Tuesday, April 19, 2022

M1 Thunderbolt Ports Don’t Fully Support USB 3.1 Gen 2

Howard Oakley (Hacker News):

Apple claims that all its new models using M1 series chips come with Thunderbolt ports which support “USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10Gb/s)”. However, many users have reported performance which doesn’t reach 10 Gb/s for directly connected external disks.


Currently, and as far as I’m aware since their release in November 2020, no Thunderbolt port in any M1 model appears to fully support 10 Gb/s SuperSpeed+ in USB 3.1 Gen 2, at least for SSDs.

The only ports in M1 Macs which currently appear to support USB 3.1 Gen 2 fully are those on the front of the Mac Studio Max.

10 Gb/s SuperSpeed+ in USB 3.2 devices does appear to be supported by the Thunderbolt ports of M1 Macs.

It sounds like there are multiple bugs here, especially the 20 MB/s read performance when using the ports on the front of the Mac Studio.

Users with USB 3.1 Gen 2 devices should connect them to a Thunderbolt 3 Dock, or the USB ports on a Studio Display, where they should perform better.

I have had trouble using the Studio Display as a hub, as there seemingly wasn’t enough bandwidth for my keyboard while the Mac was cloning to spinning disks connected to the display.


2 Comments RSS · Twitter

I keep hearing about how Apple's crushing it with their hardware, but this sort of thing sounds to me like the kind of annoying, obtuse hardware issues that everyone else has. It hasn't been "it just works" for how many years now? Or maybe this is yet another software issue.

Doesn't really matter if it's hardware or software, since Apple sells the whole platform (and these days makes it hard for a third party to fix such issues).

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