We’ve all been there. Haven’t we? When your perfectly fine Mac becomes an oversized paperweight because everything has been updated and your computers no longer play nicely with hard drives, apps, or other peripheral devices. So, unless you’re willing to shell out a small fortune, you’re left languishing in the “dark ages.” All your friends and colleagues are editing video at Thunderbolt 3 and 4 speeds of 40Gb/s (on a Mac) while you’re still on Thunderbolt 2.
Well, I have good news and bad news. First, the good news.
Good news! There’s an adapter for that.
OWC prides itself in helping customers extend the life and usability of their Macs. Whether if it’s in the products they create or the tips and knowledge they provide. So, if you’ve been salivating for one of those sleek new Thunderbolt 3 docks but are “burdened” with only a Thunderbolt 2 connection, you’ll be excited to learn that there’s a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C to Thunderbolt 2 adapter. A few important things to keep in mind:
- You need macOS Sierra or later to connect your Thunderbolt 2 Mac to a Thunderbolt 3 (or higher) device.
- It goes both ways:
- If you have a Thunderbolt 2 device with only a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)/Thunderbolt 4 port, you can use the adapter to connect them, and
- You can connect Thunderbolt-enabled displays to the Thunderbolt 3 ports on your Mac (if used with a display, a power source is needed because power is not transferred through the device from the display.
- It does not support DisplayPort displays like the Apple LED Cinema Display or third-party DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort displays.
- When used to connect Thunderbolt 3 devices to a Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 Mac, it must be a self-powered device. Bus-powered devices connected directly to that Apple adapter are not supported.
The (not so) bad news
First and foremost, keep in mind that this adapter does not give you Thunderbolt 3 speeds. When connecting a Thunderbolt 2 Mac to Thunderbolt 3 devices, you will still only get Thunderbolt 2 speeds of approximately 20Gb/s (if you have just plain old Thunderbolt, you’re stuck with speeds of about 10Gb/s).