macOS Sierra beta points to future Macs equipped with 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2

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Upcoming Macs may support USB 3.1 Gen 2, enabling peripheral speeds up to a maximum 10 gigabits per second, code discovered in macOS Sierra suggests.

A string in the Sierra beta mentions SuperSpeed+, a term reserved for Gen 2 ports, 9to5Mac noted on Wednesday. In fact it also specifically cites the 10-gigabit speed cap, twice as fast as Gen 1.

Apple could be planning to include Gen 2 on updated iMacs and MacBook Pros, which should be announced sometime this fall. Support would likely come through Thunderbolt 3, which is not only cross-compatible with Gen 2 but offers native speeds up to 40 gigabits per second, and DisplayPort 1.2 connectivity.

Most people probably won't see an appreciable difference from Thunderbolt 3 or Gen 2, at first, but the technologies could simplify connecting devices like 4K monitors, and speed up backups and file transfers on some external drives.

While there have been few rumors about what upgrades Apple has in store for the iMac, the MacBook Pro is expected to be thinner, and sport an OLED strip showing context-sensitive commands. Higher-end models should come equipped with AMD's Polaris graphics chips.