Precision Fixed Workstations

Last reply by 10-23-2022 Unsolved
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Precision 3660 Thunderbolt 4

I recently purchased 2 Precision 3660 workstations, which according to the spec sheet (Page 7 of https://www.delltechnologies.com/asset/en-us/products/workstations/technical-support/precision-3660-... ) is compatible with a thunderbolt 4 add-in card.

I bought a Asus thunderbolt 4 card, only to learn it was proprietary to Asus motherboards.

Does anyone know if this card will work for the 3660?  https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/thunderbolt-4-pcie-card-full-height-customer-kit-for-tower/apd/540-b...

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Is there any Thunderbolt 4 card available for Precision 3660 at all? Does it require cabling or BIOS modification?

665

The ones I got have a thunderbolt header on the motherboard. So a PCIe add-in card would require at least a cable to connect to that header.

The one I picked up that wasn't compatible (because of a proprietary header connector) also required a 6-pin power connection off the PSU.
637

I tried to buy a Dell Thunderbolt 4 card from Dell but was told it was not available. They offered Thunderbolt 3 but I doubt that it was tested for compatibility. Previous generations of the 3600 series had a Thunderbolt option entry in the BIOS and a Thunderbolt driver but 3660 does not have that. It appears that Dell overpromised and underdelivered in this case.

577

The motherboard does have a 10-pin thunderbolt header (photo below).

Dell doesn't offer any manuals or documentation on ANY of their thunderbolt add-in cards online and support cannot seem to verify if the cards they carry will work.

TBT pic.jpg

 

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Still no update from Dell support - despite sending a DM to their support team.

Page 67 of the service manual (https://dl.dell.com/content/manual59803069-precision-3660-tower-service-manual.pdf?language=en-us&ps...) shows a diagram of the motherboard... and then gives no key to reference the numbered components on the board on the page prior, after, or the same page.

Item #22 in the below screenshot is labeled TBT on the board itself:

JWVHACLE_0-1661269826085.png

 

474

Life on the bleeding edge...

Sorry, I don't have any add'l info related, but share your concern.

I did find This webpage from www.mattmillman.com  to be helpful in understanding the complexity in general of adding thunderbolt when it's not part of the system you take out-of-the-box.

Thank you for posting & I will be watching for updates/solutions. 

466

Also - I don't think any Thunderbolt 3 or 4 will work until/if Dell updates BIOS to provide support.

See https://www.dell.com/community/Precision-Fixed-Workstations/Thunderbolt-3-PCIe-card-for-Precision-36...

 

Unless it's hidden somewhere, I don't see support in the latest BIOS release for 3660 for any type of Thunderbolt. 

The 3660 BIOS is more than BIOS, kind of integrated miniOS/GUI shell for all things pre-boot. Nearly impossible to use without a mouse (and my everyday mouse, a wired USB Kensington Pro-fit full -size is impossible to use with the BIOS GUI - tiny movement of mouse moves pointer across the screen - I have to use a temporary mouse ....)

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Also a very strange and misleading marketing information from Dell Corp.: They mention a thunderbolt card to order with the Precision 3460 configuration but will probably send a D-SUB 9 pin card (link)

Precsision 3460ff:

toclin_2-1664128176397.png

Precision 3660:

toclin_1-1664128074798.png

 

 

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Two more updates:

1) Compatible TB4 controller driver for Precision 3660 Intel Thunderbolt Controller Application | Driver Details | Dell US

2) A card to ship in Dec. 2022 Thunderbolt 4 PCIe card - Full Height Customer Kit for Tower | Dell USA that does not specifically list Precision 3660 as compatible

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