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2016 is the Year for Thunderbolt 3

Thunderbolt 3 Macs should begin appearing this year as early as April (or so one can hope).

TB3 is an equalizer, with enough bandwidth that a Mac with two or even just one TB3 port can do a solid job with peripherals. That’s because Thunderbolt 3 doubles the bandwidth of Thunderbolt 2.

There are other interesting aspects also:

  • External SSDs will be able to run at well over 2GB/sec (latency may be higher than internal PCIe SSDs).
  • Thunderbolt networking will be viable on the same bus as a fast external storage unit.
  • Laptops and iMacs and so on will be able to compete with the Mac Pro in terms of useful external speed and capacity, at least in terms of reasonable limits suitable for the vast majority of users.
  • USB and Thunderbolt will share a common cable, leading to simpler and more useful peripherals. That changeover will take time however—at least 1-2 years.
  • External 5K displays will emerge that can work via a single TB3 cable.

All very cool stuff that will level the playing field in terms of choosing a Mac. The differences for most users will come down to CPU choices and maximum memory.

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