Usb c types: Cable Types and Differences | Understanding USB Type C: Cable Types, Pitfalls and More.

Cable Types and Differences | Understanding USB Type C: Cable Types, Pitfalls and More.

Cable Types and Differences



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USB C cables can have variations in speed, power, and protocol capabilities. Additionally there are different length requirements to watch out for. When in doubt, buy cables from the device manufacturer. You can also buy USB C cables from Adafruit as we have specific cables for specific needs that are all tested and researched.


A USB C cable with 3.1 Gen 2 capabilities vs one with 2.0 can mean a vast difference in data transfer. For example, two cable types transferring the same HD movie can take vastly different times:

    • 3.1 Gen 2 takes 5 seconds at 10 Gbps
    • 2.0 takes 1.7 min at 480 MBps

USB C cables run at different speeds measured in bits per second. These include:

  • USB 2.0
    • 480 Mbps (megabits per second)
  • USB 3.0
    • 5 Gbps (gigabits per second)
  • USB 3.1 Gen 1
    • 5 Gbps
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2
    • 10 Gbps
    • *Note USB 3.1 gen 4 in store?”
  • USB 3.2 and 4.0
    • These cables will not be covered in this guide at this time, as they are not yet widely adopted.

image source: USB C wikipedia page

If you run across the term “Full-featured” this a reference to speed and typically means USB 3.1 Gen 2.


All USB-C cables must be able to carry a minimum of 20V 3A, but can also carry high-power 20V 5A current.

For cables with up to 3A and 5A delivery, they can be used for

  • Charging USB type C enabled devices such as cell phones and tablets. 
  • Transferring photos and music between devices.

The biggest difference between 3A and 5A cables is 5A cables can generally power laptops and monitors while 3A cables cannot.  


Thunderbolt 3 USB C compatible ports. image:

Protocols / Alternate Modes:

Different USB C cables may support different protocols, or ways of transferring data, such as MHL, HDMI, Thunderbolt 3 and DisplayPort. In relation to USB C, these protocols are called alternate modes. Having support for one protocol type may give support for another but this is not generally the case. 

MHL (Mobile High-Definition) 

  • Connects smart phones to TVs.
  • Allows MHL-enabled source and display devices to be connected through a USB Type C port.
  • Look for MHL support on product page where you are ordering from to ensure MHL is supported.

MHL Alternate Mode USB Type C pin mapping. image:


  • Allows HDMI-enabled sources with a USB C connector to directly connect to standard HDMI display devices without requiring an adapter.
  • Look for HDMI support..

Thunderbolt 3

  • Typically used for monitors and 4K support. This gives a large speed boost when transferring data at 40 Gbps.
  • Can require active cables for higher performance, if over 0.5 meters. 
  • Thunderbolt 3 cables also support the DisplayPort protocol.


  • Another type of digital display interface, backwards compatible with HDMI/DVI/VGA.
  • Look for DisplayPort support.


In general, the faster the speed of a USB cable, the shorter it should be due to the electrical characteristics inherent to high speed data transfer.

Here are the different cable speeds and corresponding suggested lengths:

USB 2.0

  • Up to 4 meters.

USB 3.1 Gen 1

  • Up to 2 meters.

USB 3.1 Gen 2

  • Up to 1 meter.

image source: https://www.

Thunderbolt 3 cables

  • If the cable is over half a meter, it needs to be a special active cable, meaning there are a bit of electronics inside to help things out.
  • If 0.5 m or under, can be passive. The only thing under the rubber sheathing is copper wire.
  • For more details, check the product pages of the cables you are considering.

 What is USB C?

Adapters and Hubs 

This guide was first published on Nov 27, 2019. It was last
updated on Nov 27, 2019.

This page (Cable Types and Differences) was last updated on Nov 21, 2019.

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What Is USB-C?

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In a nutshell, USB-C is the latest connector type developed by the USB Implementer’s Forum (USB-IF), a group of industry-leading companies like Apple, Intel, and Microsoft that set out to create industry-standard specifications for connecting devices.   In their effort to consolidate many different capabilities previously reserved for specific cables, into one standard connector type, USB-IF’s new and rapidly evolving standards have a lot of people wondering, just what is USB-C?  In order to understand what makes USB-C special, it helps to understand its humble beginnings.

