Thunderbolt 4 won't be faster...
Yes, Apple confirmed Thunderbolt will continue on Macs.
“Over a decade ago, Apple partnered with Intel to design and develop Thunderbolt, and today our customers enjoy the speed and flexibility it brings to every Mac. We remain committed to the future of Thunderbolt and will support it in Macs with Apple silicon,” commented an Apple spokesperson in a statement to The Verge.
What we don't know yet is if they will lift the 22Gbps limit for PCIe data transmission, which was seemingly put i place in TB3 to guarantee 10Gbps is reserved for USB 3.1 Gen2. That limit should not be present if there is a single TB port (not dual) since there is no additional USB port to reserve for.
I think the best part of Thunderbolt 4 is docks with up to three downward facing ports (basically what USB4 will have). So you can connect more devices that only have a single Thunderbolt port. Or multiple USB-C or Thunderbolt displays (still limited to two).
nando4 is correct about the main Thunderbolt 4 improvement being related to a more robust system requirement. Some PCs and Macs have TB3 ports that don't use all available PCIe bandwidth even though otherwise look like a "normal TB3 port". This impacted performance for some drives and eGPU. Going forward it will not be possible to get a computer certified as TB4 unless all ports have access to the full compliment of PCIe bandwidth. But this won't change the 22 Gbps maximum bandwidth available for data (for eGPU) over these connections. You can think of this as being TB3 with a more strict set of requirements for computer makers.
Another good thing about TB4 is they're ending the confusing mix of cable types. All TB4 certified cables 2M and under should have the same capabilities and will also work with a wide range of USB port types over USB-C. Thunderbolt 4 will be a "superset" of USB 4, adding additional capabilities and features. No information or hints AFAIK about what happens after TB4, or when we'll get the next I/O speed boost but it's going to be a while IMO. : )
Bring peace to your computing life: stop trying to understand Apple.
Hi all. I'm new to the forum and have been considering buying a eGPU for my Macbook Pro 15 (2018) for gaming (I mainly play Dota2). My current plan is to get a Razer Core X with AMD 5700xt. I also notice Intel just announced new standards for TB4 and probably it will come with CPU equipped with 11gen Intel CPU in 2021? From what Intel announced on their website, I didn't see any significant different between TB4 and the TB3 on Macbook Pro. So I guess even I wait till next year, a TB4 Macbook Pro with a TB4 eGPU enclosure won't give you a significant difference?
@chippy-mcchipset, But intel announced that pci express bandwidth will be lifted to 32gbps why are you saying that the bandwidth will be still limited to 22gbps?
@hongsungone, Intel is referring to the MINIMUM PCIe connection to the Thunderbolt controller. Some laptops used PCIe 3.0 x2 instead of PCIe 3.0 x4. With Thunderbolt 4, all laptops will use PCIe 3.0 x4.
Actual PCIe bandwidth over a Thunderbolt 4 connection will still be less than PCIe 3.0 x4. For Thunderbolt 3, this is something like 22 Gbps (2750 MB/s). Some manufacturers say 2800 MB/s but I don't know if that's true or if they are rounding up. There was a YouTube video about Thunderbolt 4 showing something like 3000 MB/s so maybe there's a slight improvement?
@joevt, I tested a prototype eGPU earlier this summer and AIDA64 GPGPU showed Memory Read close to 3,000 MB/s. Due to NDA, I did not take it apart to check the Thunderbolt controller. Both the eGPU enclosure and host laptop are Thunderbolt 3.