Other World Computing (OWC) has announced that it has developed the only universal and fully-compatible Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C cable that is a certified solution for connecting Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, and USB-4 Macs, PCs, tablets, and phones.
OWC claims that it offers the only cable that is capable of working with a wide range of devices for connecting power, accessories, video, or networking. Normally, maximum performance with Thunderbolt 4 requires a dedicated Thunderbolt 4 cable, but OWC claims this one solution can do that and still work without issue with USB-C devices.
The company also claims that USB-type cables often carry no certification, have a limited scope and varying data speed capacity, and are not all rated and safe for the amount of power some systems can demand. Basically, it’s kind of a shot in the dark if the cable you pick up from your local store or online retailer is actually going to give you maximum performance, OWC claims. Propping up its own product, the company says that its fully-certified cable can deliver power and data transfer capabilities that you won’t have to second guess or worry about.
“From our research and first-hand experience, USB-C to USB-C cables are among the largest causes of technical support headaches,” OWC says. “While many USB-C to USB-C cables ‘look’ and feel of quality, even being the highest quality USB cable doesn’t mean it supports Thunderbolt or even high-speed USB-C 5Gb/s or 10Gb/s needed for modern USB-C docks and drives. This causes frustration, lost time, and lost productivity as devices fail to operate correctly, if at all, and with no apparent reason to the end-user. Using some USB cables for power connections is even dangerous when overpowering can risk excessive heat or worse.”
If nothing else, OWC’s solution here means that the rat’s nest of cables sitting in your office desk drawer that have several cables that are dedicated for certain devices can be cleaned up and consolidated into a few of these cables that are assured to work with all your devices.
USB-C was designed as a universal port and it has pretty much reached that status, however, the headaches involved with different connectors have now moved to the cable itself, and since you can’t physically see differences the current state of affairs is arguably worse. While filled with marketing-laden language, the press release does have a point: when you don’t have to think about what cable you’re grabbing for a specific device, that’s a good thing.
OWC says that its Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C cable is 100% compatible with current and past devices that use the port form factor, is certified for all uses (up to 100W of power, 40Gb/s data performance, and up to 8K video capability), and warranted for three years.