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How can I add Thunderbolt 3 to my Hackintosh?

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Feb 19, 2017
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Okay, so I've decided to make my first Hackintosh PC recently, and I've been looking at all the components and read many forums to learn many things. I've decided I'm going for an Overclockable i5 6600k, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, etc. Now I'm just taking care of the details before ending up buying it.

A thing I had in mind was to have at least 1 Thunderbolt 2/3 port as all Macs do. But after researching for a bit, I've realized it's much harder than it seems. First of all, I must say I don't want to spend 250€ in a motherboard. I'm not making a PC that needs that. But I've found that not many motherboards have Thunderbolt 3 ports included, and the ones that do are quite expensive. The other option I've found is to buy a PCI-e card, but there aren't many and I'm not sure if they work with all motherboards. They also cost around 75€, so I need to add that to the motherboard price and see if it's worth or if I should rather buy a motherboard with Thunderbolt already integrated.

Now that my introduction has finished, let me tell you my situation. I was going for an ATX MSI Z170A PC MATE, but I'm not sure if it has a Thunderbolt header to connect it with the ThunderboltEX 3 by Asus, for example. My other option was a Gigabyte Z170 Gaming K3: it has the thunderbolt header, but maybe it's not compatible with the PCI-e card. If not, which motherboard at around that price (120 to 140€) would? If the motherboard goes over 140€, then we can all agree it's better to buy a motherboard with TB built-in. If so, which motherboard would you recommend me that has an integrated Thunderbolt 3 port (and doesn't go over 250€)?

Your help is appreciated :)
 
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nobodynose

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Now that my introduction has finished, let me tell you my situation. I was going for an ATX MSI Z170A PC MATE, but I'm not sure if it has a Thunderbolt header to connect it with the ThunderboltEX 3 by Asus, for example. My other option was a Gigabyte Z170 Gaming K3: it has the thunderbolt header, but maybe it's not compatible with the PCI-e card. If not, which motherboard at around that price (120 to 140€) would? If the motherboard goes over 140€, then we can all agree it's better to buy a motherboard with TB built-in. If so, which motherboard would you recommend me that has an integrated Thunderbolt 3 port (and doesn't go over 250€)?

Your help is appreciated :)
You don't want to mix manufacturers... e.g. don't try to use an Asus-branded Thunderbolt add-in card with a Gigabyte motherboard. The MSI Z170A PC MATE you mention does NOT have a TB header.

If a motherboard has a TB header (such as the Gigabyte Z170 Gaming K3 you mentioned), then the TB add-in card from that manufacturer should work.

I don't know much more than this about this topic, so I can't recommend specific motherboards, but I'm sure someone else will chime in with some more answers.
 
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trs96

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Depend what you need TB3 for, I find it too pricey and difficult to make it work properly unless your work absolutely need it. The cost of TB devices also makes the setup expensive. I had an e-SATA drive bay that handle 4 drives and connect to OSX just fine and gives me 6Gbps speed that's enough and cost $75 for the drive bay. For connecting other devices, it's headache to do TB in a hackintosh environment getting all the devices to work.
 
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Depend what you need TB3 for, I find it too pricey and difficult to make it work properly unless your work absolutely need it. The cost of TB devices also makes the setup expensive. I had an e-SATA drive bay that handle 4 drives and connect to OSX just fine and gives me 6Gbps speed that's enough and cost $75 for the drive bay. For connecting other devices, it's headache to do TB in a hackintosh environment getting all the devices to work.
I've honestly been thinking a lot about it, and realised I don't actually need it for anything right now. At the end, I'm probably going to go for a motherboard with a TB header, so if I feel the need to buy a TB card someday, I will be able to do so.
I've seen a really good deal on an MSI Z170A Gaming M3 (which is much better than the ones I've mentioned before) for the same price as the MSI Z170A PC MATE. It has more ports, better upgrade-ability, and all in all it just looks damn cool. I'm just looking for the perfect 16GB RAM deal to come out so I can pick it up xD
 
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ij88 is stating that he has been able to mix brands. Pairing Asus TH.Bolt adapters and Gigabyte motherboards.

https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/asus-thunderboltex-3-working-with-gigabyte-g1-gaming-ga-z170mx-gaming-5.215533/

Only specific motherboards are capable of this of course. Do the research before buying.
The Gigabyte Z170MX Gaming five is selling for around 160 dollars now on Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014SL2XKQ/?tag=tonymacx86com-20
Trust me, I've been doing A LOT of a research. Everything is very blurry, nobody knows how do these cards exactly work and if they work with an exact motherboard...
 
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Clear as mud. I am needing a thunderbolt adapter for some audio interfaces/hardware I work with, and I am using a Dell motherboard... Any recommendations on a board I can add would be super appreciated!
 
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