6 Best Thunderbolt 3 Devices in 2021

By Robin Owens 12 days ago, Thunderbolt

The best Thunderbolt 3 devices on the market.

top thunderbolt 3 devices

Thunderbolt 3 is not a novelty for modern users but it has become immensely popular in recent years. Thunderbolt 3 devices are capturing the market driving out USB products. The thing is that this technology attracts users with a wide array of advantages that result in simplicity and high speed. Anyway, Thunderbolt 3 is conquering the digital world at a high pace.

Top 6 Best Thunderbolt 3 Devices

  1. TEKQ Cube Thunderbolt 3 SSD - Our Choice
  2. OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock - Plenty of ports
  3. Samsung 34-Inch Monitor - Solid performance
  4. Razer Core X eGPU - Simple setup
  5. Highpoint Thunderbolt 3 to PCIe - Quiet fans
  6. LaCie Rugged SSD - Field-leading speed

Fortunately, such devices are accessible to anyone, so you will easily find a peripheral to connect to your computer via a Thunderbolt 3 port. We have compiled a list of the best options including representatives of various categories and types. Read on and learn how to use Thunderbolt 3 connectivity to the fullest.

1. TEKQ Cube SSD

Our Choice
thunderbolt 3 devices tekq

Ports: USB Type-C, USB Type-A | Compatible: Mac, Windows

  • ✚ Speedy SSD
  • ✚ Impressive portability
  • ✚ Compact body
  • ✚ Stylish construction
  • Expensive
  • Heavy

TEKQ Cube SSD works smoothly with Windows and Mac and doesn’t require a power adapter to plug in your Thunderbolt 3 devices. It allows you to save your important data with minimum effort. TEKQ Cube offers speedy data transfer and features NVMe PCIe and Thunderbolt 3 interface. It will take you a minute or two to copy a Blue-ray disk.

Thus, if you are a movie fan or work with tons of pics, this drive is a good investment. Thanks to its portable construction, the Cube is very easy to carry no matter where you go. It fits your pocket and doesn’t require much space in your bag. A great variant both for office and travel.

2. OWC Dock

Plenty of ports
thunderbolt 3 devices owc

Ports: USB Type-C, USB Type-A, 3.5 Mini jack, SD Card, Mini Display Port, Gigabit Ethernrt | Compatible: Mac, Windows

  • ✚ 85W energy supply
  • ✚ Wide array of ports
  • ✚ Reasonable price
  • ✚ Includes card readers
  • Without a power button
  • Piano gloss finish is not practical

OWC Dock pleases users with as many as 14 connectivity ports packed in a convenient body. Use this drive and your desktop will be always neat and clutter-free. The construction allows you to easily connect your portable accessories, like headphones and media cards, in the forepart while the back is designed for static gadgets so that all those wires do not cram your desk.

With OWC Dock, you don’t need your power adapters. Thanks to the Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, it delivers 85 watts of power to your PC. Plus, it is equipped with several USB ports to charge your gadgets.

3. Samsung 34" Monitor

Solid performance
thunderbolt 3 devices samsung

Ports: Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-C, USB Type-A, 3.5 Mini jack, Mini Display Port, HDMI | Compatible: Mac, Windows

  • ✚ Stylish construction
  • ✚ Vivid colors
  • ✚ Dark blacks
  • ✚ AMD FreeSync Technology
  • High price
  • Limited warranty
  • Skewed greens

Samsung 34" Monitor is an optimal gaming solution that offers numerous benefits. First off, it is the first curved display featuring Intel Thunderbolt 3 connectivity for single-source power and charging.

Thanks to the TBT3 technology, you get a 40 Gbps speed and need only one cable to connect a monitor and a laptop. You may also connect docks, displays, Mac products, USB Type-C laptops, external storage drives and external graphics cards.

4. Razer Core X eGPU

Simple setup
thunderbolt 3 devices razer

Ports: Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-C, USB Type-A, SD Card, Mini Display Port | Compatible: Mac, Windows

  • ✚ Integrated 700-watt energy supply
  • ✚ Easy installation
  • ✚ Serves as a port and docking hub
  • ✚ Premium quality and appealing design
  • Lighting is not customizable on Mac

Razer Core X is an external graphics card featuring Thunderbolt 3 technology. It is supported by Windows 10 PCs or Mac laptops so you are free to create an optimal gaming system.

