In recent times, Thunderbolt 3 has evolved connectivity standards and is one of the most spectacular advancements in USB type C technology. Whether you are a computer power user, professional content editor, or gamer, it offers plenty of cutting-edge features.
Note: If you buy something from our links, we might earn a commission. See our disclosure statement.
Thunderbolt 3 is primarily found on Intel-based high-end laptops, whereas some motherboards (Intel) also provide Thunderbolt 3 support. The features like daisy-chaining, theoretical 40 Gbps lightning-fast data transfer speeds (between peripherals, computers, and expansion hubs), support for eGPUs, and dual 4K displays at 60 Hz are a few of the reasons why Thunderbolt 3 dominates.
PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) is a high-speed serial computer expansion bus. It is designed to substitute the older PCI, PCI-X, and AGP bus models.
To summarize, there is a solution that lets you gain the benefits of Thunderbolt 3 and PCIe, i.e., Thunderbolt 3 PCIe card. Thunderbolt 3 PCIe cards are add-in cards that use a PCIe x4 slot in your motherboard to enable Thunderbolt 3 support immediately.
If you use a system that doesn’t support Thunderbolt 3 (AMD) by default, it is highly recommended to use a Thunderbolt 3 PCIe card. You can obtain up to two Thunderbolt 3 ports and other slots based on card type.
Table of Contents
The following factors can help you to choose the most suitable Thunderbolt 3 PCIe card easily:
Suggested in the name, a Thunderbolt3 card offer support to your motherboard through an available PCI Express slot. Make sure your system has a minimum of one available PCIe x4 slot to connect the card. Certain motherboards enable you to secure this card type in an x8/x16 PCI Express slot.
Every Thunderbolt 3 PCIe cards ship with a system link cable. This cable connects your motherboard to the card through a Thunderbolt header. All those motherboards compatible with Thunderbolt 3 add-in cards should include this slot type. You can’t enable Thunderbolt 3 after connecting it to the PCI Express slot in its absence.
One of the prominent reasons behind the choice of these cards is the power delivery. It is an essential requirement for every thunderbolt host. The majority of the featured add-in cards provide 36W of power, whereas some can provide up to 100W.
Before buying a Thunderbolt 3 PCIe card, you need to check your computer case to check what openings it comes with. It may have an 80 mm or 120 mm space. You can put a metal bracket over the edge of your serial card inside it. If your PC has a low-profile slot at the rear, you have to use a low-profile card, for example, 80 mm thickness.
Before buying a Thunderbolt 3 PCI card, you need to determine the number of devices you want to connect. It is possible to obtain 8 Serial ports and a combo of Serial + Printer ports. Moreover, the number of ports that you can use relies on the available space on the motherboard and at the rear of your computer case.
Check on Amazon
This AsRock add-in card lets you take full advantage of the cutting-edge Thunderbolt 3 technology. It is compatible with most motherboards equipped with a PCIe express slot and a Thunderbolt header. Moreover, it has already been tested with many other motherboards from various brands.
There is support for Power Delivery 2.0 with a charging power reaching up to 36W. Though this is not the best PD output in the market, it can assist you in powering most peripherals. The card comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a DisplayPort, and a mini DP TBT header. These ports can draw video output from motherboards’ graphic cards.
The Thunderbolt 3 ports can only provide video output after you connect the card to your GPU. Make sure you are ready to sacrifice a minimum of one or two DisplayPorts in your GPU if dual monitors are used.
This expansion card is designed for TVS-h1688X and TVS-h1288X NAS. It facilitates high-speed data transfer to speed up everyday tasks and applications. Significantly video editing studios can benefit from this card by smoothly transferring, displaying, and editing 4K videos in (near) real-time.
It is possible to use Thunderbolt 4 devices by a NAS with this card when connected through standard Thunderbolt 4 certificated cables or any passive Thunderbolt 3 cables shorter than 0.8 meters.
This QNAP expansion card is well-known for streamlined video editing collaboration. Each team member can centrally store video resources within the same NAS shared folder. Thus, it significantly improves productivity for highly-collaborative projects in multi-workstation environments. A full-height low-profile bracket is included.
This SoNNeT card is designed for Echo Express III-D & III-R expansion system. An upgraded Echo Express Thunderbolt 2 system can attain bandwidth increment from 30% to 100% when this card is installed.
One port is dedicated for connection to the computer, whereas the second port supports daisy-chaining up to 5 extra Thunderbolt devices. It can connect a single USB peripheral device, one 5K display, or two 4K displays.
If you want to upgrade to a 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 3 system, you can simply substitute the existing Thunderbolt interface board with the upgrade board. Subsequently, your chassis would immediately connect to a Thunderbolt3 equipped PC; no need for an adapter.
