ASRock Z77 Extreme6/TB4 Motherboard Offers Thunderbolt with Discrete Graphics
Subject: Motherboards | December 11, 2012 - 10:34 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: asrock, thunderbolt, Z77
ASRock has a new motherboard out, the Z77 Extreme6/TB4, that promises to allow you to use discrete graphics by simply utilizing a DisplayPort connection on the graphics card itself.
Besides offering a pair of Thunderbolt connections, the motherboard claims to be the "world's only Thunderbolt motherboard supporting discrete VGA card via Thunderbolt port."
Essentially ASRock is taking the DP connection from the discrete graphics card, taking it into the motherboard through a DisplayPort input connection and then sending that back out the motherboard Thunderbolt header. More than likely this is simple electrical pass through and there isn't much or any logic going on to "trick" the system. It also raises concerns that the motherboard and display solution won't be officially approved by Intel. (We are all, after all, still waiting to see the ASUS ThunderboltEX to hit the market...)
»www.pcper.com/news/Mothe ··· Graphics
Take note that the board is already available on Newegg. Therefore, there should be no unfulfilled promises as was the case with Asus motherboards with the TB_Header depending on the Asus ThunderboltEX card that was supposed to hit the market at or near the same time as Ivy Bridge processors: ASRock Z77 Extreme6/TB4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $174.99
The ASRock Z77 Extreme6/TB4 board is also cheaper then the Gigabyte UP4 TB and UP5 TB motherboards: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with Dual Thunderbolt $184.99 Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with Dual Thunderbolt $239.99