Asus Z87-Deluxe/Quad preview: First Thunderbolt 2.0 motherboard

Asus recently sent us the Z87-Deluxe/Quad, a Socket 1150 motherboard for Haswell processors that includes about every type of connector you could wish for. The most exotic one? Thunderbolt 2.0.

Thunderbolt is the interface that combines PCI-Express and DisplayPort in one cable. Thunderbolt is capable of up to 10Gigabit/s in both directions which makes it perfect for very fast storage solutions. Devices can be passed through or daisy-chained.

Thunderbolt has become a standard feature on many Apple products, but it's taking more time to gain a foothold with PCs. There are a few high-end motherboards with a Thunderbolt controller and many of the limited number of Thunderbolt peripheral devices don't have Windows drivers. Nevertheless, the standard is gaining traction in the world of (semi-)professional video editing. And here the arrival of Thunderbolt 2.0 is especially important.

Thunderbolt 2 has two main advantages compared to version 1. The DisplayPort part has been upgraded to DisplayPort 1.2, which includes the Multi-Stream Transport (MST) feature. This is important for 4K monitors because they combine two DisplayPort signals which is only possible with version 1.2. It's not entirely new.

The Redwood Ridge Thunderbolt controllers used for current Haswell systems with Thunderbolt also support DisplayPort 1.2. You can read the rest of this preview on Hardware.info.