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USB 4 vs. USB-C: How is it Different?

USB 4 vs USB C

USB 4 vs. USB-C: How is it Different?

Choosing the right cable for your device can be tough with so many options. Two terms that are commonly used are USB 4 vs USB-C. USB-C is the plug shape, while USB 4 is the technology used. USB-C is smaller and reversible, which means it can be plugged in any direction. However, USB 4 is faster than USB-C and can transfer more data at once.

This article will compare USB 4 and USB-C based on their features, compatibility, and performance, helping you make an informed decision about which one to use. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast, businessman, or an average user, this article will guide you through the differences between USB 4 and USB-C. So, let’s dive in and explore these two USB technologies.

USB 4 vs USB-C: Side-by-Side Comparison

USB 4 vs USB C
FeatureUSB 4USB C
Release Date20192014
Data Transfer Speed40Gbps *USB 4 2.0 supports 80Gbps10 Gbps
Backward CompatibilityYesYes
Power DeliveryUp to 100WUp to 100W
Cable TypesUSB Type C to USB Type C or USB Type C to USB Type AUSB Type C to USB Type C or USB Type C to USB Type A
Connector TypeUSB Type CUSB Type C
Display SupportUp to two 4K displays or one 8K displayUp to one 4K display
Compatibility with Thunderbolt 3YesNo
Number of Lanes404
Hosts Per PortUp to 61
SecurityAES-128 EncryptionN/A
Supported Audio32 Channels 384 kHzN/A
Faster Transfer
Anker 515 USB 4 Cable 3.3 ft
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01/16/2024 10:18 pm GMT

USB 4 vs USB-C: What’s the Difference?

Physical Connector

USB-C is a physical connector for various data transfer standards like USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt 3. It has a small, reversible connector that makes it easy to plug in and use. Being reversible, you can turn it over to change its orientation and it will still enter. Unlike older USB standards, USB-C is reversible.

USB 4 on the other hand is a data transfer protocol compatible with USB-C and other connectors. It also uses the same small, reversible connector as USB-C, making it very simple to use.

Data Transfer Speed

USB-C supports data transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps (for USB 3.2 Gen 2). This is quick enough for most use cases, including transferring large files and streaming video.

USB 4 transfers data up to 40Gbps, 4x faster than USB 3.2 Gen 2 and 2x faster than Thunderbolt 3. This makes it ideal for applications that require extremely fast data transfer, such as large file transfers or video editing. USB 4 has a new version released in 2022 that now supports up to 80Gbps.

Compatibility

USB-C is compatible with a wide array of devices, including laptops, smartphones, and tablets. USB 4 is backward compatible with USB 2.0 and 3.0, allowing use with older devices.
USB 4 is a newer standard and is not yet as widely adopted as USB-C. Although it is compatible with a wide range of devices, it will likely become more popular in the coming years. Adoption may be slow now but I expect it to pick up with time and probably overtake USB-C.

Display Support

USB-C can support one 4K display or two 1080p displays. This makes it ideal for use with external monitors or TVs.USB 4 can support up to two 4K displays or one 8K display. This makes it perfect for use with high-resolution monitors or TVs. With the increased move towards clear and better-looking displays such as 8K, USB 4 is the way to go.

Protocol Tunneling

USB-C supports protocol tunneling, which allows it to transfer data using multiple protocols over a single cable. A USB-C cable can transfer data, charge devices, and connect to an external display simultaneously.

USB 4 supports protocol tunneling, allowing the transfer of data using several protocols over a single cable. Additionally, USB 4 provides faster, simultaneous data transfer, device charging, and display connectivity than USB-C, both charging and data transfer can be done at the same time.
Both devices must support the same protocols for protocol tunneling to occur. The devices also need Thunderbolt 3 support for data transfer via USB-C.

Charging Power

USB-C supports a maximum charging power of 100 watts (20 volts at 5 amps). This makes it ideal for charging laptops and other high-powered devices.

USB 4 supports the same charging power as USB-C, up to 100 watts. This means that you can use it to charge high-powered devices like laptops and tablets.

Thunderbolt

Although USB-C is compatible with previous USB versions, including USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, it does not support Thunderbolt 3 devices. USB 4, on the other hand, is designed to be backward compatible with Thunderbolt 3 devices, as well as USB 3.2 and USB 2.0 devices. This means that you can use USB 4 with a wide range of devices, regardless of their age or compatibility.

Adoption

In terms of adoption, USB-C has been more widely accepted and supported by devices compared to USB 4. This is due to the fact that USB-C has been available for a longer period of time and is a physical connector that can be used with a variety of devices. In contrast, USB 4 is a newer technology that has not yet been widely adopted by manufacturers. As a result, devices that support USB 4 are currently limited in number. However, as USB 4 becomes more established in the market, we can expect to see more devices that support this technology.

Cost

When it comes to cost, USB 4 is generally more expensive than USB-C. This is because USB 4 is a newer technology that requires more advanced components, which can drive up the price. In contrast, USB-C is a more established technology that has been around for longer, so it tends to be less expensive. However, it’s worth noting that the cost of USB 4 may come down in the future as it becomes more widely adopted and manufacturers are able to produce it at a larger scale. So, it’s important to consider the cost of each technology in relation to your needs and budget.

