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It’s getting steamy in here…
There is no doubt that the Steam Deck is an incredible piece of kit. It’s capable of playing a vast amount of PC games on the move, creating the first truly mobile PC gaming experience. All this fits within a device not much bigger than a Nintendo Switch, which is an impressive feat of engineering and product design. However, that’s not to say that the Steam deck cannot be improved with a few choice additions.
Now that the Steam Deck has been out for a while, the accessories market has had time to find their way out of plastic garbage and into some genuinely helpful accessories. Let’s have a look at the best Steam deck accessories you can get right now to help you get the most out of your mobile gaming.
Steam Deck specs
Before we look at what the Steam deck needs, let’s have a look at its out-of-the-box capabilities to see where there’s room for improvement.
Processor: Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32)
GPU: 8 RDNA 2 CUs, 1.0-1.6GHz (up to 1.6 TFlops FP32)
RAM: 16 GB LPDDR5 on-board RAM (5500 MT/s quad 32-bit channels)
Display: 60Hz, 1280 x 800 IPS
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, Dual-band Wi-Fi radio, 2.4GHz and 5GHz, 2 x 2 MIMO, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Storage is where the three available variants of the Steam Deck differ. The more you pay, the more storage you get. Additionally, the cheapest model’s storage is only PCIe gen2 compliant, meaning that the read/write speeds are slower than the other two options.
64 GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1) ($399)
256 GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4 or PCIe Gen 3 x2*) ($529)
512 GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4 or PCIe Gen 3 x2*) ($649)
So, it’s a powerful piece of kit, but how can we improve it? Let’s start with some additional storage as a memory card is definitely one of the best Steam Deck accessories.
Best Steam Deck memory card
Regardless of which model you go for, they all include a high-speed microSD card slot for additional storage expansion. the slot is SDXC compliant, meaning that it can accept up to a 2TB capacity card, in theory. However, at time of writing, the maximum capacity of a microSD card is 1TB.
It’s worth noting here that the maximum speed that the Steam Deck can read/write to a microSD card is around 100MB/s. This means that there is no reason to go for a microSD card that has higher speeds than this. For this reason, we’ve decided to recommend the SanDisk Ultra 1TB microSDXC Memory Card. It’s got the current max microSD card capacity, and upgrading to the Extreme PRO is not worthwhile due to the aforementioned read/write speed limitation.
SanDisk Ultra 1TB microSDXC Memory Card
Up to 120MB/s (Class 10)
As an aside, memory cards of all types, are regularly discounted by up to 50% on Amazon so chances are, you’ll be able to grab this card and others of differing capacities for less than you’d expect.
Best Steam Deck stand
We previously compared the Steam Deck to the Nintendo Switch, however, one of the Switch’s best features is the kickstand. This allows you to prop it up in front of you, allowing for a more console-adjacent controller experience. Valve has confirmed the upcoming release of a first-party dock that will both prop the Steam Deck up, and expand its I/O with USB Type-C and Ethernet.
However, the official Steam Deck Dock has been delayed so some third-party stands have been popping up. While they won’t increase the number of available ports like the official one from Valve, they will at least function as a stand so you can use a controller or full keyboard and mouse combo with the Steam Deck without having to prop it up against a stack of books or something.
JSAUX anti-slip stand for Steam Deck
3.20z / 65g
4.41 x 2.2 x 1.1 inches
We’ve decided to go for the JSAUX anti-slip stand. Mostly for the quality metal construction and interior coating that both holds the Steam Deck in place and prevents scratches. Additionally, the supporting ridge is designed so it won’t block the exhaust port of the Steam Deck. This makes it one of the more comprehensive Steam Deck accessories that will actually change the way you play.
The metal construction is nice too, meaning that this will last until Valve finally makes the official Steam Deck Dock available. However, if their previous reputation for release dates is anything to go by, you might be waiting longer than you’d like.
Best controller for steam deck
While the Steam Deck has a pretty comprehensive control system built-in, it doesn’t hold a candle to a good old-fashioned controller. A proper controller is one of the best Steam Deck accessories you can get as it allows you to properly kick back and enjoy, especially when paired with the aforementioned stand.
