USB Type C Vs Thunderbolt 3: (10Gbps & 40Gbps) Comparison

Well, it isn’t that easier to understand how well USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 work.

Both of them uses a different kind of technology and are compatible with certain devices.

To know how confusing it can be to choose between them, so we have crafted this detailed article that will give you clarity on what to do.

What is USB Type C?

USB Type C

The industry standard connection for data and power transmission via one cable is USB.

The USB-C connector is slightly wider and more oval in form than a micro-USB connector, although having a very similar appearance, to enable its best feature: unflappability.

The USB-C connection was created by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF).

Companies that over the years have created, certified and administered the USB standard are included in this category.

The USB-IF has more than 700 members, including Apple, Samsung, Dell, HP, and Intel.

There are currently many new gadgets with USB-C connectors in a variety of tech areas.

Primarily USB-C is being used to charge batteries and send data with USB-C. Hard drives, smart home gadgets, and smartphones can all utilize it.

The most recent iteration of the USB standard is USB-C. In comparison to older USB kinds like USB-A, it is simpler to connect.

Smartphones and other compact devices may be utilized with USB-C ports and cables because of their tiny size.

They may be found on any gadget, including a Samsung Galaxy smartphone and the Nintendo Switch.

In contrast to other USB varieties, you don’t need to bother about how it is plugged in.

What is Thunderbolt 3?

Thunderbolt 3

A partnership between Apple and Intel in technological development saw the 2011 release of Thunderbolt, a relatively new technology.

The technology is now completely USB-C compatible thanks to Thunderbolt 3. Up to 40 gigabytes may be transferred per second using Thunderbolt 3 connectors.

This is two times as fast as USB-C. You will require a Thunderbolt 3 cable with a Thunderbolt port rather than a USB C port in order to attain these speeds.

For improved performance in virtual reality and gaming, this is essential. As a result of Thunderbolt’s quicker data transmission rates, accessories like mice, keyboards, and VR headsets like the HP Reverb G2 can react to inputs more quickly.

This can offer you an advantage over your rivals and shorten the delay between when you enter a command to a peripheral and when it appears on the screen.

USB-C ports and Thunderbolt 3 ports are interchangeable. In actuality, the connection seems identical when plugged in.

They frequently do the same tasks as a USB-C, but considerably more quickly. Thunderbolt 3 is a USB-C extension.

A Thunderbolt 3 port will accept a USB C-only device and function properly with it. Up to 40Gbps of data, throughput is possible with Thunderbolt 3.

This is four times quicker than the original Thunderbolt interface and twice as fast as the 20Gbps maximum USB-C port throughput speed.

USB-C vs ThunderBolt 3

USB Type C Vs Thunderbolt 3

Not always is it simple. The two connections are the same. One connection not supporting the other is the problem.

All USB-C ports do not support Thunderbolt 3, and Thunderbolt 3 ports are incompatible with USB-C.

The fact that some Thunderbolt 3 connectors on select MacBook Pro models weren’t labeled by Apple or Microsoft is not unexpected. Microsoft also left some USB-C ports on its laptops unlabeled.

In spite of this, it’s critical to read the product description or paperwork to understand the distinctions.

Pay attention to the packing as well. The cables for Thunderbolt 3 are the same. The illumination sign-on Thunderbolt 3 cables could not be the same.

It all boils down to what you need. If the faster data transfer speeds are the only factor, Thunderbolt 3 technically triumphs.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that Thunderbolt 3 cables and accessories are often more expensive than USB C equivalents.

Thunderbolt 3 may not be worth the cost if you don’t regularly transfer data to external hard drives.

You can also charge your devices with USB-C cables. Both Thunderbolt 3 (or USB-C) are different interfaces, and they will both be available on the hardware market for many years.

Even if a USB-C port that supports Thunderbolt 3 is more potent than one that doesn’t, it might be challenging to tell the difference.

Depending on the model, the Apple MacBook Pro has four Thunderbolt 3 connectors.

But none of them are marked with labels or distinguishing features. The fact that they are all Thunderbolt 3 ports should be obvious to you.

On other devices like the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, USB-C operates similarly. Unmarked USB-C ports that cannot support Thunderbolt 3 are present.

Check the paperwork or read the product description if you are unclear about which port you are looking at.

The cables are the same. Lightning bolts are imprinted on the plugs of certain Thunderbolt 3 cables. Some don’t.

You will need a Thunderbolt 3 Cable in order to fully utilize Thunderbolt 3 ports. For this reason, it’s crucial to thoroughly read the packing information.

Thunderbolt 3 is better than USB-C?

It varies. Most users will discover that USB-C ports and cables are capable of both charging and connecting to storage devices and accessories.

If you want to daisy-chain numerous 4K screens or transport significant amounts of data, a Thunderbolt connection is preferable.

Thunderbolt cables can also be used with Thunderbolt docking stations. If you use many peripherals or play competitive video games, these cords are a need.

For those who frequently need to deal with huge files, including videos, Thunderbolt is a fantastic alternative.

Up to 40 terabytes of data may be transferred per second via Thunderbolt. This implies that having several 4K displays will provide you with greater video bandwidth.

Large amounts may be transferred fast using this method to external hard drives. For the purpose of backing up local storage, this is very crucial.

Which Thunder Bolt 3 or USB C should you choose?

Although using the Thunderbolt 3 port whenever feasible may seem apparent, it is not always the case.

In many situations, you don’t have to pick between them. The most fundamental function of each port, charging a battery, demonstrates why.

There is frequently no difference in the ability of each port to charge the battery in laptops that can charge their internal batteries through USB-C and feature a variety of USB-C connections (some of which enable Thunderbolt 3 but not others). There are several exclusions.

Despite the fact that it could be more expensive, Thunderbolt 3 is an excellent option in some circumstances.

Most susceptible are media workers who often copy large amounts of video and photographs to and from external storage.

Since Thunderbolt 3 is compatible with all recent Macs, buying a Thunderbolt 3 External Drive to speed up data transfers is a simple choice.


Both USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 are not definite winners. They are just unique, and each thrives in a certain application.

Both will eventually be replaced with a new standard within a few years, likely the nascent USB4 if the evolution of interfaces is any indication.

There will be a lot of novel distinctions and nuances to learn. Depending on the use that you put on, the USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 play their role.

It isn’t that easier to catch on to how well they perform. Due to many circumstances, few companies have to opt for a specific kind of technology.

It can be due to their deal with the company, or simply their technology is adapted to another one.

Make sure that you understand the major difference between USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 is just the technology that they use.

Rest all things are figuratively simple. Do not forget to give your feedback to us in the comment section below.

About Daniel

Daniel is a tech enthusiast and repair technician who loves experimenting with various gadgets and home appliances. On this blog, he shares a troubleshooting guide for software and hardware faults.

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