EliteMacx86

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How to Enable ThunderBolt 2, Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 on maOS [Clover/OpenCore]

An EliteMacx86 Exclusive Guide - This guide covers implementation of Thunderbolt 2, Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 on macOS using Clover and OpenCore.

Overview


This guide covers the implementation of Thunderbolt 2, Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4. Thunderbolt isn't a necessary thing but for some users, a working Thunderbolt function is required. Thunderbolt can be utilised for several things such as working with Audio interfaces, Display, File Transfer, connecting external GPU, and to connect any other Thunderbolt compatible devices such as Thunderbolt equipped Hard Drive or SSD.

When talking about Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt has the fastest speed as compared to the USB Type A, USB 3.1 and USB Type-C.

On Windows hardware, the working of Thunderbolt is different as compared to a real Macintosh.

For more information on Thunderbolt Hotplug, refer to the guide linked below.


Implementing ThunderBolt on macOS is quite easy and has very few requirements.

Requirements


Supported VendorsIntel (Onboard), GIGABYTE GC-Titan Ridge, GIGABYTE Alpine Ridge
Thunderbolt compatibilityCompatible Thunderbolt Chip
KextsOriginal Thunderbolt Kexts S/L/E

Enabling Thunderbolt for any of the above vendors can be quite complex process and time consuming. If done correctly, you can have a working Thunderbolt with the required speed and performance.

Before you start

Note
:
  • Remove all the work done for the Thunderbolt implementation.

Installing Thunderbolt Card


Once you have your Thunderbolt Card, you're ready to install the Thunderbolt Card. To install the Thunderbolt Card, follow the steps outlined below.

1. Shut Down your System.
2. Open your system panel.
3. Install the Thunderbolt Card.
4. Connect the Power Cable.
5. Connect the USB Cable to the USB 2.0 header available on the motherboard.
6. Connect the Thunderbolt Cable to the THB_C header available on your motherboard.

Note:
  • On few motherboard, you may not have the TB Settings under BIOS. In such case, you can simply skip the BIOS settings for Thunderbolt.
  • On few Motherboard, you may not find the THB_C header. A workaround is to short or jumper the PIN 3 and PIN 5 as the picture attached below.
Recommend Physical Slot Location
Following are the recommend physical slot location for installing Thunderbolt Card.

Chipset SeriesRecommended SlotNotes
H55
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
P55
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
H57
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Q57
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
H61
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
B65
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Q65
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
P67
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
H67
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Q67
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Z68
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
B75
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Q75
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Z75
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
H77
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Q77
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Z77
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
H81
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
B85
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Q85
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Q87
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
H87
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Z87
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Z97
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
H97
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
X58
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
X79
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
X99
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
X299
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
  • PCH PCIe x8_2 slot only
  • If PCH PCIe x4 slot is not available, use PCH PCIe x8_2 slot.
C422
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
C621
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
C622
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
C624
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
C625
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
C626
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
C627
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
C628
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
H110
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
B150
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Q150
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
H170
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Q170
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Z170
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
B250
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Q250
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
H270
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Q270
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Z270
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Z370
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
H310
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
B360
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
B365
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
H370
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Q370
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Z390
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
H410
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
B460
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
H470
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Q470
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Z490
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
W480
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
H510
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
B560
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
H570
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
Z590
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
X570
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
B550
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only
TRX40
  • PCH PCIe x4 slot only

Note:
Installing the Thunderbolt in any other PCIe slot than PCIe x4, will require a flashed card with custom firmware for macOS.


BIOS Settings for Thunderbolt



With Thunderbolt, the BIOS settings are really important. Changing the BIOS settings to a bad one, the Thunderbolt card might stop working. The adjustment of Thunderbolt settings in the BIOS will help the card to utilise the Card and setup a connection between hardware and the macOS.

To access your UEFI, press and hold Delete key on your Keyboard. The key maybe different in your case. Refer to your Motherboard Guide/Manual.

The BIOS settings has been already explained in the main BIOS/UEFI thread. For more information on BIOS/UEFI settings, refer to the guide linked below. This thread only includes settings for Thunderbolt.


Built-in and AIC Thunderbolt

GIGABYTE


SettingsValueNotes
TBT Root port SelectorAuto DetectDefines Thunderbolt port
Thunderbolt Boot SupportEnabledDefines Thunderbolt Boot support.
Security LevelSL0-No SecurityDefines Thunderbolt Security Level
Extra Bus ReservedDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Reserved MemoryDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Reserved PMemoryDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Reserved I/ODefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS

