A Single Port. A Universe of Possibilities.

Simplicity, Reliability, and Performance Distinguish Thunderbolt™ as the Best USB-C

As part of Thunderbolt™ certification, mandatory testing ensures broad compatibility across Mac*, Windows*, or Chrome* OS, and interoperability of computers, cables, and accessories from different brands, so you can be confident that your devices work well together regardless of the OS or hardware manufacturer.​

A single Thunderbolt™ port enables high-speed data transfer, video output, and power delivery to compatible devices over one cable, including charging a laptop3.

Unlike other USB Type-C ports, where the bandwidth may be limited, Thunderbolt™ ports always guarantee 40 Gbps total bandwidth dynamically allocated for video and data. Thunderbolt™ is so fast you can transfer a 5 GB file in about a second over the cable.​

Enjoy low-latency gaming, immersive creation, and simplified productivity with Thunderbolt™ technology that supports multiple premium monitors of any type4, such as two FHD 240Hz or 4K color-accurate monitors.

Thunderbolt™ 4 certification requires at least one Thunderbolt port on the computer to support laptop charging3, unlike laptops featuring other USB-C ports that don’t guarantee system charging. Additionally, all Thunderbolt™ 3 and 4 ports provide 15W power to Thunderbolt accessories or to charge companion devices like cell phones.

Comparison5: Thunderbolt™ vs USB


ThunderboltTM 4


ThunderboltTM 3


USB 3 / DP

USB Type-C checkmark checkmark checkmark checkmark
40 Gbps bandwidth checkmark checkmark
15W power to run accessories checkmark checkmark    
Mandatory testing and certification checkmark checkmark    
2 x 4K/60Hz monitors checkmark      
Required PC charging3 on at least one computer port checkmark      
Universal 40Gbs cables up to 2m checkmark      
Up to 4 Thunderbolt™ ports on accessories checkmark      
System wake from sleep checkmark      
Intel® VT-d based DMA protection checkmark      

Work and Learn

Work and Learn

Effortlessly upgrade your workspace experience to boost productivity and ergonomic comfort by adding a Thunderbolt™ dock that connects large 4K monitors and other accessories to your laptop. Whether at home or at office, Thunderbolt™ technology works anywhere for a universal connection you can rely on regardless of manufacturer brand.



Get immersed in your creations with a Thunderbolt™ dock to connect all your content creation gadgets including multiple 4K color-accurate monitors. Access your content library on-the-go with an external Thunderbolt™ SSD that runs your media files as fast as an internal drive.



Thunderbolt™ docks transform your laptop into a full-fledged, immersive gaming station supporting FHD 240Hz gaming monitors. Connect directly to an external Thunderbolt™ SSD that loads your games as fast as an internal NVM Express* drive.

Setting Up a Thunderbolt™ 4 Docking Station

Installing Dual Monitors with Thunderbolt™ & Windows 11*

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Check out which type of ports your system has by:

  • Looking for the Thunderbolt™ icon on devices (next to the USB-C port).
  • Checking the product’s I/O specification online to see if it lists Thunderbolt™ ports.
  • Downloading Intel® Driver & Support Assistant (Intel® DSA) to detect what ports you have on your PC.

Thunderbolt™ technology delivers the best-in-class capabilities to drive high-bandwidth data, power, and video transfers for up to five devices on one connection. Gamers, creators, and workers can enjoy a clean desktop space with multiple displays and accessories on a powerful connectivity standard. Learn how Thunderbolt™ technology delivers the best experiences with simple, powerful, and flexible connectivity.

Checking the product’s I/O specification online to see if it lists Thunderbolt™ ports. Downloading Intel® Driver & Support Assistant (Intel® DSA) to detect what ports you have on your PC.

No. You don’t need to install any software or drivers to make things work. Connect your computer with any Thunderbolt™ accessory, and they simply work together.

Thunderbolt™ 4 technology became integrated in the CPU starting with 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors. Today, approximately 90% of 11th gen Intel Core processor-based laptops have Thunderbolt™ ports.

At least one Thunderbolt™ 4 port is required on all Intel® Evo™ and Intel® Core™ vPro® processor family-based laptops.

Look for the Thunderbolt™ icon on your PC (next to the USB-C port) or check the product I/O specification for Thunderbolt technology.

Thunderbolt™ 4 technology is the next generation of the Thunderbolt™ protocol, following Thunderbolt™ 3 technology. Both generations use the same USB-C connector type, but Thunderbolt™ 4 technology introduces higher minimum requirements and new capabilities for a best-in-class user experience.

Learn more about the difference through this article

Información sobre productos y desempeño


Los CES Innovation Awards se basan en materiales descriptivos que se envían al jurado. CTA no verificó la precisión de ninguna de las presentaciones o las afirmaciones realizadas y no probó el artículo al cual se le otorgó el premio.

2Fastest Connection: As compared to other PC I/O connection technologies including eSATA, USB, and IEEE 1394 Firewire*. Performance will vary depending on the specific hardware and software used. Must use a Thunderbolt-enabled device. Learn more at https://www.intel.com/PerformanceIndex.
3Laptop Charging: For thin and light notebooks that require less than 100W to charge.
4Any Display: Thunderbolt™ 3 and Thunderbolt™ 4 provides DisplayPort, which can natively connect to all displays with DisplayPort and mini-DisplayPort, and via adapters can connect to all other modern display interfaces, including HDMI, DVI, and VGA.
5Performance based on minimum specification requirements.