example, intel, etc., there are several distinctions within these wires and cables as not every USB cable fits every device.

Thunderbolt 2 vs Thunderbolt 3

The difference between Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 is that the thunderbolt 2 port does not support USB 3.1 generation 2 and thunderbolt 3 on the other hand thunderbolt 3 supports USB 3.1 generation 2 and thunderbolt 3 as well.  Both of them are products of Intel and are modified versions.     

Comparison Table Between Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3

Parameters of ComparisonThunderbolt 2Thunderbolt  3
Modified version ofThunderbolt Thunderbolt  2
Maximum throughput 20 Gbps40 Gbps
Backward compatibility with USB C type Not compatibleCompatible 
Power provided to the connected device LowMaximum power provided 100 watt
Protocol used Protocol 4x PCI express 2.0 and display port 1.2 4x PCI Express 3.0, as well as HDMI 2, USB 3.1 generation -2 and display port 1.2

What is Thunderbolt 2?

A hardware interface has been developed by Intel which allows external peripheral devices to get connected to computers, this interface is known as the thunderbolt. Thunderbolt 2 is the second iteration of the thunderbolt standard, and there are more modified versions are available like thunderbolt 3.       

One of the best features of Thunderbolt 2 is that it supports the connection of up to ten devices at the same time. It also provides five fully powered USB 3 ports to hold hard drives and optical drives. It can be used to charge Apple devices like the iPhone or iPad.

As Thunderbolt 2 is a modified version of the thunderbolt, it offers double throughput in a single channel. Thunderbolt also supports 4k video and it also writes it to the disk. 4k videos are in vogue and they need more bandwidth as compared to normal thunderbolt can accommodate.

The throughput of Thunderbolt 2 is 20 Gbps, it also supports a mini display port, it supports the latest display port 2.1, this display port adds on the ultra-high-resolution format. Thunderbolt 2 is available in mac systems and several other devices. Protocol 4x PCI express 2.0 and display port 1.2 are used in Thunderbolt 2. 

Thunderbolt 2 is relatively four times faster than USB 3.0 and their distinctive feature is that the USB do not have USB output port but thunderbolt have this feature. Speed of thunderbolt 2 is extremely good, although, there is a modified version of thunderbolt 2 which is thunderbolt 3, and it offers even better quality of speed.

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What is Thunderbolt 3? 

Thunderbolt is a product of intel, which is used for transferring data, and Thunderbolt 3 is a modified version of it. Thunderbolt 3 is an upgraded version of Thunderbolt 2. It is the latest version of the thunderbolt. It is said to better in performance as compared to thunderbolt 2.

Thunderbolt 3 has speed up to 40 Gbps, which is double the speed of Thunderbolt 2  and it also allows USB speed up to 10 Gbps. Thunderbolt 3 offers a connection to two 4k displays, outputting videos and audios at the same time. 

Thunderbolt supports DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0 and 10 GbE networking. Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C connector is used and it is also backward compatible with USB 3.1. It is the fastest version of the thunderbolt. all the latest devices are compatible with it.  

One of the key features of Thunderbolt 3 is that it can provide the power of 100 Watts to any connected device, this feature was missing in Thunderbolt 2. Thunderbolt 3 ports offer support to USB 3.1 generation 2 and Thunderbolt 3 as well.  

Protocol 4x PCI express 3.0, is used in thunderbolt along with HDMI 2 and USB generation 3.1. Speed of thunderbolt is what makes it successful in the market, this product of intel is embraced by apple. Thunderbolts are compatible with several other devices too. 

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Main Differences Between Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3

  1. Thunderbolt 2 provides the maximum throughput of 20 Gbps, on the other hand, thunderbolt 3 has a double throughput of around 40 Gbps.
  2. Thunderbolt 2 port provides low power to any connected device, on the other hand, Thunderbolt 3 provides high power to any connected device which is 100 watts.
  3. Thunderbolt 2  uses protocol 4x PCI express 2.0 and display port 1.2, on the other hand, thunderbolt 3 uses protocol 4x PCI express 3.0, as well as HDMI 2, USB 3.1 generation -2 and display port 1.2. 
  4. USB 3.1 generation 2 and thunderbolt 3 is not supported by thunderbolt 2, on the other hand, Thunderbolt 3 supports USB 3.1 generation 2 and thunderbolt 3.     
  5. Thunderbolt 2 is fast but slower than thunderbolt 3, on the other hand, Thunderbolt 3 is faster than Thunderbolt 2. 
  6. Thunderbolt 2 is not backward compatible with USB C-type, on the other hand, Thunderbolt 3 is backward compatible with USB C-type.  
  7. Thunderbolt 2 is modified version of thunderbolt, whereas thunderbolt 3 is modified version of thunderbolt 2. 
  8. Thunderbolt 2 can support one 4k monitor per port, on the other hand, thunderbolt 3 can support two monitors at 60 Hz per port easily.       

Conclusion

Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 are products of intel that are embraced by apple. Thunderbolt 2 is a modified version of thunderbolt and thunderbolt 3 is a modified version of thunderbolt 2.                  

Thunderbolt 2 is faster but thunderbolt 3 is fastest. There are a lot of differences between them both and are easily visible, in terms of their technicalities. Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 are compatible with many devices other than Apple products. Thunderbolt 3 is the latest version of thunderbolt series.

Thunderbolt 3 being an modified version is performing better than thunderbolt 2 in every aspect. The comparison between the both is easy. Thunderbolt 3 and thunderbolt 2 are available in market as part of cables, ports, etc.

References 

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Last update on 2021-10-22 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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