MSI

SettingsValueNotes
Discrete Thunderbolt(TM) SupportEnabledDefines Thunderbolt Support
Wake from Thunderbolt(TM) DevicesEnabledAllows to wake from Thunderbolt Devices
Current Security LevelNo SecurityDefines Thunderbolt Security Level
Native OS Security for TBTEnabled
Thunderbolt USB SupportEnabledEnables Thunderbolt USB Support
Thunderbolt Boot SupportEnabled
Titan Ridge Workaround for OSUPEnabled
Tbt Dynamic AC/DC L1Enabled
GPIO Force PwrEnabledForces Power to Thunderbolt
Wait time in ms after applying Force PwrDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
GPIO filterEnabled
DTBT Controller 0Enabled
TBT Host RouterTwo port
Extra Bus ReservedDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Reserved MemoryDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Memory AlignmentDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Reserved PMemoryDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
PMemory AlignmentDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Reserved I/ODefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Windows 10 Thunderbolt supportEnable + RTD3Defines Thunderbolt support for Windows 10


Laptops

ASUS/Clevo


SettingsValueNotes
Intel Thunderbolt TechnologyEnabledDefines Thunderbolt Function
Security Level
  • Unique ID
  • Normal Mode w/o NHI
Defines Thunderbolt Security Level

Unique ID
  • Found on newer Laptops.

Normal Mode w/o NHI
  • Found on some old Laptops such as Haswell. Use this option instead of Debug Mode
Thunderbolt Boot SupportEnabledDefines Thunderbolt Boot support.
Security LevelSL0-No SecurityDefines Thunderbolt Security Level
Extra Bus ReservedDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Reserved MemoryDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Reserved PMemoryDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Reserved I/ODefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS

SettingsValueNotes
Intel Thunderbolt TechnologyEnabled
Discrete Thunderbolt(TM) SupportEnabled
TBT Vt-d Base SecurityDisabled
Thunderbolt Boot SupportDisabled
Wake from Thunderbolt(TM) DevicesEnabled
Security Level
  • No Security
  • SL0-No Security
  • Legacy Mode
  • Unique ID
  • One time saved Key
  • DP++ only
  • Normal Mode w/o NHI
  • Debug Mode
  • Defines Security Level
No Security
  • For most of the motherboard and Laptops, this option is preferred.
SL0-No Security
  • For some motherboards, you may not have option of "No Security" in such case, use this option which is similar to "No Security".
Legacy Mode

Unique ID
  • This option is only applicable to Laptops.
One time saved Key

DP++ only

Normal Mode w/o NHI
  • Found on some old Laptops such as Haswell. Use this option instead of Debug Mode.
Debug Mode
  • Found on some old Laptops such as Haswell. Use "Normal Mode w/o NHI" option instead of Debug Mode.
Thunderbolt Usb SupportDisabled
GPIO Force PwrEnabled
DTBT Controller 0Enabled
TBT Host RouterDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Extra Bus ReservedDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Reserved MemoryDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Memory AlignmentDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Reserved PMemoryDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
PMemory AlignmentDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Reserved I/ODefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
TBT Root port Selector
  • Auto Detect
  • Thunderbolt USB
Auto Detect
  • For some High End Builds, you may need to select the port. It's recommended to set it to Auto Detect.
Thunderbolt USB
  • For some High End Builds, you may need to select the port. If Thunderbolt USB option is available, it's advised to set this option only.
Thunderbolt(TM) PCI Cache-line sizeDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Wait time in ms after applying Force PwrDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Skip PCI OptionRomEnabled
Reserve memory per phy slotDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Reserve P memory per phy slotDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Reserve IO per phy slotDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
Delay before SX ExitDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
GPIO FilterEnabled
Enable CLK REQDisabled
Enable ASPMDisabled
Enable LTRDisabled
Alpine Ridge XHCi WAEnabled
AR XHCI Host Pre-WakeEnabled
AR XHCI Host Active LTRDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
AR XHCI Host High LTRDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
AR XHCI Host Medium LTRDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS
AR XHCI Host Low LTRDefaultThe default value after you reset the BIOS


Note :
  • If your Motherboard or the Laptop doesn't have the options mentioned above, you can simply skip those settings.
Connecting Thunderbolt Device


Now the Thunderbolt is ready to use. Here's how to connect your TB Device.

1. Turn on your TB Device.
2. Connect it to your PC.
3. Turn on your PC.

And you can enjoy using your Thunderbolt Device.
 
Last edited:

Nitri

New member
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
Motherboard
ASrock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3
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Graphics
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Greetings and thanks for allowing me to be in this group.
I am new and have very little experience with installing macOS on a non-original computer.
After many, countless attempts, I have finally managed to install Catalina 10.15.4 with OpenCore.

I need to work WIFI, Bluetooth and Thunderbolt 3.
For WIFI and Bluetooth I have already found out that at the moment it is not possible for my hardware.

I thought the same for Thunderbolt, which is very important to me. I need to connect my sound card to this one.

Until I found this page. Now I have new hope of getting it.

From what I can read in your post this seems to be very easy, but I don't have much knowledge and I'm not sure about this.

First of all, you say that a Compatible Thunderbolt Chipset is necessary. My motherboard seems to have a Thunderbolt (TM) Controller -15E8 as indicated by Windows 10 Device Manager.

Second, you refer to Vanilla Thunderbolt kexts in / S / L / E. I don't know where I can get this kext and what should I do with it?

