Are you in the market for a brand new notebook? If so, you’ll be pleased to learn that the flagship $1,799 13-inch model in Apple’s refreshed MacBook Pro lineup for 2018 permits customers to plug high-speed accessories into any of its four Thunderbolt 3 ports without experiencing bandwidth reduction on the two ports located on the righthand side.
All Thunderbolt ports are now equal
As outlined on Apple’s webpage outlining the technical specifications for the 13-inch model with Touch Bar, the notebook’s four Thunderbolt 3 ports support:
- Thunderbolt (up to 40 Gbps)
- USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps)
The entry-level $1,299 and the mid-tier $1,499 machine both feature two full speed Thunderbolt 3 ports while the flagship $1,799 model with Touch Bar is outfitted with four such ports.
Outlining the problem
Older 13-inchers released in 2016 and 2017 had two full speed Thunderbolt 3 ports on the left side and a pair of reduced-bandwidth Thunderbolt 3 ports on the right side. This isn’t Apple’s fault: Intel’s 7th and 6th generation Core i5 and i7 chips support up to 12 PCI Express lanes.
2018’s MacBook Pros, however, use Intel’s eighth-generation CPU platform with the new processors now supporting up to 16 PCI Express lanes, which gives customers plenty of bandwidth for maximum data transfer speeds up to 40Gb/s on all four Thunderbolt 3 ports.
As MacRumors observes, this gives 13-inch MacBook Pro owners the freedom to plug higher-performance peripherals into any Thunderbolt 3 port they desire without compromise.