Intel’s Thunderbolt technology is getting a lot of hype more recently for its superior bandwidth. What used to be an Apple exclusive is now making its way to PCs and manufacturers are clamoring on who can get it to their products first. One of companies is ASUS, and today we have their Thunderbolt expansion card, the ThunderboltEX, and we’ll see if this upgrade product for select Z77 from ASUS delivers the Thunderbolt promise. We’ll make this one short but exploratory and as usual we’ll make it EXtremely showy!
As with any other technology, a lot of companies we’ll make it a point to try and be the first to have it and the same can be said with Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt is a connection technology that promises up to 10Gbps bandwidth which exceeds anything that USB3.0 and Firewire has to offer. As an Intel technology, Intel was first in the game but the Big 3 motherboard vendors won’t be outdone. ASUS wasn’t first in the onboard game, but took a different approach and embedded an expansion header to their earlier Intel 7-series boards to accommodate Thunderbolt. To achieve Thunderbolt capabilities in these boards, ASUS released the ThunderboltEX expansion card: a PCI-e x4 expansion card to hooks up to the internal Thunderbolt header on select ASUS 7-series board to enable Thunderbolt via the expansion card. Let’s check out some images and get into testing. We’ll be using a Western Digital Thunderbolt Duo 6TB external drive to test this technology and see if it delivers performance we haven’t seen from any external device.