ThunderBolt 3 Solid-State Drives And AccessoriesWith the latest versions of it's MacBook Pro laptops and the Mac mini and iMac desktops, Apple has shipped millions of ThunderBolt 3 enabled computers. Expect the demand for ultra high speed SSD ThunderBolt 3 backup drives and other computing peripherals using the 40Gbps interface to explode to meet demand.
OWC Thunderbolt 3 SSD DriveOWC ThunderBlade PCIEe External SSD
250, 500, 1TB and 2TB Storage Capacities
Other World Computing - OWC is our top recommendation for a solid-state Thunderbolt 3 backup drive for Mac or PC users. It's more affordable Envoy EX and higher-end Thunderblade series offers a wide range of price points and performance levels for nearly any computer user's budget.
Samsung Thunderbolt 3 SSD DriveThunderbolt 3 Samsung External SSD
500GB, 1TB and 2TB Storage Capacities
Noted for their top-performing SSD drives and blades, Samsung is bringing it's 860 Evo PCIe NVMe technology into it's portable Thunderbolt 3 offering at very competitive pricing. Like many competing TBolt drives in this space, there's only a SINGLE Thunderbolt 3 connector. As such, it lacks a 2nd pass-thru port for daisy chaining so it needs to be directly plugged into your Mac or PC, or as the last device in a chain.
G-Technology Thunderbolt 3 SSD Drive
Sustained Transfer Rates Up To 2800MB/s
GTech recently joined the solid-state drive space with it's G-Drive Mobile Pro native Thunderbolt3 interface SSD.
ThunderBolt 3 "Compatible" USB-C DrivesBecause a computer's Type-C ThunderBolt3 ports also speak USB protocols, some drive and device manufacturers are marketing Type-C USB 3.1 Gen2 peripherals as 'ThunderBolt 3 Compatible' -- which they are. For many consumers, the distinction won't matter much. They'll just plug the drive into their Type-C port and it'll work. Glyph is one USB-C SSD drive maker pushing that 'Compatible' angle to ThunderBolt buyers.
Dual SATA SSD Drive Modules
Candidly, a 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 connection is going to be fast enough for many PC and Mac user's expectations. It's really only far more demanding Pro users and enterprise environments that need and / or can afford full-blown 40Gbps ThunderBolt 3 storage and ultra 4K and 5K displays to take advange of all that bandwidth.
ThunderBolt 3 SSD DrivesThe insanely high bandwidth of a 40Gbps ThunderBolt 3 port will have a huge impact on solid-state storage solutions. With the latest generation of PCIe NVME SSD modules we're seeing external solid-state RAID storage products unprecedented data read and write speeds exceeding 2000 MBps leaving previous generation Serial ATA - SATA SSD drives in the dust.
1.2TB Intel 750 Series PCIe Card Inside
ThunderBolt 3 SSD Enclosures And CasesWe're already seeing the first multi-drive ThunderBolt 3 drive enclosures reaching the market. Companies like OWC and Akitio are delivering 2 or 4 drive enclosures that supports either dual 3.5" HDD or 2.5" SSD SATA drives with dual pass-through Type-C ThunderBolt 3 ports on the rear.
ThunderBolt 3 Hard Disk DrivesHDD drives will still have their place in the world of ThunderBolt 3 interfaces. Indeed, when hard disk drives are coupled in a multi-drive striped RAID 0 storage array, insanely high capacity and very high speed data rates are possible even when using mechanical spinning-platter drives. High RPM spindle speeds and large onboard caches help.
Dual Drives + USB3 Hub + Card Reader
ThunderBolt 3 Dongles And AdaptersTo ease the transition from ThunderBolt and ThunderBolt 2, and from USB 1.1 / 2.0 / 3.0 to 10Gbps USB-C 3.1, a large variety of ThunderBolt 3 adapters and dongles are going to be needed. Apple was quick to offer a Type-C to mini DisplayPort style dongle to help Mac users leverage their existing 1st and 2nd generation Thunderbolt devices.
Type-C To ThunderBolt 2 Dongle
We're certainly seeing that in the USB 3.1 Type-C computer peripheral space. Though they'll look physically similar and use the same reversible Type-C connectors, the ThunderBolt 3 products will need to incorporate more expensive, certified and sophisticated Intel ThunderBolt chipsets to assure reliable performance for peripherals up to 40Gbps.
ThunderBolt 3 Hubs And DocksRather than a mumble-jumble of dongles and adapters, many Windows and MacOS users will likely want to consolidate them into multi-port ThunderBolt 3 docks or adapters that can bridge multiple types of legacy interfaces for video, audio and peripheral data into one tidy unit.
Audio + Video + Data : With TBolt3 Pass Through Ports
OWC is shipping it's PC and Mac compatible ThunderBolt 3 docking station with 13 total ports incorporating nearly every type of computing device both old and new that you'd want to plug into it. Other major tech players like CalDigit, Belkin and others have revised their docking stations to support ThunderBolt3 connections as well.
ThunderBolt 3 Cables
Type-C Connector Rated 40Gbps Speeds
Very high-quality certified and lab tested ThunderBolt 3 cabling is needed in demanding, high-bandwidth configurations. When shopping for cabling you'll see both 20Gbps and 40Gbps ThunderBolt 3 cables listed. Depending on your computing environment, you'll need to insure the cables are capable of reliably sustaining both the 4K and 5K Ultra-HD video streams AND the other HDD or SSD storage and accessories you may have connected.
High-quality certified TBolt 3 cables have onboard circuitry to assure data integrity and error checking / correction. Expect to pay a premium price over lesser 10Gbps Type-C cabling for slower USB-C devices.
Type-C Confusion : Identifying TB3 vs USB-C ConnectionsTo help minimize consumer confusion between deceptively identical USBC and TBolt3 type cables and ports, ThunderBolt 3 cables and ports will be marked with a Lightning Bolt symbol with the number '3', while USB devices and cables should have an SS+ - SuperSpeed+ USB symbol to help proper identification.
Important! Apple is using 2nd generation ThunderBolt 3 chipsets in it's new MacBooks and iMacs. There are some incompatibility issues with early products that already reached the market using the 1st generation TB3 chipset! Until Apple releases a possible patch to MacOS Sierra - or perhaps until manufacturers update their hardware to newer chipsets there are problems using some 1st revision storage and dock products! Fortunately, Amazon is noting 'For Windows ONLY' in some of the products titles to warn of Apple compatibility issues.