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.

macbook pro thunderbolt 3 ports
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.

Apple's M1 Macs, which include the MacBook Pro, ‌MacBook Air‌, and ‌Mac mini‌, are available for purchase today and will begin arriving to customers on November 17.

Related Forums: Mac mini, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

jayducharme Avatar
29 months ago
Anyone get the feeling that these were rushed? They're more like proof-of-concepts. I guess I'll wait a bit to see what's in store for 2021. Or maybe 2022. Or I bet there'll be big improvements for 2023.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
matt_and_187_like_this Avatar
29 months ago
Don't worry, M1 chip will improve TB 3 just as it improves the facetime camera.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
29 months ago

Anyone get the feeling that these were rushed? They're more like proof-of-concepts. I guess I'll wait a bit to see what's in store for 2021. Or maybe 2022. Or I bet there'll be big improvements for 2023.
Not at all.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
genovelle Avatar
29 months ago

The Mac mini ('https://www.macrumors.com/roundup/mac-mini/') models with M1 chips, priced at $699 and $899

Overpriced, underpowered garbage.
Hey. Watch you mouth. I have a mini that runs fairly well. I realized it feeling slower lately, but then it hit me that it was 8 years old. In the world of PCs with a 2-3 year lifespan, that is amazing
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kalafalas Avatar
29 months ago
Well duh. USB-4 supports the TB3 spec natively. They aren’t going to add intel thunderbolt controllers to Apple silicon, and will probably only gain TB4 support when it trickles down to the USB stack
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CWallace Avatar
29 months ago
Rushed? Not really. When Apple first moved from PowerPC to Intel, the form factors were identical, just the guts were changed. That we're seeing the same with the first models moving from Intel to ASi is not surprising to me.

Intel is just releasing TB4 with Tiger Lake so Apple staying with TB3 for the moment is not much of an issue, IMO. I imagine these uses an off-the-shelf TB3 controller tied into the M1 (which looks a fair bit like an A14X).
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

iOS 16.3 Now Available for Your iPhone With These 4 New Features

Friday February 3, 2023 1:13 pm PST by
Apple released iOS 16.3 in late January following nearly six weeks of beta testing. The software update is available for the iPhone 8 and newer, and while it is a relatively minor update, it still includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped new features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

Gurman: Apple Considering New High-End iPhone Alongside Pro and Pro Max

Sunday February 5, 2023 6:07 am PST by
Apple has discussed selling a new top-of-the-line iPhone alongside the Pro and Pro Max models in 2024 at the earliest, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Based on this timeframe, the device would be part of the iPhone 16 lineup or later. In a September 2022 edition of his weekly "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said there was "potential" for an iPhone 15 Ultra to replace the iPhone 15 Pro...
ipad air purple

Deals: M1 iPad Air Hits Record-Low Prices at TigerDirect, Starting at $313.99 (48% Off) [Updated]

Saturday February 4, 2023 10:05 am PST by
Online retailer TigerDirect has slashed pricing on the M1 iPad Air in several colors, offering the base 64GB configuration for just $313.99 in Purple and Pink. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with TigerDirect. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. That's a savings of 48% compared to Apple's normal $599.00...
mac studio pink

Apple May Not Launch Updated Mac Studio With M2 Ultra Chip Due to Similarity With Upcoming Mac Pro

Sunday February 5, 2023 6:06 am PST by
A new version of the Mac Studio with the "M2 Ultra" chip is unlikely to arrive in the near future, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explained that since the upcoming Apple silicon Mac Pro is "very similar in functionality to the Mac Studio," Apple may wait until the release of M3- or M4-series chips to update the machine, or...
webkit vs chromium feature

Google Working on Browser for iOS That Would Break Apple's App Store Rules

Saturday February 4, 2023 1:30 am PST by
Google's Chromium developers are working on an experimental web browser for iOS that would break Apple's browser engine restrictions, The Register reports. The experimental browser, which is being actively pursued by developers, uses Google's Blink engine. Yet if Google attempted to release it on the App Store, it would not pass Apple's App Review process. Apple's App Store rules dictate...
Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
top stories 4feb2023

Top Stories: New HomePod Launches, iOS 16.3.1 Coming Soon, and More

Saturday February 4, 2023 6:00 am PST by
This week saw the launch of the final product from Apple's January hardware announcements, with the second-generation HomePod making its way into customers' hands. Other news and rumors this week included signs of an interim iOS 16.3.1 bug fix update in the works as we await a fresh round of beta testing for a more significant iOS 16.4 update, a report on the potential dangers of using...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Apple's Second-Generation HomePod

Friday February 3, 2023 1:28 pm PST by
Today is the official launch day for the second-generation HomePod that was introduced in January, and we picked one up to compare it to the original HomePod that Apple discontinued in 2021. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, the second-generation HomePod looks a lot like the first-generation model, featuring the same rounded design and acoustic mesh...