A Brief History of USB

At the time of USB-IF’s formation in the late 1990s, modern computing was beginning to blossom but the interface technology between machines and peripheral devices were lagging behind. USB-IF stepped in to create a standard connector type to replace the many serial or parallel ports, as well as proprietary connector types that had cropped up on various machines. Alas, the USB port as we know it was born.

Throughout the years, various protocol upgrades were released, increasing data rates and power capabilities, as well as new shapes and sizes of connectors. At the point that USB-C was developed in 2014, there were 11 different USB connector types each having been developed for particular applications but being largely physically incompatible with one another. For example, if you needed to charge your smartphone you’d likely reach for a Micro USB cable, connecting your printer required a USB Type-B cable while uploading pictures from your digital camera required a Mini-B cable. USB-IF had re-created the very problem they set out to resolve.

USB-C Ambitions

So what is USB-C and what problems does it solve?  First and foremost, it is slated to render all previous USB connectors obsolete. What uses USB-C? USB-C has already been adopted by many PCs, tablets, and smartphones, as well as peripheral devices like monitors, flash drives, and hard drives. All signs point to this trend continuing in part due to USB-C’s slim profile allowing it to be implemented in increasingly thinner and more capable devices. In fact, USB-C has the potential to become a standard even beyond the realm of consumer electronics, as it is starting to be adopted by the automotive industry for in-car charging and data and has the potential for charging household devices such as electric razors.

If you’ve ever struggled to plug a standard USB cable into a wall charger in the dark, flipping the cable around multiple times to find the proper orientation, then this next one is big. USB-C connectors are truly reversible, meaning you can plug it in either orientation. And while there are cables that are USB-C on one end and another connector on the other, in the future we can expect USB-C to USB-C cables to become more common as adoption increases.

Apple has already adopted the USB-C connector on its newest generations of iPad, including the iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini (depending on the generation). Recently, EU lawmakers have mandated that Apple also feature a USB-C charging port on future iPhone releases. Apple has agreed to release its newest iPhone, the iPhone 15, with a USB-C port in compliance with this mandate. This will be the first iPhone ever released with a USB-C port. With Apple’s adoption of the USB-C connector, the future of USB-C is looking bright.  

What are the benefits of USB-C?

So USB-C is slim, reversible, and will replace all of the old connector types, but what can USB-C do? A USB-C connector has 24 pins compared to 9 pins on the previous generation of USB 3.0. These extra pins allow for increased power, data, and video.  While USB 3.0 ports and their 9 pins were capped at a 5Gbps transfer rate, USB-C can support up to 40Gbps depending on the protocol. Here is where the confusing part comes in.

While USB Type-C refers to the reversible connector type, the bandwidth capabilities rely on the protocol support which ranges from USB 2.0 at a measly 480 Mbps all the way up to 40Gbps with a Thunderbolt 3, Thunderbolt 4, or USB4 cable. You’ll find USB-C 2.0 ports on some smartphones and tablets which is good for charging and syncing. On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find Thunderbolt 3 ports on high-end computers such as the MacBook Pro.

Most computers’ USB-C ports support the USB 3.1 Gen 2 standard (also referred to as USB 3. 2 Gen 2×1), which supports 10Gbps. To put this all into perspective, an entire HD movie can be transferred over USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) in about 30 seconds. From there you can gather how painstakingly slow a similar transfer over USB 2.0 would be, and how lightning fast it would be over a Thunderbolt 3/ USB 4 40Gbps connection.

So USB-C is Faster, is that it?

All of that extra bandwidth support on USB-C, whether 10, 20, or 40Gbps, isn’t just good for transferring files at incredible speeds. Another benefit of USB-C is that it also supports alternate modes, such as non-USB protocols like DisplayPort or Thunderbolt 3. Whereas previous USB versions could only support data, alternate modes allow you to do things like sending video through USB-C cables. You’re not limited to one display either. Depending on the capabilities of your computer’s USB-C port, up to 3 monitors could be connected through a single USB-C adapter. You’ll have to be careful on this one, however, as not all USB-C devices support DisplayPort Alternate Mode. USB-C smartphones rarely support it, most new laptops do, but not necessarily for dual or triple displays. For example, a MacBook Pro can only accomplish dual monitors through a Thunderbolt 3 adapter, as it does not support Multi-Stream Transport, or MST (yet another protocol). Luckily, Thunderbolt 3 and 4 ports are clearly marked by the logo, which looks like a lightning bolt, so you’ll know when you have one. 

