Thunderbolt ethernet bridge linking a TB 2 Windows system and a TB 1 Mac?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by JohnnieBBadde, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. JohnnieBBadde, Mar 8, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015

    JohnnieBBadde macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2014

    I wasn't quite sure of where to start this topic but since people running Windows with Boot Camp on a Thunderbolt 2-equipped Mac can possibly answer my questions I've decided to try my luck here.

    My goal is to connect two 2012 Macs running OS X 10.9.5 (both with Thunderbolt 1) to a Windows 8.1 file and VM server that has two Thunderbolt 2 ports using the Thunderbolt ethernet bridge functionality and Corning's optical TB cables.

    Dick move from Intel, for some reason they only allow Windows machines with TB 2 to use the ethernet bridge feature:

    I don't have the TB 2 motherboard yet so I can't test it myself. I'm a little bit worried that the Windows machine's TB 2 controller "senses" the TB 1 device on the opposite end and switches to a "TB 1 compatibility mode" preventing the Intel Thunderbolt Windows driver from establishing the TB bridge.

    Could a user with access to TB 2 and TB 1 machines be so kind as to test this scenario? It should be sufficient to boot Windows on a TB 2-equipped Mac and connect any TB 1 Mac (Windows on a TB 1 system doesn't do anything when another TB 1 computer is connected)

    Thank you very much for your help!
  2. JohnnieBBadde thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2014
    I can finally shine a light on this: Yes, it is possible!

    Connecting 2012 Macs (10.9.5) with TB1 to a Windows system with TB2 will create a Thunderbolt Ethernet Bridge, IF the Thunderbolt Driver Software on the Windows system is version 3.x or later.

    It even works faster and more reliable than connecting the two TB 1 Macs. With the Windows system as a partner I get around 500 MB/s constantly over SMB in both directions (the deployed SATA SSDs are limiting), even when transferring a couple of hundred GB at a time. The two Macs by themselves do about 400 MB/s with some random drops in speed and short pauses.

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