You Tweeted, We Listened: Thunderbolt 3 Capabilities and More

Posted on November 11th, 2015

Excitement and interest for Thunderbolt 3 continues to gain momentum with the first certified devices and systems hitting shelves now. And with any new technology, we know there will be questions and ideas for how to best leverage it.

Some of our Twitter followers have recently sent us questions that could be helpful for others who are determining how best to integrate Thunderbolt 3 into business workflow, production development or the gaming experience.

Start with the following Q&A before joining us for a live chat on Twitter next week to learn more about Thunderbolt 3:

Twitter chat with Jason Ziller, Director of Thunderbolt Marketing, Intel

Thurs., Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. Pacific Time

Submit your questions on Twitter during the chat using #Thunderbolt3 in your tweet.

@dustbeta asks: Will Thunderbolt 3 require special USB Type-C cables? Or will any Type-C cable work?

Any USB Type-C cable will work in a Thunderbolt 3 port. However, connecting to a Thunderbolt 3 device will require a Thunderbolt cable.

@faenil says: I’m afraid of buying a Thunderbolt 3 device only to discover after some time that I can’t plug in an external GPU because it’s missing something.

Only specific GPUs will work with specific PCs that have been designed to support eGPU capability and pass Thunderbolt 3 certification. Without Thunderbolt certification for eGPU capability, the system behavior can be unpredictable. To address this question about certifications, we’re creating a page on the Thunderbolt website where you can find available Thunderbolt certified devices. Currently we only have one product listed, but we’re working to add all of the existing Thunderbolt certified products to the page.

@richardholt56 asks: Are the new Dell XPS machines certified?

Yes, the new Dell XPS machines are Thunderbolt 3 certified. More information about capabilities are available from Dell: Dell XPS 15 laptop, Dell XPS 13 laptop, and Dell XPS 12 2-in-1 laptop.

@justphred asks: How about some desktop and motherboard love from Thunderbolt 3? What about mATX form factors?

We are exploring many form factors for Thunderbolt 3, but unfortunately we can’t speak to products or devices that have not yet been released. We’re anticipating many products to be released by the end of this year and into early 2016. The Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 TH motherboard was announced last month and is available for purchase now at Newegg.

@setteBIT asks: Why is Thunderbolt 2 (instead of Thunderbolt 3) on the new iMac? Are there cohabit issues?

Similar to the question above, we cannot speak to manufacturers’ product plans. We’re definitely exploring many product and device opportunities for Thunderbolt 3, so stay tuned for more product announcements coming soon.

@Karr667 asks: Where can I buy an adapter to keep using my old stuff?

Legacy adapters will be available soon. The adapters will allow you to connect your Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt devices to the Thunderbolt 3 port on your computer.

Find more answers for frequently asked questions about Thunderbolt 3 at

Tags: Dell XPS, external graphics, Intel Thunderbolt, single-cable docking, Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt 3, Thunderbolt 3 cables, Thunderbolt adapters, Thunderbolt certified, Thunderbolt desktops, Thunderbolt eGPU, Thunderbolt motherboards, USB Type-C cables