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.