The Thunderbolt interface has been showing up more and more often lately, though not enough to be considered common yet. Gigabyte might be the one to make the final nudge though.
While Apple has been promoting the Thunderbolt connection heavily, makers of PC motherboards and laptops haven't shown the same enthusiasm.
Gigabyte will change its tune somewhat soon, because it wants to be the first to support 4K resolution displays (Ultra HD, 3840 x 2160 pixels).
And since normal video connectors cannot transmit enough information for that resolution, Gigabyte decided it would use the only thing it could.
Of course, even Thunderbolt cannot transmit anything beyond 2K quality, so Gigabyte just used two of them.
“Desktop PC motherboards are all about cutting edge features, performance, and upgradeability, and this is why GIGABYTE was the first motherboard company to adopt dual Thunderbolt ports instead of the single port option,” commented Tim Handley, deputy director of Motherboard Marketing at GIGABYTE.
“When combined with other innovative products, such as EIZO's 4K resolution FDH3601 monitor, GIGABYTE Thunderbolt motherboard users can enjoy next generation display options with their existing platform, without having to wait for future 4K resolution standards.”
Thunderbolt complies with the DisplayPort 1.1 standard, hence the 2K support, but its 10 Gbps transfer speed lets it succeed in producing 4K when two connections are used. All, or at least most, of the Gigabyte “TH” motherboards should provide this latest asset.
The photos on the left are of a system configuration used to test whether Gigabyte got the whole idea right. GIGABYTE GA-Z77MX-D3H TH motherboard with the latest BIOS runs the Intel Core i7 3770K (HD 4000 graphics) and Windows 8.
Two Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapters are involved and the monitor is called EIZO FDH3601.