Sunday, February 28th 2021

ASUS Rolls Out ThunderboltEX 4 Add-on Card

ASUS today rolled out the ThunderboltEX 4, an add-on card designed to give your PC full Thunderbolt 4 connectivity. The only catch here is that you'll need an ASUS motherboard with a Thunderbolt readiness header (which provides timing and other low-level system commands to the card). Also needed is a USB 2.0 header, of which you're likely to have plenty. The card features a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, and can be installed on any PCIe slot, x4 or larger. A 6-pin PCIe power input is also needed, as Thunderbolt 4 is capable of up to 100 W of power delivery per port, enabling single-cable RAID enclosures and monitors.

The ASUS ThunderboltEX 4 card puts out two Thunderbolt 4 ports in the USB type-C physical format, each with 40 Gbps of bi-directional bandwidth. The card provides DisplayPort passthrough for each port. You connect your graphics card to the ThunderboltEX 4 using the included DisplayPort to mini-DisplayPort cables. The card supports DisplayPort 1.4 passthrough, so you can scale all the way up to 8K resolution on the connected monitors, if your graphics card is game. Under the hood, the card features an Intel JHL8540 "Maple Ridge" Thunderbolt 4 controller. The company didn't reveal pricing.
Add your own comment

6 Comments on ASUS Rolls Out ThunderboltEX 4 Add-on Card

#1
TheLostSwede
I'm amazed that there isn't a better solution than this, considering how many iterations of these things that there are by now.
At least I guess it won't look messy outside the case if you don't need the display signal over TB...
Technically the USB 2.0 cable isn't needed as well, as it's only required if you want to use USB 2.0 peripherals over something connected to the TB ports.
Posted on Reply
#2
umano
pcie 3 x4 does not have enough bandwidth for 2 40gbps ports, but just one
Posted on Reply
#3
InVasMani
Sounded cool and too good to be true, but turns out it was once I read on further. So you need a special ASUS board how very self defeating. If you have to buy a new motherboard anyway may as well just buy a damn board with thunderbolt in the first place.
Posted on Reply
#4
Jem991
umanopcie 3 x4 does not have enough bandwidth for 2 40gbps ports, but just one
40 gbps(This mean 40 gigabit per second) = 5 gigabytes per second. Pci-e 3.0 supports 3940MB/s. article don't say but this card need usb 2.0 and asus specific ThunderboltEX 4 header. This way card easily achive 5gb/s = 40gbps
Bit and Bytes are different
TheLostSwedeI'm amazed that there isn't a better solution than this, considering how many iterations of these things that there are by now.
At least I guess it won't look messy outside the case if you don't need the display signal over TB...
Technically the USB 2.0 cable isn't needed as well, as it's only required if you want to use USB 2.0 peripherals over something connected to the TB ports.
usb 2.0 is needed because 3.0 4x slot only achive 3940MB/s. Usb 2.0 and specific thenderboltex 4 header on motherboard they achive 40gbps = 5gb/s speed
Posted on Reply
#5
TheLostSwede
InVasManiSounded cool and too good to be true, but turns out it was once I read on further. So you need a special ASUS board how very self defeating. If you have to buy a new motherboard anyway may as well just buy a damn board with thunderbolt in the first place.
At least Gigabyte offers a similar product and I think MSI and ASRock has in the past as well.
Posted on Reply
#6
dismuter
Jem99140 gbps(This mean 40 gigabit per second) = 5 gigabytes per second. Pci-e 3.0 supports 3940MB/s. article don't say but this card need usb 2.0 and asus specific ThunderboltEX 4 header. This way card easily achive 5gb/s = 40gbps
Bit and Bytes are different
You didn't understand what he said then. He acknowledged that PCI-E 3.0 x4 is able to provide bandwidth for 1 port at 40 Gb/s, but his point was that it could not provide enough for 2 used at the same time, which would require 80 Gb/s.
However, considering what is required to reach 40 Gbps on a port anyway (either a 0.8m max passive cable or a 2m max active cable), many people will be limited at 20 Gb/s by their cables (passive > 0.8m). So having 2 ports at 20 Gb/s is a viable scenario.
Posted on Reply