If your computer lacks expansion slots, you can connect a maximum of three high-performance non-GPU PCIe cards through the included Thunderbolt 3 cable in this card’s package. Three PCIe 3.0 slots are available, i.e., an x16 plus and two x8 slots. Therefore, this expansion card support three full-height, single-width cards (up to 12.28 inches long) or a double-width card plus and a single-width card.
The broad PCIe card compatibility makes sure this card is compatible with every Thunderbolt 3 compatible, non-GPU card (irrespective of height or length).
Being designed without a Power Switch, this card automatically powers on and off with the connected computer. Thus, it saves energy in the long run—no need to remember turning off the system. The rugged aluminum housing offers secure protection.
Daisy-chaining of multiple devices is possible with this Gigabyte PCIe card. The support for DisplayPort 1.2 makes this card a must-have for any enthusiast. Being GIGABYTE Thunderbolt ready motherboards, it can support two displays in 4K resolution @ 60 FPS or a single display in 5K resolution.
Thunderbolt 3 over USB Type-C has innovative industry-first features like Power Delivery 2.0 and the ability to daisy-chain up to 12 devices thanks to the dual USB Type-C™ ports.
ASUS Thunderbolt EX 3-TR is compatible with ASUS Z490 (Intel 10th Gen CPUs) series motherboards having PCIe 3.0 x4 interface and 4.6 inches x 7.1 inches form size. The pack includes two mini DisplayPort, a 14-1 pin Thunderbolt header cable, and a USB 2.0 cable.
This ThunderboltEX 3 expansion card is compatible with Z170 and X99 motherboards. You can upgrade your motherboard in only 3 steps. Firstly, slide Thunderbolt EX 3 into an available PCI-Express 3.0 x4 slot. Now connect the card to the onboard Thunderbolt header through the included system-link cable.
Now connect the included DisplayPort cable to the card and the onboard DisplayPort connector. Finally, turn on your computer and connect your Thunderbolt devices.
The included mini DisplayPort cable can connect graphics output from DisplayPort of the motherboard or discrete graphics card to mini DisplayPort IN port. Asus TB header cable can connect the TB header of the Asus motherboard with the TB header of this card.
This Thunderbolt 3 to PCIe 3.0 X16 expansion chassis transforms your notebook into a compact media workstation. Its compact, lightweight design is perfect for compact mobile computing platforms and workstations. So, you can use it in MacBook Pros, iMacs, and Razor notebooks. With 7 inches of height and less than 3 inches of width, this chassis is compact enough to insert into a laptop bag and still supports full-sized PCIe 3.0 add-in cards.
With this chassis, you can easily install almost any full-length/full-height PCIe 3.0 card (like storage I/O, sound, video, networking). The efficient chassis design makes specific temperature stays within limit during intense workloads. Due to the use of aluminum in manufacturing this chassis and dual ultra-quiet cooling fans, the temperature stays controlled.
The plug-and-play installation suggests that this chassis allows the insertion of any PCIe X4, X8, or X16 card into any Thunderbolt 3 compatible PC & Mac platform through a single cable connection. Examples of compatible platforms are Ethernet, media capture, fiber channel, or external storage/RAID controller cards. It is easy to add or remove PCIe cards with the help of a slidable chassis cover and quick-release thumbscrews.
Accessories packed in are a 40 Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 cable, a power cord, an external power supply, and a quick installation guide.
This Akitio card is a Thunderbolt 3 to X2 (half-length) PCIe expansion box. It has enough space for accommodating two half-length PCIe cards. It functions as a plug-and-play expansion kit for Thunderbolt 3 PCs in which installation of an internal expansion card is not supported. Also, it works well for those systems in which there is insufficient space for more PCIe cards.
The Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) connection does not just simplify the addition of an external PCIe card but also enables you to carry the device and shift it from one system to another. Large handles are available for portability. Wire mesh panels and onboard fans help in heat dissipation.
With the help of a dedicated DisplayPort connector, it is easy to connect an additional monitor to enlarge your workspace. There is support for power delivery (PD) over USB-C, which provides up to 3A current @ 5V, 9V, 15V, 20V with a maximum 60W power to compatible laptops.
For example, it can deliver power to laptops like the MacBook Pro, which supports charging via the USB-C cable, or some devices like iPad Pro. Hence, you can recharge your battery, although the laptop is not plugged into other power sources.
The included 150W power adapter can be substituted with a 230W power adapter to obtain more power. So, up to 75W of power can be delivered to each slot. The breakaway tab available on the rear panel can be discarded to make an opening to obtain even higher capacity. This opening can be used to directly draw a cable from an extra PSU to the PCIe card.
Check on Newegg
This expansion chassis is a Thunderbolt 3 to 16 x PCIe system with a PCIe slot and an external PCIe enclosure. It is built from quality aluminum. With the help of this chassis, you can add an extra PCIe card to a Thunderbolt 3 PC. Alternative names of this chassis are Thunderbolt 3 PCIe box and Thunderbolt 3 PCIe enclosure.
