'Thunderbolt 5' Would Enable Dual 8K Display Support and More on Macs

Intel today previewed the next generation of Thunderbolt, which would enable ultra-fast data transfer speeds and improved external display support on future Macs that incorporate the standard when it launches in 2023 or later.

Intel Next Gen Thunderbolt
The next generation of Thunderbolt will deliver up to 80 Gbps of bandwidth in each direction, allowing for up to 2× faster data transfer speeds between future Macs and external storage drives that support the standard compared to current speeds. The next generation of Thunderbolt will also have a mode that allows for up to 120 Gbps bandwidth for external displays, which would allow a Mac to support up to dual 8K displays at 60Hz.

Intel Next Generation Thunderbolt
The latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are equipped with Thunderbolt 4/USB4 ports with up to 40 Gbps of bandwidth in each direction.

Currently, no Macs support 8K displays on a plug-and-play basis. The latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models support up to two or three external displays at up to 6K@60Hz depending on whether the laptop is configured with the M1 Pro or M1 Max chip.

The next generation of Thunderbolt is based on the newly released USB4 version 2.0 and DisplayPort 2.1 specifications, and it is backwards compatible with previous versions of Thunderbolt, USB, and DisplayPort. Intel plans to share more details about the next generation of Thunderbolt's official name, features, and capabilities in 2023.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro 14 & 16"
Tag: Intel
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

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Top Rated Comments

Alpha Centauri Avatar
23 months ago
Thunderbolt and lightning very, very frightening me
(Galileo) Galileo
(Galileo) Galileo
Galileo Figaro
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tribaltek Avatar
23 months ago
I'd much rather have 4k/120hz or 5k/120hz than 8k/60hz.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
1557750 Avatar
23 months ago
Pfffft…. I’ll wait til it supports 24k.

Cause more K’s the better.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wanted797 Avatar
23 months ago

Thunderbolt and lightning very, very frightening me
(Galileo) Galileo
(Galileo) Galileo
Galileo Figaro
I'm just a poor port nobody loves me
He's just a poor port from a poor family,
Spare him his life from this USB-C
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vegetassj4 Avatar
23 months ago
Jeez. I don't even have a Thunderbolt 3 cable yet. Just a dongle to convert TB2 to TB3 (USB C) for my Pegasus2 R6.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jensend Avatar
23 months ago

If im in the Apple Store and I move the pointer on a Mac Studio with Pro Display XDR and compare it to moving the pointer on a M1 MacBook Pro, the XDR feels like the pointer is underwater- slow and sluggish. Same for all 4k screens I try and exacerbated if MacOS is performing scaling. Now we're cueing up 8k.

Wonder if that will ever be worked out? "Supporting" a screen is one thing, but I still have to pass if it feels sluggish. Is it just me?
An M1 MacBook Pro has a 120Hz display, while the Pro Display XDR is 60Hz. Could that make the difference?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)