Apple’s 3 Meter Thunderbolt 4 Pro cables are… dang (my hot take was wrong)

XDA has an article today about a $159 3-meter Thunderbolt Pro cable and at first I scoffed. Then scoffed some more. Then scoffed again thinking “Apple Tax”. Then checked the specs.

TL;DR – one of the things my Android loving hot take was probably pretty off on.

So, you hear a $159 cable and you’re probably reminded of gold-tipped video cables that did absolutely nothing and were sold for $200 to audio enthusiasts who didn’t have any clue that gold tips connecting to cheap copper wires defeats the point. This isn’t that. It’s also not for the average consumer. Not even Apple fanatics.

Thunderbolt
Source: Wikipedia

The Thunderbolt Pro spec is roughly twice the speed of USB-C coming in a 40 gigabits per second. Who needs that? People working on 4-8K video on external drives (RAID array most likely). Can you get a cheap knock off that handles that? Not yet at that range.

While it probably cost apple under a dollar or two to make, package, and ship the cable. It’s something only needed by video editors as far as I can tell, and yeah. Very niche target at the moment that probably is more than willing to pay $159 for something that will be made by everyone in three months. It’ll speed up the writes by 100% theoretically, if the end device can handle that.

The end device on this is going to be several thousand dollars worth of hard drives/SSDs in a RAID box.

Do you do video editing and have an external drive capable of doing 40gbit reads and writes that’s roughly 3 meters away? Is your workflow impacted by cable delays? Yeah this is for you. A $159 for a device that can stop video editors from twiddling their thumbs a couple hours a week is probably financially worth it.

Or it’s an Apple tax… or both.

40gbit is 5 gigabytes per second. Uncompressed 8K video is about 122 gigabytes per minute. Assuming you can process at full speed (you can’t, but that’s another story,) you could process about 2.8 minutes of raw video per minute as opposed to 1.4 on the best USB-C cable.

I know people hear pro and think “I’m a pro” but yeah, this is for pros and it’s priced for it.

[xda-developers]
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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts