My new MacBook Pro came with a USB C charger and an associated cable.

I'm noticing this cable is a little bit thicker than other USB C charging cables I've seen.

What safety and charge carrying standards exist with USB C so I can know if a specific thinner / thicker cable is both safe and can support specific charge rates?

  • 1
    Thanks for this question, it got me to figure out my current cable was not sufficient! Apr 25, 2022 at 3:18

3 Answers 3


To answer my own question, according to Wikipedia, USB C cables can have different carrying capacities:

All USB-C cables must be able to carry a minimum of 3 A current (at 20 V, 60 W) but can also carry high-power 5 A current (at 20 V, 100 W).[10] All USB-C to USB-C cables must contain e-marker chips programmed to identify the cable and its current capabilities. USB Charging ports should also be clearly marked with capable power wattage.[11]

So while I can't say this with 100% certainty, the cable that comes with the MBP charger probably is a higher capacity cable, but USB-C cables have chips in them to tell the device and charger their carrying capacity.


The fact that the cable is thick does not necessarily lead to it's ability to reliably deliver a higher wattage. A thinner cable will deliver as much power as long it's a good quality cable that adheres to USB-C standard. USB-C is a standard, but that doesn't mean that all cables you can buy adhere to it. You could buy a thick cable that is poorly made and it could be a hazard.

The thickness of the cable doesn't really matter. It's the quality of the cable and how well it adheres to USB-C standard. When buying USB-C cables, buy from a reputable brand and for more than $.99

  • A thicker cable can mean a thicker inner shield, thicker protective coating, or both. This translates to longer life and durability.
    – IconDaemon
    Jun 24, 2019 at 21:59
  • 1
    Absolutely, a thicker cable usually does indicate a higher quality for the reasons you mention, but the thickness of the cable doesn't inherently mean it's better.
    – clbx
    Jun 25, 2019 at 13:03

If you look at macOS's System Report in the Power section it will tell you the current wattage of the plugged in adapter.

AC Charger Information:
  Connected:    Yes
  ID:   0x0000
  Wattage (W):  96
  Family:   0xe000400a
  Charging: Yes

I tested this with my Pixel 5 USB-C cable, which is about the same thickness as the native MacBook Pro cable and got only 60 watts.

When I tested it with the USB-C cable that came with my iPad Pro, which is about the same thickness as a standard Apple-provided lightning cable, it reported 96 watts.

So, like @clbx mentioned, it's definitely not the size that matters.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .