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The quantum 2 looks pretty good so I was looking at Thunderbolt options.

Newegg only had one card:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6815548003

It's $80.

Must not be so easy to add Thunderbolt to older machines. Or just no market yet?

Anyone tried a Thunderbolt adapter?

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by wolfjames on Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:44 am
The adapter will work, but you are still limited to the speed of the bus that the adapter plugs into. You won't get the same speed as a motherboard with native Thunderbolt connectivity. However, in practice, you may be perfectly happy with it. Especially, if you plan to upgrade your system soon.
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by Jemusic on Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:31 pm
I have been doing some tests with Focusrite Clarett connected via thunderbolt on a MAC. This does work very well. The software latency can be so fast as it is imperceptible. Playing virtual instruments is exciting at this level as well. I have been measuring latencies between 2 and 3 mS which is excellent. The new Presonus Quantum is even better as they say. Achieving a slightly faster result again. There is a 16 samples buffer setting which is also cool with the Focusrite and I imagine with Quantum as well.

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by jpettit on Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:53 pm
Tacman7 wroteThe quantum 2 looks pretty good so I was looking at Thunderbolt options.

Newegg only had one card:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6815548003

It's $80.

Must not be so easy to add Thunderbolt to older machines. Or just no market yet?

Anyone tried a Thunderbolt adapter?

You have to give us much more info about your mother board.
Make and model.
Then do some research onif your MB supports thunderbolt.

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by Tacman7 on Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:13 pm
I've got a Dell business class computer with a second gen i7 that I'm happy with. Can't beat it for a $200 computer. Have a 3rd gen model I'm working on.

I use a firewire card to hook up to my aging studio konnekt 48 interface. No problem with the latency, I run 4ms. When the interface gives out I'll probably have to build a new computer.

Looks like I can't pull the firewire card and slap a Thunderbolt in its place.

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by jpettit on Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:42 pm
Tacman7 wroteI've got a Dell business class computer with a second gen i7 that I'm happy with. Can't beat it for a $200 computer. Have a 3rd gen model I'm working on.

I use a firewire card to hook up to my aging studio konnekt 48 interface. No problem with the latency, I run 4ms. When the interface gives out I'll probably have to build a new computer.

Looks like I can't pull the firewire card and slap a Thunderbolt in its place.

So you MB has TB header for TB 3?

If so you will then also have to get an $80 Startech TB3 to TB2 convert and a $40 TB cable.

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by Skaperverket on Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:36 am
jpettit is right, for a Thunderbolt add in card to work, your motherboard has got to have a Thunderbolt header already from the factory. You can't simply use PCIe like you could with FireWire. You have to make sure that your motherboard has got a Thunderbolt header.

My 0.02, your mileage may vary.

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by Jose7822 on Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:14 am
That's correct! You can't just slap a TB card into your motherboard if it does not have a TB header. But, based on personal experience and research, I would recommend getting a motherboard with a built-in TB controller (NOT just a TB header).

I bought an ASUS X99 Deluxe II in December, which supports TB3 via an add-on card that connects to the PCIe lanes. You also need to connect a cable from the card to the motherboard's TB header, AND you may need a TB2 to TB3 (USB-C) adaptor (which is another $40 bucks). Unfortunately, I wasn't able to test the TB feature of my motherboard until months later, since I was waiting on the Lynx Aurora (n) converters to be released. Because of that, I couldn't return it back to Newegg since they only give you 30 days. Basically, the TB connector in this motherboard is not reliable and it was a PITA to get it to work in the first place. And even when it worked, it only did for a couple of days. I had to go back and forth with ASUS and it still didn't work. You can't even begin to imagine my frustration.

After over a month of troubleshooting and searching online, I just gave up and got a Gigabyte X99 Designare EX motherboard. This one supports TB directly from the motherboard (though it also has a TB header if you want to connect an add-on card as well). Worked from day one, and it's still going. I called UAD (as well as Lynx, though I couldn't get a hold of them at that time) and asked about what brand of motherboard they use for their TB Apollo converters. The guy I spoke to said they all use Gigabyte boards with built-in TB. He also mentioned that those with only the add-on TB cards can be problematic, so he suggested I stay away from them. That's when I decided to give up on the ASUS board and fork the money for the Gigabyte one.

