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Home / Technology / Best Thunderbolt 3 Accessories for Mac [Video]

Best Thunderbolt 3 Accessories for Mac [Video]

Thunderbolt 3 is in a much better state today than it was when it debuted on the 2016 MacBook Pro. Time has been friendly in technology, with most Macs in Apple's range now equipped with super-fast I / O. With the increasing adoption in mind, watch our handy video as we consider some of the best Thunderbolt 3 accessories for Mac.

Synology RT2600ac: AirPort Extreme Replacement.

Promise Pegasus3 R6

The Promise Pegasus3 series of raid cabinets have great opportunities for those who need a lot of fast demand of data. This makes Pegasus3 perfect for storing high-resolution high-speed video. If you record RAW video or a high quality ProRes video, the Pegasus3 series can be an ideal solution.

Because it can accommodate both HDD and SSD, users have the flexibility to go for the most possible storage with traditional spin media (up to 80TB with the 8-bay model) or the fastest RAID setup with solid state drives.

I'm a big fan of using Synology's NAS hardware to store my Final Cut Pro X projects, especially with the advent of built-in 10-Gigabit Ethernet on the iMac Pro and Mac mini. However, it is not refused to have direct access storage is a desirable solution if you are working in an environment that does not necessarily require network storage. Being able to access all that storage via a single Thunderbolt 3 cable, which can also charge your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, is a luxury in itself.

Promise Pegasus3 R6 is interestingly the only Thunderbolt 3 accessory on this list we have not made a dedicated video about, but we considered it in our overview of the best iMac Pro accessories around this time last year. We will return with further coverage of Promise Pegasus3 in coming coverage.

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Universal Audio Arrow

Arrow is a Thunderbolt 3 Audio interface from Universal Audio, a company with a long history in the audio industry. That's what I use to do the majority of my voice-related work on Mac, including Final Cut Pro X voiceovers.

The best thing about Universal Audio Arrow (hands-on), as well as the bus-powered Thunderbolt 3 connection, is its UAD-2 plug-ins. These plug-ins include compressors, EQs, reverbs, preamp emulations, guitar enhancements, etc., and can change an instrument or voice in real time.

] Along with the solid aluminum quality, room gray color and the rear position of dual XLR inputs, Arrow is easily one of the best Thunderbolt 3 accessories released in 2018.

CalDigit TS3 Plus

If you're looking to add more I / O to your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, then CalDigit TS3 Plus is the way to go . It has a range of ports, including USB-C and front USB ports, and a UHS-II SD card slot at the front. It also has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, with 5K display capabilities, along with a heaping aid for additional I / O.

In my first review of TS3 Plus , the hardware was only available in silver, but since then, CalDigit has released a new space gray option that looks great next to the world's gray Mac hardware. CalDigits, however, is so useful, you can argue that it is the top dog in our best Thunderbolt 3 accessory list.

Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W

Sonnet is a powerful external graphics box, not my favorite eGPU on this list. but it is the most powerful eGPU that Apple officially recommends, making it worthwhile to appear here. If you need more graphics power for your MacBook Air, MacBook Pro or Mac mini, then an eGPU is a safe way to get it.

Sonnet's EGFX Breakaway Box (hands-on) has a 650W power supply, which means it works with the fastest AMD graphics cards like Apple at the moment supports – the consumer-oriented RX Vega 64 and the professionally-oriented Radeon Pro WX 9100.

Razer Core X

Although Sonnet's eGPU provides an official recommendation in Apple's support documentation, my favorite is the eGPU chassis Razer Core X (review). It has a well thought out design with high quality building materials. It also has a power supply that works with the fastest AMD cards and it's super easy to install and remove graphics cards thanks to the toolless setup.

Razer Core X is a bit bigger and heavier than the Sonnet chassis, but it also works with three card slot wide graphics cards, and after my Knowledge is the only external graphics shelf that is capable of doing so far. It's easily among the best Thunderbolt 3 accessories, and in my opinion it's the best eGPU chassis.

Blackmagic eGPU

Right off the flag I would say that Blackmagic eGPU (review) is not very good value. Nevertheless, it is not denied that it is a product that may prove useful for a particular subset of users. At $ 699, the RX580-equipped device is simply a few hundred dollars overpriced when just taking into account the non-upgradeable performance.

However, the Blackmagic eGPU has some things that go for it as the beautiful and super quiet cabinet that is barely audible, even when under load. The device is also one of the only eGPUs that use Intel's Titan Ridge Thunderbolt 3 controller, which makes it possible to interface directly with Thunderbolt 3 monitors such as the LG UltraFine 5K Display, via another Thunderbolt 3 port on the table.

The sequel to Blackmagic eGPU, the upcoming Blackmagic eGPU Pro, is even more egregious when it comes to pricing – it sells for $ 1199 and is shipped later this month. But even at that price, there is a subset of users who have specific requirements, namely a quiet operating environment, who will appreciate the added power offered by the faster RX Vega 56 GPU inside.