SCUF Instinct Pro controller
Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
Standard Xbox layout +4 programmable paddles
Bluetooth, USB Type-C
Up to 12m/45 feet
The Official Xbox controller is as classic as it gets and is well-suited to any given gaming task. However, if you really what to up the ante, the SCUF Instinct Pro is worth considering. Yes, it’s pricey, but the dual-mode triggers, magnetic faceplate, and stealthy design are all fantastic. If you want to maximize your performance with a controller, the Scuf Instinct Pro is the best we’ve tried. Our full SCUF Instinct Pro Wireless Performance Controller review has more details.
20 Hz – 20 kHz
USB Type-C, Bluetooth
0.80 lbs / 365 g
Up to 20 hours (with lighting/haptics, Up to 50 hours (without lighting/haptics)
PS5/PS4, PC, Devices with Bluetooth audio capacity
Best Steam Deck accessories: Final word
As mentioned earlier, the Steam Deck does function remarkably well as a standalone device, but with a few extra investments, it can be made even better. If you only have limited cash, definitely get a memory card first, then consider the other stuff.
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Steam Deck Windows 11 Performance: How Good is it? The new AMD powered gaming device
The Steam D launched this year and has become a favorite among gamers.
Valve has lived up to its promise and has delivered a Windows 11-compatible device.
In addition, the partnership with AMD has reportedly delivered impressive results.
A lot of users want to know about Steam deck Windows 11 compatibility. Well, let us give you all the info you need.
Since Valve first announced this new gadget, they said it would be a powerful PC capable of running almost everything a regular PC can.
The jury is out on the new gaming device, and post Steam Deck release, we can verify if it has lived up to the hype.
If you are interested in purchasing Steam Deck but wondering if Windows 11 runs smoothly on it, you should read on to find out.What OS does Steam Deck use?
This device is powered by SteamOS, Linux’s Arch-based distribution with built-in Proton support.
If you are wondering, Proton is a compatibility layer whose primary role is to enable Windows games to run on Steam Deck.
You may use it to set up and play Windows games that don’t have native Linux counterparts. The creation of Proton involves collaboration between CodeWeavers and Valve developers.
Proton provides a customized version of Wine and a selection of fast graphics libraries. As a result, there are no performance downsides when using Proton to run Windows games on Linux. Instead, Proton enables you to play several well-known games at decent framerates.Does Steam Deck support Windows 11?
Valve was reportedly working with another company that knows operating systems and hardware to ensure that the upcoming gadget is ready for any challenge.
Since the most critical factor determining a new device’s capability is whether it is Windows 11 compatible, Steam Deck is not an exception.
And after working on the Trusted Compatibility Module (TPM) and with AMD to ensure Windows 11 compatibility, Valve is confident it has built a flawlessly Windows 11 compatible system.
Steam Deck Windows 11 TPM collaboration was essential because no device can support the new OS with TPM 2.0, and yes, you already guessed it, AMD was chosen because Steam Deck will run on the giant’s processors.
Before release, the was the official statement from Valve:
We’ve focused so much on Windows 10, so far, that we haven’t really gotten that far into it. Our expectation is that we can meet that. It’s also a conversation that’s going on with AMD to make sure that, at the BIOS level, we can accommodate that,” he added. “So there’s nothing to indicate to us yet that there’ll be any issues with Windows 11.
Well, the jury is out, and are there any issues with Windows 11? Not at all.
As the creators of the custom silicon at the heart of the Steam Deck, the Zen 2/RDNA 2 APU, the AMD team has ensured that, at the fundamental level, the new tech is ready for Windows 11.How do I install Steam Deck on Windows 11?
You will also need to install Steam Deck Windows 11 drivers to make the best of its Windows compatibility.
So if you didn’t want to buy a Surface laptop or a tablet and are looking more for a different, unique device, you could look into acquiring a Steam Deck for gaming and for running the new OS. The Steam Deck Windows 11 compatibility is flawless.
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1. Logitech G502 Hero – Editor’s Choice
In the case of most games (competitive or otherwise), having a decent and sensitive mouse is important for a third-person or first-person shooter. The Logitech G502 Hero is the mouse that best serves this purpose.
