Does My Motherboard Support Thunderbolt. What is thunderbolt motherboard

Therefore, the benefit of PCIe 4 is obvious. Provides higher bandwidth. It literally doubles the bandwidth compared to the previous generation V3.0 PCIe.

5 Best Motherboards with Thunderbolt 3 in 2022

Thunderbolt 3 ports were originally designed for compact machines such as laptops for easy connectivity. However, their amazingly fast transfer speed has made them quite famous among desktop users as well.

The best thing about Thunderbolt 3 is that it has the same form factor as USB 3.1 Type-C, making it compatible with almost all the latest devices using this port format.

At the same time, it provides much more than the usual USB 3.1 Type-C port.

Those who love Thunderbolt 3 will love our pick of the best Thunderbolt 3 motherboards.

This motherboard will be appreciated by content creators, editors and professionals in general. Whether you need fast transfer speeds to connect high-speed external NVMe SSDs or want to connect multiple professional monitors to it, the Thunderbolt 3 port is a blessing to the creators.

In the FAQ section below, we will look at this port a bit further.

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Comparison of Top Motherboards with Thunderbolt 3

Product Chipset Electric socket Size TB3
Built in
GIGABYTE Designare Z390 LGA1151 ATX 2 Yes Buy in
ASUS Prime
X299 Deluxe II
X299 LGA2066 ATX 2 Yes Buy in
ASRock X570
Phantom games
X570 AM4 Mini
1 Yes Buy in
Z490 LGA1200 ATX 2 No Buy in
Z490I Unify
Z490 LGA1200 Mini
1 Yes Buy in

1. GIGABYTE DESIGNARE Z390 – LGA1151 – 9 th and 8 th Gen Intel Core


Mid-range Intel motherboard with Thunderbolt 3.0 port, popular LGA1151 socket and Z390 chipset. Great for professional designers and editors.

It is certainly the most famous motherboard with a Thunderbolt 3 port. If you are building an Intel based system, chances are high it will be your choice if you want Thunderbolt 3.0.

It offers not only one but 2 Thunderbolt 3.0 ports!

Note that this has the LGA1151 socket, and thus is compatible with older 8th and 9th generation Intel processors.

The first thing many pros would love is that, unlike most MOBO games out there, it’s not designed specifically for gamers. In fact, it is specially marketed to designers, engineers, and creators.

While it has accents, a high-quality design with elegantly designed heat sinks that mimic a gaming motherboard, it’s actually more for content creators.

When it comes to looks, the colors on this motherboard are a bit more neutral and cleaner with black and white accents compared to the gaming motherboard.

Whether you are an audio engineer, video creator, 3D designer etc, this is the motherboard for you. This motherboard actively recommends the use of an NVIDIA Quadro graphics card, which is the equivalent of NVIDIA GeForce cards, but for engineering, floating point operations, and many other specialized professional uses such as rendering and simulation.

In addition to the Thunderbolt 3.0 port, it offers many cool features that set it apart from the rest.

For starters, it’s not an expensive motherboard. It costs almost the same as all high-quality ATX Intel Gaming motherboards. Therefore, for those looking to build a workstation, this is surely one of the best Thunderbolt 3 motherboards.

Second, as mentioned earlier, this is probably the only motherboard with an LGA 1151 socket that supports the Thunderbolt 3 port.

The motherboard offers 3 x PCIe 3.0 x 16 slots. However, due to the limitations of the number of PCIe lanes supported by the CPU, you can only use the first port for maximum x16 bandwidth. Therefore, if you only have one graphics card to install, use the first port.

This motherboard is small but powerful, making it perfect for games on a budget. Supports 11th and 10th Gen Intel Core / Pentium / Celeron processors in the LGA 1200 socket with 3 PCIe 4.0 x 16 slots.

Do All Motherboards Support Thunderbolt?