In short, since you want to go with a TB interface, get yourself a motherboard with built-in TB connector (as in, the TB connector is in the back panel that's attached to the motherboard). It might save you from pulling your hair out, lol.

BTW, you might get lucky with a TB add-on card. But going by what the guy at UAD said, they are finicky. You may experience problems with them, like I did. This sort of reminds me about the FW and TI chipset days -_-.

Good luck!

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by jpettit on Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:34 am
I have a ASUS x99 MB.
With the TB3 card as there were no TB2 cards on the market.
It requires a StarTech TB 3 to TB 2 device as well.

That is the only combination I got to working.

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by Jose7822 on Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:43 am
jpettit wroteI have a ASUS x99 MB.
With the TB3 card as there were no TB2 cards on the market.
It requires a StarTech TB 3 to TB 2 device as well.

That is the only combination I got to working.


Is it the Deluxe II? If so, you are one of the lucky ones. There's tons of posts online from people having problems getting the add-on TB card to work on these motherboards. ASUS has no documentation anywhere about what BIOS settings work (either on the motherboards manual nor the TB card's), so people had to figure it out by trial and error. It's really a disgrace given how expensive this motherboard is, which was their flagship board till not too long ago!!

EDIT: I just realized that I need to remove the ASUS X99 Deluxe II part of my signature :-P.

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by jpettit on Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:34 pm
It was not that hard from a BIOS perspective.
I first tried the Apple T3 to T2. Does not work.

Switch to StarTech then it worked.

TBH I had a bigger problem with physical issues.
It work for month then stopped.
Turned out to be bad tolerances with the back of the case vs the PCIE slot. Had me down for weeks to figure it out. Since then no problem.

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by Jose7822 on Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:44 pm
That's interesting. I have the Apple TB2 to TB3 adapter, which worked for a couple of days on my ASUS Deluxe II board. Same adapter works perfectly fine on the Gigabyte board, so I'm not sure that that was necessarily the issue in MY case. Others were also able to get it working using the Apple adapter, from my readings during the troubleshooting period.

Yes, I agree that the BIOS settings weren't the biggest issue for me either. Once you figured it out, it worked fine. The problem is that ASUS doesn't have any documention on which settings to turn on, so it was based on trial and error for those who did figure it out. That's unacceptable when it pertains to the flagship product of a major motherboard company. Also, installing the Thunderbolt driver was a little unintuitive since you needed to install it first, before you install the add-on card. If you didn't know that, you would be pulling your hair wondering why your TB card doesn't show up in Device Manager. Again, something that doesn't show up in any documentation.

My biggest issue with the ASUS TB add-on card was also physical. It simply stopped working one day. I even sent it to ASUS, along with the motherboard, for repairs and it still didn't work. Maybe my issue was the same as yours? Who knows? I personally don't care to find out anymore. I'm perfectly happy with the Gigabyte board. That said, the ASUS Deluxe II board worked fine otherwise. Just didn't have the best experience with it. It happens.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share my experiences (which are not isolated, as a quick Google search would show) with the OP. My advice still stand. For the best experience, get a board with a built-in TB connector. Motherboards with add-on cards may work, but it's more of a gamble.

Peace!

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by jpettit on Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:59 am
Thanks for sharing.
Your experience is reflected in the Knowledgebase
https://support.presonus.com/hc/en-us/a ... nderbolt-3

IMHO the design was focus around a Mac TB2 users.
It is doable for a certain version level of Windows 10 users with relatively newer MB.

TB was not widely adapted for Windows until recently and by the time it was it was TB3.

So the real questions for those considering is the reduced latency going to improve your results?
As a guitarist using amp sims I was ok with the lowest latencies before but Quantum does bring a new sense of playing a real amp.