Furthermore, with LIGHTSYNC technology powered by Logitech G Hub, you can adjust the RGB lighting with over 16 million colors to choose from. Basically, you get the ultimate personalization experience with the mouse. Essentially, you won’t find a better gaming mouse for Mac than this beauty!
Huge 25,600 DPI
Adjustable weight distribution
Elegant RGB lighting
Quite small and may not fit larger hands.
Check out on: Amazon
Overall, it’s definitely worth the investment.
7.1 Surround Sound channel support
Active Noise Cancellation
Forces you to install bloatware
Check out on: Amazon
3. Keychron K4 – Mechanical gaming keyboard
A good gaming keyboard for Mac accomplishes two things. First, it’s an excellent keyboard in general, with a great typing experience and durability. Secondly, it can handle all the hard presses during intense gaming sessions. With Keychron K4, you get a wireless gaming keyboard that doubles as an excellent external keyboard for your Mac.
The keyboard has a 96% key layout, comprising 100 keys. It also has a compact design, making it highly portable for your business and work trips. Moreover, you’ll also find all the necessary Mac-specific function keys on the keyboard. The keyboard can also connect with up to 3 devices simultaneously, thanks to the Broadcom Bluetooth 5.1 chipset.
You don’t have to worry about durability, either. With competitive gaming being as intense as it is, the keyboard uses Gateron G Pro Mechanical Red Switch keys that have a lifespan of over 50 million keystrokes.
You can also use it in both wired and wireless mode, with the former made possible through a USB Type-C connection. Additionally, the wireless mode provides battery life of up to 240 hours on a single charge, thanks to the 4000mAh battery.
To sum up, the Keychron K4 is an excellent choice if you’re looking for the best gaming keyboard for your Mac!
100 keys with a Mac-specific key layout
Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity and can connect to 3 devices simultaneously
240 hours of battery life on a single charge (wired)
Tall framing can be difficult on the wrists
Check out on: Amazon
4. 8Bitdo SN30 Pro controller – The classic
Gaming controllers are some of the most important gaming accessories, regardless of the game that you’re playing. Most games feature full controller support, especially when it comes to PlayStation or Xbox layout controllers. With the 8Bitdo SN30 Pro, you get an Xbox layout and a retro look that would remind you of the days of the older Nintendo consoles!
You can also connect the controller to your Nintendo Switch, thanks to the built-in three-axis gyroscope and three-axis accelerometer, resulting in 6-axis somatosensory gaming experience. There’s also a special Custom Burst button, through which you can change the button settings and customizations on the fly. These features make it one of the best game controllers for your Mac!
Unfortunately, if you’ve got bigger hands, I wouldn’t recommend buying this controller, as it’s quite compact and may not fit larger hands properly.
Beautiful retro look
Provides all the modern features
6-axis somatosensory functionality
Custom Burst feature
Compact size isn’t ideal for people with bigger hands
Check out on: Amazon
5. ADATA RGB SE900 external SSD – Faster transfer speeds
With games incorporating better textures and huge in-game worlds, the sizes of games have increased exponentially in recent years. It can often be difficult to accommodate these large games into the in-built SSD of your MacBook. This is when an external SSD can come into use. With the ADATA RGB SE900, you get a gaming SSD that not only stores up to 2TB of storage space but also provides high transfer speeds for the maximum FPS.
The SSD utilizes USB 3.2 Gen2x2 interface, which can deliver up to 20GB/s transfer speeds. To put things into context, you can transfer a 10GB 4K resolution movie from the drive to your PC or vice-versa in mere seconds. With such high transfer speeds, you can install the game into the SSD and connect it to your Mac for a seamless gaming experience. Moreover, the game’s textures will load much faster than your usual SSD or HDD.
This device also features a Beehive RGB Light Wave style, which provides beautiful lighting effects after being connected to the MacBook. However, you won’t be able to change the lighting style or customize it. Moreover, you’ll have to reformat the drive to use with a Mac.
Up to 2TB storage space
20Gbps transfer speeds
Elegant Beehive RGB Light Wave design
Lighting settings are pre-set and can’t be changed
Check out on: Amazon
6. LG UltraGear 24-inch Monitor – Premium display
Though the latest Macs offer excellent displays, the best gaming scenarios often require larger monitors with better specifications and capabilities. If you’re looking for a gaming monitor to pair your Mac with, this LG monitor is exactly what you’re looking for.