Only motherboards with a Thunderbolt-enabled chipset may actually contain a Thunderbolt card. If your motherboard is older or does not support Thunderbolt, you will not be able to install an expansion / add-on card to obtain a Thunderbolt connector on your computer.

If you want to buy an expansion card, please make sure it fits your motherboard. These cards are not universal and usually have to be of the same brand. This means that if you have an ASUS motherboard, for example, you will need to find the matching ASUS Thunderbolt expansion card.

ASUS Thunderbolt expansion card

The main reason for this is the Thunderbolt card’s TB header, which needs to be plugged into the appropriate place on the motherboard. Motherboards that do not support Thunderbolt do not have a slot for this TB header.

The Thunderbolt expansion card occupies the PCIe slot on the motherboard. So in addition to finding the right type of supplementary card, you also need to make sure you have free space. These slots can fill up fairly quickly as your graphics card, hard drives, and a few other components are also using them.

Can You Use Thunderbolt on AMD Motherboards?

Thunderbolt was exclusive to Intel until recently, when they made the technology open-source. This means that older AMD motherboards and processors do not support Thunderbolt, but some new ones that appear do.

It’s still a niche product for now, but it should pick up, especially as Thunderbolt is getting more widely used thanks to the expected expansion along with USB 4.

The premiere of Thunderbolt 3 motherboards is a significant help for users who love superfast computers. Overall, the motherboard does not change much in terms of computer performance. However, having a high-quality Thunderbolt 3 motherboard can provide an additional boost in speed and performance, which can help with your future needs.

Top Rated Thunderbolt 4 Motherboards Buying Guide:

Choosing a motherboard is an important decision. You want to make sure it has the correct features and ports for your computer, but you also need to remember how it will interact with the other components on your system.

Some motherboards have special features, such as Thunderbolt 4, which allow data transfer speeds up to 40 Gb / s. In this buying guide, you will learn the main aspects to pay attention to before purchasing a motherboard.

AMD vs. Intel:

We all know how important a computer part, a motherboard, is in a technical device. The two major chipset companies are Intel and AMD. Both are adapted to their own processors. When it comes to the best, when it comes to gaming, Intel is said to have more value, and when it comes to creating 3D content, AMD has more value. If you’re reading this, you’ll need a Thunderbolt 4 motherboard. In that case, Intel-based motherboards are much better for Thunderbolt 4.

Form Factor:

Motherboards are the backbone of any technical system. They come in all shapes and sizes, but we always need a big one because it has more features than other motherboards. ATX, Largest, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX are all different sizes that you can choose depending on your computer case.

Thunderbolt 4:

When purchasing a new computer motherboard, it is important to consider the number of built-in Thunderbolt 4 ports. The more Thunderbolt connection options are available for your motherboard, the greater will be the ability to connect various peripherals to appropriately expand both its functionality and overall functionality usability. Thunderbolt 4 enables simultaneous display of more displays and faster data transmission at 40 Gb / s.

Memory is an essential component of any computer, and the Z590 chipset supports up to two channels with a maximum frequency of 3200 MHz. Each motherboard offers different RAM sizes and speeds. The motherboards we featured above have faster memory speeds in excess of 5,000 megahertz.

The ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming motherboard will work with the Ryzen 5 3600 processor up to the Ryzen M9 3900X. So don’t worry if you plan on building the Ryzen 3000 series.

How to Choose the Best Motherboard with Thunderbolt 3?

main board with lightning 3

If you are determined to get the best motherboard out of Thunderbolt 3, you need to be clear about your requirements. Most of all, it relates to how you intend to use the future computer system. Are you building a gaming PC and need something with advanced features? Or maybe you want to create a regular computer for resource-resistant tasks and can settle for a cheaper but less efficient model?

There is a clear difference between Thunderbolt compatible motherboards and ATX models, and this factor should also be considered. In some cases, an ATX motherboard is a good choice.

