Thunderbolt 3 strikes more Gigabyte motherboards

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.

Comments closed
    • deruberhanyok
    • 3 years ago

    Neat! What’s the SRP supposed to be on the add-in card? I’ve got their Z170MX Gaming 5, and while I don’t see myself wanting Thunderbolt now, it might be worth picking up for futureproofing before it’s impossible to find anywhere – I plan on keeping that system for a long time.

    • ThatStupidCat
    • 3 years ago

    My gosh, I remember when I used to keep up with technology and even knew what was going to come. Now I’m woefully behind. I haven’t even got a clue what’s a thunderbolt but I’ve seen this mentioned here and there for some time now.

      • Gastec
      • 3 years ago

      Thunderbolt, nicknamed P-47, was a World War II era figher aircraft. Aircraft is the ability to craft air.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 3 years ago

    how thunderbolt works w/o a port standard is very confusing.

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      What do you mean? Last gen it used mini-displayports port, but now it’s switching to USB 3 C as that’s about to become ubiquitous anyways, good thing to hitch onto.

      It’s like USB 3 and USB 3 C speaking of which…Same data protocol, different port.

        • the
        • 3 years ago

        Well originally LightPeak was to piggy back on USB Type-A as pure optical interface. When that idea met resistance from the USB group, Intel switched it over to copper and then new mini-DP connector. The result is that Thunderbolt 1/2 was adopted mainly by the company that was originally pushing the mini-DP connector: Apple.

        It also didn’t help that Microsoft wasn’t keen on the idea of supporting Thuderbolt and thus Windows support is rather mediocre compared to that found on the Mac side.

        Thankfully things are turning around with MS supporting it now and using the connector destined to rule them all.

    • Krogoth
    • 3 years ago

    About time for enthusiast-tier PCIe Thunderbolt cards to appear.

    • End User
    • 3 years ago

    Holy frack!

    [url<]http://www.notebookcheck.net/Gigabyte-unveils-Thunderbolt-3-external-GPU-docking-station.167474.0.html[/url<] [quote<]Not content with just two major options, Gigabyte showed off a variety of Thunderbolt 3 docks including the GP-T3x550-AT2 and its integrated 10 Gbit/s network card, GP-T3U with 8x USB Type-C ports (4x USB Type-C, 4x USB Type-C + Thunderbolt 3), and the GO-T3M.2 and GO-T3U.2 for 3x M.2 and 3x U.2 SSD slots, respectively.[/quote<]

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 3 years ago

      Wow!! Looks like Gigabyte is going places?

        • End User
        • 3 years ago

        Gigabyte is clearly behind Thunderbolt 3. I hope we see similar enthusiasm from the other motherboard manufacturers over the next 4-6 months.

          • SomeOtherGeek
          • 3 years ago

          Yep, I as well. We just need more different kinds of technology to make use of Thunderbolt. It has been around so long and ignored the whole time. I like the idea of docks, especially for for laptops. Plug in one port and it hooks to everything. I know they are around, I just think they can expand on it.

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      That’s more ports than you can shake a Memory Stick™at.

    • End User
    • 3 years ago

    Nice to see Thunderbolt 3 (and Type-C) taking off.

    I’d love to get an ultrawide Thunderbolt 3 display.

      • Krogoth
      • 3 years ago

      It will remain prosumer-tier for the most part like its spiritual predecessor Firewire.

      Nice to have if you have ultra-high bandwidth external peripheral needs (External SSD enclosure, external GPU or be a hub for a ton of USB stuff) but USB3 is good enough for the masses.

        • End User
        • 3 years ago

        Sigh. With you it’s like talking about an Aston Martin Vulkan and having someone with bad breath interrupt you to say that the Vulkans fuel economy is rather poor. I don’t care. Your feedback is irrelevant and your breath really stinks!

          • Krogoth
          • 3 years ago

          It is the bloody truth. The masses don’t care for Thunderbolt and motherboard vendors care about the bottom line so it will be the along first things they will axe off.

          It simply means that Thunderbolt ecology is going to be limited to prosumer-tier peripherals like its spiritual predecessor, Firewire.

            • End User
            • 3 years ago

            Zak’s post clearly shows Gigabyte taking the axe to Thunderbolt 3. (eye roll) And this is before Kaby Lake makes an appearance with Thunderbolt 3 baked into the chipset. There is a good chance that Thunderbolt 3 will make an appearance on lower priced Kaby Lake motherboards.

            Gigabyte’s Thunderbolt 3 product lineup has, apart from a display, surpassed everything that FireWire/Thunderbolt/Thunderbolt 2 managed to offer in their lifetimes combined (and then some).

            The masses don’t even need Windows nor a desktop PC to get stuff done. They certainly don’t need a custom built PC. The only thing the majority of users need is a Chromebook or a phablet. Once they have that they are good to go. So ya, when I drone on about something as cool as an ultra wide Thunderbolt 3 display you know I’m not talking about the masses. And that is the bloody truth.

            • Krogoth
            • 3 years ago

            The mainstream and lower-end version of the 2xx series chipsets a.k.a not Z-flavor will mostly likely remove Thunderbolt 3 support as a cost-cutting measure for OEMs. There’s no mainstream Thunderbolt peripherals to justify the cost. Thunderbolt support will help justify the existence of Z-flavor aside from being overclocking friendly.

            Motherboard vendors will most likely make Thunderbolt support a “premium-tier” feature set so the majority of 200 series Z-tier boards will have it. Remember that motherboard vendors operate on tight margins and are quite sensitive to bottom line costs.

            Just look at product line-up in the news blurb. They are all “premium-tier” boards. The story will not change by the time Kaby Lake and 200 series rolls around.