And finally, not all of the BIOS settings that it lists, are available on my motherboard.

I'm a little confused. Could you shed a little light on my confusion to help me resolve this?

I would greatly appreciate your help.
 

EliteMacx86

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 22, 2018
Motherboard
Supermicro X11SPA-T
CPU
Intel Xeon W-3275 28 Core
Graphics
2xAMD RX 580 8GB
OS X/macOS
11.0.x
Bootloader
  1. OpenCore
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
  2. iOS
Greetings and thanks for allowing me to be in this group.
I am new and have very little experience with installing macOS on a non-original computer.
After many, countless attempts, I have finally managed to install Catalina 10.15.4 with OpenCore.

I need to work WIFI, Bluetooth and Thunderbolt 3.
For WIFI and Bluetooth I have already found out that at the moment it is not possible for my hardware.

I thought the same for Thunderbolt, which is very important to me. I need to connect my sound card to this one.

Until I found this page. Now I have new hope of getting it.

From what I can read in your post this seems to be very easy, but I don't have much knowledge and I'm not sure about this.

First of all, you say that a Compatible Thunderbolt Chipset is necessary. My motherboard seems to have a Thunderbolt (TM) Controller -15E8 as indicated by Windows 10 Device Manager.

Second, you refer to Vanilla Thunderbolt kexts in / S / L / E. I don't know where I can get this kext and what should I do with it?

And finally, not all of the BIOS settings that it lists, are available on my motherboard.

I'm a little confused. Could you shed a little light on my confusion to help me resolve this?

I would greatly appreciate your help.
As per your profile, looks like you're having an AMD Build. As per the rules, we do NOT support AMD yet.
What ThunderBolt Card you're using?
 

Nitri

New member
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
Motherboard
ASrock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3
CPU
Ryzen 7 3800X
Graphics
RX560
OS X/macOS
11.0.x
Bootloader
  1. OpenCore
Mac
  1. iMac Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. Other
As per your profile, looks like you're having an AMD Build. As per the rules, we do NOT support AMD yet.
What ThunderBolt Card you're using?
Original from Motherboard. Windows 10 Device Manager prompts "Thunderbolt (TM) Controller - 15E8"
 

EliteMacx86

Administrator
Staff member
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Motherboard
Supermicro X11SPA-T
CPU
Intel Xeon W-3275 28 Core
Graphics
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  1. OpenCore
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
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  2. iOS
Original from Motherboard. Windows 10 Device Manager prompts "Thunderbolt (TM) Controller - 15E8"
Can you provide a screenshot from DPCI Manager or Device Manager>Device ID.
 

Nitri

New member
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Motherboard
ASrock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3
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Ryzen 7 3800X
Graphics
RX560
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11.0.x
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  1. OpenCore
Mac
  1. iMac Pro
Mobile Phone
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I'm not quite sure what you're asking me. Could it be this window?
 

Attachments

  • Thunderbolt 3 Device Id .png
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EliteMacx86

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  1. MacBook Pro
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I'm not quite sure what you're asking me. Could it be this window?
15e8 is JHL7540 Thunderbolt 3 NHI [Titan Ridge 2C 2018]
Try the guide and report if it works.
 

Nitri

New member
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Motherboard
ASrock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3
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Ok I will try !!! But I need information about this. Especially for "Vanilla Thunderbolt..."

Requirements
  • Compatible Thunderbolt Chipset
  • Vanilla Thunderbolt kexts in /S/L/E

Where can I download this? and what do i have to do with that kext? How do I include it in my system?

I have only managed, after much effort, to run a boot Pendrive !!!

My knowledge is very limited !!!

I deeply appreciate the help you are giving me !!!
Many thanks!!!
 

EliteMacx86

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
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Motherboard
Supermicro X11SPA-T
CPU
Intel Xeon W-3275 28 Core
Graphics
2xAMD RX 580 8GB
OS X/macOS
11.0.x
Bootloader
  1. OpenCore
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
  2. iOS
Ok I will try !!! But I need information about this. Especially for "Vanilla Thunderbolt..."



Where can I download this? and what do i have to do with that kext? How do I include it in my system?

I have only managed, after much effort, to run a boot Pendrive !!!

My knowledge is very limited !!!

I deeply appreciate the help you are giving me !!!
Many thanks!!!
Vanilla kexts in S/L/E means the original Apple TB kexts.
 

Nitri

New member
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
Motherboard
ASrock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3
CPU
Ryzen 7 3800X
Graphics
RX560
OS X/macOS
11.0.x
Bootloader
  1. OpenCore
Mac
  1. iMac Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. Other
Vanilla kexts in S/L/E means the original Apple TB kexts.

Ok, but I do a search in Spotlight and nothing similar appears on my computer. Also I would not know what to do with that or those kexts.

I include a screenshot with the information from the system.
 

Attachments

  • Captura de pantalla 2020-04-24 a las 14.35.32.png
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