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Apollo X Desktop Thunderbolt Connection Info

Connecting Apollo to the computer via Thunderbolt

  • A qualified Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt adapter is required to connect Apollo X to a Mac that has Thunderbolt 1 or Thunderbolt 2 ports. For details, see this article.
  • On Windows 10 systems:
    - The host computer must have an available Thunderbolt 3 or 4 port.
    - A qualified Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt adapter is required. For details, see this article.
  • Apollo cannot be bus powered via Thunderbolt. The included external power supply must be used.
  • See the Apollo X Rack Multi-Unit Cascading article for specific instructions on how to connect and use two or more Apollo units together.
  • Universal Audio Thunderbolt devices are tested with authentic Apple Thunderbolt Cables and Thunderbolt Optical Cables by Corning. Using off-brand cables may cause unpredictable results.

Connecting additional Thunderbolt peripherals

  • Thunderbolt peripheral devices may be serially connected (daisy-chained) to Apollo's second Thunderbolt port.
    Note: Apollo must be powered on for the computer to recognize the daisy-chained device.
  • Per the Thunderbolt specification, bus power is supplied to downstream (daisy-chained) peripheral devices.

    Note: Apollo must be powered on for the daisy-chained peripheral to receive Thunderbolt bus power.

  • Universal Audio Thunderbolt devices are officially certified as Thunderbolt compliant and are therefore compatible with other certified Thunderbolt devices when used in the same chain (this includes docks).
  • The Startech Thunderbolt Docking Station is tested in-house and is known to be compatible with UA Thunderbolt devices. This device has an HDMI display output which can be used for an external display to free the second Thunderbolt Option Card port for other devices.
  • All UA Thunderbolt devices must be connected to the same Thunderbolt port on the computer.

    Note: Apple MacBook Pro models (2016 and later) with four Thunderbolt 3 ports have two separate Thunderbolt buses — the two ports on the left side are one bus, and the two ports on the right side are a separate bus.
  • The Thunderbolt protocol supports a maximum of six Thunderbolt peripherals per Thunderbolt bus.
  • Six UA Thunderbolt devices in total can be connected to a Thunderbolt computer, from a single Thunderbolt port.

    Thunderbolt Port > Satellite(s) (Up to six) > Apollo Rackmount(s) (Up to four including desktop unit) > Apollo Desktop (One maximum)

Thunderbolt and USB-C

  • Please note that while USB-C uses the same connector as Thunderbolt 3 and 4, not all USB-C  cables and ports support Thunderbolt.  Verify that both the cable and port support Thunderbolt.  Thunderbolt ports have a "lightning bolt" icon.

Thunderbolt and Mini DisplayPort

  • For general information about Thunderbolt ports and displays, see Apple's Thunderbolt ports and displays FAQ.
  • Apollo cannot be used by connecting it to a Mini DisplayPort connector. Although Thunderbolt and Mini DisplayPort devices have the same physical connector, the underlying communication protocol used by these devices is different.
  • The type of device port can be determined by the icon next to the port. Thunderbolt ports have a "lightning bolt" icon, while Mini DisplayPort ports have a "display" icon. The difference between these ports and icons is shown in the illustration below.

Port Icons

Thunderbolt PCIe audio drivers

  • UAD Thunderbolt software uses Thunderbolt PCIe audio drivers for all audio I/O and UAD plug-in processing with all Apollo models. PCIe audio drivers provide high-bandwidth, low-latency Apollo performance with Thunderbolt-equipped Mac & Windows systems. 

All Apollo Thunderbolt connections are compatible with Thunderbolt 1 , Thunderbolt 2, Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 Mac Systems

  • Apollo X can be connected to Macs that have Thunderbolt 1, Thunderbolt 2, Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4 ports.
  • A qualified Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt adapter may be required. For details, see this article.