HP Spectre Tigerlake computer with Thunderbolt 3 Controller not Thunderbolt 4??
I just received an HP Spectre x360 Convertible 15t-eb100, 11th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-1165G7. The Thunderbolt Controller Center is showing Thunderbolt 3 (9A1b) Controller, Version Driver (1.41.987.0). Is it even possible to receive a Tigerlake computer with T3 and not T4? I am debating on requesting an RMA from HP and can not get any answers from them. I prefer to to keep the computer since I waited 6 weeks to get it. Any commentary would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
I do not know much about the supposed configuration of said Spectre. Still I have 3 ideas:
1.) Your Laptop might not feature TB4. HP home page calims TB4 still some magazines describe the Ports as TB4. Lenovo claimed that my c940 15" would feature charging through TB3 which is not the case...
2.) (and I guess, that`s the case) The Thunderbolt control centre might not recognize TB4 or read TB4 incorrectly. As you can see: itsage`s build (featuring a Spectre as well) is supposed to have TB4 as well andreads out TB3 in Controll centre (first picture after the headline: Installaiton steps) -> https://egpu.io/forums/builds/2020-15-hp-spectre-x360-11th4cg-rtx-2080-ti-32gbps-tb3-aorus-gaming-box-win10-2004-itsage/
3.) If it really is TB3 only - will you miss any of the TB4 features?! As far as I can see, they are somewhat specific and mostly seem linked to other features the device has to have in order to call get the TB4 certificate... -> https://liliputing.com/2020/11/differences-between-thunderbolt-4-usb-4-thunderbolt-3-and-usb-3.html
Long story short: Keep the thingy.
Thank you phila. I want to future proof this computer by having the right T4 controller shipped with it like an Intel JHL8540 T4 Controller or JHL8440. I want to connect only one of the two T4 ports to a hub that also has two 4k Thunderbolt monitors connected to it. I did not purchase the two 4k monitors yet and the RMA period has a short fuse so instead of taking a chance that this computer indeed does not have T4 ports back it goes. I am looking for "legit" T4 controllers to be used not a work around by HP using a T3 Controller to get T4 Spec functionality and I am not sure that is even the case.
9a1b is in the list of Tiger Lake Thunderbolt 4 devices.
Exactly, that's what I thought as well, the notebook shows TB3 hardware not TB4 under device manager. That's the problem. When I call support they acknowledge that the hardware is not Thunderbolt 4 but they are insisting I have Thunderbolt 4 "functionality". I then ask why was the compter shipping without Intel JHL8440 Thunderbolt 4 Controller and they state it is not needed. I returned the computer. In the future when there are driver TB4 driver updates I will not be able to perform them since IMO I have TB3 drivers, not TB4 regardless of what HP states. That's what the device manager was showing...
The discrete Thunderbolt controllers:
- JHL8440 (Goshen Ridge) is for Thunderbolt peripherals (have one upstream Thunderbolt port and three downstream Thunderbolt ports).
- JHL8540 (Maple Ridge) is for Thunderbolt hosts that don't already have integrated Thunderbolt controllers. It has two downstream Thunderbolt ports and two DisplayPort inputs.
CPUs with Integrated Thunderbolt (Tiger Lake, Ice Lake, or Apple Silicon) don't need a discrete Thunderbolt controller. They might use a JHL8040R or JHL8010R retimer but retimers don't appear in Device Manager.
Device ID 9a1b is an indication of Thunderbolt 4 as that is what is supported by Tiger Lake. The fact that the Device Manager or Thunderbolt software or whatever says Thunderbolt 3 doesn't matter. If the manufacturer says you have Thunderbolt 4, then that means you should have a Thunderbolt port that can drive two 4K 60Hz displays and it can drive a 8K display (but not both of those at the same time), and can do 40 Gbps Thunderbolt with something like 24 Gbps of PCIe tunnelling, and it can do USB4 (but I don't know of any USB4 devices that are not actually just Thunderbolt/USB devices). Basically, like @phila-delphia said, if the ports can do all that is expected of Thunderbolt 4, then they are Thunderbolt 4.
The review that @phila-delphia pointed to ( https://egpu.io/forums/builds/2020-15-hp-spectre-x360-11th4cg-rtx-2080-ti-32gbps-tb3-aorus-gaming-box-win10-2004-itsage/ ) shows that the "Thunderbolt 3" text is expected.
So to prove you have Thunderbolt 4, you need to test with two displays (they don't have to be 4K - we just need to verify that there are two separate DisplayPort connections to the Thunderbolt controller). If you want to connect the two displays to the same Thunderbolt port, then you need a Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort adapter, or a Thunderbolt 3 dock or device with a downstream Thunderbolt port and a DisplayPort or HDMI port. Connect one display to the downstream Thunderbolt port of the Thunderbolt device, and the other display to a DisplayPort or HDMI port of the same Thunderbolt device. Then you need to test for USB4 functionality - since there are no existing USB4 devices you'll have to check that the Thunderbolt controller has USB Down Adapters (these are internal to the controller). I'm not sure how to do that with integrated Thunderbolt controllers on Windows. Maybe Linux can get the info? Usually there's a Thunderbolt DROM, part of the Thunderbolt firmware that you can read from the Linux command line.
Then the DROM can be parsed:
Actually, looking at an M1 Mac, the DROM has places for USB Up Adapter and the NHI (host adapter) but there's no info in the DROM to distinguish between those two types of adapters. Therefore the info needs to be obtained elsewhere - the Thunderbolt controller registers. Linux now has a Thunderbolt debugfs at /sys/kernel/debug/thunderbolt (need to update the kernel to 5.11). It lists the ports of each Thunderbolt controller. Each port has registers. One of the registers contains the adapter type which is 3 bytes. The following gets the adapter type for each port:
I tried this on my Alpine Ridge based PC. I don't know if it works with Tiger Lake. The adapter types are listed in the USB4 spec (I think they match the my Alpine Ridge (host) and Titan Ridge (peripheral) values). A USB down adapter will have type 20 01 01.
@joevt, this really doesn't seem that complicated, but now the manufacturer has to deal with a return because intel's software wasn't updated to tell the user whether they have Thunderbolt 4 instead of Thunderbolt 3.
The corporate reason for it definitely being TB4 is that I don't see HP wasting money on an external controller in the design and paying for the metal itself when the CPU has a TB4 controller onboard already. Aside from all the obvious reasons, corporations take great pains to shed pennies off their designs.
another unnoffical way is to see if DMA is enabled under MSINFO, then look in your BIOS for a DMA option. If the DMA isn't there and DMA protection is enabled by default, then you must have a TB4 port (DMA protection is required for TB4)