?Thunderbolt pci-e card for cMP?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Philocetes, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. Philocetes macrumors regular

    Philocetes

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2016
    #1
    I have done some searching here for thunderbolt discussion, but did not find an answer. Basically wondering if there is a thunderbolt pci-e card that will work in 2010-2012 mac pro?

    The mac forums say no, but we do have some things here that mac says are not possible. My understanding thus far is that thunderbolt is a cpu-motherboard technology, but still hoping there is a pci-e card that can fill this role.

    Any information is much appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. scott.n macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
  3. rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    #3
    Why do you need thunderbolt for a cMP? It has PCIe slots. I bet whatever you think you need thunderbolt for can be accomplished with the PCIe slots.
     
  4. rodedwards macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #4
    I think Thunderbolt is controlled via motherboard so cannot be added to classic Mac Pro. I tried, but ended up using a pcie USB 3 card, which is great. Got it off Amazon ... Think it was Imation or similar. Go for 5 slots not two like i did. :)

    Occasionally, some peripherals don't work when using pcie usb 3 - like my Drobo 3rd Gen. So just initially use USB 2 from non pcie slot and then everything seems to work once it's activated.

    I think the latest USB 3 is as fast or maybe faster than Thunderbolt anyways and far more universal. I'm surprised Apple don't fade out the expensive Thunderbolt as 'it ain't all that.' ;)
     
  5. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #5
    No. Thunderbolt cards generally require three connections. PCI-e , DisplayPort, and an appropriate GPIO. The vast majority of motherboards (both Apple's cMP era and most older as well as current, mainstream ) do not have the GPIO connection. There has been some slack granted by Intel on whether a DisplayPort is necessary ( on some iGPU-less Xeon E5 set-ups have been given a psss in some relatively recent ). But the motherboard has to be designed explicitly for Thunderbolt and pass TB certification.

    Basically all motherboards that predate Thunderbolt ( ~2011) cannot. Period. The cMP design dates from 2008-2009. Even after 2011 it is still a very narrow subset. Thunderbolt support has to be built into the motherboard itself. Period.

    Thunderbolt is not simply "external PCI-e". So a PCI-e slot, soely by itself, is insufficient to provide a solution.
     
  6. Philocetes, Oct 4, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016

    Philocetes thread starter macrumors regular

    Philocetes

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2016
    #6
    I do audio recording and newer interfaces are coming out that use thunderbolt. I can't think of anything else of interest to me. I will note that I just installed a pci-e card that has 4 usb 3.0 interfaces, so anything I buy will be usb based.

    Thanks, folks, for the explanations. It is has I thought, but just wanted to make sure I had all the information I could.

    PS. I couldnt' find this subject when I did a search of posts, but now that I have a thread, I see a number of similar threads in the similar thread list...
     

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