The monitor comes with 24-inch screen size and a 165Hz refresh rate. It also comes with AMD’s FreeSync Premium to ensure the highest framerates when gaming and optimizations for various games. Moreover, the bezels on three sides of the screen are so thin that they’re virtually borderless. This provides a larger screen space for a better field of view, especially in first-person games.
Apart from this, the 1ms MBR helps smoothen your gameplay by reducing the motion blur and ghosting. You can also adjust the monitor’s tilt based on your comfort levels. Along with this, the monitor comes with an in-built gaming UI that provides features such as Black Stabilizer, Crosshair, and Dynamic Action Sync.
Overall, the monitor comes with plenty of features for the price you’re paying.
165Hz refresh rate
AMD FreeSync Premium enabled
UltraGear Gaming UI features such as Dynamic Action Sync provided
Build quality is subpar
Check out on: Amazon
7. Razer Thunderbolt 4 dock – 10 ports in 1
Most gaming setups nowadays tend to have multiple connections that can be difficult to manage. Moreover, it’s utterly challenging to find a dock that provides Thunderbolt 4 compatibility as well. Thankfully, with Razer’s Thunderbold 4 dock, all of these problems are fixed.
The Razer Thunderbolt 4 Dock is certified to provide USB4 compliance, up to 40Gbps speeds, and even backward compatibility with Macs. Additionally, it’s pretty versatile, with four Thunderbolt 4 ports, three USB-A 3.2 Gen2x2 ports, and even an Ethernet port. Furthermore, if you’re using an Intel-based Mac, you can connect up to two 4K 60Hz displays with the dock. For M1-based Macs, you can connect one 4K 60Hz display.
This device also takes away simultaneous charging concerns, as you can now charge your Mac and other connected devices at the same time. Overall, this dock will provide you the versatility and cable management that your gaming setup has lacked all this while. With a single hub, your setup management will become much easier!
40Gbps transfer speeds
Plenty of connectivity options
Excellent cable management
Multiple charging options
Prone to scratches
Check out on: Amazon
Anirban is a literature post-grad who delves in philosophy and postmodern novels when not writing on tech and gaming. His love for research is only trumped by his love for chai and heavy metal.
Last Updated on July 22, 2023
The Steam Deck is upon us and no, you won’t be getting one if you put an order in now. Reservations might have opened last July, but Valve’s newest piece of hardware is not going to be hitting the masses for a while. Those lucky few who made it through Steam’s minor heart attack at the sight of a new PC being available and got their orders early should be seeing there’s in the next week.
February 25th is the supposed release date, after a delay from last year and the hectic madness of the chip shortage having no real end in sight, Valve will be finally birthing their next project.Valve’s hardware history
Valve aren’t strangers to hardware at this point. Their virtual reality efforts have been lauded as some of the best – and most expensive. Valve’s Index followed from their partnership with HTC and the Vive, eventually spawning an exclusive, VR-only Half-Life game, the first since 2007.
Prior to VR, Valve also developed the Steam Controller and Steam Machines, both of which can be seen in the Steam Deck.
The Steam Controller was a hybrid between the traditional controller and bringing the elegance of the mouse to allow for games that traditionally don’t map well to a controller. This meant that things like Civilisation and games without controller bound menus could be played comfortably on a TV.
At the same time, Valve’s living room gaming initiative was also producing the Steam Machine, which was Valve providing the first real iteration of the SteamOS to companies to create gaming PC hardware around it. The idea was that by building a custom OS, they would be able to convince developers and publishers to port their games to Linux and away from Microsoft’s Windows.
This didn’t take off, as the companies willing to port to Linux was minimal due to the low player counts. Similar to Valve’s attempt at making macOS a gaming alternative, it just wasn’t popping off the way that was expected. Meanwhile, the idea behind the Steam Controller also didn’t take off.
Steam Machines were silently killed behind the shed, while the Steam Controller was produced in such quantities that it was able to stay in stock until 2023 when Valve did a firesale to get rid of both those and their other product, Steam Link. The Steam Link lives on as an app on both Android and iOS, allowing people to play their games in any room, but the original Steam Link was a piece of hardware that streamed the video feed from one room to another over your network.
