Best Thunderbolt cables

Anyone having problems hooking their Mac to a display or a dock or any other Thunderbolt device should really read this article.


On my reading list, thanks. Bought a “Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 40 Gb/s 8K guaranteed” cable off Amazon. Doesn’t work for my Studio Display.

That’s disappointing to hear. But doesn’t the Studio Display come with a good cable manufactured by Apple?

I have been using this from CalDigit

Absolutely no issues.

Yes it does, but it wasn’t long enough for my ideal setup.

As per the Thunderbolt specification, 40Gbps is only guaranteed up to 1.5m of cable because of electrical resistance limitations.

Most longer Thunderbolt cables are scams.

To get a longer cable with the same bandwidth, it would need to have an active amplifier on the cable, or use a combination of optic fiber and optic-to-electric.

And as you can imagine, they are incredibly expensive.

This is one of the main reasons people complain to me that Lunar is making their monitors disconnect randomly :upside_down_face: unknowing that their too long cable is not providing enough bandwidth for both brightness control and video stream.


Actually I just realised it’s only 1m long which is the same length as the included one. I must have given up on a longer one but this had a right-angle connector which I wanted due to constrained desk space.

Everything in this listing says “compatible” but when I plug it in, the SD never turns on.

A lot of reviews are talking about cable failure after months of use even if the cable looks pristine.

So I’m guessing their internal wiring isn’t as good as they make it appear in the description, and in your case you could have received a cable that has loose internal wires from the start.

With so high bandwidths (40Gbps is a lot!) these cables are no longer just a bundle wires. They need high quality control to get good EMI shielding, low electrical resistance at joints and have this persist over years.

So I guess the idea is to not expect this to be cheap, better look for reputable brands, especially if you need 5k@60Hz like the Studio Display requires.

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Indeed, but when you want a right-angle connector, there’s really not much choice.

The bend radius of a ‘proper’ Thunderbolt cable means it takes a fair chunk of desk space.


The one at the back is just USB and works fine for its purpose but the Apple Thunderbolt cable at the front shows the issue. My laptop is only a 2-port, but if I had a 4-port, with such a Thunderbolt cable out both sides, the effective width of the laptop is over 50% greater than the laptop itself.

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