Plugable Thunderbolt 3 Compatibility

Before purchasing a new Thunderbolt 3 adapter or docking station from Plugable you’ll want to make sure that your computer meets all of the requirements to work properly. Host computers equipped with Thunderbolt 3 have the ability to install various updates including NVM (Non-volatile memory) and PD (Power Delivery) firmware, UEFI BIOS, and various drivers to resolve potential issues and increase compatibility with new Thunderbolt 3 products as they are released. Many system manufacturers are shipping with devices with older firmware and may or may not have updated versions available for download. The latest Thunderbolt 3 firmware cannot be downloaded from Intel directly, as it first it has to be customized by the system manufacturer. Intel has a Thunderbolt updates page with some update information but as of this writing the list if fairly small.

Currently our TBT3-HDMI2X and TBT3-DP2X dual head graphics adapters require the host system to have a Thunderbolt 3 firmware update with NVM version 15 or higher in order to work properly. Please note that the latest UEFI BIOS update from your system manufacturer must be installed before updating the NVM firmware.

As of today we have several Thunderbolt 3 equipped systems in our test lab and here are the latest NVM versions available for each:

How do I check which version of Thunderbolt 3 software and NVM firmware I am running in Windows?

To determine what version of NVM firmware your system has, the first step is to ensure you have the latest Thunderbolt software version. For many systems that is version 15.3.39.250 and you should be able to download it (or newer) from your system manufacturer’s support website.

Once installed you can open the software by searching the start menu for Thunderbolt:

tbt3app

Once open you can find the program sitting in the system tray. You may need to click the caret (up arrow icon) to show all of the running programs then right click on the Thunderbolt icon it and select settings:

taskbar2

Now you should see the settings window. Click on details to find out all of the Thunderbolt software and controller information:

settings

If a Thunderbolt 3 device has been connected to the system the Thunderbolt software will show you information about the controller. Below you can see the details from our Dell XPS 13 9350 system:

dell

Unfortunately if a Thunderbolt device has not been connected to the system, the information about the NVM firmware may not be available within the utility:

tbt3software_blank

Intel is working on an updated version of the Thunderbolt software that should provide the firmware information without needing to connect a Thunderbolt device and should also check if there is newer firmware available automatically and link to it. We’ll be sure to update this page once it is available.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our support team or comment below, we’re more than happy to help!