Provides: High-speed data transfer between Thunderbolt-capable devices
Minimum Requirements: Any two Thunderbolt-capable devices
Now that Apple has integrated Intel’s Thunderbolt technology into its Macs and a few other companies have done the same with their own products (such as Belkin with its upcoming Thunderbolt Express Dock), the technology is catching on at a speedier pace. For Mac owners, it is gradually becoming a necessity to own a Thunderbolt cable in order to take advantage of the incredibly fast data transfer rates at up to an amazing 10Gbps.
While a variety of companies (including Apple) manufacture their own Thunderbolt cables, a less well known company by the name of StarTech has provided me with one of their own Thunderbolt cables to try out.
Of course, there isn’t going to be much of a difference (if any at all) between Thunderbolt cables manufactured by different companies, even in price. In fact, Apple’s own Thunderbolt cable only costs a single cent more than StarTech’s at $49.00. While I can’t make any comparisons in terms of how well StarTech’s cable performed versus Apple’s, it seems as if price and length would be the only determining factors in terms of which Thunderbolt cable to purchase.
StarTech’s Thunderbolt cable, however, did not disappoint in performance. To test it, I first connected my MacBook Pro to a friend’s iMac in order to use its 21.5″ display as an external display for my MBP. This went very smoothly, and required only a simple keyboard shortcut (⌘-F2) upon connecting the cable to both machines in order to enter Target Display Mode. There were no issues whatsoever, and the iMac functioned flawlessly as an external display.
Next up, I connected my MacBook Pro to my friend’s in order to test out file transfers between the two. This is the part that seriously impressed me, as I was able to transfer files between machines at blazing fast speed. Smaller files transfered almost instantaneously and even large files made it from one MBP to the other in almost no time. I managed to transfer almost everything on my hard drive (approximately 200 GB of files) to my friend’s MacBook Pro in under 5 minutes. The transfer seemed to be going at full speed the entire time, and truly showed me what the Thunderbolt technology is capable of.
Aside from the two uses I covered above, StarTech’s Thunderbolt cable (just like any other) is also capable of daisy-chaining Thunderbolt devices, for those in need of that functionality. StarTech’s Thunderbolt cable comes with a 2-year warranty compared to Apple’s standard one-year limited warranty, which may be another thing that’ll bring you to choose StarTech’s cable instead.
Overall, StarTech’s Thunderbolt cable does what it advertises, and from my testing, does it quite well. If only it was a bit cheaper than Apple’s (which I believe is quite expensive for just the cable) to make it that much more worthy of a purchase, I would give it a perfect rating.
Buy the StarTech Thunderbolt cable