Search:
Submit Search


Adding Thunderbolt to a PC

Buying or building computers for Hauptwerk, recommendations, troubleshooting computer hardware issues.

Adding Thunderbolt to a PC

Postby Eric Sagmuller » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:58 am

Has anyone attempted to add Thunderbolt to a PC? Mine is about a year old. I haven't had alot of success finding a card that would work. The few I've found are specific to certain computers. I've also read that the motherboard needs to have the capability built in, a certain connector on-board. Then there's the different versions of Thunderbold.

I'm looking at possibly getting a MOTU interface with TB connectivity. They don't list however if TB 2 or 3 is needed.

Thanks,
Eric
Eric Sagmuller
Member
 
Posts: 835
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:18 pm
Location: Bellefonte, PA USA

Re: Adding Thunderbolt to a PC

Postby tf11972 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:17 am

What do you expect in comparison to USB? More speed?

My USB-2.0-interface works without any issues.
Best regards
Thomas

www.forestpipes.de
User avatar
tf11972
Member
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:33 pm
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: Adding Thunderbolt to a PC

Postby mdyde » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:02 am

Hello Eric,

I've just checked and the current Thunderbolt-equipped MOTU interfaces (including the 16A model that I have, and the 828x) have Thunderbolt ports that are directly compatible with Thunderbolt 1 and 2:

http://motu.com/products/avb/16a/specs.html
http://motu.com/products/motuaudio/828x/specs.html

Thunderbolt 3 controllers should be backwardly-compatible with Thunderbolt 1/2 devices, but an adapter cable is needed.

My two MOTU 16A interfaces have Thunderbolt and USB 2.0 and AVB. I currently use them via USB 2.0 (since I don't have any available Thunderbolt ports) and they manage 64 channels of audio at 48 kHz and a buffer size of 256, with no performance issues on both OS X and Windows 10, so even with USB 2.0 their drivers give excellent performance. In the longer-term I hope to get a new PC with a Thunderbolt 3 card, and then connect them via Thunderbolt, which should potentially allow slightly higher audio performance still (and up to 128 channels of audio, instead of 64). It's useful to have several connection options (USB 2.0, Thunderbolt and AVB). I don't have previous experience with PC Thunderbolt cards, but the main two current models appear to be from Asus and Gigabyte:

https://www.asus.com/uk/Motherboard-Accessory/ThunderboltEX-3/
http://uk.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GC-ALPINE-RIDGE-rev-10#ov

I'm not clear whether they can work in motherboards apart from those that they list as compatible.

Echo also make an AVB interface card:

https://echoavb.com/products/streamware-nic-1

... although it's fairly pricey and is limited to 64 channels anyway, so there probably isn't much of an advantage in using that compared to just connecting the MOTU interfaces by USB 2.0 for now (unless you need a very long cable run to the nearest MOTU interface) and then instead connecting via Thunderbolt in the future when you next buy a new computer/motherboard.

Hope that helps to some extent.
Best regards,
Martin.

[Please use email or the Contact page if you need to contact us privately, rather than private forum messages.]

Image
User avatar
mdyde
Moderator
 
Posts: 10346
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2003 2:19 pm
Location: UK

Re: Adding Thunderbolt to a PC

Postby Eric Sagmuller » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:14 am

Hi Thomas and Martin,

I was mainly going by an earlier suggestion from you Martin where you had suggested the RME UFX+, connecting it to the computer via Thunderbolt, then feeding additional interfaces using the AVB. If the USB 2 is fast enough for 64 channels, then I don't think I would worry about the Thunderbolt at this point. I was just hesitant to use the USB 2 as it's not nearly as fast. With all the USB 3 and even 3.1 which I have, I would have expected the MOTU to be designed specifically for that. But I can see they want it to work on older computers too.

Thanks,
Eric
Eric Sagmuller
Member
 
Posts: 835
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:18 pm
Location: Bellefonte, PA USA

Re: Adding Thunderbolt to a PC

Postby mdyde » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:29 am

Thanks, Eric.

You're welcome.

Eric Sagmuller wrote:I was mainly going by an earlier suggestion from you Martin where you had suggested the RME UFX+, connecting it to the computer via Thunderbolt, then feeding additional interfaces using the AVB.


Just to clarify, the RME UFX+ has USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt, but not AVB. (The main reasons to use AVB over Thunderbolt/USB would probably the ability to use multiple interfaces simultaneously together in any configurations, and/or to run cabling over very long distances, and/or to use extremely large numbers of channels, and/or to stream audio from any given interfaces simultaneously to multiple computers.)
Best regards,
Martin.

[Please use email or the Contact page if you need to contact us privately, rather than private forum messages.]

Image
User avatar
mdyde
Moderator
 
Posts: 10346
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2003 2:19 pm
Location: UK

Re: Adding Thunderbolt to a PC

Postby murph » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:48 am

Just a quick addition:
The Echo card doesn't play very well with Motu devices, judging by reports from those who have tried. Apple NIC is a better option, but still can glitch....
murph
Member
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:45 pm

Re: Adding Thunderbolt to a PC

Postby Eric Sagmuller » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:15 pm

Hi Martin,

My bad. Now that I think about it and not looking at the original thread, it was probably Thunderbolt, and then using MADI to feed additional devices. I think the MOTU was discussed somewhere also, and that I think was Thunderbolt and then AVB for expansion.

As far as Echo, I've been using their Audiofire 12, but haven't kept up with their AVB. Their website seems quite bare when I try to see what they offer.

Eric
Eric Sagmuller
Member
 
Posts: 835
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:18 pm
Location: Bellefonte, PA USA


Return to Computer hardware / specs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests