Intel Announces “Thunderbolt Ready” Upgrade Program for PC Motherboards

Intel recently announced the Thunderbolt Ready upgrade program for PCs that should be of interest to some of our readers. Thunderbolt 2.0 is an interesting solution as it can simultaneous handle both data and display transfers with speeds of up to 20Gbps, and on top of that it offers daisy-chain connectivity of up to six devices. Intel hasn’t changed anything with Thunderbolt, but they are labeling systems with a GIPO header (general purpose input/output header) as being Thunderbolt ready as you can add-in a Thunderbolt card should the need ever arise for one.  All a user needs to do to get Thunderbolt running is connect the Thunderbolt card into the designated PCIe slot, connect a cable to the GPIO header, and utilize an available DP (DisplayPort) out connector from the graphics card or integrated graphics.


“Now we have a new announcement for you — an exciting new program to quickly expand the footprint of Thunderbolt for desktop and workstation users.  This new initiative is called “Thunderbolt ready”, and it enables PC manufacturers to offer Thunderbolt upgradeable motherboards within desktop and workstation computers. By using a Thunderbolt card, Thunderbolt’s blazing fast speed and uncompressed video capabilities can now be added to any motherboard that includes a GPIO header (general purpose input/output header), so even if your system doesn’t have Thunderbolt it is now possible to “upgrade” to it.  Users that are interested in adding Thunderbolt 2 technology to an existing Thunderbolt ready system can combine a Thunderbolt card with a  growing number of enabled motherboards, all identified by the use of the “Thunderbolt ready” moniker.  The Thunderbolt ready program makes it simple to identify which components work together to upgrade your PC with Thunderbolt 2 capability…” – Intel


  • Paul Margettas

    I really don’t understand why manufacturers didnt just stick tons of these connectors into motherboards, its really fast! Not only that but we have mac fanboys going HA Apple invented thunderbolt and its really fast etc etc. But they didn’t, Intel did, and to give a major company an edge like that when Intel sells to both platforms is unfair.

  • MicroBuntu

    Late to market and still requires a new motherboard… even if the system you have is technically thunderbolt capable (i.e. Ivy/7 Series chipset) but doesn’t have thunderbolt ports.