What is Thunderbolt? Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4?

Anyone buying a new laptop must be familiar with the thunderbolt. Even if we don’t know the meaning, we may ask the seller whether the proposed laptop has a thunderbolt or not.

So what is the thunderbolt, You Ask!


It is a technology designed to transfer large amounts of data quickly and safely between two compatible devices, such as a laptop and a monitor to provide high-definition visuals, or a camera and a laptop.

In simple language, it is a hardware interface or connection port developed by Intel for connecting external devices like external hard disks, display devices, or any other data transfer devices.

The latest version of thunderbolt is version 4. Version 1 and 2 are mini-display ports that are of no use in discussion now. From version 3 onwards, the face of the thunderbolt changed. It adopted the type-C similar interface but the very higher data transfer rates.


Thunderbolt was initially introduced in Apple and later other brands also introduced it in their devices seeing their capability in doing certain tasks.

USB Type-C

A connector for data transfer and as well as power transfer. Most smartphones now come with a type-C charging port. With Type-C port, we don’t have to worry about connecting the charging cable correctly, because it’s symmetrical. No shorter and longer side, it has a rectangular cross-section.

When compared with thunderbolt 3, the data transfer rate of USB type-C is very much lesser. Nowadays many companies are incorporating super speed Type-C ports in their devices at a lower price rate when compared with Thunderbolt but with a little compromise in the data transfer rate.

Thunderbolt 3

From this version onwards, it gained massive recognition worldwide since it adapted the USB Type-C interface. This means a USB Type-C and a thunderbolt 3 are visually the same, but the data transfer rate is way different from each other.

Thunderbolt 3

Thunderbolt 3 is capable of providing a data transfer rate of 40 Gbps. We can do anything with a thunderbolt 3 that a conventional USB type-C port can do, but very much faster. Like transferring films to external hard disks or pen drives, connecting external media devices like external monitors for hardcore gaming, and a lot more.


Thunderbolt 4

This is the latest version as of now. Introduced in many of the latest laptops from Acer, Asus, Dell, and more. The major difference between versions 3 and 4 is under certain technical protocols and the data transfer rate is still 40 Gbps plus its support for two 4K monitors and one 8K monitor display.

Thunderbolt 4Thunderbolt 3USB 4USB 3.2
Data Transfer40 Gbps40 Gbps20 Gbps/40 Gbps20 Gbps
Charging/Power100W (Max)100W (Max)Up to 100WUp to 100W
VideoOne 8K Monitor
Two 4K Monitors
Two 4K Monitors
One 5K Monitor
One 8K Monitor
Two 4K Monitors
One 4K Monitor
Daisy-ChainingYes (up to 6 devices)Yes (up to 6 devices)NoNo


Should you buy a laptop with Thunderbolt or Superspeed USB type-C. The simple answer is Yes, you should go with it if you have the money, most of the requirements can be done with a super speed USB Type-C which has a transfer rate of 10 Gbps which is more than enough for most users.

But it is always better to have a Hypercar than a Supercar if you are into speed. Some of the latest laptops with super speed USB type-C port are the latest 11th Gen Intel laptop like the HP Pavilion series. In the above Rs 60000 price range some laptops which provide version 3 are the Acer Swift 3 with 10th Gen Intel chips, as of now.

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