What you need to know right away is as follows:
- Use the wire and charger that comes with the gadget if you’re unsure.
- Purchase branded cables of high quality.
- Stop using any cable if it becomes too warm or shows any signs of trouble.
The standard for data transfer and charging appears to be USB-C. And for good reason; USB-C is incredibly flexible, supporting data transfers of up to 10Gbps and power transfers of up to 100W.
The fact that every USB-C cable and port is identical to every other USB-C cable and port is what causes the most confusion for the end user.
However, not all ports and cables are created equal.
For instance, a 20W USB-C charger and cable suitable for that load may be included with your smartphone.
What occurs, though, when you connect that wire to something like Apple’s massive 140W USB-C charger? or a haphazard 100W USB-C charger you purchased?
After that, you connect your laptop to the large power source with that cable. This is the confusing part of USB-C. The complexity and adaptability of USB-C are complicated, yet to the typical consumer, their ports and cables all seem the same. It is comparable to HDMI. Knowing what cable you truly need is difficult.
However, purchasing USB-C that can handle everything is far more challenging than HDMI.
E-Mark was meant to be of assistance here.
E-Mark: what is it?
The concept was that USB-C connections might be electronically branded with their power rating and data transfer speeds. E-Mark, which is short for Electronically Marked, is really a protocol controller.
Some cables may be capable of carrying 100W and 10Gbps, while others may only be 60W and 5Gbps or even 480Mbps capable.
The goal is to prevent 100W of electricity from being forced down a wire that is not equipped to handle it. At worst, this may cause fires.
E-lack Mark’s of widespread support, which it ought to have, is one of its problems. A good charger shouldn’t attempt to shove 60W or even 100W down an inappropriate wire, but I’ve seen it happen.And if you weren’t aware of it, you wouldn’t know it was dangerous.
Additionally, there is the problem of cables that make the E-Mark claim but do not actually contain the E-Mark. If you don’t have a tool that can read the E-Mark, you’ll just have to trust the manufacturer.
The AVHzY C3 USB-C tester is one example of a gadget like that. Simply plug in the device’s power through one USB-C port, attach the cable you wish to test to the other port, and the gadget will notify you if the cable has a chip.
If you have a power bank that can generate 100W and has a metre that displays the output in volts and amps, along with a device that you know can use 100W, such as a laptop, you may connect the power bank to the laptop via a cable and see the power draw.
- It consumes 100W at 20V and around 5A.
- 20V at approximately 3A is equivalent to 60W.
Last but not least, a MacBook will let you know how much power is being used. Then choose About This Mac by clicking the Apple emblem in the top-left corner of the screen. Choose System Report from there, and then, in the left-hand menu, click Power.
What, using the wrong cable may harm something?
In a perfect world, no, as USB-C devices are equipped with security mechanisms that should stop this from happening.
I have, however, witnessed things go wrong, either as a result of malfunctioning equipment, low quality at the time it was made, or a logical error that resulted in a crash. However, mistakes can be made and undesirable outcomes can occur:
- Cable overheating
- Heat-generating gadgets
- Possibly damaging the battery by overcharging (this is rare since most batteries have separate charge controllers, but cheaper devices might not)
- Fire danger brought on by overheating or overcharging
These are certainly edge scenarios, but do you really want one of these on your nightstand? I don’t.
Because of this, I like to be safe and either use the cords and chargers that come with a gadget or invest in high-quality cables that I am confident will do the job.