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  • Writer's pictureMason Ehas

Thunderbolt Type C

Updated: Aug 18, 2022

Thunderbolt? Type-C? None of this sparking a connection (pun intended)? Read on and learn more about this powerful advancement that is dominating and setting the standard for the industry!


Have you ever looked at the side of your laptop and seen a lightning bolt beside a small opening? If you have, you might be wondering what that is and what it means? Well, that is known as a Thunderbolt port. Thunderbolt is a move that Pikachu…. No wait, wrong thunderbolt…. The

Thunderbolt that we’re thinking of is a USB advancement technology created by Intel, to provide devices with high-speed communications with your PC. Thunderbolt uses PCI-E lanes (normally used for devices such as GPUs, ethernet cards, USB controllers inside of the average desktop computer) to give the Thunderbolt enabled device quick access to the CPU.

Thunderbolt is used for a multitude of devices because it facilitates high speed data transfer, much faster than USB. The most popular device that utilizes the Thunderbolt port is a dock. With a dock, you can use one cable and connect multiple devices; an additional monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, headphones, an ethernet cable, storage devices, you name it. This is a common solution for people who want a laptop for portability but would also like to have a desktop experience when at home or work.

If you’re like me and want to have a gaming PC at home and a thin and light laptop to take with you, Thunderbolt works wonders for that! You can purchase what’s called an External GPU Enclosure (eGPU). Once you have the desired graphics card installed, simply plug your eGPU into the Thunderbolt port (some drivers will install the first time you plug it in), then boom! You’ve got a gaming PC at home, running off your laptop!

Surprisingly, Thunderbolt has been around for a long time. The first computer to ship with Thunderbolt was back in 2011 on the MacBook Pro. Intel and Apple worked together to create the standard. You probably didn’t hear about it until recently. It didn’t make a quick entrance to the PC market even though it wasn’t limited to just Apple products. Not many accessories were made for it, it used a non-standard connector on the computer, it was honestly a mess. But now that were in the 4th generation of Thunderbolt, it evolved and is being adopted by the majority of PC/laptop manufacturers. Even Apple continues to use it in all of their Macintosh machines. Since the move to USB-C as the connector, the standard has become much easier to adopt and use.

But just because your laptop has a USB-C port, that doesn’t mean it’s a Thunderbolt port. It may just be a USB 3 port or even worse, a USB 2 port. Check near the port, if you see a lightning bolt near the port, its more than likely a Thunderbolt port. Of course, you can always bring it to us here at CCC and we’d be happy to let you know if you have a thunderbolt port in your laptop, or we can help you find the right laptop with thunderbolt that would work best for your needs. That and the thunderbolt accessories that you need!

If you have any questions about Thunderbolt Type-C, feel free to give us a call!


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