Thunderbolt 4 cable recommendation request (2 meters)

Does anyone have any recommendation for a reliable 2 meters Thunderbolt 4 cable?

Some brands come to mind. Which would you pick? Maybe something else?

  • Apple
  • Belkin
  • Cable Matters
  • CalDigit
  • OWC
  • Plugable
  • Razer
  • StarTech

0 voters

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LoL…looking at the small number of votes, this is the only thing that Apple can win on this forum.

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The cheapest spec compliant cable you can get easily.

If unknown brand, pick one with a good return policy.

The “benefit” of the Apple one is a reasonable return policy, wide availability and you know it’s pretty certain to be compliant.

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Yeah, the TB4 certification on the cable is likely the most important factor here. But are we also implying that there’s no other discernible reliability differences between the cables? Like, there’s no horror story to any of the poll options, right?

In my area (Canada), this cable from Cable Matters seems to be the cheapest of the lot at $60 CAD.
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B084Z65YJQ

(Only goes up to 100W…but that will do for now as the FL13 doesn’t go beyond that)

I own this one from Belkin. It’s a nice cable. I’d recommend it. It cost a bit less when I bought it, although I’m not sure if the price went up or I got it on sale.

The thing that was most notable when I opened the package was that the cable is very flexible, even compared to other cables.

EDIT: Is it worth that much more than the Cable Matters cable? I’d say no. If it’s TB certified then the differences in cables should be quite small.

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@Matt_Hartley, would you know what are some of the TB4 cables Framework tested with? Say, I want to use it with Ubuntu + a Razer Core X + 2m TB4 cable (This is to avoid “It wasn’t tested by Framework” in potential future support situation).

The stock cable that comes with a Razer Core X is 0.5m and is passive. Once you add an eGPU into the mix, the discussion of TB4 cables changes completely. There’s a reason those cables are very short.

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Yeah, I figure cost and signal integrity. I’m going under the assumption (incorrect?) that active compliant cables would address the signal integrity issue. (i.e. it’s a cost-solvable issue, and there’s no passive 2m TB3/4 cable). Under that assumption, can Framework (or anyone) recommend a 2m cable that works (well / reliably, at a competitive price), and preferably, tested by Framework (to work with the FL13)?

Or maybe I’m wrong somewhere alone the way, and need to get educated on the matter.

Looking at this at the moment: Reddit - Dive into anything

and this…

Maybe I’ll rephrase the question:
What 2m eGPU setup has Framework tested with that works (and more specifically, with the 11th gen)?

The enclosure doesn’t have to be a Razer Core X.

I saw this breakdown on the reason Apple cables are so expensive. It is amazing the amount of engineering and manufacturing that goes into these.

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Don’t be tricked into thinking a basic USB-C cable is the same as a Thunderbolt cable…to justify the additional price / cost of Apple’s own cable.

i.e. They should have compared between active Thunderbolt cables.

That’s to say, there are cheaper active Thunderbolt cables that work…and did Apple really give you ‘more’…or just needed to stay compliant? (check the comments in your linked video…he was basically comparing oranges and tangerines, where he should have compared, say, Jaffa orange against Seville orange.)

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Getting a cable from Cable Matters…hope it’ll do the job.

Was really hoping that a Framework personnel can state what 2m cable(s) has been tested without the need to open a ticket (trying to minimize the support queue management overhead that’s required for every ticket…by not sending in a ticket in the first place).

Reporting back…it mostly went well, with one glitch in the POST / pre-OS boot stage.

Setup:

  • FL13 i7-1185g7, BIOS 3.19, RTC mod
  • 2 meters Cable Matters TB3/4 cable
  • Razer Core X
  • [ancient] EVGA GTX 960 (with GRD driver v546.01 in Windows 10)
  • To NEC PA272W over DP (native 1440p @60hz) or HDMI (native 1080p @60Hz) [due to cable interface limitation, old monitor.]

With everything connected, eGPU on, monitor on / standby, I proceeded to press the power button on the FL13. The Framework splash screen came up on the FL13 stayed on the splash screen indefinitely until I unplug the TB cable…and then it would magically continue to boot to Windows (without restart or anything). It’s as if the laptop was waiting for something during POST.

However, if the monitor was off, eGPU remained on, then power up the laptop, then the laptop would boot into Windows without issue.

Ideally, the laptop should be able to boot into Windows regardless of whether the monitor is in an on / off state.

What’s the POST process doing at that point…stuck on the Framework screen?

The other less important glitch (doesn’t affect functionality) is that the Framework splashscreen aspect ratio on the laptop display seems to link to the aspect ratio of the display connected to the eGPU. It’s not clear why (it shouldn’t). Imagine if I had multiple displays connected to the eGPU, each with different aspect ratio, then which would it choose to use for the laptop display? As a result, the Framework splashscreen on the laptop is elongated vertically (appears taller).