Intel has now announced Thunderbolt 5 after its initial preview back in October 2022. This newest interface triples the 40 Gbps bandwidth of Thunderbolt 4, all the way to 120Gbps. The new Thunderbolt also has doubled the PCIe lanes and has the ability to deliver up to 240 W of power.
Intel Thunderbolt 5 Overview:
Intel Thunderbolt 5 will provide speeds of up to 80 Gbps using two of its four PCIe lanes, in a standard configuration. This is still twice the speed of what Thunderbolt 4 offered. When required, Thunderbolt 5 utilises its three PCIe lanes to send data at speeds of up to 40 Gbps. Hence, achieving the ridiculous transfer speed of 120 Gbps. In the meantime, the Thunderbolt 5 uses its fourth lane to receive data at the speed of 40 Gbps.
Intel Thunderbolt 5 can run three 4K displays at a 144 Hz refresh rate at the same time. You can also power multiple 8K displays or run a single display with a 540 Hz refresh rate. Thunderbolt 5 will also allow you to charge your gaming laptops at 240W straight from the USB-C port instead of the dedicated charger.
Intel Thunderbolt 5 Availability
With the ridiculous capabilities of Thunderbolt 5, one would assume that we will be bidding farewell to Thunderbolt 4 very soon. But, Intel says otherwise. As of now, the Thunderbolt 5 is reserved for demanding activities such as content creation, and gaming.
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Therefore, Thunderbolt 5 will only feature on Intel’s top-end offerings set to release next year. Meanwhile, regular folks will have to settle with the Thunderbolt 4 which is sufficient for the most part. Additionally, Intel’s 14th-generation processor does not integrate the new interface. Therefore, it requires a separate discrete chip codenamed “Barlow Ridge” for Thunderbolt 5 to function. So we can say that it will be a while before Thunderbolt 5 becomes the default.
- Meanwhile, check out our comparison video between Intel i7-12700K and i7-11700K