You may also improve it with external NVIDIA GeForce, NVIDIA Quadro, or AMD Radeon graphics. It is powered with a 650-watt energy supply and delivers 100 watts to laptops via USB-C. It is a must-have accessory for any gamer.

5. Highpoint RocketStor

Quiet fans
thunderbolt 3 devices highpoint

Ports: Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-C,Mini Display Port | Compatible: Mac, Windows

  • ✚ Effective cooling system
  • ✚ Possibility to install an internal card
  • ✚ Silent fans
  • Latest driver is not Mac-compatible
  • Without hardware RAID

HighPoint RocketStor 6661A PCIe/NVMe is an external storage enclosure delivering the best performance and bragging about impressive usability. If you google it, you will see that it costs around 189 bucks on Amazon.

However, it’s still cheaper than similar alternatives, like Akitio’s Node Lite. RocketStor 6661A is made of metal and has a slip-off cover secured by captive thumbscrews. It is not designed for eGPU use; however, it’s suitable for normal-size PCIe cards to fit in its single x16 slot.

6. LaCie Rugged SSD

Field-leading speed
thunderbolt 3 devices lacie

Ports: Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-C, USB Type-A | Compatible: Mac, Windows

  • ✚ Agile
  • ✚ Supports USB-C 3.1 Gen 1&2
  • ✚ Anti-dust rugged construction
  • Expensive per gigabyte
  • Short cable

Thanks to the Seagate FireCuda NV Me solid state drive, Rugged SSD Pro offers improved Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. As a result, users can enjoy a speed of 2800 MB/s and utmost durability. Just to let you know, it’s 5 times faster than traditional SATA SSDs.

It is a perfect option for filmmakers and digital imaging technicians since they can effortlessly work with 6K and 8K files without transcoding. LaCie Rugged SSD is enhanced with IP67-rated water resistance, three-meter drop resistance, and two-ton pressure resistance. It is a compact drive providing 2TB of space.

IMAGE NAME FEATURES
thunderbolt 3 devices tekq cube
TEKQ Cube Thunderbolt 3 SSD
Our Choice
  • Ports: USB Type-C, USB Type-A
  • Compatible: Mac, Windows
CHECK PRICE
thunderbolt 3 devices owc
OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock
Plenty of ports
  • Ports: USB Type-C, USB Type-A, 3.5 Mini jack, SD Card, Mini Display Port, Gigabit Ethernrt
  • Compatible: Mac, Windows
CHECK PRICE
thunderbolt 3 devices samsung
Samsung 34-Inch Monitor
Solid performance
  • Ports: Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-C, USB Type-A, 3.5 Mini jack, Mini Display Port, HDM
  • Compatible: Mac, Windows
CHECK PRICE

How to Choose the Best Thunderbolt 3 Devices?

thunderbolt 3 devices

Connection of One or More Displays

Thunderbolt 3 allows you to connect several screens to your PC and send video via a Thunderbolt cable using DisplayPort 1.2 video standards. In such a way, you will effortlessly connect any display supporting DisplayPort or that supporting compatible connection types, like mini DisplayPort, for instance. In addition, you may connect two 4K displays at 60 fps, one 4K display at 120 fps, or one 5K display at 60 fps. If you want to use one Thunderbolt connection to group numerous displays, you should have a Thunderbolt-compatible monitor with the ability to pass through the Thunderbolt connection or a Thunderbolt 3 dock. But that’s not all about Thunderbolt’s video tricks. If you pick the right cable adapters, it will also support HDMI displays and VGA monitors.

High-Performance Networking

Thunderbolt technology supports Ethernet networking protocols. Apart from using a Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter cable to connect to a 10GB Ethernet network, you may also utilize a Thunderbolt cable to connect two computers at up to 10 GBs and create a super-fast peer-to-peer network. It is actually a lifesaver if you need to copy a large amount of data from one PC to another, for example, if you have to move your media files from an old laptop to a recently-purchased one. Forget about long and tiresome copying! Thanks to the Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, you will save much time and effort.