The ability to add multiple extended displays makes sure you can work more productively by multitasking faster. Also, it prevents the trouble of constantly relocating several open programs or windows.
Sonnet Echo Express SEL is a compactly designed desktop Thunderbolt 3 to PCIe card expansion system. It lets you connect any PC with Thunderbolt 3 ports to a low-profile PCIe card. Also, it is possible to connect a PCIe expansion card to PCs without slots. You can use high-performance PCIe cards with a Windows or Mac PC with a Thunderbolt 3 port.
With 4 inches width, 8.4 inches length, and 2.8 inches height, this chassis is perfect for those situations when you need to connect a single low-profile PCIe card. The variable-speed fan is temperature-controlled. It quietly cools down the card. Due to rugged aluminum housing, this chassis obtains robust and secure protection.
The pack includes a 0.5-meter long Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) cable and ThunderLok 3 Thunderbolt connector retainer clip (helps to secure line from unintentional disconnections)
SoNNeT Echo Express III-R expansion system is well-known for its wide compatibility and quiet operation. It is one of the most silent Echo systems. Variable-speed fans, ultra-quiet and temperature-controlled, aid the natural convection of hot air across the PCIe cards. Moreover, the hot air is vented out of the chassis with decreased air velocity and turbulence. So, the fan noise is minimal.
A universal 300W power supply is included. The included 75W PCIe power connector helps connect those cards that need auxiliary power. Though delivering colossal power, this expansion system is environmental-friendly. It automatically powers on whenever the connected PC powers on or works and automatically powers off whenever the corresponding PC power off or sleep.
The SEIIIe is a 3-slot PCIe card expansion chassis (Thunderbolt 3 edition). It is smaller than the 3-slot Echo Express III-D (Thunderbolt 3 Edition). But the Echo Express SE IIIe is still big enough to support all available Thunderbolt 3 compatible cards.
With the included Thunderbolt 3 ports, you can connect 3 PCIe cards to any Mac and simultaneously use multiple high-performance PCIe cards. All 3 PCIe slots support Thunderbolt PCIe cards with a length up to 7.75 inches. An Auxiliary PCIe power connector is available to connect a power-hungry card.
The variable-speed fan works quietly to cool down the connected card. The entire system stays protected in a rugged aluminum housing.
The included ThunderLok 3 Thunderbolt connector retainer clip avoids unintentional cable disconnections. Simply slide it on one end of the cable, plug in the connector and then fasten it to the chassis through a thumbscrew.
This Intel Thunderbolt 3 Certified add-in card presents a simple approach to upgrade GIGABYTE Thunderbolt-ready motherboards with faster Thunderbolt 3 connectivity; no need to upgrade to an entirely new system. Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports support offers the fastest connection to any display, dock, and device.
The transfer speed up to 40Gb/s is found twice faster than Thunderbolt 2 and eight times faster than USB3. The support for DisplayPort 1.4 makes the Thunderbolt 3 interface a must-have for any enthusiast. There is support for two displays in 4K resolution @ 60 fps.
This ThunderboltEX 3 card is compatible with a wide range of Asus Z170 and X99 motherboards. It comes with RoHS certification.
The mini DisplayPort cable can link graphics output from DisplayPort of a motherboard or discrete graphics card to the mini DisplayPort IN port on this card. Asus TB header cable can connect the TB header of the Asus motherboard with the TB header of this card. Other accessories in the pack are ThunderboltEX 3 Thunderbolt/USB adapter and support disc.
Check on Amazon India
ECHO-EXP-SE1-T3 chassis offers full performance despite having a compact and lightweight design. Though it takes up some space on the desktop, it is big enough to support all Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe cards at full performance. This chassis can connect a PCIe expansion card to PCs without slots. You can use high-performance PCIe cards with any Windows or Mac PC with a Thunderbolt 3 port.
Out of the two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, one port is dedicated for connection to the PC, whereas the second port enables daisy-chaining of up to 5 extra Thunderbolt devices to your computer. You can connect a single USB peripheral device or a single 5K display, or up to two 4K displays.
The PCIe 3.0 x8 slot supports a single-width, half-length+ (up to 7.75 inches long), full-height PCIe card.
Thunderbolt 3 PCI-E is known to be the fastest technology for multimedia sharing. Therefore, Thunderbolt slots are equipped only in a few high-end laptops or monitors. Being an upgrade of Thunderbolt 2, Thunderbolt 3 provides 40 Gbps data transfer speed, four times that of the fastest USB connection. These cards enable the PCIe x4 slot in your motherboard to immediately provide Thunderbolt 3 support.
Comments are closed.