If you plan on building a mid-range PC with a less extensive list of features, you can even buy a Mini ITX motherboard with Thunderbolt 3 or MicroATX boards.

PCIe slots (expansion slots)

The PCIe slot is designed to expand your computer with more functions through add-ons. Remember that ATX boards have more PCIe expansion slots as opposed to other models.

If you get a motherboard with multiple PCIe x16, you can combine different GPUs via SLI from Nvidia and Crossfire from AMD.

main board with lightning 3

Other functions

Manufacturers constantly monitor the opinions of buyers about their products and try to create new motherboards taking into account their requirements and wishes. Therefore, the latest boards have many attractive features that make users open their wallets and spend even more money. The most lauded feature is the efficient cooling system, so make sure the hob of your choice is integrated.

DIMM slots Dual embedded memory module

The DIMM sockets are necessary for connecting RAM. The greater the number of slots, the more RAM can be added.

Generally, motherboards have 2 to 8 DIMM slots. Consider whether you will increase the amount of RAM in the future and choose the card accordingly.

Yes. But there are currently only a handful of motherboards that support both Thunderbolt 3 and the AMD processor. These are ASRock Phantom Gaming ITX TB3 for Ryzen and Gigabyte Designare TRX40 for Threadripper.

This technology is quite expensive. Although more and more computers are equipped with this type of interface, it is more of a niche type. A Thunderbolt-equipped drive costs several times more than a USB 3-equipped drive, but the investment can pay off depending on how you plan to use it.

Probably yes. Intel officially announced the technology at CES 2020. The company promises to release the Tiger Lake mobile processor with integrated Thunderbolt 4.

The USB-C connection proved to be extremely popular and was actually adopted as physical hardware by Thunderbolt. This way, you can use any Thunderbolt 3 cable as a USB-C cable and connect the USB-C cable to any Thunderbolt port.

We have dealt with the most tiring part of the selection process and defined criteria that may influence your selection. Besides, we explained the correlation between the motherboard and other configuration items. So read to the end to find out all the nuances.

Motherboard With Thunderbolt 3 Black Friday 2021

We’ve compiled a list of the cheapest and best Thunderbolt 3 motherboards for Black Friday and Thunderbolt 3 motherboards for Cyber ​​Monday for this year’s 2021 holiday season.

2 thoughts on “Best Motherboards With Thunderbolt 3 (AMD, ASUS, Intel, Hackintosh, ASRock)”

I wonder why you left the Gigabyte B550 Vision D. It has 2 TB3 ports, Wifi 6 and two Gb Ethernet ports along with PCIE 4.0.

I believe they just released a 2.5GB Dual Ethernet version of this board (B550 VISION DP)

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The premiere of Thunderbolt 3 motherboards is a significant help for users who love superfast computers. Overall, the motherboard does not change much in terms of computer performance. However, having a high-quality Thunderbolt 3 motherboard can provide an additional boost in speed and performance, which can help with your future needs.

Best Thunderbolt 3 Motherboards

1. GIGABYTE Z390 DESIGN ARE– Best TB3 Intel Motherboard

GIGABYTE Z390 UD, Intel LGA1151 / Z390 / ATX / M.2 / Realtek ALC887 / Realtek 8118 Gaming LAN / HDMI / Gaming Motherboard and Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition CPU cooler, SF120R RGB fan, metal black

  • Product 1: Supports 9 and 8 Intel Core processors
  • Product 1: Non-ECC Dual Channel DDR4 Unbuffered Memory, 4 DIMMs
  • Product 1: New digital 10 + 2 phase PWM design
  • Product 1: NVME PCIe Gen3 x4 22110 M.2 slot
  • Product 2: Direct contact technology: 4 heat pipes with exclusive direct contact technology effectively ensure excellent heat dissipation; Air flow: 57.3 CFM; Noise level: 26.0 decibels

Web content designers as well as gamers have rated the Z390 DESIGN ARE positively as it is the ultimate Thunderbolt 3 motherboard with decent requirements.

