Thunderbolt support for Windows getting closer

If you have been waiting patiently for the super-fast Thunderbolt port technology to be made available on Windows PCs, the wait may soon be over. ExtremeTech reports that Thunderbolt ports could be launching on April 23rd as part of Intel's planned launch of the Ivy Bridge series of CPUs.

While Ivy Bridge won't have native support for Thunderbolt, Intel is reportedly trying to get Ivy Bridge-based motherboard makers to add an additional controller for Thunderbolt ports. So far some of the world's biggest PC makers such as HP and Dell have yet to say if they will have Thunderbolt ports in their PCs. It appears that USB 3.0 has wider support among PC makers at this point.

Thunderbolt was first announced back in February 2011 and allows for data transfers at speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second. The port was first made available on Apple's MacBook Pro notebooks and has since been used on other Apple PCs.

News.com reports that this week, PC storage company LaCie plans to demo two Windows Thunderbolt versions of its products, the Little Big Disk SSD and the 2big Thunderbolt external hard drives, at the NAB trade show in Las Vegas. That could be a big hint that the launch of Thunderbolt for Windows is right around the corner.

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Thunderbolt and USB can both live together peacefully, they are different in so many ways, please people stop comparing them because they have a few functions that overlap. Thunderbolt is sooooooo much better than USB3 for external storage, then we have high bandwidth external devices (its a freeking extension to the internal PCIe bus FFS)

duddit2 said,
Thunderbolt and USB can both live together peacefully, they are different in so many ways, please people stop comparing them because they have a few functions that overlap. Thunderbolt is sooooooo much better than USB3 for external storage, then we have high bandwidth external devices (its a freeking extension to the internal PCIe bus FFS)

But yeah, for devices you already own and some new devices (including external drives) USB3 wins, lets not allow the marketing department decide this one ey, look into the specs folks!

duddit2 said,

But yeah, for devices you already own and some new devices (including external drives) USB3 wins, lets not allow the marketing department decide this one ey, look into the specs folks!

The two need not be mutually exclusive.

duddit2 said,
But yeah, for devices you already own and some new devices (including external drives) USB3 wins, lets not allow the marketing department decide this one ey, look into the specs folks!

Thunderbolt has one main advantage on USB3; low cpu usage. Vastly lower CPU usage, to be precise.

Ever copied stuff via USB2 and noticed your system seems a bit sluggish?

Same reason I still use my Firewire external drives instead of USB. Much better throughput with less CPU usage.

MiukuMac said,

Thunderbolt has one main advantage on USB3; low cpu usage. Vastly lower CPU usage, to be precise.

Ever copied stuff via USB2 and noticed your system seems a bit sluggish?

Happy with USB 3.0 on my Laptop and Server, works with legacy devices and damn impressive with USB 3.0 to SATA caddy. No need for another standard IMO.

MrXXIV said,
Hypothetically, if this were to happen, would the Apple Thunderbolt display work on Windows PC's?

Can't see any reason why not, same as USB devices, if you've got a driver it'll work.

MrXXIV said,
Hypothetically, if this were to happen, would the Apple Thunderbolt display work on Windows PC's?

MiniDisplay port works on them anyways, so you can already use an Apple display from a Windows machine.

offroadaaron said,
MiniDisplay port works on them anyways, so you can already use an Apple display from a Windows machine.
I read about this awhile ago. Apparently the Thunderbolt setup within the current Thunderbolt monitor from Apple does not easily work on Windows (it requires Bootcamp drivers, which essentially means on Mac hardware), and hot-swapping does not work at all on Windows, which means you must reboot if you want to use a different monitor. Plus, and this was very annoying to me, it only has one connection from it to whatever computer you choose to connect rather than the reverse as it exists on every other monitor.

One of my monitors was dying and I own both a MacBook Pro and a homemade Windows PC. Obviously my Windows PC does not have a Thunderbolt port on it, so I was hoping that I could use a 27" to drive both the PC through Mini-DisplayPort, and the laptop when I felt like it (it also has a power plug for Mac laptops, which is why I liked the idea). However, after reading about the issues running with Windows I decided to hold out until at least the next round of Thunderbolt monitors are released before I revisit my purchase.

Unfortunately my monitor is getting noticeably worse and it occasionally shuts off, so hopefully someone will compete with the Apple's Thunderbolt monitor because I love the idea of driving everything through one connection, and I do not really care who makes it as long as its well built, has good screen quality and has real support if bad luck strikes. I might try waiting to see if LG releases their new screens in 24-30" monitor form for even higher screen resolutions as long as the price stays below $1000.

jorden25 said,
latest Asus motherboard such as Z77 Ivy-Bridge (Deluxe model) have Thunderboard port...am i missing something or the writer have no clue at all? LOL

Vaio Z laptops from Sony have had Thunderbolt for some time now as well.

jorden25 said,
latest Asus motherboard such as Z77 Ivy-Bridge (Deluxe model) have Thunderboard port...am i missing something or the writer have no clue at all? LOL

The Thunderbolt chip on the Asus MB might be from some other manufacturer. It may not be a part of the chipset. Thunderbolt drivers for what Windows versions are available for your MB?

jakem1 said,

Vaio Z laptops from Sony have had Thunderbolt for some time now as well.

Thunderbolt technology with a non-standard TB port. It was only really designed for their external dock.

jakem1 said,
Vaio Z laptops from Sony have had Thunderbolt for some time now as well.
As dagamer34 pointed out, it is a non-standard Thunderbolt port, which makes it useless. We can thank Sony and its love of murdering people with extra costs.

hopefully we can some PCI express addin cards and external thunderbolt-to-PCIe boxes come out. Onboard and on laptops is nice too.