Intel is making Thunderbolt 5 official today with promises of speeds up to 120 Gbps, theoretical support for 540 Hz gaming monitors, 240 watts of charging power, and much more. While the Thunderbolt 5 specification is now official, accessories and PCs won’t debut with Thunderbolt 5 support until 2024.
Built on USB4 v2, Thunderbolt 5 will be backward compatible with Thunderbolt and USB. While Thunderbolt 4 supported speeds of up to 40Gbps, Thunderbolt 5 can transmit data at 80Gbps or up to 120Gbps in Bandwidth Boost mode. This mode requires a high bandwidth display; Otherwise, Thunderbolt 5 supports 80Gbps bidirectional speeds.
Thunderbolt 5 seems ideal for connecting laptops to multiple displays, particularly since it supports multiple 8K monitors, three 4K monitors at 144 Hz (instead of two 4K monitors limited to 60 Hz with Thunderbolt 4), and a minimum load of 140 watts or up to 240 watts. .
Gamers will also be able to use up to 540Hz panels, and perhaps even external GPUs will finally take off with the improved bandwidth on offer here thanks to PCI Gen 4. Support for up to 240W means that gaming laptop makers They could choose not to include a separate power supply. port on future devices. Thunderbolt 5 will also be compatible with DisplayPort 2.1.
“Thunderbolt 5 will provide industry-leading performance and capability for connecting computers to monitors, docks, storage and more,” said Jason Ziller, general manager of Intel’s Client Connectivity Division. “Thunderbolt is now the primary port for connectivity in mobile PCs, and delivering the next generation of performance with Thunderbolt 5 will deliver even more capability for the most demanding users.”
Microsoft has worked closely with Intel to support USB4 in Windows, and Thunderbolt 5 also fully supports the 80Gbps USB standard. Intel has managed to increase bandwidth thanks to a new signaling technology, PAM-3, compatible with USB4 v2.
Now we’re waiting to find out which accessories will support Thunderbolt 5, but it sure looks like docks, monitors, and storage drives will be some of the first with Thunderbolt 5 connectivity in 2024.