The 10-gigabit Thunderbolt port, created by Intel, which has made its rounds with the Mac desktops, has finally made its way to the Intel-based motherboards. Anandtech got a chance to check it out on one motherboard in particular – The Z77A-GD80 by MSI. When comparing Windows Thunderbolt versus Macbook Thunderbolt, they initially made the point that Thunderbolt devices could not be hot swappable (i.e. Plug-and-Play). Instead, the desktop (or laptop) would have to undergo a reboot for the device to be recognized:
As we found in our initial review of Thunderbolt on the MacBook Pro, Windows does not allow for the hot plugging of Thunderbolt devices. You can remove a Thunderbolt device once in Windows, but you cannot add a new one. Anything you want access to in Windows has to be plugged in at boot.
However, since the post, Anandtech received word from Intel of what to expect when updated drivers for Thunderbolt are released:
Intel has informed us that we will see updated drivers for Windows certified Thunderbolt devices that will enable hot plugging under Windows. Intel further informed us that MSI’s board has not yet made it through the certification process and a lot of these teething issues will hopefully be addressed by then.
At least, this reassures those who’ve been curious about buying Thunderbolt-based devices for Windows to be hot-swappable in the future.