Questions & Answers

Where can I find a Thunderbolt PC?

0 votes
asked Feb 21, 2018 in Thunderbolt - Quantum by jonathanwood5 (200 points)
I'm interested in upgrading to the Quantum 26x32 Thunderbolt audio interface, but I seem to be finding a lot of confusing information about the Thunderbolt port.

I have a Dell XPS 8700 PC running Windows 10 but it does not appear to have this port. And I read on the PreSonus site that that motherboard must support Thunderbold natively. I called Dell and they said their newer computers support this in the form of a USB 3.1 Type-C port. However, I have also read that this port is not always compatible with Thunderbolt.

The last thing I want to do is fork out $1,000 for the Quantum, another $1,000 plus for the computer, and then learn there is some sort of compatibility issue. So how can I find out for sure? And is there a list of PCs that are tested with the Quantum maybe?

6 Answers

0 votes
answered Feb 21, 2018 by brockstallworth (3,120 points)
Your cheapest solution is to get a PCIe thunderbolt card.
0 votes
answered Feb 22, 2018 by philangus (10,110 points)
edited Feb 22, 2018 by philangus

There are no PCIe Thunderbolt cards that will work in any PC. It is not the same as buying a USN add-in card or a graphics card etc. Thunderbolt needs the correct technology built in to the motherboard.

I suggest you read this article:

I have just been through the same scenario, but luckily I have a Dell 5800 and a 7900, so the add-in card works with both of my machines. I have got the Quantum and have tested it with the add-in card and it works fine. I am selling the 5800 if anyone is interested. If all goes well I will be able to supply it with the supported 7HMHP Thunderbolt card. However, the PC is in the UK. Basic spec is 8 core Xeon 3200 MHz (if my memory serves me correctly) with a 100 gig (yes 100 gig!) of DDR4 RAM.

Other than that, any very modern PC with Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt 3 should work fine. If you have Thunderbolt 3 you will need the converter, if you have Thunderbolt 2 you will need the Apple straight (probably 2 meter) Thunderbolt 2 cable.

0 votes
answered Feb 22, 2018 by jonathanwood5 (200 points)

@brockstallworth: As I alluded to in my original question, this is not supported.

Putting a Thunderbolt Add-on card into a system that does not have native Thunderbolt support on the motherboard will not work.


0 votes
answered May 19, 2018 by xytrouble07 (870 points)
I know this posting was in FEB but Ive been using an Asus prime z370 board with a thunderbolt ex3 card and a startech tb3 to tb2 adapter and its works flawlessly.

In theory you can make a very capable machine for around $500 with a coffee lake i3. (quad core)

My machine was around $800 with an i5,(six core) but to be honest it was overkill.

I bought 2 Thunderbolt ex3 cards from this seller on Ebay

one as a backup and they both work well.
0 votes
answered Aug 7, 2018 by robertwetteland (140 points)
Thunderbolt was designed by Apple and Intel and will only work on a new Mac.

Thunderbolt is everything that was promised going from T1 with transfer rates of 10GB/sec bi-directional

to T2 20GB bi-dir to the latest Thunderbolt 3 on such a simple yet screaming fast data, video and audio @ 40TB/sec

where you can daisy chain up to 6 devices ending in a 4k or even a 5k monitor.

So basically older Macs including the last of the Mac Pro Towers will never see the incredible speed of Thunderbolt.

I'm guessing you could by a MacBook Pro and run windows on it.