Akitio T3-10G

Until the release of the 2018 Mac mini, the iMac Pro was the only Mac computer that contained 10GbE connection out of the box. While such connectivity is standard on the iMac Pro, there is a build-to-order option on the Mac mini. Apple's laptops completely lack Ethernet connectivity, making the Akitio's T3-10G adapter (review) such a compelling product.

The bus-powered T3-10G brings 10-Gigabit Ethernet connection to any Thunderbolt 3-enabled Mac. And if your Mac already has a 10GbE port, you can add an additional connection with the Akitio's adapter.

Akitio Thunder3 Dock Pro

If you need 10GbE connection but also need extra I / O, such as a UHS-II SD Card slot, CFast 2.0, and others, the Akitio Thunder3 Dock Pro (review) is probably the right solution for you. It's not the bus powered, so it's not as portable as the T3-10G, but with the presence of extra I / O, it's still more suitable for a permanent desktop dock location.

OWC Express 4M2

OWC Express 4M2 (review) is an extremely convenient M.2 flash storage RAID cabinet, providing a large amount of insane, fast storage suitable for video editing. Ready to host up to four 2TB M.2 NVMe SSDs simultaneously for up to 8TB storage, the OWC Express 4M2 has been my destination destination for all of my emerging videos since September 2018.

LG UltraWide 5K2K monitor

It's not a real 5K display, but the LG UltraWide 5K2K monitor (review) packs many pixels in a large work area. LG's latest Thunderbolt 3-enabled display with a 5120 x 2160 resolution provides an ideal 2018 Mac mini companion.

The 5K2K display does not provide users with as much resolution as a real 5K display, but there is a solid upgrade over 4K displays. The extra-large work area is perfect for timeline-based applications such as Final Cut Pro X, which take advantage of the extra horizontal property.

LG UltraFine 5K Display

If you need a true 5K full-screen 5120 x 2880 resolution, consider LG's other Thunderbolt 3-based offerings, the LG UltraFine 5K Display (Review). This screen experienced a tumultuous launch, with pricing controversies and a major design flaw that led early devices to respond when placed too close to a router, but the problem has since been resolved.


I'm not a big fan of their super glossy screen, and the lack of display input in addition to Thunderbolt 3, but in the case of 5K monitors of this ilk , the options are very limited. [19659005] LG's UltraFine Display was supposed to be the direct replacement for the discontinued Apple Thunderbolt display, but the build quality (it's all plastic, just like the LG 600WW 5K2K), leaves much to be desired.

To Apple Make a Comeback With New Monitors, this is the best standalone 5K display with Thunderbolt 3 compatibility. It's a solid offer, but I wish there were more options on the market.

Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock

Sometimes you just need the ability to connect your Mac to an external monitor, and the Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock review is one of the easiest ways to do it. Elgato's Mini Dock features both DisplayPort and HDMI, allowing you to connect up to two 4K displays at 60Hz via a bus-powered adapter. As a bonus, the dock also includes Gigabit Ethernet and a 5GB USB-A port.

In addition to the obvious screen connections, the thing that stands out to me about Elgato's dock is its design. The dock has a built-in, permanently attached Thunderbolt 3 cable that breathes nicely into the bottom of the unit for easy portability.

Samsung X5 SSD

Samsung X5 (review) is the upgraded Thunderbolt 3 version of Samsung's popular external SSD lineup. Post speeds that are much more like the internal storage system built into the Mac, the X5 is a great way to get extra storage space without sacrificing speed. These drives allow you to work with high bit rate, high resolution video much easier on the go, because the devices are small, portable, and bus powered.

G-Drive Mobile Pro Thunderbolt 3 SSD

G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD (Review) is the closest competitor to Samsung X5 , which offers similar performance at a competitive price. Its design is quite different from Samsung's offerings, but is similar to its portable, bus-powered, and blistering read and write speeds.

CalDigit Active Thunderbolt 3 cables

If you own a large swath of Thunderbolt 3 devices , longer 2 meter active cables are a good investment. CalDigit's longer (hands-on) cables are as fast as standard 0.5 meter cables, but offer much more placement flexibility due to length. Needless to say, a longer cable is one of the best Thunderbolt 3 accessories you can buy.

I've reviewed thousands of Thunderbolt 3 devices since the technology was first made available in the 2016 MacBook Pro update. As you may have guessed, I am very fond of this technology because of the flexibility and expansion that it brings to the table.

2018 was a great year for Thunderbolt 3 I / O as it saw two machines in the Mac lineup – 2018 Mac mini and 2018 MacBook Air – getting Thunderbolt 3 compatibility for the first time. This means that now there are only three Macs that Apple now sells – MacBook Air, MacBook Air, MacBook Air, MacBook Air, Macintosh, Macintosh, and Mac Pro, which lack the Thunderbolt 3 connection.

I hope you enjoyed our look at the best Thunderbolt 3 accessories for Mac. Are there any items that were not on this list that you think should be included? Sound down below in the comments with your thoughts and opinions.

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