I just finished shopping motherboards for putting together a new music computer over the holidays coming up. I'm hoping to find enough money under the sofa cushions to get a new UA interface, so I wanted my new PC motherboard to be Thunderbolt ready.

It threw me for a while, trying to piece together what I needed to make a UA Duo TB interface work on a Win10 machine. A fair number of PC mobos do now include a TB header, so that's progress. But you still have to get from the header to an Add-in-Card (the acronym AIC gets used sporadically, which led to further temporary confusion) and the AIC has to be compatible with the UA TB device it's going to connect with. And you still have to get a "qualified Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt adaptor to connect the PC to the UA interface."

Just a few months ago, UA was only able to provide a very short list of tested-and-approved AICs that were compatible.

UA's webpage on all this is chock full is disclaimers about how they can't guarantee this or that will work in your configuration, or that further configuration may be needed, etc etc etc.

So just trying to figure out what might work was a big time drain, however educational. The safest thing is to peruse the boards - all of them you can find- and glean testimonies from actual users who have used this or that mobo and AIC and cable and tweaks and got it all to work. There's some consensus out there as to combinations that seem to be the most solid. Some people have been able to make all sorts of combinations work, but only a few combinations seem to have high compatibility marks allround.

This is clearly no way to try and flood the market with PCs using UA Thunderbolt devices!! UA is clearly working on this I'll grant them that. But this looks to me like a situation where the PC manufacturers and and the Thunderbolt device manufacturers are looking at each other, waiting a bit to see who has done, or looks likely to do, what. I guess there's no good, working standards board or somesuch 3rd party organization trying to conduct this confused orchestra that has no unified score to play from?

The current USB proliferation/confusion seems similar in some ways. Now I know there is a 3rd party standards body that works on USB protocols - but they seem to have let things get a bit out of hand.

Could it possibly be that the nascent nationalistic tendencies ramping up in the world, the trade wars, etc., are hindering cooperation, slowing progress, generally mucking up the landscape for tech product development and promulgation??


Last edited by Nowarezman; 10/05/19 11:05 AM.