However, the whole thing wasn’t a waste of time. The VR department has completely upended the entire industry by finally producing a game that after nearly two years, is yet to be topped, as well as hardware that is routinely recommended despite its price.
But also, the Steam Deck has literally pulled features from the two other devices. It runs an updated SteamOS that is also running Proton, Valve’s intermediary layer to get non-native games running on Linux with no real effort on the developer’s part while considering a native Linux version.What is the Steam Deck?
The Steam Deck is a Linux based, AMD APU equipped handheld that is designed to bring Valve’s entire Steam catalogue to an audience that might not be truly ready to either pay up for a PC, build their own or for those of us with an extensive backlog that we can play on the go.
Valve has said it’s just a regular PC, so you can install whatever you like, however you like on it. The bottom has a USB-C port for accessories, allowing you to invest in some cheaper alternatives than the Steam Dock.
Valve is actively verifying whether games can be played or not on the console, with a list that is always growing.How much is the Steam Deck?
The Steam Deck comes in three variations, starting with a piddly 32GB storage space, jumping up to 256GB and 512GB on NVMe drives. These cost 349, 459 and 569 respectively.
Storage shouldn’t be an issue though, as the Steam Deck will support UHS-I microSD cards.Where to buy the Steam Deck?
You can currently buy the Steam Deck via Steam directly, but when it finally unleashes into the public, please don’t buy the scalpers’ collections off of eBay.When is the Steam Deck shipping?
Theoretically, those who have gotten their orders in the earliest should see them post-Feb 25th or on the day of, but those of us who were too slow or caught up in the mayhem, won’t be able to see them until Q2 2023 or later. This means the second quarter of 2023, so some time in April or later.
Just put your hands on the new iPhone and willing to explore the best accessories to provide the desired care to your pricey smartphone? I also find myself in the same boat and have been looking for the must-have accessories for iPhone Xs Max and Xs for the past few days.
Luckily, there is no dearth of options. From premium assets to the most affordable defenders, the market is flooded with tons of varieties. At the end of the day, everything boils down to your preference and requirements.
Keeping in mind various demands, I have lined up the essential accessories for iPhone Xs Max and iPhone Xs. Hopefully, you may find them spot on both for your special demands and different needs! Let’s explore the list!
1. Screen Protector: The First Line of Defense for Your iPhone
The moment I think of shielding the iPhone against accidental damage, the first thing that comes to my mind is providing the essential defense to the touchscreen. It’s because the display is probably the most vulnerable thing. And if not given the due care, it can be irreparably damaged.
So, how do you safeguard a delicate stuff like the touchscreen?
It’s quite simple, and most of you would be already familiar with it. However, what I want to stress is the use of a more durable and anti-shatter screen guard; especially the ones that boast 9H hardness and come with the coating to keep smudge and grime at bay.
2. Protective Case: Offer the Needed Security to Your iPhone
Even though I don’t have butterfingers, my smartphone does meet with accidental drops once in a while. And I guess, it would be the case with many (if not most) people.
Though Apple claims to have included the strongest glass in the 2023 iPhones, I’m not going to take things for granted. After all, it’s glass that’s more vulnerable to impact and scratches. So, keep your iPhone unshielded against these hazards at your own peril!
Why take a chance with the nasty falls, if you know that the occasional slip-ups are going to happen at some point or the other. What better way to safeguard your iPhone than giving it a protective suit?
Mind you, not all the impact resistant cases are bulky. And some covers have made an incredible balance between the slimness and protection. So, you can flaunt your smartphone without sacrificing on style!
3. Battery Case: Tons of Extra Juice for the Power Players
The next in line is the battery pack! I think all the three 2023 iPhones come with plenty of battery life to live up to basic demand. I mean you may not have to run for chargers untimely in most cases.
However, if you play high-octane games or watch movies for hours, you will definitely need some assistance to keep your smartphone powered up.
Just in case you want to continue to beat out the red bosses or catch up the hot shows at your own pace, you would love to have a dashing battery pack to keep your beast juiced up–without bringing your enjoyment to a standstill.
