Home Technology Thunderbolt vs USB: advantages and disadvantages of each interface

Thunderbolt vs USB: advantages and disadvantages of each interface

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Although USB is the best known interface, and easier to find in any Mac and PC computer since the late 90s. Thunderbolt, meanwhile, is the result of collaboration between Intel and Apple, and is a more widespread solution between Mac computers. However, little by little it has been gaining market by its  advantages in front of the universal ‘bus’. But what does each interface offer? We explored the  advantages and disadvantages of USB and Thunderbolt, face to face.

The USB is the interface used for connecting peripherals of all kinds on your computer: from hard drives to keyboards and adapters rd through, among many others. The most frequent is to find USB, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, differentiated in a usual way by its color: blue, in the case of USB 3.0 connectors, which can perfectly coexist in the same device. Thunderbolt, because of its direct support and the  high transfer rate it offers, is most commonly used for video transmission.

Thunderbolt vs USB: advantages and disadvantages of each interface
Thunderbolt vs USB: advantages and disadvantages of each interface

Thunderbolt vs USB: differences, advantages and disadvantages between interfaces

The USB 3.0 is capable of reaching up to 5 Gbps, compared to a USB 2.0 that reaches 400 Mbps. Meanwhile, the Thunderbolt 3.0 connection, based on USB Type C – like USB 3.1,  reaches up to 40 Gbps. Therefore, one of the greatest advantages of this interface of Apple and Intel is in the maximum transfer speed (theoretical), which is eight times higher. Even in a USB 3.1 we find those same 5 Gbps, although in the second generation will reach 10 Gbps. Also, a speed four times lower than the maximum offered by the Thunderbolt 3.0 technology.

The versatility of the Thunderbolt is much greater

But this huge  bandwidth of the Thunderbolt interface makes this type of connections more versatile. For example, it can be used for several simultaneous uses: the same connection can be used to transmit video in 4K and a hard disk. Or simply, for the  RAID configuration of storage systems and for example, also, to take advantage of all the performance of an external SSD. This is why the  Thunderbolt interface is often used in the  professional video environment.

Thunderbolt:

USB:

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