Thunderbolt for Windows Performance Preview - ASUS P8Z77-V Premium

Subject: General Tech, Motherboards, Storage | May 21, 2012 - 06:57 PM |
Tagged: Z77, thunderbolt, p8z77-v premium, msi, asus

We have really been waiting for this since we first saw the release of Thunderbolt on the Apple MacBooks last year, but we finally have it: Thunderbolt support for PC users!  Both MSI and ASUS today announced availability of motherboards with integrated Thunderbolt connectivity: the ASUS P8Z77-V Premium and the MSI Z77A-GD80 will both get you a single integrated Thunderbolt port.

You can see MSI's full press release right hereWe can't find the ASUS press release anywhere Here is the ASUS press release as well, but here are a few selections:

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"Intel and ASUS have worked closely on the implementation of Thunderbolt technology onto Asus motherboards”, said Jason Ziller, Intel’s Director of Thunderbolt Marketing. “The P8Z77-V PREMIUM is the first Thunderbolt certified motherboard in the industry, a testament to its solid design and compatibility."


With its long history of working with high tech vendors, ASUS is able to show its strength and commitment to innovation with a close relationship to three of the leading brands currently producing products with Thunderbolt technology, Elgato, LaCie, and PROMISE.


Thunderbolt is a new, high-speed I/O technology designed for performance, simplicity and flexibility, with lightning fast transfer speeds that are twice that of USB 3.0 and up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0. It offers simultaneous bi-directional 10Gbps transfer speeds over a single cable, with the flexibility to daisy-chain up to six Thunderbolt-ready devices with a single connection as well as offering full display port support for a 7th Thunderbolt or display port equipped monitor. This allows for a clutter-free computing experience while offering unprecedented levels of performance. Users can connect multiple Thunderbolt-enabled external storage drives to a Thunderbolt-enabled display and transfer files while watching HD movies, all without experiencing any lag. In addition for content professional this connection has been designed form the ground up for multimedia offering low latency with highly accurate time synchronization for professional audio and video applications. PC enthusiast and gamers can take immediate advantage combining Thunderbolt and on-board Lucid Virtu MVP to enjoy top-notch graphics performance.

Even better, we have some in-action video of the new ASUS Thunderbolt-implementation including performance!

This video was recorded well before today's launch during our Z77 Live Review and clearly shows some of the benefits of Thunderbolt, as well as some of the limitations, you'll find if you pick up the ASUS P8ZZ77-V Premium motherboard!

May 21, 2012 | 10:26 PM - Posted by David L (not verified)

$50 cable? $500-$1000 devices? only noticeable performance increase on Queue depths of 32 or so that no consumer will come close to hitting?

Not interested. TB will continue to be irrelevant until devices will start to take advantage of its speed (By then we'll be using USB 4.0), or features that don't pertain to bandwidth (such as daisy chaining) offer an irrefutable advantage to me I'll just watch as it passes by to the wind.

One question. How does TB compare to SATA3 performance? Surely any respectable workstation would be using the fastest interlink possible. It's just as easy to slide a hard drive into an enclosure or built in tray like the 690 II Advanced has, as it is to plug in an external hard drive. Why would you use TB over SATA3?

May 21, 2012 | 10:59 PM - Posted by Mr King

I don't see the benefits of running TB for storage. I think people would be more interested in seeing what types of things you can do with an ultrabook like mobile PC and a discrete desktop video card over TB.

May 21, 2012 | 11:12 PM - Posted by OctaveanActually (not verified)

Yeah, precisely,......

I agree,.....

Now where can I buy one of these boards,..... :)

May 22, 2012 | 06:24 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Make and model number of the thunderbolt controller, Link to data sheet of said controller, and a descent article on the various types of thunderbolt controllers that Intel Makes! Please Start including links to data sheets of the hardware you review!

May 22, 2012 | 11:49 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Technically we haven't done a review yet, but your point is noted. We'll be sure to talk about the different controllers when we get the hardware in our own hands.

May 22, 2012 | 07:53 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Can't wait for thunderbolt on a Mini-ITX board. Then I can finally build a SFF powerhouse without giving up expandability.

