New M1 Mac Models Feature Thunderbolt 3 Ports, Not Newer Thunderbolt 4
The new M1-equipped MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini are each equipped with two USB-C ports that support USB 4 and Thunderbolt, but as it turns out, Apple is continuing to use Thunderbolt 3 rather than upgrading the new models to Thunderbolt 4.
Intel in July shared details on Thunderbolt 4, which is coming out in new PCs with Tiger Lake processors. Thunderbolt 4 offers the same 40Gb/s maximum speeds available through Thunderbolt 3, but it does bring some notable improvements, such as support for docks with four downstream Thunderbolt ports. From Intel:
- Double the minimum video and data requirements of Thunderbolt 3.
- Video: Support for two 4K displays or one 8K display.
- Data: PCIe at 32 Gbps for storage speeds up to 3,000 MBps.
- Support for docks with up to four Thunderbolt 4 ports.
- PC charging on at least one computer port.
- Wake your computer from sleep by touching the keyboard or mouse when connected to a Thunderbolt dock.
- Required Intel VT-d-based direct memory access (DMA) protection that helps prevent physical DMA attacks.
Intel has also designed new cables that support Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4, with longer lengths that don't compromise the 40Gb/s speeds. Thunderbolt 4 uses the same physical USB-C connector design, and Thunderbolt 4 ports and cables are backward and cross-compatible with USB 4, Thunderbolt 3, and other USB standards.
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