The Z390 DESIGN ARE motherboard is at the forefront of its rivals when it comes to Thunderbolt 3 motherboards. Premium ATX situation protects this ATX motherboard, it also has an I / O shield to protect it. Our experts found it the most effective computer motherboard with Thunderbolt 3.

The GIGABYTE X299 DESIGN ARE is designed with the future in mind, so the style you see is just the beginning. To increase efficiency and also keep the board cool, they have developed a top-of-the-line cooling armor.

When we look at its ports, it has a USB 3.1 Gen 2 port that supports USB Type-C, as well as a USB 3.1 Gen 2 header on the front. Since we’re discussing the helpful Thunderbolt 3 boards, it has 2 thunderbolt 3 connectors which also support DisplayPort and Thunderbolt Video Out. You can get the fastest speed of 40 Gb / s on a single-core link.

GIGABYTE X299 DESIGN ARE supports modern Smart Fan 5 technology, ensuring customers get optimal performance of their gaming PC while staying cool. Smart Fan 5 enables replacement of follower headers which can display different thermal sensor units in different areas of the motherboard. On the other hand, with Smart Fan 5, you can add many more hybrid follower headers that support PWM fans as well as voltage mode. This special innovation is used to make sure your motherboard still feels a lot more enjoyable during liquid cooling.

“GIGABYTE motherboards are among the leading boards of choice for many when they begin building their computer.”

This motherboard is a complete package with a reliable air conditioning system, built-in Wi-Fi 6 support makes it the most efficient TB3 motherboard on the market.

2. ASRock Z490 Taichi 10th Gen Motherboard With Thunderbolt 3

Asrock Z490 Phantom Gaming ITX / TB3 Supports Intel Core 10th Generation and Next Generation Motherboard Processors (Socket 1200), Model Number: Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX / TB3

  • Supports Intel Core 10th generation and next generation processors (Socket 1200)
  • Supports DDR4 4666 MHz + (OC)
  • 1 PCIe 3.0 x16
  • Graphics output options: HDMI, DisplayPort, Intel Thunderbolt 3
  • 7. HD 1 channel audio (Realtek ALC1220 audio codec), Nahimic audio

Asrock Taichi motherboards usually delight us. They are not advertised as an option for a specific submarket, however, instead focus on key attributes while remaining with a more sophisticated layout that must attract all buyers. Can the Z490 Taichi provide the marvelous point value we’ve committed to come out of the brand name? However, at $ 689, it is now top-notch advice and should therefore be judged.

Advantages Of Thunderbolt 3 Motherboard

This cannot be questioned, having a Thunderbolt 3 motherboard has many advantages. Motherboards with Thunderbolt 3 support provide many more functions compared to the routine ones. We have actually listed some of them below.

  • Games run fast and efficiently with high performance, bandwidth, and lively noise.
  • The fans run quietly during daily operation and guarantee high cooling performance for video games.
  • Stuttering has been removed to keep apps running smoothly, even with heavy loading.
  • Energy waste is reduced, so you will save money.
  • Fast transfer up to 40 Gb / s
  • Thunderbolt 3 motherboards support 2 4K displays at 60Hz or one at 5K resolution
  • You can combine Daisy with up to 6 suitable tools
  • Supports Thunderbolt 3 eGPU, tb3 docking stations as well as Thunderbolt 3 monitors.
  • Thunderbolt 3 Motherboards Buying Guide

When you are looking for a Thunderbolt 3 motherboard, you have to look at various aspects before making your final decision. It is important to recognize what you are actually looking for, essential for what function you are developing your computer. Gaming motherboard will surely provide some special features compared to normal motherboard for other uses.

Below are some important features of a high-quality Thunderbolt 3 motherboard malfunctioning.

You may like ATX boards when we compare Thunderbolt boards to typical ATX motherboards.

