UAD for old PC. Will USB3 -> USB-C -> Thunderbolt 2&3 work?

Has anyone succeeded in connecting a UAD-Thunderbolt 2 or 3 device to an old PC without direct Thunderbolt support on the Motherboard?

My PC supports USB3. Someone suggested that I could use a USB3 → USB-C adapter, and from there an USB-C to Thunderbolt 3 adapter (which should support TB 2 as well).

Would a UAD TB device work with such a solution?

What I want to do is using UAD-2 Thunderbolt devices with my old PC. PCIe seems risky since the motherboard doesn’t have a so called “TB-Header” and therefore I cannot be sure that even a UAD Thunderbolt 3 Option (PCIe) card would work. Has anyone tried?

What I do have is a Gigabyte GA-X79-UD2 (version 1.0), LGA 2011 motherboard with a i7 3930 processor & 32Gb RAM.

My aim is to drive one or more UAD-2 Satellite devices with Cubase 12 and 13.


Have you asked UAD ?

Yes. But I have not received any answer.

So I figured that actual users of this kind of thing could have experiences to share. We all need to get the music out of our boxes… somehow.


No, USB3 doesn’t support TB and the opnly way to add TB to mobos is with a board from the same manufacturer on compatible boards only (which yours isn’t)

As to the UAD PCIe card you mention…not sure what you’re describing. It doesn’t seem to exist??

This 100% won’t work. You can’t add Thunderbolt support to a motherboard that doesn’t at least have a Thunderbolt header.

This doesn’t exist. If someone is telling you it does, he is lying.

That doesn’t support any Thunderbolt at all.

Hm, I thought it was a PCIe card but when looking closer, it’s obviously not. Now I have no idea where such a card would fit, but not on a PC anyway. Dead end.


Of course not, that’s why I need to add support, somehow.

Some geek said he had installed a TB PCIe card on a motherboard without a TB-Header (by shorting some pins), but unfortunately he gave no details about how he did it.

“Not exist”? What does not exist? All of it exists, but whether it would work is another matter. “Not exist” isn’t a very meaningful answer.

That’s the common perception yes, but some techie seems to have got around the TB-header. What he (possibly) lost by skipping the header, I don’t know. Perhaps lower power supply, or less activation control, or whatever.

“100% won’t work” is perhaps not 100% true though :wink: (not that I would bother messing around with it without knowing more details, but anyway).

I’ll keep looking for solutions, but it seems that a dedicated PCIe-card perhaps is the preferred solution (if I could get around the TB-Header thing), but these cards also seem to be out of stock everywhere for some reason.


It doesn’t exist a USB to Thunderbolt adapter.
There are only Thunderbolt to USB adapters available.

This is for the UA Apollo interfaces.

But the motherboard needs to support it. And yours does not.

I’ll bet that the geek changing a couple of pins was on Mac?
Windows is a bit more involved (understatement)

Here you go…let us know when you got it working. :slight_smile:

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This is the kind of attitude I like. Actually looking for solutions. My slogan happens to be:

  • “There’s always a solution” – Me.

Thank you for the hint!


 "There's always a solution" -- Me. 


I stand corrected. I will say this. Even on supported motherboards UAD thunderbolt products are notoriously tricky to get working with the exception of the very latest ones. Without bios support to change settings you may end up in a frustrating place. Just look at the UAD forums at all the grumbling on various pc setups. I wish you luck

Yes, that seems to be the case. But now that I have researched a bit more, plus the help I got here, I’m convinced that I should forget about TB for my old machine.

It seems there’s a similar hassle also with the X570-E mobo I have on the newer machine. Sigh. I’ll stay with USB for now.

Thank you all for your contributions!


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That’s exactly what we said in the first posts.

UA has USB3 devices as well.

Why should I believe in strangers making statements without explaining/motivating, when there are other people making the opposite claims with explanations?

It is my problem to decide whether I want to take the effort to overcome difficulties or risk money on risky experiments. But in order to decide I need to know. And now I know more.

So what I learned in recent posts is NOT “exactly what we said in the first posts.”

// Rolf