    • End User
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<] two Displayport inputs, presumably for Thunderbolt passthrough[/quote<] Based upon the labeling those are DP only ports. Thunderbolt 1/2/3 ports always have the bolt icon.

      • cygnus1
      • 3 years ago

      Because it’s in a PCIe slot, it’s not tied to any video outputs and will therefore not pass video over the TB ports. By patching the DP outputs of your video card or iGPU into the DP inputs on the TB card, you can then use TB displays with the card.

      edit: In case you weren’t aware, TB chipsets do not have built-in GPUs. The embedded TB chipsets (non-add in card) are tied directly to the iGPU DP outputs to allow a TB port to have PCIe and DP coming over the wire.

        • End User
        • 3 years ago

        That’s why I waiting for Kaby Lake and its 200-series chipset which comes with a heap Thunderbolt 3 goodness.

          • cygnus1
          • 3 years ago

          Same here, Kaby Lake and 200 series is going to be the basis of a full new build for me. Haven’t firmly decided on nvidia or AMD GPU yet though. The allure of the FreeSync being less expensive is definitely making me consider red team. Plus, with RX480 I can just be content with 1080p and save a lot more money that way too. If I went with a green team it’d be a 1070 at least and would be looking for a 1440p g-sync monitor to go with it. Not a cheap combo.

            • cygnus1
            • 3 years ago

            So, now that Intel made its Kaby Lake announcement, and we know desktop parts won’t come until Q1 next year, I’m thinking I might end up building a Skylake system. Since so little is changing in Kaby Lake, I wonder if it will be socket compatible with Skylake and if Intel will release the 200 series chipset before next year…

          • Krogoth
          • 3 years ago

          It will be limited to high-end boards and platforms though. It will along the first things that motherboards vendors will axe off when they downgrade the platform for lower-tiers.

            • End User
            • 3 years ago

            Cry out (again and again and again) and ye shall be heard!

            • Krogoth
            • 3 years ago

            We have seen happened time and time again with premium-tier features over the decades.

            As the overwhelming majority of the users out there. Thunderbolt is just a solution that is looking for a problem. USB3 and USB2 yield more than sufficient bandwidth for non-professional and non-prosumer needs.

            Thunderbolt is playing Firewire’s song to the letter.

            • End User
            • 3 years ago

            The overwhelming majority of the users out there don’t need a PC anymore. They certainly don’t need USB. They have the cloud.

            40 Gbps of pure PCIe/DP goodness via one 100W Type C cable sure sounds good to me though.

            It’s nice to see Gigabyte launching major Thunderbolt 3 support on the high-end boards and hardware.

            • Krogoth
            • 3 years ago

            USB is needed as an interface for peripheral devices though (even on portables). It is cheap and fast enough for overwhelming majority of peripherals out there.

            Don’t get start on “cloud computing” meme.

            • Gastec
            • 3 years ago

            Keep saying “the majority of users don’t need a PC anymore” enough times and on enough web pages and it might come true. But to me that’s a defeatist atittude. I also don’t particulary enjoy the snobish Big Brother attitude of Apple who “knows what’s best for you”.
            People NEED PCs nowadays more than ever. What we don’t need is Big Brothers telling us what we should or should not need.

      • stdRaichu
      • 3 years ago

      Think you might need to calibrate your monitor – not exactly easy to see, but the two ports on the left very definitely have a pale thunderbolt icon above them. The two ports on the right are labelled “DP IN 1” and “DP IN 2”.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 3 years ago

    Is that a motherboard in the picture. I’m confused.

      • mark625
      • 3 years ago

      Yes, but it leads me to the question: Is it durable? I’m not entirely sure.

      • raddude9
      • 3 years ago

      Yup, it’s just got a lot of stupid/pointless/unnecessary sh1t on it.

        • SomeOtherGeek
        • 3 years ago

        I don’t know why you were down voted for telling the truth… Whatever.

          • Waco
          • 3 years ago

          Fixed.

          For the record, I agree entirely.

            • SomeOtherGeek
            • 3 years ago

            Helping you out too. 🙂

            I guess, some folks just love the bling?

        • DPete27
        • 3 years ago

        RGB LED’s baby!!!

      • NTMBK
      • 3 years ago

      [url=http://tfwiki.net/mediawiki/images2/e/e0/G1Thunder_clash_toy.jpg<]Looks like a bad Transformer.[/url<]

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      Top article picture? Yes. Picture that appears when the article is featured on the home page? No, that’s a Thunderbolt add on card.

      • Generic
      • 3 years ago

      The photographer should be fired for failing to remove the shipping styrofoam and decals.

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      Is that a question. I’m confused.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Not entirely related, but this reminds me of MSI’s Big Bang©®™ motherboards which featured a special PCIe sound card containing a run-of-the-mill Realtek codec but surrounded with amazing audio components. I wonder how much that sound card would cost if sold separately but it would be nice if mobo makers would explore that solution again to distinguish themselves from the other 3 or so other mobo makers.

      • Freon
      • 3 years ago

      I think the codec itself is very good, and the components around it matter more. Raw SNR, dynamic range, etc. is really great, but all that can go to pot if the rest of the implementation is poor.

      I just wish they offered DTS/DDL encoding in the driver now, it seems that feature disappearred. My old X58 UD3 could do it, new Z170 UD5 won’t, and they dropped the “Dolby Home Theater” spec.

        • ronch
        • 3 years ago

        Yep. I believe in those Realtek codecs. Now if only someone would make a proper sound card around them with those features on the codec’s spec list turned on. I wonder how much such sound cards would cost. The codec is roughly $2, and those capacitors *probably* aren’t that expensive either.

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