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by Tacman7 on Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:34 am
It doesn't look too easy if I wanted to get a motherboard with Thunderbolt.

This here is not the real deal right?

http://www.gigabyte.us/Motherboard/GA-Z ... -rev-20#ov

It looks like it's converting PCIe bus or something.

Newegg has a few boards but they're $500 and it's Thunderbolt 3.

Is there an intel Thunderbolt 2 motherboard?

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by Skaperverket on Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:39 am
Tacman7 wroteIt doesn't look too easy if I wanted to get a motherboard with Thunderbolt.

This here is not the real deal right?

http://www.gigabyte.us/Motherboard/GA-Z ... -rev-20#ov

It looks like it's converting PCIe bus or something.

Newegg has a few boards but they're $500 and it's Thunderbolt 3.

Is there an intel Thunderbolt 2 motherboard?


I can understand that all this is pretty confusing, Tacman7. It really is a mess.

The board you linked to is the real deal. It's got Thunderbolt 2 which is the same as most current Thunderbolt audio interfaces use. Thunderbolt works kind of like PCIe through a cable + the ability to transmit Displayport signal and provide power.

Intel has to approve all Thunderbolt products and manufacturers have to pay a licencing fee, that's part of the reason why it can be more costly than f.i. USB 3 and why so few motherboards come with it standard. According to Intel the licencing will change and become free next year and manufacturers will probably be able to sell Thunderbolt hardware cheaper. Thunderbolt is also expected to be a part of the chipset itself for the next generation chipsets for Intel CPUs; this means that the motherboard manufacturers don't have to provide Thunderbolt as a special feature. The protocol will possibly be more mainstream after this change.

The Gigabyte board you linked to is an old one with the Z87 chipset. It will work with 4th gen desktop CPUs from Intel. An Intel Core i7 4790K is a great CPU for DAW work that will work for this board.

If you want to use a newer CPU, you're going to have to buy a newer board. Current generation chipsets are Z370 and X299. Most newer boards offer no Thunderbolt at all, but some motherboards can give you Thunderbolt as an option if you pay extra and buy the manufacturer's AIC (add in card). Gigabyte, ASUS and ASRock each make their own AIC for use with some of their motherboards (the ones that come fitted with a Thunderbolt header from the factory; AKA Thunderbolt-ready).

Thunderbolt 3 is the latest standard and such cards (AIC) will usually have to be placed in a specific PCIe x4 slot.

Thunderbolt 3 is a protocol that uses the USB-C connector. USB-C is also used by USB 3.1. This can be confusing, because most USB-C connectors are USB protocol only and do not carry the Thunderbolt 3 protocol. All Thunderbolt 3 connectors are USB-C, but not all USB-C connectors are Thunderbolt 3.

If you're going the route of a new CPU and a new motherboard with AIC for Thunderbolt 3 and you want to use it with an audio interface with Thunderbolt 2 (like Quantum), you have to use an adapter. This is because Thunderbolt 2 is both a different protocol and uses a different connector. Such an adapter is yet another source to compatibility issues.

It is a mess, but hopefully it will be a lot easier and more predictable once Intel in the near future includes Thunderbolt in the chipset itself and makes the licence free and available to all.

Still, most people get this to work just fine, so using a Thunderbolt audio interface on a Windows machine will probably work just fine for you as well as long as you get the right hardware parts.

My 0.02, your mileage may vary.

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by Tacman7 on Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:14 pm
Thanks for the info.

I'm not actually in the market, just being prepared if my firewire interface gives out.

I'm perfectly happy with it, might just work forever.

I actually put heat sinks on anything that gets hot in an effort to prolong it's life, (you should see my tivo3).

Maybe they'll have something worked out when that day comes.

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by Skaperverket on Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:21 pm
Glad you're all sorted, then. Staying with what already works for you makes the most sense -
economically, environmentally and for better time efficiency.

My 0.02, your mileage may vary.

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