Here’s one amazing recommendation: if you want to develop a PC with different tools with a few much fewer features, why not choose Mini-ITX or MicroATX motherboards?.

PCIe slots (expansion slots).

PCIe ports are used to add extra attributes as well as hardware to your computer. However, ATX boards offer more PCIe growth ports compared to other motherboards.

A board with multiple PCIe x16 will definitely allow you to combine different GPUs using SLI from Nvidia or Crossfire from AMD.

Various other functions.

After discussing with various experts, some motherboard vendors include some required features as an inbuilt option. To make sure customers get the item without worrying or purchasing additional expansion cards. Among the essential features is the advanced air conditioning that you must have if you use your computer most of the day.

Dual In-Line Memory Module DIMM sockets.

The DIMM ports are for connecting to RAM. More DIMM ports mean your motherboard can handle much more RAM for your computer.

DIMM slots will surely count from two to eight in total. If you want to add more RAM as you grow, you’ll need to pick a motherboard with even more ports.

What are the advantages of Thunderbolt 3.0?

Of course, we cannot underestimate the benefits of the Thunderbolt 3 port. There are so many situations and applications that this can be used for.

1. Lightning fast speeds.

For starters, it has an impressive 40 Gbps traffic speed. Compare that to the transfer speed of just 5 Gbps USB 3.0 as well as 10 Gbps of the famous USB 3.1 (Type An as well as Type C).

2. Daisy.

The ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming motherboard is sure to work with the Ryzen 5 3600 processor as well as the Ryzen M9 3900X. So don’t worry if you intend to develop the Ryzen 3000 series.

ITX or Workstation

Asrock ITX TB3

source: Windows Center

If you’re building a Ryzen system, you’ll need an ASRock Phantom Gaming ITX TB3 motherboard. This Mini-ITX motherboard is something like a Frankenstein, not only because it is Thunderbolt 3 certified, but also because it sacrifices the traditional AMD cooling mounting system to Intel. This is mostly due to the space available, but it’s quite an amazing creation.

The Phantom Gaming ITX TB3 also supports Wi-Fi 6 with an attached antenna, and since it includes the AMD X570 chipset, you also get super-fast PCIe 4 motherboards. ITX motherboards are inherently limited by their size, but if you’re looking for Thunderbolt connectivity, this is it. The USB-C port on the motherboard is both USB 3.2 and Thunderbolt 3.

If you’re building something more workstation oriented, you’ll be looking for the Gigabyte TRX40 Designare, a motherboard for Threadripper systems that also supports Thunderbolt 3. The implementation is slightly less elegant than that of ASRock, but still effective.

Gigabyte connects its GC-Titan Ridge PCIe expansion card to the motherboard which opens access to a Thunderbolt 3 connection. As with the X570 platform, here you also get PCIe 4 support as well as Wi-Fi 6.

One cable, exceptional power

The advantage of Thunderbolt 3 is the incredible throughput that is possible over a single cable. In addition to super-fast data transfer, you can connect accessories such as docking stations, external high-definition displays, external GPUs, and even daisy-chained up to six devices.

It’s still very limited in support for AMD users, but hopefully as time goes on more and more will get certified and it will be possible.

The unicorn

ASRock Phantom Gaming ITX TB3

The only way to build a Ryzen computer out of Thunderbolt 3

This Mini-ITX motherboard supports Thunderbolt 3, Wi-Fi 6 and is the perfect heart of the small but extremely powerful AMD Ryzen PC.

Workstation power

Gigabyte TRX40 Designare

The power of Threadripper and Thunderbolt 3 combined

Designare comes bundled with a PCIe expansion card that unlocks Thunderbolt 3 to pair with the latest generation Threadripper processors.

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Richard Devine

Richard Devine is an editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and longtime tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and was found on Android Central and iMore and Windows Central. Currently, you will find him dealing with all kinds of PC hardware and games, and you can also follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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