Thunderbolt on Windows gets hands-on, lacks Mac’s hot-swapping
Thunderbolt’s 10-gigabit interface is only just making its way to Windows after spending more than a year as a Mac-only feature, so it’s not surprising that a lot of questions surround how well the Apple- and Intel-developed connection works for those of a Microsoft persuasion. A thorough test at AnandTech of one of the first motherboards to support the spec on Windows PCs, an Ivy Bridge-ready board from MSI, has shown some positive signs along with a few flies in the high-speed ointment. The good news? Most general storage devices will work as expected with a minimum of fuss, and you can even get some features of Apple’s Thunderbolt Display working if you’re willing to accept a lack of pre-supplied software brightness controls and USB support. The bad news comes mostly in the absence of true hot-plugging like on the Mac: if a device isn’t plugged into the Thunderbolt port on boot, Windows won’t see it. Professionals who need everything to be just perfect will want to wait, then, but bandwidth lovers will still find something to like if they’re willing to build Thunderbolt-equipped PCs themselves.
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