Devices have become more responsive and faster these days. Connecting different devices to a PC needs reliable and speedy technology so that it can transfer data faster.
Thunderbolt is a new technology that enables connectivity between devices with a faster data transfer rate. With every generation of Thunderbolt, the transfer rate increases.
Thunderbolt 3 has become popular and many PCs commonly come with the connection by default. But the recently launched thunderbolt 4 has not reached many people yet. Here is a guide on how to install a Thunderbolt 4 connection to your PC.
How to Add Thunderbolt 4 to PC?
Adding a thunderbolt to the PC can be done with the help of an Add-on Card provided that your motherboard has enough space and port to house it. Follow this guide to install a thunderbolt card on your PC.
Knowing Motherboard Compatibility
First of all, you need to buy a thunderbolt 4 add-on card. Before buying you need to check the pin compatibility with the motherboard you are having.
Right now, popular brands ASUS and Asrock are selling add-on cards for the thunderbolt 4. The ASUS add-on card only supports the ASUS motherboard whereas the Asrock card has a list of motherboards it can support. Here is the list:
1200: Intel Z590
- Z590 OC Formula (EATX)
- Z590 Extreme WiFi 6E (ATX)
- Z590 Extreme (ATX)
- Z590 Steel Legend WiFi 6E (ATX)
- Z590 Steel Legend (ATX)
- Z590 Pro4 (ATX)
- Z590 PG Velocita (ATX)
- Z590 Phantom Gaming 4/ac+ (ATX)
- Z590 Phantom Gaming 4/ac (ATX)
- Z590 Phantom Gaming 4 (ATX)
- Z590M Phantom Gaming 4 (mATX)
- Z590M Pro4 (mATX)
1200: Intel H570
- H570 Phantom Gaming 4 (ATX)
- H570 Steel Legend (ATX)
- H570M Pro4 (mATX)
1200: Intel B560
- B560M Pro4/ac+ (mATX)
- B560M Pro4/ac (mATX)
- B560M Pro4 (mATX)
1700: Intel Z690
- Z690 Extreme WiFi 6E (ATX)
- Z690 Extreme (ATX)
- Z690 Steel Legend WiFi 6E (ATX)
- Z690 Steel Legend (ATX)
- Z690 PG Velocita (ATX)
- Z690 PG Riptide (ATX)
- Z690 Phantom Gaming 4/D5 (ATX)
- Z690 Phantom Gaming 4 (ATX)
- Z690M Phantom Gaming 4 (mATX)
- Z690 Pro RS (ATX)
AM4: AMD X570
- X570S PG Riptide (ATX)
- B550 PG Riptide (ATX)
If you have any of these motherboards then you can buy an Asrock card and install the thunderbolt 4 on your PC.
Installing Thunderbolt 4 to PC
- Switch off the PC and remove all the peripherals from the PC. Remove the power cable from the PSU so that you can start getting into the inside of your PC.
- Remove all the screws in the side panel of the PC case to expose the motherboard. Once exposed, you can see PCIe slots available.
- Choose a slot that is away from the power supply so that it doesn’t get any power surges in the connector.
- Remove the PCIe plate from the chosen slot and insert the thunderbolt card carefully according to the orientation of the pin.
- Also, make sure that the ports are centered properly on the card because a lack of centering will lead to improper connectivity.
- Now, a header cable would have been included with the card. Connect the header cable to the six-pin slot which is usually labeled as the TB header.
- That is all. You have now installed the card into the motherboard. Now you can connect all the power cables and other peripherals.
Installing the Driver for your Thunderbolt 4 card
- Usually, the add-on card from the manufacturer will include a disk containing the driver for running the card with your OS.
- But most of the time they are outdated and you need to install the latest version so that you will be able to use the card.
- Go to the manufacturers’ website and search for drivers for the thunderbolt 4. On that page, you will have a list of downloadable content with the latest version of the driver with the compatible OS.
- Choose the appropriate OS and the latest version, download, and install it on your PC. Restart the PC and you will have your Thunderbolt 4 running and working on your PC.
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Benefits of adding thunderbolt 4 to PC
- Thunderbolt 4 has the ability to deliver high-speed data transfer along with the ability to power devices and output a video signal. This kind of flexibility is not seen in earlier versions.
- The latest version has a bandwidth of 40Gbps which enables faster transfer of data to devices.
- A single port can connect up to five devices and provide a faster data transfer to them with the help of a single powered port.
- The port uses a USB-C connector and is also compatible with DisplayPort, PCIe, and even previous versions of the Thunderbolt.
- Thunderbolt 4 can support multiple monitors, storage devices, USB peripherals like Keyboard, mouse, etc., PCIe devices, Ethernet Adapters, and even charging of your Smartphone.
Are Thunderbolt 4 and USB C the same?
No, Thunderbolt 4 uses a USB-C type pin as a connector but has multiple functionalities, unlike a USB-C. Thunderbolt 4 has higher bandwidth and more connectivity when compared to USB C. Therefore, both are not quite the same but they can connect if they are compatible.
Is adding thunderbolt 4 can slow down PC?
Thunderbolt 4 has a maximum speed of 40 Gbps, which is much faster than the current USB 3.1’s 10 Gbps. Thunderbolt 4 also supports charging and data transfer simultaneously and it can support up to two displays at the same time.
However, there are some concerns with this new technology because it requires more power from your computer’s CPU and GPU to make full use of its capabilities. This could lead to possible slowdowns for your PC if you’re using it for other tasks as well as transferring data with Thunderbolt 4 at the same time.
But the real fact, it does not mean that adding Thunderbolt 4 to your PC will automatically slow it down. It depends on the hardware and software configuration of the PC.
Faster connectivity and multiple device access from a single card are much needed nowadays. Thunderbolt 4 has started to provide all those functionalities with a higher data transfer rate. Currently, it is the best connectivity technology present on the globe.