Amidst the long absence of Thunderbolt equipped Windows PCs, Mac users have been proudly enjoying exclusive access to the entire range of Universal Audio Apollo interfaces from the compact Apollo Twin, to the rack-mount and powerful Apollo 16 for some time now.
The recent addition of USB 3.0 based Apollo Twins (and UAD Satellites) means Windows users can now taste the audio quality and liberating DSP prowess that the Apollo’s have on offer. UA’s larger pro studio interfaces remained a Mac Only affair, however this all changed following a recent announcement and accompanying software download bringing Windows compatibility to the entire line of UA Thunderbolt devices.
You’d be forgiven for wondering where all the Thunderbolt equipped Windows PCs are hiding, as Thunderbolt technology is often wrapped up in the new USB Type C standard, currently taking the mobile world by storm. While this is a physically different connector to the type found on Thunderbolt Apollo interfaces and on most Apple computers, all that is required is the correct cable/adaptor for this connection to operate optimally.
Pictured here is a Windows laptop sporting two side mounted USB ports. 1 x USB 3 with it’s recognisable blue interior, and the smaller rounded USB Type C. While both labeled USB, these ports are technically very different from one another, thus USB 3 Apollo interfaces will only work with a USB 3 port, and Thunderbolt Apollo’s will only work with Thunderbolt or USB Type C ports.
Before taking the satisfying plunge and picking up a Thunderbolt Apollo interface, make sure your computer has the requisite USB Type C or Thunderbolt port, and don’t forget to buy the necessary cable. For more information on Thunderbolt PC compatibility and what is currently possible on the Windows side, refer to the following article from Universal Audio.