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What is the difference between a Thunderbolt cable and an HDMI® cable?

2023-05-02 18:38:17 ekl

        Both Thunderbolt cable and HDMI cable are commonly used video transmission cables, and they have their own advantages in data transmission, audio and video transmission, etc. This article will compare the two cables in detail, let us understand the difference between them.

Thunderbolt cable and HDMI cable

Data transfer speed

        Thunderbolt cable: The data transmission speed of Thunderbolt cable is very fast, and the latest generation of Thunderbolt 4 (Thunderbolt 4) supports a transmission rate of up to 40Gbps.

        HDMI cable: The transmission rate of the HDMI cable is relatively low. The latest HDMI 2.1 version supports a maximum transmission rate of 48Gbps, but many devices still use the lower rate HDMI 1.4 or 2.0 version.

Audio and video transmission capability

        Thunderbolt cable: Thunderbolt cable can transmit high-definition video signals and support audio transmission at the same time. It can realize high-definition picture transmission between multiple monitors, and is suitable for various high-definition video application scenarios.

        HDMI cable: HDMI cable is specially designed for audio and video transmission, supporting high-definition video and multi-channel audio transmission. It is widely used in home entertainment, games, conferences and other fields.


        Thunderbolt cable: Thunderbolt cable is compatible with USB-C interface and can be used on devices that support USB-C, such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.

        HDMI cable: The HDMI cable is designed with an independent interface and is not compatible with other interfaces. Most TVs, monitors, game consoles and other devices support the HDMI interface.

Power supply capacity

        Thunderbolt cable: In addition to data and video transmission, Thunderbolt cable can also provide power to connected devices and realize device charging.

        HDMI cable: HDMI cables are mainly used for audio and video transmission and cannot provide power for devices.

        To sum up, there are certain differences between Thunderbolt cables and HDMI cables in terms of data transmission speed, audio and video transmission capabilities, compatibility, and power supply capabilities. When choosing a cable, you can choose according to your actual needs and equipment characteristics. If you need high-speed data transfer and device charging, a Thunderbolt cable is a better choice. And if your needs are mainly audio and video transmission, HDMI cable is a more suitable choice.