Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Need some advice for using Thunderbolt to extend monitor and perifs

I'm currently building myself an office and I need to have my PC in a place where I need to fish wires through the wall. Its also a wall that will be hard to work on once the sheetrock is in so I want to run my cables once and not have to worry about it. It's only about 15ft from rear IO to monitor so my current plan is to run Ethernet (because its cheap and easy), Display Port, and Thunderbolt 3.

 

The Ethernet is kind of extra and I probably won't use it. I will have an active DP cable into my GPU since I don't think I can run it through TB3 since its 3440x1440p @120hz with G-Sync. Then I will have TB3 (prob with a TB4 cable for future proofing) for my peripherals including mouse, kb, mic, 1080p webcam. The thing I am worried about there is added latency so I figured TB would be better than USB. Does this sound good so far?

 

For hardware I need to get a Thunderbolt card for my mobo and they have a weird proprietary TB header called ThunderboltEX. I can get one new or used but I can't tell if its required to use TB? Its a PCIe card with a cable to a 5 pin header. Can or should I just use a standard TB PCIe card? I don't mind getting one that isn't top spec because when I upgrade my mobo in the future I will look for one with built in TB 4.

 

To recap, is Ethernet + DP + TB a good set of cables with low latency?

Should I use ThunderboltEX or another card?

Any recommendations for cables or TB hubs for on my desk?

 

Thanks 🙂

 

Specs:

Intel i7 7700k

Asus Z170-A

EVGA RTX 2080 Super

32GB RAM

Alienware AW3418DW [3440x1440p @120hz G-Sync]

 

Links:

Asus Z170-A Manual

Asus ThunderboltEX Card

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

May I suggest some Smurf tube.  Say 1 1/4” non metalic conduit, for example (it’s light blue.  Smurf tube) you want the over 1” not because there’s lots of space for cable but so there’s enough space to pull whole connectors like hdmi and whatnot. (Lots of electric tape to make it slide.  Electrical tape is cheap.  Be generous.). You can take it off and throw it away later) The beauty of a big Smurf tube is that if you have to change the wire later (because tech doesn’t stop) you can. It’s expensive to put in and the electrician will look at you funny (because who on earth uses 1 1/4” NM conduit in a residential application.  Especially for low voltage) but put your foot down and demand it.  If you really can’t work on the wall again it could be suuuuper handy.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

So I’ve jumped into this recently and it’s a weird time we are in a transition from tb3 to tb4 which are almost identical but usb4 is a spammer into the works. There is no speed increase from the 40gb max of tb3 to tb4 but there are minimum speeds in 4. There is a 2m copper cable  length which is down from 3m. (Btw if you need freedom units calculators are available). Corning make a Fibre tb3 cable and their suitability for tb4 is not known as far as I can find. LTT did a clip on them and I got the impression That there was a significant amount of wizardry to get a commercial product. 
 

Upside is that tb4 allows for hubs daisy chining is still supported and there is a new class of equipment Caldigit have a tb4 hub with 4 tb4 ports 1in 3 out and 4 usb3 type a 10gb ports I’d like to eliminate the video cable but without Fibre it’s not yet feasible for me. And I have a kvm which I’ll replace when usb4 and tb4 are more mature tech the fiber limitation needs to be solved for me 1st anyway. Tb4 Dock are around Kensington razor owc all have product. 
 

the unknown for me is does having a tb4 host to tb3 dock tb4 device mean a loss of the tb4 and usb4 functionality and is the answer going to be yes no or depends (which is the worst answer) because to find some that tests your exact setup with your design is not likely). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Corkers said:

So I’ve jumped into this recently and it’s a weird time we are in a transition from tb3 to tb4 which are almost identical but usb4 is a spammer into the works. There is no speed increase from the 40gb max of tb3 to tb4 but there are minimum speeds in 4. There is a 2m copper cable  length which is down from 3m. (Btw if you need freedom units calculators are available). Corning make a Fibre tb3 cable and their suitability for tb4 is not known as far as I can find. LTT did a clip on them and I got the impression That there was a significant amount of wizardry to get a commercial product. 
 