Best Reversible
JSAUX USB C to USB C Cable 60W
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  • High-speed charging
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  • Fully reversible
  • Data transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps
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01/17/2024 02:40 am GMT

USB 4 vs USB-C: # Must-Know Facts

  • USB 4 is the latest version of the USB standard, released in 2019, while USB-C refers to the physical shape and connector type of the USB port.
  • USB 4 is capable of twice the speed of USB 3.2, with a maximum throughput of 40 Gbps, while USB-C supports up to 10 Gbps. USB 4 2.0 supports up to 80Gbps.
  • USB 4 supports multiple data and display protocols, including Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort 2.0, and USB 3.2, which means it can handle more devices and functions concurrently than USB-C.
  • USB-C is a reversible connector, which means it can be plugged in either way, making it more convenient to use than previous USB connectors.
  • USB-C is smaller and more versatile than previous USB connectors and can be used for charging, data transfer, and video output, among other functions.
  • USB-C is becoming increasingly common on new devices, including laptops, smartphones, and tablets, while USB 4 is still relatively new and may take some time to become widely adopted.

USB 4 vs USB-C: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?

So there you have it, the USB 4 vs USB-C showdown. While both have their benefits, USB 4 edges out USB-C as the better choice for a few key reasons.

Firstly, USB 4 offers faster transfer speeds, supporting up to 80Gbps with the new USB 2.0 specification. This means that users can transfer large files and data sets in seconds, saving valuable time and increasing productivity.

Secondly, USB 4 offers greater power delivery than USB-C, making it a better choice for charging power-hungry devices like laptops and tablets.

Furthermore, USB 4 is backward compatible, meaning it can work with older USB devices. This saves users from the hassle of purchasing new cables and adapters for older devices.

Finally, while USB 4 is more expensive than USB-C, the additional speed and functionality it offers make it worth the investment.

Overall, while USB-C has its advantages but USB 4 is clearly the superior choice for those looking for the fastest, most versatile, and future-proof USB technology available. So next time you’re in the market for a new cable, go for USB 4 which is the future of USB technology.

  1. JSAUX USB C to USB C Cable 60W
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    • Fully reversible
    • Data transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps
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    01/17/2024 02:40 am GMT
  2. Anker 515 USB 4 Cable 3.3 ft
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    • Transfer speed of up to 80Gbps
    • Backward compatible
    • Supports a maximum 240W charge
    • Long-lasting
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    01/16/2024 10:18 pm GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Is USB4 the same as USB-C?

No, USB4 is not the same as USB-C. USB-C is a connector type, while USB4 is a new version of the USB standard. USB-C connectors can support different USB versions, including USB4.

Does USB4 work with USB-C?

Yes, USB4 is compatible with USB-C connectors. USB4 includes support for USB-C as one of its connector types, along with USB-A and Thunderbolt 3.

Is USB4 faster than USB-C?

No, USB4 is not inherently faster than USB-C. USB4 and USB-C are not comparable in terms of speed since USB-C is a connector type and USB4 is a version of the USB standard. However, USB4 can offer faster data transfer speeds than previous versions of the USB standard.

Is USB-C the same as USB4?

No, USB-C is not the same as USB4. USB-C is a connector type, while USB4 is a new version of the USB standard. USB-C connectors can support different USB versions, including USB4.

What is the meaning of USB4?

USB4 is the latest version of the USB standard, which was announced in 2019. It offers faster data transfer speeds, improved power delivery, and support for multiple data and display protocols.

Is USB 4.0 available?

Yes, USB 4.0 is available, and it was released in 2020. However, it may not be widely adopted yet, and not all devices or computers may support it.

Is Thunderbolt and USB4 the same?

No, Thunderbolt and USB4 are not the same. Thunderbolt is a high-speed data transfer protocol that uses a USB-C connector, while USB4 is a new version of the USB standard that can support Thunderbolt 3 and other protocols.

Can I plug a USB-C into a Thunderbolt 4 port?

Yes, you can plug a USB-C connector into a Thunderbolt 4 port. Thunderbolt 4 ports are compatible with USB-C connectors, and USB-C devices can be used with Thunderbolt 4 ports.

Can I plug a USB-C into a Thunderbolt 4 port?

Yes, you can plug a USB-C connector into a Thunderbolt 4 port. Thunderbolt 4 ports are compatible with USB-C connectors, and USB-C devices can be used with Thunderbolt 4 ports.

What is better Thunderbolt 4 or USB-C?

Thunderbolt 4 offers faster data transfer speeds, improved power delivery, and support for multiple data and display protocols compared to USB-C. However, Thunderbolt 4 is also more expensive than USB-C and may not be necessary for all users.

Is Thunderbolt cable same as USB-C?

No, Thunderbolt cable is not the same as USB-C. Thunderbolt uses a USB-C connector but requires special cables that support the Thunderbolt protocol. USB-C cables may not be compatible with Thunderbolt devices.

Is Thunderbolt 4 USB-C?

Yes, Thunderbolt 4 uses a USB-C connector. However, not all USB-C ports or cables support Thunderbolt 4. Thunderbolt 4 also offers more features and faster speeds than standard USB-C.

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