To determine the capabilities of a non-Thunderbolt USB-C port, you’ll want to look at the technical specs of your computer.  If it is listed as supporting USB-C “alternate mode” or “DisplayPort” then that port supports at least one external monitor. The specs should also mention which USB standard it supports so you can determine its maximum speed.  Computers supporting USB 3.1 Gen 2 with alternate mode will have no problem driving at least one 4K monitor, along with your other USB devices. Accessory manufacturers like Cable Matters often have a line of different multiport adapters or docking stations that utilize USB-C’s full bandwidth in different ways. For example, one adapter may drive two 4K 30Hz monitors but only have USB 2.0 ports while another may support a single 4K 30Hz monitor and also have USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet ports. The opportunities are endless. USB-C’s increasing popularity will continue to make it easier for you to find just the right accessory for your needs.

Can you charge a laptop with USB-C?

Yes! This is another huge benefit of USB-C.  Earlier it was described how USB-IF’s goal was to do away with the myriad connectors and ports for different purposes.  This applies to charging cables as well. Previously, only small devices like cellphones or headphones were able to be charged by USB cables (you probably have a drawer full of micro USB cables from every device you’ve owned).  This is because the maximum a USB charging protocol supported was 5V.  There are a number of proprietary non-USB supported protocols available, but it created a landscape of confusing charging standards and accessories.  USB-C Power Delivery 3. 1 expands the charging spec to 48V access at up to 5A or a maximum of 240W charging. This massive increase makes it possible for large devices like laptops to be charged by USB-C. The 15-inch MacBook Pro charges at 87W for example. For charging beyond 60W, you’ll need to make sure you’re using an electronically marked, or emarked, USB-C power delivery cable.

So USB-C allows you to charge your bigger devices like laptops, but does USB-C charge faster in general? The answer is usually, but it depends on how it is implemented. High-end smartphones like the iPhone and Google Pixel both utilize USB-PD’s support for higher voltage so they can charge much faster than older phones. The downside is that you’ll have to shell out more money for the high-voltage USB-C chargers and in the case of the iPhone, a USB-C to lightning cable. On the other hand, most USB-C cables should support charging up to 60W, just make sure they’re from a reliable brand. Better yet, make sure they’re from a USB-IF member brand such as Cable Matters.

While you won’t notice this last feature as readily, the newest standard, Power Delivery 3.1, supports the Programmable Power Supply (PPS) protocol. PPS Mode essentially allows for the delivery of different amounts of power to a device, instead of just a constant stream of power. The lithium-ion battery in your phone will thank you for this, as this strategy allows it to be charged at an optimal rate while helping to extend the battery’s lifespan.

USB-C Features Recap

In case it hasn’t been mentioned enough yet, it is still important to keep in mind that all of these things are happening simultaneously through a single cable/ computer port. So with the correct docking station, you can have all of your extra monitors, USB devices, memory cards, hard drives, and Ethernet connected AND charge your laptop up to 240W – talk about a clean desktop! The best part about it is that in most cases, it just works. Since USB-C now supports the alternate mode, you’ll start to see more powerful docking stations that work without extra software or drivers, which can slow down your computer.

Given the extreme bandwidth, power capabilities, and alternate mode already available over USB-C, you may be wondering how it could get any better.  One of the main areas of focus is currently on increasing the length that USB-C can effectively perform.  There are just a few active USB-C cables on the market that allow full USB-C features on a cable up to 3m in length. USB-IF also announced the latest standard, USB4, in August 2019.  You can find out more about USB4 here, but the gist is that it will allow for native Thunderbolt 3 support and 40Gbps transfer rates. USB-C’s feature set is robust enough to help keep even the most demanding power users well connected. Finally, we have a truly universal connector that we can enjoy as the standard for years to come.

Which USB-C Cables to Buy?

Now that USB4 cables are available, they will likely become the dominant USB-C standard – making USB4 cables the best choice for all things USB-C. The cables feature full backward compatibility with all other USB-C speeds, making these cables perfect for future-proofing even if you don’t have any USB4 peripherals yet. Cable Matters launched its first USB-IF Certified USB4 cable in 2021. 

USB-IF Certified USB4™ Cable (40Gbps) with Power Delivery

If you’re looking for a USB-C cable to do it all, the Cable Matters Thunderbolt™ 4 Cable is the only USB-C cable you’ll need. It supports the latest 40Gbps Thunderbolt 4 standard, is fully compatible with USB4, and is fully backward compatible with all other USB-C modes. 

