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Motherboard with Thunderbolt 3 vs Thunderbolt expansion

Joined
Jan 30, 2014
Messages
6
Motherboard
Clevo W650SH
CPU
intel core i7-4700 @ 2.40ghz
Graphics
Intel HD4600
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
I'm looking at building my first CustoMac and want to future-proof it from the motherboard onward.
Under recommended mobos in the buyers guide, none seem to have Thunderbolt 3 but I have seen this one available in the UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B019NFPM5A/?tag=tonymacx86-21

1) How could I check compatibility for a particular mobo not listed in the buyers guide, like the one above?
2) I presume the bandwidth would be limited by the motherboard itself, so if I want 40Gbps, no future thunderbolt expansion card would do it unless I've purchased a mobo that supports TH3?
 

Going Bald

Moderator
Joined
Aug 14, 2010
Messages
22,999
Motherboard
GA-X58A-UD7-F7
CPU
W3670
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
iMac, MacBook Pro, Mac mini
Classic Mac
iMac
I'm looking at building my first CustoMac and want to future-proof it from the motherboard onward.
Under recommended mobos in the buyers guide, none seem to have Thunderbolt 3 but I have seen this one available in the UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B019NFPM5A/?tag=tonymacx86-21

1) How could I check compatibility for a particular mobo not listed in the buyers guide, like the one above?
2) I presume the bandwidth would be limited by the motherboard itself, so if I want 40Gbps, no future thunderbolt expansion card would do it unless I've purchased a mobo that supports TH3?
1. You look at the specs. As a cross check to see what chipset you can use, look at the latest model iMacs and Mac Minis on everymac.com. For instance, the late 2015 iMac has a Broadwell i7 CPU. This tells you the Z97/H97 PCH is supported and Broadwell CPUs can be used.
Then look at the audio and NIC - ALC audio and intel or Broadcom or Atheros (maybe) are supported, VIA or other is not, although some VIA audio can be enabled with voodooHDA kext.

2. if no onboard TB ports on the back plate connector, look for a TB header connector under the internal connections listing. Whether you can get support for TB3 rather depends on whether or not Apple includes support in OS X or not.
 
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
127
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z170X-UD5 TH
CPU
Core i5-6600K @ 4.6GHz
Graphics
Gigabyte Gaming G1 GTX 1080
Mac
iMac, Mac mini
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Mobile Phone
iOS
I'm looking at building my first CustoMac and want to future-proof it from the motherboard onward.
Under recommended mobos in the buyers guide, none seem to have Thunderbolt 3 but I have seen this one available in the UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B019NFPM5A/?tag=tonymacx86-21

1) How could I check compatibility for a particular mobo not listed in the buyers guide, like the one above?
2) I presume the bandwidth would be limited by the motherboard itself, so if I want 40Gbps, no future thunderbolt expansion card would do it unless I've purchased a mobo that supports TH3?
There aren't any officially recommended motherboards for Z170/Skylake yet even though the platform is mostly stable (according to the Skylake Testing Thread). It might change for the February buyer's guide, maybe not. Right now it looks like the big holdups are missing/incomplete drivers for the Skylake integrated GPU (all of the Skylake iMacs have Radeon GPUs) and some USB port mapping issues.

I've been looking at that same board myself, and after doing a little research it seems like a good candidate for a build since it uses no third party interfaces aside from Realtek audio. All the SATA ports are Intel standard, all the USB ports are provided by the Intel chipset, the Ethernet is Intel, the Thunderbolt/USB 3.1 controller is Intel's stock DSL6540 (Alpine Ridge) controller. It seems like the cleanest Z170 board available.

(Source is http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/74...-th-intel-z170-motherboard-review/index4.html )

TB3 and USB 3.1 don't work under OS X yet and probably will not until Apple ships a machine that has TB3 support.

If you don't buy a board with an integrated TB3 controller, there will probably be PCI-E cards in the future that can provide it, but they will probably have small production runs and be a pain to find.
 
Joined
May 18, 2011
Messages
2
Motherboard
Dell XPS 435T
CPU
Core i7 920
Graphics
NVidia
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Messages
9
Since the AlpineRidge cards from Gigabyte are all but impossible to find, has anyone tested if the Asus Thunderbolt cards work in tbolt-ready motherboards from Gigabyte?
Having the same issue here. I want to buy a Gigabyte Z170 Gaming K3 since it has a TB header, but I don't know if the ThunderboltEX 3 card will work with it. The AlpineRidge is like a myth: you find it very rarely in a forum, and when you do, noone knows where to buy it and if it really works.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2011
Messages
44
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD7 TH
CPU
i7 4690
Graphics
GTX 690
Mac
iMac, MacBook Pro, Mac mini
Classic Mac
Xserve
Mobile Phone
iOS
My next Hackintosh will probably be ASUS based - I want to try out the x299 platform and Kaby Lake, and ASUS seems like the only manufacture that actually includes Thunderbolt support in their initial offerings (Gigabyte seems to have dropped Thunderbolt in their initial releases).
 
Joined
May 14, 2017
Messages
46
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z270X-Gaming 7
CPU
Intel I7-7700K
Graphics
Intel HD630
Mac
MacBook Air, MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
What? Gigabyte have dropped TB? Quite strange in my opinion when TB is license free in 2018 and maybe even integrated on the intel CPU.
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Messages
9
My next Hackintosh will probably be ASUS based - I want to try out the x299 platform and Kaby Lake, and ASUS seems like the only manufacture that actually includes Thunderbolt support in their initial offerings (Gigabyte seems to have dropped Thunderbolt in their initial releases).
X299 motherboards aren't designed for Skylake/Kabylake, so you won't be able to use them with these types of CPUs. The new socket is called 2006 and no it isn't officially supported by Apple so that doesn't look promising either. Bad luck for you.
 
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