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I have a 2016 MacBook Pro 13" with 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports. I am connecting a TB3 dock from the back left port of the MacBook Pro but would like to use the right back port instead.

I read on the eGPU forums that there was some difference in the ports, but I can no longer find the post. Are all the ports on 2016 MacBook Pro 13" the same speed? Should I expect lesser bandwidth or performance (for example, data transfer speed) from one port vs another?

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As it turns out, there is a support document published by Apple that directly answers my question:

Late-2016 MacBook Pro models vary slightly in the data speeds they provide to each Thunderbolt 3 port.

MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2016) delivers full Thunderbolt 3 performance on all four ports.

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) supports Thunderbolt 3 at full performance using the two left-hand ports. The two right-hand ports deliver Thunderbolt 3 functionality, but have reduced PCI Express bandwidth.

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports) delivers full Thunderbolt 3 performance on both ports.

Therefore based on this, I will use the left-hand ports for my high bandwidth peripherals.

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  • 1
    Aha! Good catch. Now you know. – IconDaemon Nov 15 '17 at 12:53
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Mactracker specifies: 4 - up to 40 Gbps

Apple Support Document specifies even further:

Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports with support for:

  • Charging
  • DisplayPort
  • Thunderbolt (up to 40 Gbps)
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps)

The key phrase here is up to. 40 Gbps is the theoretical maximum the MBP T-Bolt ports can provide, but most likely that speed is never fully attainable, nor sustainable, under normal usage.

Your milage may vary.

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