May 22, 2012 | 09:53 AM - Posted by OctaveanActually (not verified)

Yeah, that's a good question as to what controller is being used.

Do the Asus P8Z77-V Premium and P8Z77-V Pro / Thunderbolt motherboards also have the Thunderbolt "TB_Header" for use with the upcoming ASUS Thunderbolt add-in card,....?

Also, where is the ASUS Thunderbolt add-in card for use with the "TB_Header",...? Is it undergoing the certification process now,.....?

May 22, 2012 | 11:50 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I am asking about the add-on card for you now.

Only the Premium board has the controller ON THE MOTHERBOARD for now, all the rest of the P8Z77 motherboards will require the add-on card and the TB_header.

May 22, 2012 | 03:07 PM - Posted by OctaveanActually (not verified)

Thanks for checking.

Its odd that you say that only the Asus P8Z77-V Premium has the controller on the board. The reason I say this is because the Asus “P8Z77-V Pro / Thunderbolt” model also seems to have a Thunderbolt / mini-DisplayPort on the backplane right below the audio bracket, as seen in the picture here:

I guess this could require the use of the Thunderbolt card to function though or maybe its just a mini-DisplayPort,…..

May 22, 2012 | 04:32 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Hmm, interesting, you may have found the second board that will have it. :)

May 23, 2012 | 11:34 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Crosshair V Formula/ThunderBolt
World's best AMD990FX gaming board with 3-way SLI/CrossFireX and LAN/audio card ThunderBolt.

"Thunderbolt" is the name of the "LAN/audio card".

Quote: "The ROG ThunderBolt is a dedicated LAN/audio combo card designed for gamers." ... "The ROG ThunderBolt has been designed from continual feedback from the PC gaming community. By enhancing the 2 key factors (Speed and Sound) that dominate your gaming experience, the advanced integration of the LAN/Audio combo ThunderBolt offers higher throughput and decreased latency is about to bring the best in-game experience to you!"

ASUS Forum:

May 22, 2012 | 02:21 PM - Posted by Cliche (not verified)

Oo yes please - can't wait for the add on card info as I have bought a Asus Z77 Deluxe with the header

May 22, 2012 | 04:33 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I asked ASUS about this but they are still being mum on it - hopefully some embargo somewhere will expire soon.

May 23, 2012 | 08:52 AM - Posted by Chaitanya Shukla (not verified)

Is Asus planning to introduce ROG based board with thunderbolt port? I really want to upgrade my PC but will wait for the ROG edition of Z77 with thunderbolt port.

May 23, 2012 | 07:58 AM - Posted by Branthog

Thunderbolt is intriguing, but is that alone enough justification for me to consider this, instead of the ASUS P8Z77 WS? (Which I'm buying, primarily, so I can fit three 670s or 680s and and IvyBridge 3770K on).

May 26, 2012 | 09:44 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Reason to have Thunderbolt, maybe:

also, there is it's usefulness with DisplayPort Devices, external SSD RAID Arrays, not to mention connecting 2 Computers together at 10 Gbps (instead of the current (affordable) 1 Gbps).

May 29, 2012 | 01:11 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

this is all garbage because thunderbolt has huge problems...ost of it stemming from the copper cables transmitter/reciever ...Just look up the nightmare with the promise raid arrays ..It disconects randomly...and pros are pissed at apple and promise for delivering an immature tech to pros who need reliabilty...
that is the reason you dont see this SUPERIOR tech everywhere..
The only solution is to use optical cables to eliminate this problem...that is why they are rushinng to release them ASAP...BIg cover-up unless you take the time to carefully investigate... check i t out for yourselves

May 29, 2012 | 01:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You dont see thunderbolt around because apple had a full year exclusivity agreement with intel to use the tech in apple products. Thats why it is only now that you can even get 1 pc board with thunderbolt on it. If you aren't doing data intensive processes ( rendering , playing back 2k,4k video) or need the absolute fastest throughput available on a mobile platform you won,t have much use for it.

Cables are expensive because they have actual HARDWARE in them. Mini boards and 3/6 chips on both ends.

I have not had any issues with my promise r4 and I took it on location with not a single problem. I even ran it on a ups for a few minutes while power was down without so much as a hiccup.

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