Moreover, there are quite a few battery cases that look pretty slim despite having a high-capacity battery. So, they make a nice match with the device and also let you sync your device to the computer without any issue. Oh yeah, check out the ones that also support wireless charging.
4. Wireless Headphones: The Evergreen Music Companion
Another accessory that you may want to have to continue to make the most of your favorite music or rev up hands-free calling is –Bluetooth headphones. And when I talk about the wireless earphones, the one name that instantly calls for my attention is “AirPods.”
If you no longer want to mess up with wired earphones and want a pretty good option at a relatively competitive price, AirPods are the way to go. Besides, some cool third-party headphones can get your job done elegantly.
Check out on Amazon
5. Power Banks: Your Indispensable Asset During Travel
Times when you are on the move you would like to have tons of extra juice at your disposal so that you wouldn’t have to run for the wall chargers time and again. The market is flooded with a good many power-packed external chargers.
Better still, they are packed with up to 30,000mAh battery (or even above) to charge your smartphone up to 10 times. So, if you are a frequent traveler and want to have plenty of extra charge at your beck and call to use your device with complete peace of mind, you should get one for your iPhone.
6. Wireless Charger: Embrace the New-Age Charging Technology
After all, it sounds a bit better to just drop your device on the power mat and see the magic happen than look for the Lighting cable and plug it in the Lightning port!
So if you wish to embrace this new age charging technology, you should get one right. Furthermore, they can also work as a useful stand.
7. Armbands: Primed for Fitness Freaks
Want to check out the latest messages or glance through the latest alerts more comfortably even during your rigorous workouts? An armband can be a handy asset for your smartphone for various reasons.
Though they are mostly designed for fitness freaks, you can use an armband even during your travel or trekking in the wild. Moreover, many of them let you securely carry cards and keys. And yes, the reflective strip comes in really handy when you decide to break the shackle and go for the endless run in the dark!
8. USB-Charger: Time to Get On with The Turbocharging
Times when your smartphone is lying low on power or just about to die, you need a turbocharger to charge it up rapidly. After all, who wouldn’t want to charge the iPhone up to 80% (or around that much) in just half an hour?
9. Docking Stations
I have loved using a dock for a couple of main reasons. It works not just as a reliable charging stand but also as a fine tool to let you enhance your media time.
There are several docks that are designed to charge both your iPhone and the paired Apple Watch simultaneously. So, you don’t need to buy a separate charger for your smartwatch.
Have got multiple iPhones? Why not go for an ideal organizer to charge up to 7 devices at one go. With the built-in safeguards, they provide the needed shield to your devices against the common threats like short-circuiting, overcurrent and more.
Therefore, you can’t just keep all of your devices perfectly organized but also never let them go powerless!
10. Gaming Controller – Bang On for Gaming Aficionados
What about those who love to play games for hours? Well, if you want to be at the top of your game to shoot our your enemies or destroy the zombies with more flair, you would want to have a top-notch gaming controller.
It does not just ensure you remain in complete control but also offers your more flexibility. And the one that I’ve tried and found stunning is “SteelSeries Nimbus Gaming Controller.” If you want to explore some of the other popular options, check out the below roundup.
So, that sums up this extensive roundup of the essential accessories for the new iPhones!
Stay Tuned for More…
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The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.
Thunderbolt 3 is in a much better state today than it was when it debuted on the 2024 MacBook Pro. Time has been friendly to the technology, with the majority of Macs in Apple’s lineup now equipped with the super-fast I/O. With its growing adoption in mind, watch our hands-on video as we consider some of the best Thunderbolt 3 accessories for the Mac.Promise Pegasus3 R6
The Promise Pegasus3 lineup of raid enclosures has great options for those who need lots of fast on-demand data storage. That makes the Pegasus3 perfect for storing high-resolution, high-bitrate video. If you shoot RAW video, or even high quality ProRes video, the Pegasus3-series may be an ideal solution.
Because it can accommodate both HDDs and SSDs, users have the flexibility to go for the most amount of storage with traditional spinning media (up to 80TB with the 8-bay model), or the fastest RAID setup with solid state drives.
