Thunderbolt or USB-C | HomeKit Australia

Thunderbolt or USB-C

Recently we received a series of questions from a prospective client seeking advice on adopting Thunderbolt or USB-C as an interface, chargers and cables on their setup.

Thinking that some pros and cons of USB vs Thunderbolt products might have a use for a lot more people, we thought we would publish our response here.

Thanks for the positive comments.

The 100w charger is my favourite – I have one behind me powering multiple devices.  Probably the best things about it are its versatility in powering a number of devices plus it stays cool.  Many higher capacity chargers can get very hot.

We are testing smaller chargers at present and will likely introduce the first of these around the March timeframe. The first will be a 65w 3 port charger and possibly a 100w around mid-year.  The problem with the smaller size is they do get a lot warmer than our existing range.

I’ve looked at both cabled chargers (which I also like a lot) and chargers with bottom outlets. There’s always been a problem with all that we’ve looked at and this includes performance, heat and lack of RCM certification for Australia. We are continuing to look at these but at the same time we are trying to reduce our range to a budget around 20w charger and then 30w, 65w and 100(+) watts. We have yet to find anyone that can put a combination of wall and cabled plug together with decent performance and RCM.

In regards to cable choices, we only stock quality cables, but having said that …. you get what you pay for.

If future-proofing is the core aim, then it’s an easy choice – Thunderbolt.

However, with the system you have at present a good quality 100w certified USB-C cable will be more than adequate. These will continue to be useful but as soon as you purchase anything that is USB4 or Thunderbolt, they simply won’t work – you will get an error reported from your OS.

My guess, it is only a matter of time before Intel stops using the term USB and simply 100% promotes Thunderbolt which is entirely backward compatible. The thing stopping this is the significantly wide public acceptance and understanding of USB.

If a USB-C styled cable works, then Thunderbolt will also work. Apple’s new MacBook Pros are already using the latest PD spec but the PD spec and USB/Thunderbolt shouldn’t be confused as they have completely different purposes.

I use a range of our USB-C and MFI Lightning cables myself but slowly I replace them all with Thunderbolt, even if Thunderbolt is not required. Of course I have a slight advantage here as I simply grab a cable off the shelf. Having said that, the Thunderbolt cables will be the best cable you have ever used and equal to anything, anywhere in the world.

Do take a look at our paper “Thunderbolt – a Striking History” – it will help you understand the history via USB and where Intel, Apple, Dell and others are headed.

Anyway, thanks again for your email and I hope the above is of some assistance.  Happy New Year.

At HomeKit Australia, we love the Thunderbolt interface and take real satisfaction in making new performance Thunderbolt products available to you.

HomeKit Australia is 100% Australian owned and operated and we use every Thunderbolt product we sell, ourselves ..... thanks for stopping by our Thunderbolt online store.