1

After having my questions closed as off-topic on superuser.com, I'm trying my luck here:

I currently have an MSI X99S SLI Plus motherboard (5-6 years old) which I'd like to keep, but I'd like to add Thunderbolt 3 connectivity to my PC (mainly for connecting a modern low-latency audio interface).

  1. How can this be achieved, if it's even possible at all?
  2. If it is possible to use an adapter/add-on card with this motherboard (which has no TB3 connector), what are the downsides compared to a motherboard with built-in TB3 connectivity (stability/latency/driver-wise)?

Edit to make sure it's on-topic here:

I'm looking for a recommendation for a specific hardware product that will allow me to connect a TB3 external audio device to my PC, if such product exists.

  • Here, on the hardwarerecs, your task is to make your question looking for very clearly a hardware recommendation. I suggest to re-edit it looking to "with what could I connect X to Y". – peterh - Reinstate Monica Feb 14 at 13:41
  • @peterh-ReinstateMonica So it might be off-topic here because it's not clearly a hardware recommendation? LOL – herman Feb 14 at 13:43
  • No-no! Here it is ontopic, but it is practical to make it more on-topic looking. It has no close votes (yet). – peterh - Reinstate Monica Feb 14 at 13:54
1

Unfortunately it does not appear that your board can support a TB3 add-in card. The reason for this is because it does not have a THB_C port.

MSI X99S SLI PLUS Specifications

Here are some examples of add-in cards that are compatible with motherboards that have a THB_C port:

| improve this answer | |
  • I was afraid of this. I was hoping that some cards may exist that don't require the THB_C port. Is there a technical reason why this is not possible the same way that FireWire expansion cards exist without needing a specific connector on the MB? – herman Feb 14 at 14:50
  • @herman Don't quote me on this, but I would imagine it would be due to the bandwidth of PCI-express lanes. PCI-Express 3.0's 8 GT/s bit rate is lower than the 40 GT/s bit rate of Thunderbolt 3, as is the 16 GT/s bit rate of the newer PCI-Express 4.0 on AMD's X570 boards (made for Zen 2). – Evan Feb 17 at 16:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.