Configuring Windows for Thunderbolt

When configuring Windows for Thunderbolt, some aspects of the system may require close attention. This article shows the necessary steps to configure your Thunderbolt Windows PC for use with UAD Thunderbolt products.

Note: Before proceeding, please ensure your Windows computer confidently meets the system requirements for your UA device. The steps in this article are also recommended to be performed in conjunction with the Windows optimization guide for UA devices.

For Windows 11 users, please view the video below as well:

Install System Updates

Ensure Windows is fully up to date: Get the latest Windows update

Visit the computer or motherboard manufacturer’s website to get critical system updates. This may include:

  • BIOS version
  • Chipset drivers
  • Thunderbolt drivers
  • Firmware version

To find the correct updates on the web, first identify the system manufacturer and model. This info can be found by searching and opening System Information using the Start menu.

 

 The System Summary section of the report will show manufacturer, model, and product information.

Updates can typically be found in the Drivers, Downloads, or Support section of the manufacturer’s product webpage. Some manufacturer websites will detect your hardware to automatically identify make and model.

Optimize Settings in the BIOS/UEFI

Visit the computer’s BIOS to ensure critical system settings are properly configured for Thunderbolt. For info on accessing, updating, and configuring the BIOS, refer to the manufacturer’s product documentation. Contacting the system manufacturer is also highly advised for additional qualified help with the BIOS.

Action may be required to enable Thunderbolt in the BIOS. This may include settings such as:

  • Thunderbolt Support
  • Thunderbolt Controller
  • Thunderbolt Adapter

Connectivity and performance may improve if settings related to reduced power states are disabled. This may include:

  • ASPM (Active State Power Management)
  • PCIe Native Power Management

Some systems may benefit from significantly improved audio playback when CPU throttling settings are disabled in BIOS. This may include:

  • Intel TurboBoost
  • Intel SpeedStep
  • CPU C-States

Connection and system stability with Thunderbolt devices may improve if settings related to PCIe and Thunderbolt security are disabled or set to lowest level. Disabling these settings is not advised for computers that may be vulnerable. For example, a public work computer that has sensitive information might want to leave these settings enabled. These BIOS settings may include:

  • Kernel DMA Protection
  • Thunderbolt Security

The settings listed above may have slightly different names across different manufacturers, or may not be available. Please check your system's documentation or contact your system manufacturer’s support department for more info.

Check Device Permissions in Thunderbolt Control Center

For some Thunderbolt systems, connected devices may be approved automatically. Action may otherwise be required to grant permission for connected devices.

Search and open Thunderbolt Control Center using the Start menu.

 

Approve all Universal Audio devices by selecting Always connect.

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