Intel Certified Thunderbolt™ 4 USB-C Cable Supporting 100W Charging

Everything about USB-C: types of cables / Habr

The topic of USB-C cables and connectors is quite confusing, and there are objective reasons for this. Many implementation options and nuances, coupled with not always conscientious manufacturers, bring confusion to the cable market. However, in the article I will show that everything in this matter is not so bad if you are ready to resort to a number of tricks and adjust your own expectations.

Approx. per. : This is a new part of the series dedicated to standard USB-C . The rest are available here:

  1. Electronics Introduction
  2. Cable types < You are here
  3. Connector mechanics
  4. Adapters outside
  5. standard

  6. Resistors and E-Marker
  7. Power Supply
  8. High speed interfaces
  9. Notebook Framework
  10. Soldering iron Pinecil
  11. Manufacturers’ sins
  12. Communication via low-level protocol PD
  13. Reply via PD protocol

▍ Cable mess

You can have a whole bunch of USB-C cables that look the same on the outside, but you know they have different insides. And often there are no signs on them. Yes, it’s pretty bad, and you could even say that the situation is only getting worse.

I want to clarify right away that here we will only talk about USB-C male to USB-C male cables. Despite the popularity of cables like USB-A to USB-C, they are quite simple. In them, we have a USB 2.0 or 3.0 data transfer standard and support a current of no more than 2 A, and the USB-C connector is usually connected to the host with a voltage of 5 V, which is determined by a pull-up resistor. In addition, even though visually cables like “Type-C to DisplayPort” may look like cables, in fact they are adapters stuffed with a decent amount of electronics.

According to the specification alone, there were originally six types of USB-C to USB-C cables. Then there were eight. And now that number has reached twelve. And this is only in accordance with the specification, and there are still many third-party modifications. The good news is that usually most of these cables are quite suitable for simple tasks like charging devices and transferring data, and some specific cases of their use are quite rare.

Next, we will analyze the different types of cables, and you will understand that distinguishing them from each other is much easier than it might seem.

▍ Sort by category

To begin with, there are two current carrying options for USB cables – 3 A and 5 A. 3 A is the minimum required for any cable, and 5 A is already supported as an option. Naturally, low-quality cables can fall short of up to 3 A, but this is a rare case. Last year, the USB-C group introduced EPR (Extended Power Range) technology, which raises the maximum voltage from 20 V to 48 V and requires improved isolation between the data and power pins. These are two additional categories, SPR (maximum 20V) and EPR (maximum 48V). However, 3 A EPR cables don’t exist, so this is a little less confusing than it might sound.

There are at least four options for data transfer speed. Previously, USB 2 and USB 3 cables with a Type-C connector were available to us, as well as a Thunderbolt interface. Now there is a new USB 3.1 standard that aims for higher speeds and needs faster cables. In addition, there are active USB-C cables that route the signal through redrivers or fiber optics to increase its transmission range. If you thought that cables use different wiring, which introduces additional variability both within the specification and outside of it, then, unfortunately, you were right.

The result is a three-by-four matrix representing the possible types of cables you have. Three rows in it indicate the current strength of 3 A, 5 A and EPR 5 A, and four columns indicate the transmission speed. In addition, there are many cables that fall out of the specification – for example, charging-only cables without 2.0 pins, which, of course, looks blasphemous from the point of view of technical requirements. Naturally, this can be bought both accidentally and intentionally. But how to determine the kind of those that you already have?

Let’s cut it down to a three-by-four space of options, leaving out the exceptions – over time, these weird cables will become less and less prominent as even low-cost manufacturers eventually learn to follow the requirements.

The undeniable advantage of such a wide range of cables is the ability to buy exactly what will suit your needs, whether it’s a cheap $5 craft or a quality product for $40. However, 2.0 cables are thinner, lighter, and more flexible—because you definitely wouldn’t use Thunderbolt to charge your laptop on the go. In addition, USB-C has elements by which different cables can be distinguished. Next, I will talk about this in more detail.

▍ There is a computer in your cable…well, almost

When a power supply can deliver more than 3A of current through a cable, it will not do so immediately – it will first verify that the cable is capable of carrying that current and that the connected device can accept that current.

