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The first Thunderbolt 5 cables are here, but there’s barely anything to plug in

The first Thunderbolt 5 cables are here, but there’s barely anything to plug in

Thunderbolt 5 cables, like their TB4 and TB3 predecessors, have USB-C tips. | Image: Cable Matters

Intel’s Thunderbolt 5 might be the best USB-C cable ever, with 120Gbps of single-direction bandwidth, 240 watts of power, and enough oomph to drive external SSDs, eGPUs, and high-resolution, high-refresh-rate monitors from a single cable at unheard-of levels. But first, it’d have to ship! Today, Cable Matters is shipping the first three certified Thunderbolt 5 cables, which bring us one big step closer to something practical instead of theoretical.

Available today from Amazon in 1-foot (0.3m), 1.6-foot (0.5m), and 3.3-foot (1m) lengths for $23, $27, and $33, respectively, the new cables obviously don’t do anything on their own — you’d need a computer with a Thunderbolt 5 port and a dock or accessory of some sort to get some real use out of it.

But as of today, the only laptop we’ve heard of with a Thunderbolt 5 port is the Razer Blade 18, and even there, it’s not guaranteed. You’d have to buy the $4,500 Mercury edition of the laptop to get that port. (You do also get an Intel i9 and a mobile RTX 4090 for the money.)

Photo by Sean Hollister / The Verge
A Razer Blade 18 at CES with a Thunderbolt 5 port.

And unless you own two of those laptops, there’s still probably nothing special you can do with a Thunderbolt 5 cable as of today because the peripherals we saw at CES aren’t yet ready: Belkin, J5Create, OWC, and Sabrent do not yet list any of those Thunderbolt 5 products on their websites, and Hyper still shows its $400 dock as being out of stock with a “Sign up to be notified” button.

But if you do have two of the exact same $4,500 Razer laptops, could you use Thunderbolt Share to transfer files between them at ludicrous speed? Inquiring minds want to know. If not, I suppose you could use it as a USB4 / Thunderbolt 4 cable for now.

According to Cable Matters’ press release, its cable is manufactured by Lintes, the same company that provided the prototype cable we saw at CES.

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