Interestingly, the Promise Pegasus3 R6 is the only Thunderbolt 3 accessory on this list that we haven’t done a dedicated video about, but we did consider it in our overview of the best iMac Pro accessories around this time last year. We’ll be back with additional coverage of the Promise Pegasus3 in upcoming coverage.Video walkthrough
Subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more videosUniversal Audio Arrow
The Arrow is a Thunderbolt 3 Audio interface from Universal Audio, a company with a long history in the audio industry. It’s what I use to perform the majority of my voice-related work on the Mac, including Final Cut Pro X voiceovers.
The best thing about the Universal Audio Arrow (hands-on), besides its bus-powered Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, are its UAD-2 plug-ins. These plug-ins include compressors, EQs, reverbs, preamp emulations, guitar amp emulations, etc., and can alter an instrument or voice in real-time.
Coupled with the solid aluminum build quality, space gray color, and the rear placement of dual XLR inputs, the Arrow is easily one of the best Thunderbolt 3 accessories released in 2023.CalDigit TS3 Plus
If you’re looking to add additional I/O to your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, then the CalDigit TS3 Plus (review) is the way to go. It features a bevy of ports, including front-facing USB-C and USB-A ports, and a front-facing UHS-II SD Card slot. It also has dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, with 5K display passthrough ability, along with a heaping-helping of additional I/O.
In my initial review of the TS3 Plus, the hardware was only available in silver, but since then, CalDigit has released a new space gray option that looks great next to space gray Mac hardware. CalDigit’s dock is so useful, one could make an argument for it being the top dog in our best Thunderbolt 3 accessories list.Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W
Sonnet’s powerful external graphics box isn’t my favorite eGPU on this list, but it’s the most powerful eGPU that Apple officially recommends, which makes it worthy of appearing here. If you need more graphics power for your MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or Mac mini, then an eGPU is one surefire way to get it.
The eGFX Breakaway Box (hands-on) from Sonnet features a 650W power supply, which means it works with the fastest AMD graphics cards that Apple currently supports — the consumer-oriented RX Vega 64, and the professionally oriented Radeon Pro WX 9100.Razer Core X
Although Sonnet’s eGPU garners an official recommendation in Apple’s support documentation, my favorite eGPU chassis is the Razer Core X (review). It features a thoughtful design, with high-quality build materials. It also features a power supply that works with the fastest AMD cards, and it’s super easy to install and remove graphics cards thanks to its tool-less setup.
The Razer Core X is as little bit bigger and heavier than the Sonnet chassis, but it also works with three-slot-wide graphics cards, and to my knowledge, it’s the only external graphics enclosure capable of doing so thus far. It’s easily among the best Thunderbolt 3 accessories, and in my opinion, it’s the best eGPU chassis available.Blackmagic eGPU
Right off the bat I want to say that the Blackmagic eGPU (review) isn’t a very good value. Yet, there’s no denying that it’s a product that may prove to be useful for a special subset of users. At $699, the RX580-equipped unit is easily a few hundred dollars overpriced when just taking its non-upgradable performance into consideration.
However, the Blackmagic eGPU has a few things going for it like its beautiful and super-quiet enclosure that’s barely audible, even when under load. The unit is also one of the only eGPUs to utilize Intel’s Titan Ridge Thunderbolt 3 controller, which allows it to interface directly with Thunderbolt 3 displays like the LG UltraFine 5K Display, via a second on-board Thunderbolt 3 port.
The follow-up to the Blackmagic eGPU, the upcoming Blackmagic eGPU Pro, is even more egregious when it comes to pricing — it retails for $1199, and will ship later this month. But even at that price, there’s a subset of users who have specific requirements, namely a quiet operating environment, who will appreciate the extra power offered by the faster RX Vega 56 GPU inside.Akitio T3-10G
Up until the release of the 2023 Mac mini, the iMac Pro was the only Mac computer that featured 10GbE connectivity out of the box. Whereas such connectivity is standard on the iMac Pro, it’s a build-to-order option on the Mac mini. Apple’s laptops outright lack Ethernet connectivity altogether, which makes Akitio’s T3-10G adapter (review) such a compelling product.
