Apple’s ultra-thin 12-inch MacBook won’t reach Thunderbolt 3 data transfer speeds

“The super-slim 12-inch Apple MacBook brought a radical design change to laptops with its USB Type-C port, but it won’t support faster Thunderbolt 3 data transfers,” Agam Shah reports for IDG News Service.

“Intel at Computex announced Thunderbolt 3 that can transfer data between computers and external peripherals at speeds of 40Gbps, the fastest among connector technologies today,” Shah reports. “The technology is two times faster than its predecessor, Thunderbolt 2, which is in many Macs today.”

“Thunderbolt 3 is designed for Intel’s Skylake chips, which will ship in the second half, and 30 laptops and desktops supporting the connector technology are expected to ship by the end of the year,” Shah reports. “So users can expect Thunderbolt 3 ports to appear in Skylake-based Macs.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Not really an issue for the ultimate road warrior’s Mac.


Buy a MacBook Pro now or wait until Intel’s Skylake? – June 1, 2015
Computerworld reviews Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook: Perfect for working on the go – May 27, 2015
AnandTech reviews Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook: Impressive – April 14, 2015
Prior to Steve Jobs unveiling of Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android didn’t support touchscreen input – April 14, 2014
Before iPhone, Google’s plan was a Java button phone, Android docs reveal – April 14, 2014
How Google reacted when Steve Jobs revealed the revolutionary iPhone – December 19, 2013
Apple to ITC: Android started at Apple while Andy Rubin worked for us – September 2, 2011


      1. that’s not entirely true, Derek.

        S’MOORES LAW states that In another year, computers will reach maximum speed, beyond which they will not get any faster.

        1. Now wait a minute. I know Moore’s Law has been kind of dragging recently, but since when did anyone ever say, without being deranged or uninformed, that computers will ever reach a maximum speed? Or am I missing the joke? Quantum computers, despite being in their infancy, have already proven they’re capable of being hella faster!

            1. I get your point Bo, but also “the near future” for personal computers is not going to happen in the next 3-5 years.

              Consider also all the software will have to be rewritten for Quantum computers, and maybe even how we think about a computer. So if you don’t really need the last 15% of power from a processor it will be better to wait 1-3 year to upgrade.

            2. TY Bo! Neal Stephenson published a book entitled ‘The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer’ in 1995. Memristors could make much of the technology in his book possible.

    1. I remember once in about 1987, Apple had released the SE/30. It was a screamer. “How could anyone ever want something faster?”, I asked.
      A friend said, “A computer is fast enough when you NEVER have to wait.”
      I have a couple 100GB of data on an external hard drive that I currently need to move to a different drive. These new and very impressive speeds are still way too slow.

    2. Usually, these faster steps in IO technologies are aimed at video editing, 3D animation, system modeling or parallel computing. But eventually, everyone benefits, if only because we can make faster backups. For people who want the very fastest possible Internet, this will be the way to go. Get a direct optical cable data connection to your Mac.

  1. I really wanna see a disc that can transfer up to 10Gb per second. We are using fiber channel and we need to make RAID 5 arrays in order to get 4 Gb/s
    Even the SSDs arrays we have don’t measure more than 6Gb/s
    So, don’t worry if your ultra thing macbook can’t transfer to 40Gb/s, there is not going to be a need of 40 gb/ any time soon and I sincerely doubt that you brought a ultra ultrathin laptop to use it with two “4K” monitors.

    1. Troy,

      The secret to getting higher speed transfers on Fibre Channel is to use RAID controllers with lots of memory and SPAN volumes so you are writing/reading to two or more controllers at one time.

  2. I was reading about this yesterday:

    Intel Announces Thunderbolt 3 – Thunderbolt Meets USB (At Last)

    A lot has been happening in the world of external communication buses over the past year. In the last 12 months the USB consortium has announced both 10Gbps “Superspeed+” USB 3.1 and the new USB Type-C connector, USB’s new compact, reversible connector that is designed to drive the standard for the next decade or more. Meanwhile with the introduction of USB Alternate Mode functionality – the ability for USB Type-C to carry other protocols along with (or instead of) USB Superspeed data – has made USB more flexible than ever, with the VESA announcing that DisplayPort will be supporting alternate mode to deliver DisplayPort video over USB Type-C ports and cabling.

    As a result, the introduction of USB Type-C has led to a definite and relatively rapid transition over to the new standard. With the USB consortium having designed a very capable and desirable physical layer for Type-C, and then alternate modes allowing anyone to use that physical layer, there have been a number of other technologies that have started aligning themselves with USB in order to take advantage of what is becoming an even more common platform for external buses.

    Apple’s USB-C implementation is a step forward. The finished Thunderbolt 3 hardware will be the next step. As the article points out, it’s going to have to wait on Intel to get the Skylake CPUs out the door, which is maybe this fall.

    This article has a useful table of Intel CPU features, including those of Skylake and its successor, Cannonlake:

    Intel Confirms Skylake Launch In 2H 2015 Around IDF15 – 100-Series Chipsets Shipping in May 2015

    1. Not before Skylake. Used to be that you could just pop in a card. Now with all the integrated SoC implementations you need to wait for a CPU as well. The modularity of functions has become less granular.

  3. People are surprised? The MacBook’s USB-C 3.1 v1 runs at half the speed of thunderbolt 1. It’s a baby step above a very pretty netbook and expecting any serious power from it is a mistake. It’s claim to fame is a retina display and portability, that’s all.

    1. And a charging port. And the ability to hook up to a projector. And you may as well get a little hard-wired data connectivity while you’re at it.

  4. I use thunderbolt 2 at its max speeds by going from computer to computer. It’s incredibly fast. One application is to image computers, and it only takes one minute to transfer a 22GB image. Thunderbolt 3 will only take 30 seconds. You can also connect two computers and network them over thunderbolt to transfer files. Cable is totally worth the $30-$40.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.