Question USB4-ready likely if board is Thunderbolt-ready?

Apr 8, 2019
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Hello all,

I'm aiming to start a new build that will be as future-proof as possible and a big concern for me is USB4. I'm not in any need of the bandwidth, for now at least, but love the idea of powerful and intuitive charging ports and also of everything coalescing around the type-C outlet. And of course I'd love the extra speed, just that that's not justifiable economically now or likely anytime too soon. Is there enough knowledge now, there having been some time since the spec release, to know if USB4 upgrades would require the kind of direct CPU connection that Thunderbolt does at present? If I bought a TB3-ready motherboard like the Asrock x570 Taichi or similar would that give me a good shot at being able to add USB4 to my build once that tech goes live?

For background, I'm a jack of many trades and an ace of none and do my computing similarly. Planned use of new PC would lean more toward professional stuff (image & video manipulation, 3D modeling and rendering, etc) than gaming but I do like me a bit of gaming and the whole point of the build is to have nothing ruled out ;)

Thanks in advance very sincerely!!!

P.S. I'd also be grateful for any other pointers on my planned x570 build, esp MB selection :)
 
Apr 8, 2019
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So an addon adapter card should be possible? Any idea of whether it would require any of the extra stuff like Thunderbolt does with regard to CPU connection or video input? If not then I won't try to pick a Thundebolt-ready MB but if it would then I'd strongly consider it....
 
Apr 8, 2019
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Great, that's been my most hoped-for scenario! I hope you won't mind me asking for a bit more info to help me understand though: if it's based around the Thunderbolt3 standard (and I realize they're separate standards and that cross-compatibility is at the discretion of the manufacturer) how does it get by without the same requirements for video and CPU connections? Of course one wouldn't just drop a TB3 card in any MB and expect it to work--incredible if USB4 is so much more forgiving. Many thanks for taking the time to help clarify this stuff for me :)
 
Apr 8, 2019
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Of course I realize that USB is a separate standard from both PCIE and Thunderbolt--and I have a USB 3 PCIE card in my rig now. I'd already read the article you shared more than once and tried every reasonable other way answer my question without having to ask somebody but I couldn't.

When the first concrete-seeming rumors about USB4's upcoming release surfaced last March or so it was made to sound that Intel had donated the TB spec and USB4 was based on TB3, would be compatible with TB3, and more or less was TB3, it sounded like upgrades would work very similarly to TB3. But they've since walked those compatibility claims back, calling them optional for the device manufacturer. So what I'm trying to is figure out if USB4 has for sure dropped enough TB-related standards to be upgrade-able with a simple PCIE card like USB 3 is now, or if things might be more complicated. I hope to order a new MB within 1-2 weeks that will last me a real long time and it would really suck if it was partially made obsolete by the new USB standard just a few months later.

Thanks again for your responses and apologies if I'm being difficult or somehow misunderstanding.
 

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