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macOS Sierra beta hints at 10 Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 for new Macs

Apple’s next-generation Macs could boost connectivity speeds even further by supporting super fast 10 Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 2. Text strings uncovered in macOS Sierra betas show the company is already making preparations for the standard, which is marketed as SuperSpeed+ USB.

Apple has always been quick to adopt new connectivity standards — especially if they deliver significant improvements over their predecessors. In fact, the company is famous for killing things like FireWire in favor of greater and more modern alternatives.

According to code in macOS Sierra, upcoming Macs will support the second-generation of USB 3.1, which is capable of transferring data at a whopping 10 Gbps. In comparison, OS X El Capitan, Apple’s most recent public release, supports USB 3.1 Gen 1 at 5 Gbps.


“It’s worth noting that 10 Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 is built in to Thunderbolt 3,” explains 9to5Mac. “[It] not only provides support for 10 Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2, but it also lets users take advantage of blazing-fast 40 Gbps Thunderbolt connectivity and DisplayPort 1.2.”

Sadly, this new USB 3.1 standard requires new hardware, so macOS Sierra won’t make connectivity any faster on existing Macs. But if you’re eyeing up that new MacBook Pro refresh that we’ve been hearing so much about in recent months, you should be in luck.


Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...