Thunderbolt 4 port: Everything You Need to Know

Innovations such as the Thunderbolt™ 4 technology are timeless: It is explicitly made to simplify the connection from multiple devices to a single computer.

Thunderbolt™ technology was first developed by Intel in 2011 and it combined a single cable DisplayPort and PCI Express technologies with an aim to drive high-resolution displays and high-speed data transfers with a 10Gbps speed.

 A couple of generations later, in 2020, the Thunderbolt™ 4 technology provided lightning-fast bidirectional 40 Gbps data transfer speeds and supplied high-resolution video, multi-stream transport for daisy chaining, up to 90W power delivery for devices, and a stable 1 Gbit/s Ethernet connection… all through a single cable.

So, want to know more about this innovative Thunderbolt™ 4 solution? In the sections below, we will cover the benefits, if it provides power delivery, and how it compares to other connections like HDMI and USB-C.

What are the benefits of Thunderbolt ports?

Thunderbolt™ 4 is quite a must-have if you plan to connect multiple monitors/ accessories, daisy-chain monitors, or simply transfer large amounts of data. In addition, it allows users to connect their computers to external GPUs, storage drives, and PCIe enclosures. Moreover, Thunderbolt™ 4 has faster transfer speeds when compared to other connectivity options.

Philips 27B1U7903: A Thunderbolt™ 4-equipped monitor ideal for visuals

Specifically designed to answer the needs of architects, video makers, and photographers, Philips 27B1U7903 offers the picture performance of a Mini LED backlit and DisplayHDR™ 1400 certified display while also including all the benefits of Thunderbolt™ 4:  lightning-fast 40 Gbps data transfer speeds, high-resolution video, multi-stream transport for daisy chaining, up to 90W power delivery for devices, and a stable 1 Gbit/s Ethernet connection.

To see the Philips 27B1U7903’s full specifications, please visit the product page here.

What is the difference between Thunderbolt and USB-C?

Thunderbolt™ 4 and USB-C are not synonymous. The confusion might come from the fact that Thunderbolt™ 4 uses a USB type C connection. However, for full compatibility, it is always best to plug a Thunderbolt device into a Thunderbolt computer port.

In addition to its physical design, Thunderbolt™ 4 delivers a slim, reversible, one-cable USB-C docking solution to create a clutter-free desktop that greatly boosts productivity. Not to mention, Thunderbolt™ 4 supports USB4 meaning you can connect a USB device to your laptop’s Thunderbolt port.

What is the difference between Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 4?

In comparison to its predecessor (Thunderbolt™ 3), the Thunderbolt™4 doubles the minimum video and data requirements and includes added support for dual 4K displays (at 60 Hz) by using the DisplayPort 1.4 protocol and it is USB4 specification.

Is Thunderbolt 4 better than HDMI?

While HDMI is used primarily as a display connector on many types of electronics, Thunderbolt is used for video and data and is, for the moment, only available for computers.

And, although HDMI’s latest generations might match in terms of video capabilities (both up to 8K), Thunderbolt 4 offers a wide array of extra features and technological advancements for professionals, such as:

  • Data transfer 8 times faster than USB 3.0
  • 4 times more video bandwidth than HDMI
  • Charging with up to 90W power delivery
  • Sending a LAN signal by connecting the LAN cable to a monitor

Do all Thunderbolt 4 ports support power delivery?

The short answer: to an extent.

Intel mandates all Thunderbolt™ 4 ports provide at least 15W for faster charging of supporting devices. However, the main question should be whether the laptop in use is compatible with Thunderbolt™ 4 power delivery capabilities: these are not universal to all laptops or monitors.

One monitor that provides power delivery is the Philips 27B1U7903. It also includes up to 90W power delivery for devices, but please check official manufacturer specifications for complete details on compatibility.

Overall, the Thunderbolt™ 4 port is a great solution for your workspace. Apart from speeding up data transfer, it offers many other benefits that aid you in making your work better, more productive, and most importantly, more efficient.