Questions & Answers

Could you please clarify a couple of details?

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asked Apr 18 in Thunderbolt - Quantum by HexOrbitant (290 points)

Alex,

Thanks for your response and sharing the information on the BIOS Settings, I appreciate the heads up.  I think you have answered my question but as I'm new to TB could you please clarify a couple of details where I might have misconceptions.

1) I'm assuming that a PC motherboard with a Thunderbolt Header meets the requirement that "the motherboard must support Thunderbolt", is this correct?

2) ASUS includes the "ThunderboltEX 3 Expansion Card" and "GPIO Cable" in the Prime X299 Motherboard package.  The card plugs into a PCIe 3.0 4x slot and the GPIO Cable then links it to the TB Header on the MB.  Is this what you mean by "the ASUS Thunderbolt Riser Card to go with your motherboard"?  https://www.asus.com/Motherboard-Accessory/ThunderboltEX-3/overview/

3) I've been assuming that the Startech Adaptor plugs into the Thunderbolt 3/USB 3.1 Type-C  Port on the Expansion Card and the Quantum device.

I'm sure your right that this seems like a lot of work when I could just go out and buy a Mac, I must be harboring some sort of latent masochistic tendencies.

1 Answer

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answered Apr 24 by geoffreyallen1 (270 points)
I am personally using the Gigabyte X299 UD4 Motherboard with their GC-Alpine Ridge Thunderbolt card. I am also new to Thunderbolt, but I was able to successfully build this system to connect to the Focusrite Clarett 8Pre. If I may share with you lessons learned:

Ensure that your motherboard BIOS is up to date. Mine was 2 versions behind and caused me a fair bit of grief.

Ensure that you install ALL drivers related to your TB card. The Alpine Ridge card had TB drivers and USB 3.1 drivers. I didn't think that I needed the USB drivers. I was wrong.

The newest TB motherboards support Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C plug) while most TB interfaces (Including the Clarett 8Pre and your own Quantum, I am betting) support Thunderbolt 2 (mini displayport). Adapters are available, but they're not all created equal. The Apple branded one has been quite successful for me. https://www.amazon.com/Apple-MMEL2AM-Thunderbolt-Usb-C-Adapter/dp/B01MQ26QIY

If you choose to try another brand, be wary... There are a lot of cheaper items that LOOK like they'll work because they have the same connectors, but in fact are intended to be simply video adapters, not data adapters. You'll recognize these by their price tag being under $20, instead of the full adapter that costs roughly $50. (These are USD prices).

After that, I was able to get everything running smoothly on a Windows 10 system (There is no place for iOS in my home ;-))
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