P1050866 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

There were a plethora of interesting devices on show during the Intel Thunderbolt media event just now, which was held at the Taipei's premier shopping mall Bellavita. We spotted some never seen before and upcoming ASRock/Gigabyte motherboards with new Cactus Ridge 4C controller, MSI's external PCIe graphics that was shown during CES and debuting products from the likes of OCZ and LaCie.

Jason Ziller, Intel's Director of Thunderbolt Marketing gave an update on the Thunderbolt ecosystem, introducing the many new PC vendors who have come onboard and their products since the Apple exclusive on Thunderbolt expired not long ago. Interestingly, he stressed repeatedly during his presentation that Thunderbolt devices designed for the Mac will not work seemlessly on the Windows PC without a certified driver. 

P1050814 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

P1050823 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

The previously exobitant (Apple-only) cable prices are expected to fall with the introduction of more vendors (including mainstream names like Belkin and WD) and optical cables will allow running lengths up to 20 metres.

P1050825 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

P1050851 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

 

Motherboards

These are a current list of motherboard vendors that Intel are working with implementing Thunderbolt support on consumer off the shelf motherboards. You've already seen the ASUS P8Z77-V Premium, Intel DZ77RE-75k and MSI Z77A-GD80 before, but they are single connector designs (Cactus Ridge 2C).

P1050818 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

 

The more expensive but forward looking Cactus Ridge 4C host router – which allows for two Thunderbolt ports (uses 4 PCIe lanes from the PCH).

P1050847 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

 

ASRock Z77 Extreme 6/TB R1.0 (4C)

P1050766 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

P1050767 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

 

GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UP4 TH

P1050768 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

P1050769 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

 

GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UP5 TH

P1050846 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

P1050772 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

 

An ASUS ROG G55VW (Ivy Bridge i7, GTX660M) with a single Thunderbolt port

P1050841 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

P1050842 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

 

Thunderbolt Devices

MSI GUS, a Thunderbolt PCIe Graphics Breakout Box first seen at CES 2012, with enough bandwidth (PCIe x2 or x4 depending on the host controller used) to run Crysis Warhead (had a lot of input lag though).

P1050789 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

P1050764 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

 

Only a single slot graphics card is supported, and an external power adapter is needed to keep things running.

P1050839 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

 

OCZ's Little Foot portable storage device (mSATA SSD)

P1050780 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

P1050827 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

 

We've seen the LaCie's Little Big Disk before during our Thunderbolt motherboard review… now theres a new version that includes dual eSATA ports.

P1050782 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!

 

And oh…

P1050866 Intel Thunderbolt Briefing at Computex   New motherboards and devices!