Apple Begins Selling Standalone 2-Meter Thunderbolt 3 Pro Cable for $129
Apple has quietly started selling its 2-meter Thunderbolt 3 cable priced at $129, offering a braided design and active cable technology that supports full Thunderbolt 3 data transfer speeds of up to 40Gb/s. This marks the first time the cable has been available as a standalone purchase, as it is otherwise only available included with the Pro Display XDR.
Featuring a black braided design that coils without tangling, this 2-meter cable supports Thunderbolt 3 data transfer up to 40Gb/s, USB 3.1 Gen 2 data transfer up to 10Gb/s, DisplayPort video output (HBR3), and charging up to 100W. Use this cable to connect a Mac with Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 3 devices such as Pro Display XDR, docks, and hard drives.
Passive Thunderbolt 3 cables like Apple's standard version are limited to shorter lengths of less than a meter, as they are unable to maintain maximum speeds over longer lengths. Active electronics in the cable connectors are required for longer-length cables, which adds significantly to the cost. Even so, Apple's Thunderbolt 3 Pro Cable carries a price premium over many other active cables, including an $80 Belkin one also carried by Apple.
Lengths beyond two or three meters require optical cables that are even more expensive, and optical Thunderbolt 3 cables are only just now starting to come to market with prices starting at several hundred dollars.