Q: Is it expensive to add a Thunderbolt port to a budget priced laptop?

A: Yes, because it means buying a new laptop.

The Thunderbolt protocol is an extension of the PCI-e bus and therefore cannot be converted from USB or any other common interface.

Thunderbolt relies on having a Thunderbolt hardware controller chip, typically built into the motherboard, plus CPU PCI-e lanes dedicated to it, and BIOS support.

For these reasons, it is a non-starter to add Thunderbolt to an existing machine (laptop or desktop) that does not support it.

You can’t go from this –

to this –

in real life. Only in Photoshop

Q&A is a compilation of questions we have answered on the Web in a variety of venues

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