Thunderbolt 2 offers high-speed data transfer (up to 20 Gbps), both allow for daisy chaining of up to six devices, and both use the Mini DisplayPort connector.
Thunderbolt 3 is the latest version of the Thunderbolt interface and was introduced in 2015. It offers a number of improvements over Thunderbolt 2, including double the bandwidth (up to 40 Gbps), support for USB 3.1 Gen 2 devices, and the ability to connect two 4K displays at 60 Hz or one 5K display at 60 Hz.
Thunderbolt 2 vs. Thunderbolt 3
|Thunderbolt 2||Thunderbolt 3|
|Thunderbolt 2 has a data transfer rate of up to 20 Gbps, which is half as fast as Thunderbolt 3’s 40 Gbps speed.||Thunderbolt 3 is twice as fast as Thunderbolt 2, with a data transfer rate of up to 40 Gbps. This makes Thunderbolt 3 much better suited for transferring large files.|
|It uses a Mini DisplayPort connector, which is not as widely used as Thunderbolt 3’s USB-C connector.||It uses a USB-C connector, which is becoming more and more common in modern devices. This means that Thunderbolt 3 is generally more compatible.|
|Thunderbolt 2 can deliver up to 10W of power, while Thunderbolt 3 can deliver up to 100W.||Thunderbolt 3 is capable of delivering up to 100W of power, which is ten times more than what Thunderbolt 2 can deliver.|
|It supports daisy chaining up to 6 devices.Thunderbolt 2’s 20 Gbps bandwidth can only support dual DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort displays.||It also supports daisy chaining, Thunderbolt 3’s 40 Gbps bandwidth allows it to support two 4K displays or one 5K display.|
|Thunderbolt 2 can support dual DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort displays.||Thunderbolt 3 can support dual 4K displays or one 5K display. It is more suitable for tasks that require high-resolution displays.|
|It is compatible with Thunderbolt 1 and 2 devices with an adapter.||It is compatible with USB-C devices and can support Thunderbolt 1, 2, and 3 devices with an adapter.|
Advantages of Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3
Thunderbolt 3 is the latest and greatest Thunderbolt technology available. It offers a number of advantages over its predecessor, Thunderbolt 2, including double the bandwidth, support for up to four 4K displays, and compatibility with a new generation of ultra-fast storage devices. Thunderbolt 3 also offers greater flexibility in terms of cable length and connector type.
Thunderbolt 3 is that the cost of compatible cables has decreased compared to Thunderbolt 2. Thunderbolt 3 uses a USB-C connector, which is more commonly available and affordable than the Mini DisplayPort connector used by Thunderbolt 2. This makes it easier and more cost-effective for users to purchase and use Thunderbolt 3-compatible devices and cables.
What connectors do Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 use?
Thunderbolt 2 uses a Mini DisplayPort connector, which is a small, rectangular connector commonly found on Apple computers and some PC laptops.
Thunderbolt 3 uses a USB-C connector, which is a small, reversible connector found on many modern laptops, tablets, and smartphones. The USB-C connector is a versatile connector that supports various protocols, including Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1, and DisplayPort 1.2.
Which one should you choose?
Thunderbolt 2 is a high-speed input/output (I/O) technology and offers a maximum data transfer rate of 20 Gbps, making it suitable for transferring large amounts of data quickly. Thunderbolt 2 uses a Mini DisplayPort connector, which limits its versatility as it can only be used with devices that support this connector. Thunderbolt 2 also supports a single 4K display, making it suitable for graphics-intensive tasks such as video editing and gaming.
Thunderbolt 3 offers 40Gbps of bandwidth, which is double that of Thunderbolt 2. It also supports up to 100W of power delivery, making it ideal for charging laptops and other devices. One downside of Thunderbolt 3 is that it’s not compatible with older versions of the standard.
Key differences between Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3
Thunderbolt 3 offers significantly faster data transfer speeds than Thunderbolt 2 – up to 40 Gbps, compared to 20 Gbps for Thunderbolt 2. Additionally, Thunderbolt 3 cables are compatible with both USB-C and DisplayPort connectors, while Thunderbolt 2 cables are not.
Thunderbolt 3 ports can provide up to 100 watts of power delivery, whereas Thunderbolt 2 ports can only provide up to 60 watts. If you’re working with older equipment that doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3, then you’ll need to stick with Thunderbolt 2.
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Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 both offer excellent performance, but the latter is a more advanced technology. It offers faster speeds, greater compatibility with devices, and improved power delivery capabilities. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which one works best for your needs. If you have an older device that only supports Thunderbolt 2, then that may be the way to go. However, if you’re looking for cutting-edge features and blazing-fast performance, then opting for a Thunderbolt 3 connection is the right move.