Thunderbolt 4

The site lists support for USB 4, including 100W power and DisplayPort. What isn’t clear is whether either Thunderbolt 4 certification or its equivalent feature set is available, such as PCIE access.

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Hi @Daniel_Herr we hope to share more about this soon, but since a certification process is required in order to claim Thunderbolt compatibility, we can’t say anything until that is complete :slight_smile:

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Is the system proposed to support full bandwidth (was it still 40Gbps for USB4?) on all of the (was it two or four) ports? In the past some models of computers have shipped with a reduced bandwidth on some ports so I wanted to confirm

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All four ports are designed to have matching functionality with the 11th Gen Intel-based mainboard in the Framework Laptop.

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In particular, I’d be interested to know if the USB-C expansion cards will support an 8k monitor (as a Thunderbolt 4 port should do, if I understand the spec correctly), or if the only way to connect to an 8k monitor would be to use dual DisplayPort expansion cards.

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11th Gen Intel Processors can support one 8k60 output over DisplayPort or USB-C using DisplayPort alt-mode.

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Is there any update on Thunderbolt? It does not seem to be mentioned in the specs.

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We can’t state anything around Thunderbolt until we complete certifications, so look out for further announcements.

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I just put my $100 down on a DIY Framework laptop. However, Thunderbolt is important to my setup; so very interested to see how the certification is going.

BTW, fantastic concept! I am so happy to see a company openly endorse a repairable computer that can last a while. I’m typing this on my 2012 MacBook Pro, which is getting to the end of it’s life because of the serviceability issues; my USB ports are simply worn out. With this new machine, I could simply replace the port with a spare and keep using the machine…

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Just a heads up. Looks like the Intel Chip does support Thunderbolt on intel’s website. Does that help to answer the question?

@nrp I have just a quick follow up question. Say I get the laptop and it turns out you get better TB support in the future, via certification or etc… And my current framework logic board “isn’t” TB4 or whatever. All I would have to do is upgrade the logic board part of my laptop to the new thing and I’m good to go?

Certification just makes it official, the hardware is already fully compatible. It has to be, for the expansion cards to work.

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@Banana are you sure? It sounds right that it would be. However, I just watched Linus Tech Tips and he mentioned the modules interfacing with USB 3.2 or something like that

The modules are 3.2 over USB4 I think.

@Trevor_Wood It’s got TB. People are already running external GPUs with it, it’s just not “official” yet

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Yep you can see the thunderbolt controllers and everything already on the mainboard. That eGPUs work is huge. The modular laptop that could replace the desktop for most people, without loosing anything in terms of repair/upgrade-ability.

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I’m using a CalDigit TB3 Plus docking station with my Batch1 Framework laptop. Everything, including multiple displays, wired GB network, USB-C, SD card reader, etc. work as well as they did with my prior TB3 based Dell XPS.

The Framework comes with the Intel standard Thunderbolt client installed & it shows attached TB devices normally. I have not tried any TB4 peripherals or any eGPU.

Thunderbolt compatibility is important to my usage. I was concerned about the lack of certification, but I took a risk & placed my order for Batch1. All indications I have are that the Framework laptop appears to be backwards compatible with TB3 peripherals & features.

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I would rather say that TB4 is backward compatible with TB3. :wink:
Which is true. :slight_smile:

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I’ve got eGPU running over TB3 (RTX 2070 on Sonnet eGPU 750ex). Works beautifully (although I needed a better TB cable). I’ve also tested a TB2 HDD enclosure.

I recently received my Framework laptop, and running lspci and lshw, and the chipset definitely register as Thunderbolt 4:

My guess is they did everything to have it in, but they just have to complete the process with Intel to advertise it as a thunderbolt 4. But everything points toward every ports being fully capable thunderbolt 4 ports.

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