ThunderBolt 3 Drives

40Gbps Apple Backup Devices

MacBook Compatible ThunderBolt3 Storage Devices

With the arrival of the Late 2016 MacBook Pro models featuring 2 or 4 ThunderBolt3 interfaces, a whole new category of Apple backup drive solutions are about to hit the market. Utilizing the same Type-C connection that USB-C uses, TBolt 3 supports BOTH 10Gbps USB 3.1 and 40Gbps ThunderBolt3 protocols in the same USB-C/Type-C interface.

Which Mac's Support ThunderBolt3 Backup Drives?

Currently Apple's newest MacBook Pro lineup (both with and without OLED TouchBar) feature ThunderBolt3 device support. Expect revisions to the Apple Mac mini, iMac and Mac Pro desktops to adopt TBolt3 as each model is updated over the course of 2017 and beyond.

Late 2016 13" Apple MacBook Pro

With Two ThunderBolt3 Ports


MacBook Pro 13" Laptop with TouchBar and 4 ThunderBolt3 Ports

MacBook Pro 15" Laptop with TouchBar and 4 ThunderBolt3 Ports


ThunderBolt3 HDD Backup Drive Hardware

ThunderBolt3's 40Gbps bandwith is total overkill for consumer Mac backup drives that house only a single hard disk drive mechanism. For some, a single HDD ThunderBolt3 Apple backup drive will be the most-affordable solution, but the spinning platters will limit it's performance severely.

ThunderBolt3 SSD Backup Drive Hardware

Solid-State flash memory is a much better match for ThunderBolt3's potential. Single-drive SSD ThunderBolt3 Apple backup drives will feature either conventional 6Gbps SATA 3 2.5" drives - or far better - a PCIe SSD module which offer noticably better performance.

ThunderBolt3 HDD Multi-Drive Arrays

Now we're getting somewhere. In striped RAID 0 configurations, hard disk arrays can deliver surprising sustained data transfer speeds - especially if the HDD mechanisms have large onboard cache buffers and high RPM speeds. But it is the combination of very high capacity multi-Terabyte drives at very affordable price points with a dirt cheap cost per Gigabyte that makes them most appealing. For Apple-based Enterprise data storage, Audio Recording Studios and especially Pro HD Video Editing environments, Mac HDD RAID ThunderBolt3 backup drives will appeal most to those with massive data files and a need for speed.

ThunderBolt3 SSD Multi-Drive Array

When raw speed matters more than affordability or capacity, expect Apple compatible ThunderBolt3 SSD backup drives to be big sellers. As solid-state drive flash memory costs rapidly plummet, SSD storage is closing the gap in cost per Gigabyte with hard disk technology. More importantly the transition from old-school, 6Gbps bottle-necked SATA III Serial ATA interfaces has given way to PCIe SSD modules. Able to interface directly with your Mac's PCI bus, it has the ability to leverage as much of the 40Gbps bandwidth potential is possible. When pairs of PCIe solid-state modules are combined in a striped SSD ThunderBolt3 RAID 0 backup drive array, INSANE levels of performance never before seen are a reality.