How exactly does it test cable capabilities? Through reading his “E-Marker”. E-marker is a memory chip in the cable connector that encodes its capabilities and parameters, being connected to the SS channel for their transmission. This microcircuit is necessary for all cables with speed from USB 3 and current from 3 A. At the same time, a huge number of parameters can be encoded in the E-Marker, including even the country code. Want to know more? I recommend reading the technical description of the VL151 programmable microcircuit, which lists a lot of interesting information that can be obtained from the usual E-Marker.

If you wish, you can even buy these chips online and install them in your cables – for example, the WLCSP VL151 or its UDFN version. True, these chips can be flashed through I2C only three times. If you want to build your own 5A USB-C cables, you can also buy plugs with E-Markers already soldered in. Who knows, we might even see Doom on these chips soon.

▍ Self test cables

So, you can find out the capabilities of the cable by reading the E-Marker. At this point, Linux users might think that this information should be available somewhere around /sys/ , but as you know, there is no such degree of support yet – the /sys/class/typec/ directory on my Framework laptop with kernel 6.0.3 is empty, even when a Type-C monitor is connected. In the meantime, there are USB-C testers that can read information from the E-Marker.

If you don’t have an E-Marker in your cable, then you can assume that it supports USB 2.0 transfer speed and 3A current, but hardly much more. In addition to the current carrying capacity of a cable, the E-Marker can tell you if it contains high-speed pairs, and which ones.

In a USB-C cable, there are usually either no such pairs at all, or there are four. Naturally, this is in addition to the obligatory pair of USB 2.0. However, there are exceptions – if you have a USB-A to USB-C cable with USB 3 support, then it will only have two pairs. Also, you will most likely find only two pairs in the USB-C to HDMI adapter with a built-in cable. Plus, from purely practical observations, I can say that I have a cable that came with the USB case – M.2 NVMe, and it also has only two pairs. It will work with USB 3.0, but will not fit DisplayPort or similar connectors – and it will not be long enough for such an application.

Want to check it out yourself? Luckily, you don’t have to cut the cable to do this. We’ve reviewed USB-C testers many times before, and here’s one of the latest articles. These are open source solutions, and you can easily build such a device yourself. As an alternative, there are a whole bunch of ready-made ones on Tindie and Aliexpress. This fixture will not tell the difference between 20Gb/s and 40Gb/s cables, but it will help distinguish between USB 2.0 and 3.0 models.

In addition, the cables can be tested under natural conditions. If you are using a 100W charger and a laptop of similar power, you can easily check if your cable is providing 100W of power. To do this, just connect the charger and laptop through any cheap USB-C power meter and see if the current consumption exceeds 3A. A similar trick can be used when you have a bunch of cables and want to find out if they are up to USB 3 and higher. Here you will additionally need, for example, the same M.2 NVMe case with a USB 3 Type-C “mother” port.

In this case, you can do the following quick test – connect the case to the laptop with a USB-C cable, then run lsusb -t , which will show the connection speed (480 for USB 2 cables and 5000/10000 for USB 3 cables). As a bonus, you can check to see if any of your cables fail the reversibility test – as this is still a problem.

▍ Completion of the missing marking

Naturally, the manufacturer himself knows exactly the capabilities of his cables and their internal structure. But at the same time, he must accompany his products with markings, which in fact are quite rare. Sometimes the characteristics are indicated on the packages. So, if you haven’t thrown yours out yet, you can take a look at them or look at the product description in the online store. Let’s say you have an unlabeled cable and you’ve just defined its characteristics. How to be further?

Well, get out the nail polish bottles and follow [@_saljam’s] advice. Here is a color scheme for marking USB-C cables after you understand their parameters. One strip means 3 A, two stripes – 5 A. Orange is USB 2.0, blue is USB 3 20 Gb / s (Gen 1), green is USB 3 40 Gb / s (Gen 2), yellow is Thunderbolt. I especially like that the 5A Thunderbolt cables look like bees when using this design. In addition, [@_saljam] says that this scheme is quite suitable for the perception of color blind people.

Be that as it may, USB-C is on the mend. The responsible group introduced a new notation, which, by the way, was laughed at by many. Although this scheme is quite simple and not without meaning. If the cable supports 40 Gb/s, then it will have a 40 Gb/s logo on it. If it supports 240 W, then this characteristic will be indicated by the corresponding logo. If it implements support for both, then you will see both of these designations. You may not want to paint over these logos with varnish, but I’m sure you’ll come up with something.

