Thunderbolt 2: Is the Upgrade Worth It?

The Thunderbolt interface has revolutionized I/O connectivity for the Mac. Developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, Thunderbolt combines data, audio, and power in a single connection.

Thunderbolt also allows high-speed connections for peripherals such as hard drives, RAID arrays, video-capture solutions and network interfaces. It has redefined the idea of expansion, and is a standard on every Mac. Below are a comparison of the two Thunderbolts interfaces and a list of features that have remained unchanged.

Thunderbolt 1 Thunderbolt 2 Common Features
  • 10 Gbit/s per channel
  • Faster than FireWire800 and USB 3.0
  • Cannot be upgraded to Thunderbolt 2
  • Standard on older Macs
  • 20 Gbit/s aggregated channels (doubled throughput of a single channel)
  • Able to stream 4K output
  • Supports DisplayPort 1.2
  • Compatible with first-generation Thunderbolt
  • Standard on newer Macs
  • Bi-directional channels
  • Support multiple peripherals and USB and FireWire via adapters
  • Supports data, video, audio and power on a single Thunderbolt port
  • Standard on all Macs


Compared to Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt 2 presents considerable advantages, such as the ability to support 4K videos and its backward-compatibility with older Macs. This can save you money on having to buy new adapters for your computers. Also, the interface still supports USB and FireWire given you have the correct adapters.

Thunderbolt 2 will be helpful in getting your work done faster, thanks to the interface’s 20 Gbit/s speeds. So if you want faster data transfers, you’ll be better off with a new Mac with built-in Thunderbolt 2. The Thunderbolt 2 interface also gives you higher bandwidth, so you can daisy-chain high-speed peripherals to your Mac. In fact, the newest Mac Pro can simultaneously accommodate three 4K displays, a great advantage for creative professionals.

thunderbolt 2

A 4K display and the Mac Pro


If you want a Mac that can keep up with 4K workflows, perhaps it’s time for an upgrade in the form of a new Mac. An upgrade is always welcome if it comes with the benefits Thunderbolt 2 does.

Trust only MacMall to get huge discounts on your new Thunderbolt 2-enabled Mac. Whether you want a Mac Pro or a MacBook Pro with Retina display, MacMall offers the best deals online.

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Louise Mosqueda

Louise is an anti-social being who enjoys the company of animals. A writer by degree and profession, she likes writing about anything her mind comes up with, and learning about the latest gadgets. A video game buff, she prefers the complexity of older video games to new ones. You can usually find her riding public transport, lost in thought about her next blog entry. Know more about her and her anti-social antics by following her blogs and twitter.

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