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  1. #1
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    GL502VM and Thunderbolt 3 confusion

    I decided to create this post because I wanted to buy a GL502VM but was faced with a similar problem that a lot of people are having, where half the internet claims that this laptop has Thunderbolt 3 while the other claims that it doesn't.

    Mine was bought in Poland and has a product number: GL502VM-FY053T.
    I can confirm that indeed it DOES have the Intel Alpine Ridge Thunderbolt 3 chip.
    The problem was that the shop claimed that it's only a USB-Type C, ASUS doesn't mention Thunderbolt 3 in their product description and the laptop itself doesn't have the thunderbolt logo next to the port. The only reassurance I got was from the polish ASUS support line where I was told that indeed the VM is the ONLY one out of all the GL502 that has the port.

    After coming home I checked the BIOS that indeed it's really there and there is also a Windows app that shows your connected Thunderbolt 3 devices (don't have one yet so couldn't test that out). From a device/driver standpoint, in the control panel, I think it's impossible to tell (I think) as everything is governed by the Intel USB drivers.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by andvoy View Post
    I decided to create this post because I wanted to buy a GL502VM but was faced with a similar problem that a lot of people are having, where half the internet claims that this laptop has Thunderbolt 3 while the other claims that it doesn't.

    Mine was bought in Poland and has a product number: GL502VM-FY053T.
    I can confirm that indeed it DOES have the Intel Alpine Ridge Thunderbolt 3 chip.
    The problem was that the shop claimed that it's only a USB-Type C, ASUS doesn't mention Thunderbolt 3 in their product description and the laptop itself doesn't have the thunderbolt logo next to the port. The only reassurance I got was from the polish ASUS support line where I was told that indeed the VM is the ONLY one out of all the GL502 that has the port.

    After coming home I checked the BIOS that indeed it's really there and there is also a Windows app that shows your connected Thunderbolt 3 devices (don't have one yet so couldn't test that out). From a device/driver standpoint, in the control panel, I think it's impossible to tell (I think) as everything is governed by the Intel USB drivers.
    Not sure friend, I bough the same laptop in Poland and indeed in BIOS there is a Thunderbolt config menu. However, when I send a message to ASUS support they responded "This device supports USB 3.1 Type-C. I have no information about Thunderbolt co-lay in this model. " which means either their tech support have no clue what the company produce or it is simply not their. I was also unable to find a Thunderbolt controller in the Device Manager (even in hidden devices), although you can find screenshots for other laptops with Thunderbolt that there is a device which is called smth like "Thunderbolt Controller ...." It's all a bit frustrating to me as well, logically, if Thunderbolt would be there, ASUS would market it strongy as this is quite a handy feature this days but there is not a word on the official website. I hope that Thunderbolt chip is there and it simply needs to be enabled by some BIOS updates and proper drivers, but we'll never know until someone actually test it