The bus-powered T3-10G brings 10-Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to any Thunderbolt 3-enabled Mac. And if your Mac already has a 10GbE port, you can add a second connection with Akitio’s adapter.Akitio Thunder3 Dock Pro
If you require 10GbE connectivity, but also need additional I/O, like a UHS-II SD Card slot, CFast 2.0, and others, then Akitio’s Thunder3 Dock Pro (review) is probably the right solution for you. It’s not bus-powered, so it’s not as portable as the T3-10G, but with the presence of additional I/O, it’s more apt for a permanent desktop dock location anyway.
OWC Express 4M2
The OWC Express 4M2 (review) is an extremely handy M.2 flash storage RAID enclosure, which affords a large amount of insanely fast storage space that’s apt for video editing. Capable of accommodating up to four 2TB M.2 NVMe SSDs simultaneously for up to 8TB of storage, the OWC Express 4M2 has been my go-to destination for all of my in-progress videos since September 2023.LG UltraWide 5K2K Display
It’s not a true 5K display, but the LG UltraWide 5K2K Display (review) packs lots of pixels within a wide working area. Sporting a native resolution of 5120 x 2160, LG’s newest Thunderbolt 3-enabled display makes for an ideal 2023 Mac mini companion.
The 5K2K display doesn’t provide users with as much resolution as a true 5K display, but it’s a solid upgrade over 4K displays. Its extra wide working area is perfect for timeline-based apps like Final Cut Pro X, which benefit from the extra horizontal real estate.LG UltraFine 5K Display
If you need a real 5K display, with full 5120 x 2880 resolution, then you’ll need to consider LG’s other Thunderbolt 3-based offering, the LG UltraFine 5K Display (review). This display experienced a tumultuous launch, with pricing controversies, and a major design flaw that caused early units to black out when placed too close to a router, but that issue has since been fixed.
I’m not a huge fan of its super-glossy screen, and its lack of any display input besides Thunderbolt 3, but when it comes to 5K displays of this ilk, options are severely limited.
LG’s UltraFine Display was supposed to be the direct replacement for the discontinued Apple Thunderbolt display, but its build quality (it’s all plastic, just like the aforementioned LG UltraWide 5K2K) leaves a lot to be desired.
Until Apple makes a comeback with new displays, this is the best standalone 5K display with Thunderbolt 3 compatibility. It’s a solid offering, but I wish there were more options on the market.Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock
Sometimes you just need the ability to connect your Mac to an external display, and the Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock (review) is one of the easiest ways to do so. Featuring both DisplayPort and HDMI, Elgato’s Mini Dock allows you to connect up to two 4K displays at 60Hz via a bus-powered adapter. As a bonus, the dock also includes Gigabit Ethernet and a 5Gbps USB-A port.
Besides the obvious display connectivity benefits, the thing that sticks out to me about Elgato’s dock is its design. The dock features a built-in, permanently attached Thunderbolt 3 cable that neatly stows away inside the bottom of the device for easy portability.Samsung X5 SSD
The Samsung X5 (review) is the upgraded Thunderbolt 3 version of Samsung’s popular external SSD lineup. Posting speeds that are much more akin to the internal storage built into your Mac, the X5 is a great way to gain additional storage space without heavily sacrificing on speed. These drives make working with high-bitrate, high-resolution video much easier on the go, because the units are small, portable, and bus-powered.G-Drive Mobile Pro Thunderbolt 3 SSD
The G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD (review) is the closest competitor to the Samsung X5, offering similar performance at a competitive price. Its design is quite a bit different than Samsung’s offering, but it’s similar in that it’s portable, bus-powered, and features blistering read and write speeds.CalDigit Active Thunderbolt 3 Cables
If you own a large swath of Thunderbolt 3 devices, longer 2-meter active cables are a great investment. CalDigit’s longer cables (hands-on) are just as fast as the standard 0.5-meter cables, but offer a lot more placement flexibility due to their length. Needless to say, a longer cable is one of the best Thunderbolt 3 accessories you can buy.9to5Mac’s Take
I’ve considered dozens of Thunderbolt 3 devices since the technology was first made available in 2024’s MacBook Pro refresh. As you might have guessed, I’m very fond of this technology because of the flexibility and expandability that it brings to the table.
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