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Thunderbolt 2: Ready for Windows with the ASUS ThunderboltEX II

Thunderbolt 2: Ready for Windows with the ASUS ThunderboltEX II
Today we take a close up look at the ASUS ThunderboltEX II and all the amazing performance that goes along with the new Thunderbolt 2 standard. (TPE:2357)
By: Tyler Bernath | Editorials in Storage | Posted: Apr 14, 2014 10:03 pm

ASUS is ready for Thunderbolt 2




When Thunderbolt technology was released to the public in 2011, many of us brushed off the technology like it was Betamax and wouldn't weather the storm. Despite the fact that the technology in its original form was capable of two times the speed of USB 3.0, many thought, including myself, it was another Apple technology much like Firewire was for many years. I mean, when was the last time you, as a PC user, plugged in a Firewire device?


Of course, it is very true that the original Thunderbolt lacked maturity for Windows users, and perhaps that did set the technology back in user's minds. Then again, it typically takes a few years for manufacturers to trust a technology and begin development of devices.


Perhaps having a partnership between Apple and Intel behind the technology is what has kept it alive for this long to begin with. Alas, Thunderbolt has made it three years into its life and we now have Thunderbolt 2, a much more mature technology ready for Windows operating systems.




Thunderbolt 2, formerly known as Falcon Ridge, isn't too much of a change from the original Thunderbolt. What Intel did was enable channel aggregation giving you the full 20Gbps over one cable, and of course, it's backwards compatible with Thunderbolt devices, but you will need to have your Thunderbolt 2 devices forward in the daisy chain to mitigate performance loss.


In its most basic form, Thunderbolt is external PCI Express, PCIe 2.0 x4 to be exact. Now this gives us the theoretical throughput of 20Gbps that is advertised, but thanks to 8b/10b encoding, we can expect to lose 20 percent of our peak throughput, leaving us with 16Gbps or 2GB/s.

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