Thunderbolt 3 Support Comes To Gigabyte GA-Z170X Gaming Motherboards Via Firmware Update

Gigabyte announced that support for Intel Thunderbolt 3 has been expanded to three of its gaming motherboards. Gigabyte's GA-Z170X Gaming G1, GT and 7 motherboards have been certified by Intel for the Thunderbolt 3 specification. Thunderbolt 3 uses the USB Type-C connector and is powered by an Intel Thunderbolt 3 controller already installed on the boards. With Intel's certification, Gigabyte is now able to release the firmware patch to enable the hardware.

Thunderbolt 3 over a USB Type-C connector is able to handle data at up to 40 Gb/s, and with that bandwidth, it can be used for multiple high demand options. The DisplayPort 1.2 protocol is supported over USB Type-C, allowing for 4K resolutions at 60 FPS, or you can daisy-chain up to six devices per port. Thunderbolt 3 also enables the ability to deliver up to 36 W of power through the cable to power devices.

Gigabyte's firmware update is available now, but there is a specific file for each model of board. The GA-Z170X Gaming G1 update can be found here, the GA-Z170x Gaming GT update is located here, and the GA-Z170X Gaming 7 firmware patch is here.

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 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years. 

  • jas69
    Bring it on. Now I'd like to see it to connect my 5 bay NAS
  • Rheotome
    Glad to see Gigabyte expanding the Thunderbolt 3 capability to some other MBs. I'd like to see some other offerings from Asus before the year ends. Some place I read that the availability of the Alpine Ridge controllers was "supply constrained" I wonder if that means that a sweetheart deal was cut with Intel to make Gigabyte first out of the blocks with TB3 MBs ??
  • hst101rox
    ~5GB/s! That's crazy awesome. Just stupid for a consumer to have ha. I guess it'll eventually be in thin and light laptops if not already in the works.
  • QSV
    Good. So maybe now they can put more effort into getting the basic features of the rest of their firmwares working. Still feels like Skylake release was only days ago.
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    I'd like to see the Alpine Ridge controller on a mini-ITX board. Make it happen, Gigabyte!
  • JacFlasche
    Thank you for this news. I haven't been able to find a review of the Z170X-UD5 TH anywhere for weeks. Now I can look up these other board's reviews and see if they are worthy of my next build.

    I would really like to see a review of one or all of these boards. Theoretically that is all that is keeping me from buying one. Asus will be using their own chip from a subsidy to deliver TB3 -- first as an add-on card I believe. And then their is this

    ASUS Z170-Premium to contain Thunderbolt 3 and a U.2 port

    Some of those notebooks with TB 3 are already for sale.

    And of course the big push to finally allow docking of laptops to some serious GPU power via TB3 without all the fuss that is now involved in rigging your own eGPU setup. I have also seen some little external TB3 devices coming out for laptops. At this point I wouldn't purchase either a laptop or a motherboard without it, even if it is in the form of a card or external enclosure.

    I guess TB3 could run two 4k displays in a VR HUD, if anyone would care to build one for me. Can you imagine the pixel density.