FW16 and finding Thunderbolt alternatives

I’ve been thinking about what I need to do to get ready for the FW16. And I have a couple thunderbolt adapters that I would need to replace.

Does anyone know why there doesn’t seem to be a USB-C to 10G ethernet adapter on the market? The ones I have seen are all thunderbolt only.

I spent some bucks upgrading my home land for 10Gbps ethernet for moving video files to and from a NAS. But without an adapter I’m starting to think that I should wait for the Intel version of the FW16.

I think the FW 16 has full featured USB 4, which is effectively the same as thunderbolt 4, with some minor caveats.

Quite a few people have done testing with thunderbolt devices on USB 4, and many of them work as long as the host had full featured, including a 10G Ethernet adapter if I remember correctly.


Also would love if someone made one of those (even if you don’t get full 10gbit cause of the overhead it would still be pretty neat). At least the 2.5gbit ones are pretty cheap.

But you can just use your tb adapters on the USB4 ports like Mason already mentioned.

Or hell use the thunderbolt p2p networking feature for a bit over 20gbit if your nas has thunderbolt and is close enough XD.

How sure are we that the USB 4 ports will work with a thunderbolt device? I really don’t want to cancel my FW16 order. Waiting for an Intel version of the FW16 would take way too long.

Assuming they didn’t bork the usb4 interface since their last gen chips, pretty sure. You can look up if anyone tried your specific device with any of the last gen amd chips. A network interface is probably just a simple pcie tunnel and looking at egpu.io those seem to work fine with the 6000 series amd chips where the manufacturer of the laptop could be bothered to actually expose the usb4 ports.

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Since they are not certified TB4 ports, there are no guarantees. Neither from AMD nor Framework.

I think you can expect that its working, but on the other side it couldn’t since its not officially certified. It comes down to your preferences and level of disappointment (if something don’t work) and how much you want an FW16 laptop (now).

Actually, USB4 is the same as Thunderbolt 3 without the royalties to Intel, not Thunderbolt 4, which still does require royalties and a controller unless the company uses Intel CPUs or is Apple.

As for compatibility, most things that work on Thunderbolt 3 should work, but there’s no guarantees, so you may want a return period on whatever you try.


Ah I see, I thought it was the same as thunderbolt 4 (with them having the same number and all) thanks for the correction!

No problem! Happy to clear that up for you!

(And USB 3/3.1/3.2 was the previous version, which the first version was released in 2008. That’s why the numbering is weird.)

Thunderbolt 4 is a certification on USB4. By the certification, you get guaranteed a certain level of functionally (approximately usb4 with all features).


Is Thunderbolt 4 the same as UBSB-C?

No. USB-C is a connector type with an oval shape that both Thunderbolt™ 4 and USB (Gen 3 and later) cables and devices use. The main difference between Thunderbolt™ and USB is that Thunderbolt™ certification mandates minimum requirements for data, power, and video signal transfer to ensure the best end user experience.

Bought a OWC Thunderbolt 3 to 10GBe adaptor, so once my FW16 arrives, I’ll post here on whether it works or not with the USB4 ports. For now, it’s going to be used with my FW13, 11th gen.

It is more like 4 than 3, thunderbolt 4 IS USB4 with all of the optional stuff mandatory and an intel certificate. One of those optional USB4 features is tb3 mode though.


Not exactly. USB4 is based on TB3, however in a fully implemented USB4 PC, most TB4 adapters should work.


That part is true (I’d more say strongly inspired than based on but that’s semantics), but TB4 is still USB4 which is also why tb4 has slightly slower effective pcie tunneling than tb3 did but anyway we are splitting hairs here.

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