Thunderbolt-Based Storage

Thunderbolt 3 is great for highly-efficient storage systems since it ensures transfer speeds of up to 40 Gbps. Manufacturers offer numerous Thunderbolt 3 products, including a wide array of storage systems, like single bus-powered devices to boot your PC. It results in better disk performance in comparison to that offered by internal boot drives. Thanks to multibay enclosures utilizing SSDs and different RAID configurations, you may also improve disk performance and, consequently, enhance the process of creating, editing, and storing multimedia projects. In case the amount of storage and reliability are the highest priorities for you, Thunderbolt 3 lets you take advantage of reasonably-priced disk drives to generate a huge mirrored or protected data storage pool. Thus, if you are interested in highly available storage, a Thunderbolt-based one is exactly what you need.

USB-Based Storage

Thunderbolt 3 ports are also compatible with USB 3.1 Gen 2 devices as well as previous USB versions. Thus, using a USB 3.1 Gen 2 connection, you get the speed of up to 10 Gbps. It is equal to the standard Thunderbolt specs and is more than enough to satisfy the majority of users. To connect USB devices, you need a basic USB-C cable (devices usually come with this cable). Considering the fact that USB-based accessories and gadgets are not expensive, Thunderbolt 3 port devices are a must. Consequently, Thunderbolt storage systems supporting USB 3.1 Gen 2 attract more and more users. This is also because they have the bandwidth to utilize solid-state drives using SATA III connections. It is an optimal variant for dual-bay RAID enclosures for standard disk drives and SSDs.

External Graphics

Many users might think that Thunderbolt 3 is just a cable delivering high transfer speeds. However, this technology is not that simple. It is developed on the basis of the PCIe 3 bus system used to connect computer elements. GPUs generally use Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. In case it is an internal card, it is connected to the PC via the PCI interface. If it is an external graphics card, you may use a PCIe expansion chassis with a Thunderbolt 3 interface to connect it.

You enjoy a great number of benefits if your system supports the connection of external devices, like a graphics card. In such a way, you may effortlessly upgrade your graphics whenever you want. It might come in handy if you have a laptop or an all-in-one system that are almost impossible to upgrade. As you see, Thunderbolt 3 connectivity opens broad possibilities and it is unwise to ignore them. For instance, you may connect an external graphics accelerator via a Thunderbolt 3 port and speed up some tasks, like 3D rendering, imaging, etc.

Docking

Thunderbolt Dock is something like a port breakout box. In such a way, all Thunderbolt ports are located in one external box. You may choose among various docks featuring different port types. Plus, the number of ports also differs depending on the dock manufacturer. As a rule, you will find several USB 3.1 ports, a DisplayPort, HDMI, Ethernet, audio line in and out, optical S/PDIF, and headphones. Plus, there is always a Thunderbolt 3 pass-through port to connect extra Thunderbolt devices. The combination of ports varies from producer to producer. For instance, some manufacturers include outdated FireWire interfaces and card reader slots in docks. Thus, choosing a dock, check what ports this or that model offers and whether it fully satisfies your requirements. In addition, a dock is a tool allowing you to utilize several connection points at the same time. Therefore, you don’t have to plug and unplug numerous adapters to connect your devices.

FAQ

  • • What are Thunderbolt 3 devices?

A Thunderbolt 3 docking station is a unit with multiple ports enabling you to simultaneously connect several accessories to your laptop. Plus, a Thunderbolt connection guarantees high-speed data transfer. 

  • • What can I use Thunderbolt 3 for?

Using a Thunderbolt 3 port, you may connect fast hard drives, different monitors, like 4K and 5K ones, and other accessories, including PCIe Gen 3 expansion cages.

  • • Is Thunderbolt 3 the same as USB C?

Thunderbolt 3 was developed on the basis of USB-C format. Thus, standard USB-C cables work smoothly with Thunderbolt 3 ports. However, Thunderbolt 3 is more powerful than USB-C and there are USB-C cables that fail to deliver top Thunderbolt speeds.

  • • What devices are compatible with Thunderbolt?

MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac Pro, iMac, and Mac have Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports that are compatible with most devices and monitors. Look through the chart below to know what adapter or cable you need to connect your favorite gadgets.

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