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Apple’s new 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros now have four full-speed Thunderbolt 3 ports

The Verge logo The Verge 20/7/2018 Chaim Gartenberg
MACAU, MACAU - JULY 18: Visitors and buyers at the Apple Inc. store in Macau, China, on July 18, 2018. © S3studio/Getty Images MACAU, MACAU - JULY 18: Visitors and buyers at the Apple Inc. store in Macau, China, on July 18, 2018.

Apple updated its Touch Bar MacBook Pros last week with faster specs and quieter (and possibly more reliable) keyboards, but apparently the smaller 13-inch models also got another small boost. Now, all four of the Thunderbolt 3 ports on the 2018 models are full speed, via MacRumors.

It’s a small but useful update to the earlier 2016 and 2017 13-inch models, which only offered full-speed data on the two left-side ports, while the two right-side ports were limited to slower PCI Express bandwidth. The reason for the shift is simple: the original Intel chips on the old 13-inch MacBooks only offered 12 PCI Express lanes, which wasn’t enough for the full 40Gbps transfer speeds on all four ports.

The new eighth-generation chips on the 13-inch model now offer up to 16 PCI Express lanes, which is enough for all four ports to operate at full speed, just like its larger, 15-inch sibling.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro sans Touch Bar (oft referred to as “MacBook Escape”) only has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, so it wasn’t affected by the issue or updated as part of last week’s refresh.

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