Intel recently announced the release of Thunderbolt 5, the successor to Thunderbolt 4 and the latest connectivity standard. This advanced technology will allow for even faster data transfer speeds, increased power delivery, and improved support for multiple displays and external GPUs. Gamers will also benefit from this new technology, which caters to their high bandwidth requirements.
Thunderbolt 5: Capabilities
Thunderbolt 5 will deliver 80 gigabits per second (Gbps) of bi-directional bandwidth, and with a special Bandwidth Boost, it will provide up to 120 Gbps. This mode will be activated once it is connected to a high-bandwidth display. These improvements will provide up to three times more bandwidth than the best-existing connectivity solution, providing enhanced display and data connections.
Thunderbolt 5 is built on industry standards, including USB4 V2, enabling backward compatibility with previous versions of Thunderbolt and USB. The boost mode will allow users to connect extra-large 8K monitors or up to three 4K monitors at 144Hz. As of now, Thunderbolt 4 is limited to two 4K monitors limited to 60Hz refresh rate.
For gamers, up to 540Hz panels will be supported, along with up to 240 watts of charging power, which means gaming laptop manufacturers could skip on a separate power port on their future devices if they wish to do so. Additionally, Thunderbolt 5 will support DisplayPort 2.1, PCI Gen 4, and USB4 v2 specifications, making it an all-in-one solution for USB-C connectivity.
Thunderbolt 5 is based on a new signalling technology called PAM-3, which is also supported in USB4 v2. PAM-3 enables more efficient data transmission by using three voltage levels instead of two, resulting in a higher signal-to-noise ratio and lower power consumption.
Thunderbolt 5: How does it benefit gamers?
For gamers, Thunderbolt 5 could significantly improve their gaming experience. The new technology could enable them to connect their laptops to powerful external GPUs, further boosting their graphics performance and allowing them to play the latest games at higher graphics settings.
Not only that, but it would also ease up cable management, which is a hassle for most gamers. With Thunderbolt 5, they would only need one cable to connect their laptop to a dock that has all the ports and power they need.
“Thunderbolt 5 will provide industry-leading performance and capability for connecting computers to monitors, docks, storage and more,” said Jason Ziller, general manager of the client connectivity division at Intel. “Thunderbolt is now the mainstream port for connectivity on mobile PCs, and delivering the next generation of performance with Thunderbolt 5 will provide even more capability for the most demanding users”, he added.