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by roko View Post
    Not sure friend, I bough the same laptop in Poland and indeed in BIOS there is a Thunderbolt config menu. However, when I send a message to ASUS support they responded "This device supports USB 3.1 Type-C. I have no information about Thunderbolt co-lay in this model. " which means either their tech support have no clue what the company produce or it is simply not their. I was also unable to find a Thunderbolt controller in the Device Manager (even in hidden devices), although you can find screenshots for other laptops with Thunderbolt that there is a device which is called smth like "Thunderbolt Controller ...." It's all a bit frustrating to me as well, logically, if Thunderbolt would be there, ASUS would market it strongy as this is quite a handy feature this days but there is not a word on the official website. I hope that Thunderbolt chip is there and it simply needs to be enabled by some BIOS updates and proper drivers, but we'll never know until someone actually test it
    That is so weird that we were told different things by ASUS Suppport .
    One thing that keeps my hopes up is that the laptop came with some bloatware and one of the apps was a Thunderbolt 3 App (see if you have it) that monitors connected devices. I checked and the app installs with the thunderbolt drivers so I am guessing it would not install if there was no Thunderbolt 3 chip.
    Also when it comes to the Thunderbolt 3 Controller in the device manager, I think it would show up there when it was still a Thunderbolt 3 controller which was not integrated into the Intel Chipset, so from third party companies.
    I did also hear about someone who tested the GL502VM with the Razer Core, so I remain optimistic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andvoy View Post
    That is so weird that we were told different things by ASUS Suppport .
    One thing that keeps my hopes up is that the laptop came with some bloatware and one of the apps was a Thunderbolt 3 App (see if you have it) that monitors connected devices. I checked and the app installs with the thunderbolt drivers so I am guessing it would not install if there was no Thunderbolt 3 chip.
    Also when it comes to the Thunderbolt 3 Controller in the device manager, I think it would show up there when it was still a Thunderbolt 3 controller which was not integrated into the Intel Chipset, so from third party companies.
    I did also hear about someone who tested the GL502VM with the Razer Core, so I remain optimistic.
    I do have Thunderbolt software installed and once launched it shows empty window (which probably make sense as there is no connection). Also on the ASUS Downloads site there is Thunderbolt software & drivers for download for GL502VM but it is missing for GL502VS, which give a hope that in VM it is there. In any case, I am not so worried for the time being. My plan was to buy one of the eGPU docks & desktop GPU after about 2-3 years from now to extend the lifespan for the laptop, however, if the cost of the eGPU devices will not go down dramatically it will not have much financial sense. I.E. if you add up $300 eGPU and $500 card of GTX1070 caliber, it is almost the same as buying a new laptop. Thus my new plan is to sell 502VM in ~3 years and adding up $700-800 buy smth new with GTX1260 by that time

  5. #5
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    The earliest versions of the GL502VM probably didn't have the TB3 chip. Some early reviews showed it could not be turned on because it was missing the alpine ridge.

    There was probably a motherboard revision that added TB3 later.

  6. #6
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    Dang.
    Can anyone check the controller for the USB 3.1 Gen 2?
    Alpine Ridge is actually Gen 2 + TB3 in one.*
    I'm hoping that used that chip instead of a Gen 2 only chip. *

  7. #7
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    All you can do is buy from sources like amazon and newegg and B&H photo, where they claim to have thunderbolt 3.

    You would be at no fault to return it if it didn't come with thunderbolt 3.

    The only usb-c controllers I know of are made by ASMedia and Texas instruments. Asus was probably using asmedia in the early builds.

  8. #8
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    Ah. Interesting. I just checked Newegg and it seems the descriptions don't state clearly that it has Thunderbolt. It's in the general description but not in the detailed description. Sounds like it's likely most models don't have it. Doesn't make sense for them to put it in the VM but not in the VS. The GL702VM clearly states that it does across all countries.*

  9. #9
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    newegg says in the main description
    1 x USB 3.1-Type C (Gen2) with Thunderbolt
    who knows why asus didn't put tb3 in the higher models. Asus makes confusing decisions all the time.

    But having TB3 is only half the equation. If Asus does not keep up with TB firmware updates, future tb3 accessories won't work, and the fancy thunderbolt port would just be window decoration, and as useless as a regular usb-c port.

    A good example is the Asus G752, where the thunderbolt firmware updates stopped at NVM 13, and hasn't been updated since January 2016.
    UX501VW and G501VW has not been updated since NVM 15.
    If someone wanted to plug in an eGPU later on, they might find that it doesn't work.


    TB firmware of other brands is already up to NVM 16 or higher.

    Typical of Asus, they just abandon the updates and make your computer obsolete that way.

    Shame on Asus for lack of updates.
    Last edited by link626; 12-07-2016 at 10:54 PM.

  10. #10
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    not thunderbolt full speed

    this laptop has a type c connection which is 10gbps, the actual thunderbolt 3 interface is 40gbps. Which was far from clear on the store sites. The issue is , external gfx will not work at this speed, making the whole thing pointless, I too chose this laptop for the option to upgraded to a external gpu in the future, I am pretty unhappy as the information was not clear At All!
    Now I am also having issues with the right click on trackpad no longer working, all in all i would love to return the laptop and get something that works as advertised, my last time buying from asus at this point really. on top of this asus told me i am not entitled to a refund from them.
    Last edited by mconan; 12-08-2016 at 11:35 PM.

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