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New MacBook Pro faces Thunderbolt 3 connectivity issues

Discussion in 'Apple - What's New?' started by Alexa, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. Alexa

    Alexa ✱ Subscribers ✱ Verified Customer

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    USB Type-C is the port of the future - it does data, charging, video, audio and pretty much anything you can think of. This promise of simplicity hides the sheer number of protocols that the new port can handle, which includes Thunderbolt 3… unless you get the new MacBook Pro.

    Apple went all in on the new port, dropping everything else (aside, strangely, from the 3.5mm headphone jack). Plugable tested multiple hubs, adapters, docking stations and other accessories.

    So far the tested Thunderbolt 3 devices have failed to work - both a DisplayPort adapter and an HDMI one. One USB Type-C port failed and one docking stations showed issues. Alt-mode devices seem to work though - DisplayPort, DVI and even good ol’ VGA adapters. The HDMI one showed some issues.

    “Wait, what? You said DisplayPort and HDMI don’t work!” Well, here’s the thing. Alt-mode (which worked) uses the pins of a Type-C port to carry non-USB signals - say HDMI. DisplayPort (which didn’t work) can also carry HDMI and even though you still get HDMI on the other end, both approaches are not identical.

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    Worse still, the issue can arise anywhere along the chain - some of the cheaper Type-C cables do not support Alt-mode, for example. Hubs are a whole different headache. You can read Stephen Foskett’s rant about Type-C cables as a warning to carefully read the fine print when buying USB Type-C accessories.

    In summary, if you have older Thunderbolt 3 accessories, they may not work with your shiny new Mac. Ones with a second-gen Texas Instruments seem to work with the MacBook Pro, though.

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