Upside is that tb4 allows for hubs daisy chining is still supported and there is a new class of equipment Caldigit have a tb4 hub with 4 tb4 ports 1in 3 out and 4 usb3 type a 10gb ports I’d like to eliminate the video cable but without Fibre it’s not yet feasible for me. And I have a kvm which I’ll replace when usb4 and tb4 are more mature tech the fiber limitation needs to be solved for me 1st anyway. Tb4 Dock are around Kensington razor owc all have product. 
 

the unknown for me is does having a tb4 host to tb3 dock tb4 device mean a loss of the tb4 and usb4 functionality and is the answer going to be yes no or depends (which is the worst answer) because to find some that tests your exact setup with your design is not likely). 

My understanding is tb4 is tb3 with increased hardware requirements.  USB4 is tb3 with reduced hardware requirements. 

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

No there are weird quirks / things like in a use case the tb4 implementation reduces the pcie bandwidth available which would have an impact on performance of external gpu. And it may have been only if you were passing the dp signals back down the same cable. It wasn’t anything I needed so I didn’t go to far into it.  
 

Tb4 is tb3 but some tb3 didn’t support the 40GB rate I’m going off memory here but tb4 has all the functions of usb4 included where a usb4 device in what is now usb-if typical thing may have some or all the features but beyond intel’s min spec of 20Gbps speeds, single 4K display, and 7.5W is optional. 
 

I’m thinking we may need to take direct action on the industry bodies who think renaming a product to make it less confusing by changing the name is a thing. At this point replacing their marketing team with 2 chimpanzees with learning disorders would come up with a better way. And maybe we could add in a 3rd chimp so they could sort hdmi out at the same time. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/18/2022 at 9:33 PM, Bombastinator said:

May I suggest some Smurf tube.

I will be installing conduit which makes it a bit more convenient in the future. 1" might be large enough since I was able to get the DP through a 3/4" hole. The sheetrock is already installed so its tough to position the hole saw but the LV boxes have no back plate so its not bad.

 

I think for now I will forgo the TB cable and just add a USB 3 hub under my desk. I have been testing one hub just from Amazon but it keeps having issues. Does anyone have a recommendation for a good reliable hub or a way to diagnose and fix the one I have? It is currently plugged in with a USB 3 A to B 3ft cable but I have a 20ft non active one ready to go. At first I had it plugged into a USB 3.1 port on my mobo rear IO but it spammed the USB unplugged noise so now its in a regular USB 3 port and randomly gets disconnected and I have to replug it. It mostly has issues when I have my webcam on through it (1080p 30fps) so I wonder if its bandwidth related. On the hub is that webcam, mouse, keyboard, headphones, and will have speakers. I am looking for hubs with 7 or more ports.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Phantom329 said:

I will be installing conduit which makes it a bit more convenient in the future. 1" might be large enough since I was able to get the DP through a 3/4" hole. The sheetrock is already installed so its tough to position the hole saw but the LV boxes have no back plate so its not bad.

 

I think for now I will forgo the TB cable and just add a USB 3 hub under my desk. I have been testing one hub just from Amazon but it keeps having issues. Does anyone have a recommendation for a good reliable hub or a way to diagnose and fix the one I have? It is currently plugged in with a USB 3 A to B 3ft cable but I have a 20ft non active one ready to go. At first I had it plugged into a USB 3.1 port on my mobo rear IO but it spammed the USB unplugged noise so now its in a regular USB 3 port and randomly gets disconnected and I have to replug it. It mostly has issues when I have my webcam on through it (1080p 30fps) so I wonder if its bandwidth related. On the hub is that webcam, mouse, keyboard, headphones, and will have speakers. I am looking for hubs with 7 or more ports.

Whatever works. Just consider the connection. Part of the issue is how the conduit is built and what you want to run through it. A dude I know need 5/4” for nm conduit, but he wanted to fish hdmi. Pull string is a leap worth it btw.  Can Save money as well if you run AC, because you don’t need a license to mount conduit, but you do to pull electrical wire, so the pull string saves time for the big money fellas. 

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×