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Searched for the answer, apologies because I'm sure this must have been covered.

In 2012 we'll see desktop motherboards (and I suppose laptops but let's ignore that) to build Windows boxes that have Thunderbolt connectors.

If/when I buy such a motherboard and build a Windows box around it, will there be a way to connect 27" Apple Thunderbolt monitors that I already own? I won't care if adaptors will be required, I'm just curious whether it will even be possible AT ALL?

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closed as too localized by bmike Jun 22 '13 at 15:53

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Will new X work is a local problem. If you can narrow this to a specific generation of chipset or a specific display, it might be useful (even if that moment of time is in the past) but to keep this open for new questions when new is perhaps mid-2013 or 2014 is hard to justify. – bmike Jun 22 '13 at 15:54
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The best guess is that it is going to depend on the computer. Carrying a DisplayPort signal through Thunderbolt is a feature but not necessarily a requirement for having a Thunderbolt port. But, yes, assuming that a given Thunderbolt port is carrying the DisplayPort signal, there should be no reason why the Thunderbolt display will not work on that port as a display, regardless of the kind of computer.

Now as for other features included, it may depend on drivers for those features and how the host operating system recognizes what other things are included in the Thunderbolt display. For example, how customized the drivers are for each extra included device in the Apple Thunderbolt display is probably yet to be determined. For example the speakers, extra USB/FireWire ports, network card, etc. may not work if the host OS can't find a driver.

The specifics of how a motherboard-based Thunderbolt port can talk to any given PCI-Express graphics card installed in that board is also an interesting detail to address, hopefully the next generation Mac Pro will give an example of this since its implementation is questioned as well in the Thunderbolt wiki article as well:

Because the PCIe bus does not carry video data, it is unclear whether a standalone PCIe card could offer a Thunderbolt port. The Intel Thunderbolt Technology Brief does not give a conclusive answer. Intel disclosed documentation where video stream is sent to a dual-Thunderbolt controller, with the video stream being only sent to one of the Thunderbolt ports, giving the assumption that video stream is not mandatory on Thunderbolt implementation.

It looks like many of questions will be answered in the future as more hardware is rolled out but here is a bit of speculation on the noted next generation Ivy Bridge Thunderbolt controllers.

Another aspect that makes the DSL3510 interesting is that it supports multiple internal DisplayPort inputs. What this means is that it could in theory interface with a discrete graphics card as well as the integrated graphics from an Intel CPU. This is likely to be the chip used by Apple in its desktop systems, whereas the more power efficient DSL3310 will end up in notebook products.

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