CES 2014: ASUS ThunderboltEX II Expansion Card

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | January 6, 2014 - 04:01 PM |
Tagged: ThunderboltEX II, Thunderbolt 2, CES 2014, CES, asus

It has been a rocky road for the ASUS Thunderbolt EX expansion card(s). Development was not a problem. They were created but could not be released because of Intel certification woes (because those never happen). The specific reason was never identified but they did hold back releases until after Intel designed a reference add-in card (AIC) for select Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) partners.

No need to stew over my alphabet soup.

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ASUS has now announced the ThunderboltEX II expansion card which is the first Intel-certified AIC providing a single Thunderbolt 2 port. Despite the multitude of delays, ASUS should still be first to market albeit a market where USB 3.0 became fairly ubiquitous (a lot can happen in a one-year exclusivity). The Thunderbolt EXII is rated at 20 Gbps. The card will be compatible with certain 8-series motherboards from ASUS.

A dual-port AIC, the ThunderboltEX II/DUAL, is also announced.

Still not much on pricing or availability. All we know is that the ThunderboltEX II should be the first to market and the DUAL will come at some point after that.

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Source: ASUS
January 6, 2014 | 07:39 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Ah, like Firewire, Thunderbolt wire is a niche product, usefull to some(with deep pockets), but ultimately displaced by USB 3.1!

January 6, 2014 | 08:26 PM - Posted by King jun (not verified)

Took the words out of my mouth ...

January 6, 2014 | 08:25 PM - Posted by King jun (not verified)

IMHO, thunderbolt will only succeed in regular consumer market (similar to USB),if they managed to reduce the price of the cables. Come on 30$ for a single cable? thats outrages. I know that those cables has circuits inside, but who in the right mind (except someone with a greedy mind) would design it that way, if they what it to be a huge success. Otherwise it will fellow the same path as Fireware. only used by those "Creative Pros" for few years.

January 7, 2014 | 01:56 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

FIrewire although dead is still useful for live performance audio situations because of its low latency. The difference between 80ms and 15-30ms is quite large when compared to a USB external audio card. However, it is a niche product, unless you consider the 20Gbps speed. Which will be sufficient for 4k monitors at 120hz - the goal is to replace USB and HDMI with one fell swoop. I like the idea of one ubiquitous cable for everything - even it the current price is too high.

February 5, 2014 | 03:29 PM - Posted by macmuchmore

I purchased a Z77 motherboard from ASUS specifically with the expectation I would be able to add the Thunderbolt EX1 card later. Boy was I ticked off when they did not release it - and their lack of communication about the situation made it worse. Now they come out with a TB EX2 add in card - but it is incompatible with the Z77 motherboards even though it looks like they use the SAME connections the TB EX2 uses?!?! Why do they not make it compatible with the Z77 motherboards with the same connections? If I have to upgrade to Z87 to use this card, then I will go to another motherboard manufacturer (Gigabyte) that has TB built in. If however they allowed it to work with the Z77 chipset, then I would gladly get it, and then migrate to a Z87 ASUS motherboard (taking the card with me). That is the only way I would stay with an ASUS motherboard at this point.

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