AKiTiO Thunderbolt 3 Products

On October 27, Apple announced a new line of MacBook Pro laptops, all featuring the latest Thunderbolt™ 3 interface. In this article, we would like to answer the question everybody is asking.

Are the current Thunderbolt 3 products from Akitio compatible with the new MacBook Pro (late 2016)?

Preliminary testing of our Thunderbolt™ 3 products with the new 2016 13” MacBook Pro are as follows:

AKiTiO Thunder3 Duo Pro AKiTiO Thunder3 PCIe Box AKiTiO Thunder3 Quad
AKiTiO Thunder3 Duo Pro AKiTiO Thunder3 PCIe Box AKiTiO Thunder3 Quad
These devices are not compatible with macOS. An “Unsupported” message occurs. We will make the necessary changes and release new devices that are compatible with both Windows and macOS but the current devices cannot be "upgraded" and are therefore compatible with Windows only.
 
AKiTiO T3T AKiTiO Thunderbolt 3 Cable Neutrino U3.1
AKiTiO T3T 50cm Thunderbolt 3 Cable Neutrino U3.1
These devices seem to work properly. No issues were found.
 
AKiTiO Node AKiTiO Thunder3 PCIe SSD  
AKiTiO Node AKiTiO Thunder3 PCIe SSD  
These devices are not compatible with macOS. External graphics cards (eGPUs) and external NVMe SSDs are compatible with PCs running Windows 10 only.

How about older Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 products with the Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter?

Yes, existing Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 devices from Akitio will work fine on the new MacBook Pro with the bidirectional adapter from Apple or with our own T3T adapter. For more details about the compatibility of the adapter from Apple, please refer to https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207266.

How about an older Mac in combination with the Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter?

The bidirectional adapter from Apple can connect Thunderbolt 3 devices to a Mac with a Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 port but it requires macOS Sierra. For more details about the compatibility of the adapter from Apple, please refer to https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207266.

In our tests, we found that with Mac OS 10.10 the adapter does not work at all but with Mac OS 10.11 and macOS 10.12.1, the adapter appears to work. The devices mentioned above that are currently not compatible with the MacBook Pro 2016 (Thunder3 Duo Pro, Thunder3 PCIe Box, Thunder3 Quad) appear to work OK on a Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 computer. The Node and the PCIe SSD are still not compatible.

Update (12/15/2016): Starting with macOS 10.12.2, the devices mentioned above that are currently not compatible with the MacBook Pro 2016 (Thunder3 Duo Pro, Thunder3 PCIe Box, Thunder3 Quad) are also NOT compatible with Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 computers.

How about Boot Camp?

Boot Camp is not part of the Thunderbolt™ compatibility testing and certification process. Even if the product has been certified for Windows, this does NOT include systems that are running Windows on a Mac with the help of Boot Camp. For this reason, Akitio does not support Boot Camp. If you still want to use Boot Camp, in our experience, the external storage drives are recognized by the system as long as you connect them before starting up the system. Hot plug is not supported. External GPUs like the AKiTiO Node are not supported at all.

Are you really sure that the Node is not compatible with a Mac computer?

Yes, we can only confirm that the Node is compatible with the Thunderbolt 3 Intel NUC and the Razer laptops. Several other PCs using Windows 10 appear to be compatible upon initial testing but the Node is NOT compatible with the Mac.This also applies to a Mac running Boot Camp and to older Thunderbolt 2 computers. Having said all that, we are aware how dedicated the eGPU community is and who knows, as this statement is published, someone might already have found a way to make it work anyway.

How long do I have to wait for these new Thunderbolt 3 products that are compatible with both PCs and a Macs?

We are currently working to make all of our Thunderbolt 3 products except the Node and the Thunder3 PCIe SSD compatible with Windows and macOS. As this includes a hardware change and the new products have to be re-tested and re-certified to make sure everything is working as expected, it's likely going to take some time. As a rough estimate, we expect the first products to be available at the beginning of the next year (2017).

On January 6, 2017, Akitio announced the AKiTiO Thunder3 Quad Mini, the first Thunderbolt 3 storage product in the Akitio line that is compatible with both macOS and Windows.

If I cannot use the Node on my Mac, how can I then use a full-length PCIe card?

We are working on another Thunderbolt 3 PCIe expansion chassis designed for full-length cards, other than external graphics cards, that will work with both Windows and macOS. Please give us a bit of time and we will have the right solution for you.

 

Last udpated: January 6, 2017

Thunderbolt and the Thunderbolt logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.
Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.