▍ Integrated USB-C cables

You may have come across devices, such as docking stations, with built-in USB-C cables. This solution is an alternative to the standard female port and male to male cable. Fixed cables don’t fall under the same set of rules, and the electronics they use are much simpler, which is why they’re often installed in cheap devices.

Simply put, if you want to use high-speed lines on your device and embed a fixed cable in it, then you do not need to add a high-speed multiplexer to support two variants of plug orientation – in this case, the host is responsible for adjusting to one or another direction of its connection. Also, since the only possible CC line is hardwired, you will need one 5.1 kΩ resistor instead of two, and you won’t need an E-Marker at all. If you add a “mother” port with high-speed lines to the docking station, then you can’t do without a multiplexer.

But under the terms of an agreement to sell well-equipped docking stations with USB-C on Aliexpress for only $ 15, this option is not suitable. In this regard, many cheap devices are equipped with fixed cables, which both complicates and simplifies everything at the same time. The upside is that you no longer need to select the appropriate cable to connect the device, and it will certainly be optimally compliant with the standards, since it is very easy to implement such non-removable cables. The disadvantages include the limitation only to this cable built into the device. If it breaks, consider that the whole device breaks. Plus, you can’t increase it. Or can you?

Although I propose to postpone the issue of building up to another time, and with it the topic of USB-C cables that fall outside the requirements of the specification. Now I want to emphasize that the cables should be easily replaceable. If the cable suddenly ceased to be your friend or began to throw out oddities – stick a stigma on it, put it away so that there is no temptation to suddenly use it, and order a replacement. It’s better to have a few replacements. Here, as in the case of Micro-USB cables, replacement is the main way to get rid of the problems associated with them.

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USB Type-C interface options in different versions




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The USB Type-C interface is increasingly being used to transfer data, connect monitors and recharge mobile devices. Due to its wide functionality and compact size, it has become widespread in a variety of digital devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Introducing USB Type-C

Unlike USB Type-A, USB Type-C is designed as a reversible connector, so connection is easier and the connector is more durable. In addition to data transfer, USB Type-C supports alternative modes of operation, such as video output via DisplayPort and HDMI™ protocols. This is important for the development of modern laptops, which are becoming thinner and lighter. In addition, USB Type-C is becoming a standard connector for powering and recharging electronic devices – with a power of up to 100 watts. Thus, the number of cables required for full operation is reduced.

USB Type-C Interface Options in MSI Notebooks

USB Type-C is the designation of the interface connector. In terms of functionality, the USB Type-C port can be represented by one of 3 options.

  • 1. Data transfer only
    This option is used exclusively for data transfer. The baud rate is indicated next to the connector. For example, the number 10 would mean 10 Gbps.
  • 2. Alternate Modes
    If there is a “DP” icon next to the USB Type-C port, this port can operate in either DisplayPort or HDMI™ video output mode. It will also support data transfer at the speed listed next to the connector. This USB Type-C variant is implemented in MSI laptop series
    Stealth 15M/
  • 3. Thunderbolt
    The USB-C connector with the lightning icon is the Thunderbolt interface. It is compatible with USB 4.0, Thunderbolt 3 and 4 protocols, provides 40 Gb / s data transfer rate and allows you to connect external monitors via DisplayPort or HDMI™ protocols. Docking stations, daisy-chaining multiple devices, and Thunderbolt Networking LAN are also supported. In the latter case, data can be exchanged between two computers at speeds up to 10 Gbps. The convenient and feature rich Thunderbolt interface is available on MSI GE/Creator/Summit/Prestige/Modern notebooks.

Sometimes there is a plug icon next to the USB Type-C connector. It indicates support for Power Delivery (PD) up to 100W. MSI’s Summit and Prestige series laptops have a USB Type-C port with PD support that replaces the traditional power connector, allowing the user to use fewer cables.

When connected to the USB Type-C port of the Docking Station, Docking Station functionality will vary depending on the USB Type-C variant. For example, if a laptop’s USB Type-C connector only supports data transfer, the docking station will only be able to transfer data but not output video, even if it has an HDMI™ connector. When connected to a USB Type-C connector in the Thunderbolt version, all the functionality of the docking station will be available, including recharging according to the PD standard.

The USB Type-C interface is implemented in every MSI notebook. It is advisable to know which version of it is presented in your model in order to fully use all its functionality. You can find comprehensive information about this in the following tables.


Communication only

Communication only

Communication only

901 51 Alternate mode
(data + video)

(PD charging)



USB 3.2 Gen1

USB 3.2 Gen2