As it has done in the past, Gigabyte is adding Thunderbolt support to more of its motherboards with nothing more than a firmware update. If you have a Z170X-Ultra Gaming, Z170X-UD3 Ultra, X170-WS ECC, Z170X-Designare, H170-Designare, or X99-Designare EX, you can add Thunderbolt 3 to its list of features with a free download.
Along with that news, Gigabyte is also releasing two new Thunderbolt hardware products. The GP-TBT3 Bay is a 5.25" bay-filler that has USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C ports. The Type-C port also does double-duty as a Thunderbolt 3 port with compatible motherboards. Gigabyte says the front-panel bay supports the USB 3.1 Power Delivery 2.0 specification to deliver up to 100 watts of power, which should make for some very quick charging indeed.
Finally, if your board doesn't support Thunderbolt at all, Gigabyte is also releasing the GC-ALPINE RIDGE. This PCI Express x4 card will slot into a number of X99 and 100-series Gigabyte motherboards to add a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports (via two USB Type-C connectors.) The card also includes an HDMI port, as well as two Displayport inputs, presumably for Thunderbolt passthrough. The list of supported motherboards is available on the product page.
The firmware updates for the compatible motherboards are already up on their product pages, and Gigabyte says its new Thunderbolt products should both be available by the beginning of September.
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