Will Asus Beat Apple To Market With The First Thunderbolt 2 Product?

ASUS Z87 Deluxe Quad_678x452

Even as it stands, Thunderbolt is blisteringly fast, allowing up to 10 Gbps per lane, for a maximum throughput of 40 Gbps. Intel, though, has already upgraded Thunderbolt with the new Thunderbolt 2 spec, which not only doubles the possible transfer speed on a single lane to 20 Gbps (although not increasing total maximum throughout), but enabling 4K video file transfer and display simultaneously.

Since Thunderbolt debuted on the Mac, you’d probably expect Thunderbolt 2 to show up first in an Apple product, right? Maybe an updated Retina MacBook Pro? Alas, it’s not to be: the PC motherboard you see above is the first Thunderbolt 2 compatible product.

Designed by Asus, the Z87-Deluxe/Quad ATX motherboard is the very first commercial mobo out there to offer Thunderbolt 2, which is four times faster than USB 3.0 and so fast it can technically drive two 4K displays at once.

Other features of the Z87-Delux/Quad-ATX include: Hasswell CPU support, 10 SATA-6 ports, 8 USB 3.0 ports, and 3 PCIe 3.0/2.0 x 16 slots. So this is a pretty advanced beast of a motherboard.

Asus hasn’t announced pricing or availability yet. When it comes to pricing, a motherboard this advanced is bound to be expensive. As for availability, if it’s delayed too long, maybe the Haswell-based Retina MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 2 will beat it to market. Here’s hoping.

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  • aardman

    “Alas, it’s not to be: the PC motherboard you see above is the first Thunderbolt 2 compatible product.”

    I’m just devastated that Apple is not the first to market with a Thunderbolt 2 compatible product. ;-)

  • mister_rabbit

    “Asus hasn’t announced pricing or availability yet.”

    So even less is known about it than the redesigned Mac Pro that was announced months ago, the one that includes Thunderbolt 2 and will launch later this year.

  • MACTECHca

    “Asus hasn’t announced pricing or availability yet.”

    So even less is known about it than the redesigned Mac Pro that was announced months ago, the one that includes Thunderbolt 2 and will launch later this year.

    Newegg already has it priced at $349.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131987

    As for Apple not being first ….. does it matter? No. Apple will still have more devices and products using 2.0 than any other manufacturer. Being first means nothing.

  • norb

    It’s like the people who write these article have no idea how little apple cares about being first.

  • Adrayven
    “Asus hasn’t announced pricing or availability yet.”

    So even less is known about it than the redesigned Mac Pro that was announced months ago, the one that includes Thunderbolt 2 and will launch later this year.

    Newegg already has it priced at $349.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131987

    As for Apple not being first ….. does it matter? No. Apple will still have more devices and products using 2.0 than any other manufacturer. Being first means nothing.

    Would rather they be released near the same time anyway, means more peripheral manufacturers will take interest in building for it. Last time, w/only Apple, not much started happening until the rest of the PC industry got on-board anyway.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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