Gigabyte unlocks Thunderbolt 3 on Z170X-Gaming family

October 26, 2015 // 1:12 p.m.

Tags: #bios #bios-update #firmware #firmware-update #gigabyte #thunderbolt #thunderbolt-3 #usb-type-c #z170x-gaming #z170x-gaming-7 #z170x-gaming-g1 #z170x-gaming-gt

Gigabyte has announced that it is unlocking Thunderbolt 3 support on three of its latest motherboard models through a fast and free BIOS update, live now.

When Gigabyte launched the Z170X-Gaming G1, Z170X-Gaming GT, and Z170X-Gaming 7 motherboards, it did so with the promise of Thunderbolt 2 support. The last-generation standard, Thunderbolt 2 offers 20Gb/s data throughput for high-speed peripheral connectivity - but its replacement, Thunderbolt 3, doubles that to an impressive 40Gb/s for peripheral devices that can support it.

The company has now confirmed, however, that the aforementioned motherboards are actually Thunderbolt 3 ready, and that their launch as Thunderbolt 2 parts was due to a delay in certification rather than any technical limitation. The result: with certification complete, it's now possible to unlock the full power of the motherboards with nothing more than a quick BIOS upgrade.

Owners of the Z170X-Gaming G1, Z170X-Gaming GT, or Z170X-Gaming 7 can download the latest BIOS from Gigabyte's support portal now, and upon upgrading will automatically have their Thunderbolt controllers unlocked to operate at 40Gb/s when connected to Thunderbolt 3-compatible peripherals. As an added bonus, the firmware unlocks the use of Thunderbolt over the boards' USB Type-C connector, albeit at a reduced bandwidth, for future devices capable of talking both USB and Thunderbolt over the reversible port.

The latest BIOS files are available from the company's download portal now, but as always be sure to take precautions when updating to prevent corruption.
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