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HP released this ergonomic laptop (model number 15-au123cl) in October 2016. It features Windows 10 and a touch screen.

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If I wanted to install a thunderbolt port, how would I do so?

I want to remove a USB port and instead install a thunderbolt port with a Thunderbolt chip from HP as well. I wanted to do this from the I/O, and remove the USB 2.0 slot.

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That model laptop already has two USB 3.1 ports according to HP’s web site, which support Thunderbolt 2 speeds via a dongle, as long as the data is only moving one direction.

As far as replacing the USB 2.0 port directly on the system board with a different port, that’s pretty much impossible because the connector from the board to the I/O port is pretty different between USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 2, and Thunderbolt 2 and 3 also need a controller chip in order to function properly. Also, Thunderbolt runs through PCI lanes and the I/O board is probably not assigned any at all, because USB handles data differently.

Thunderbolt in general is kind of a mess, and unfortunately while it’s useful and fast there really isn’t a way to add it to a laptop that doesn’t already have it without replacing the system board and hoping everything still fits.

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But what if I want to change usb-c for thunderbolt 3?


You'd need a way to assign PCI lanes to the Thunderbolt controller, which would unfortunately pretty much mean a full motherboard/BIOS redesign. Just not really something you can do, unfortunately, even though the connector is the same. It's that dang controller chip Thunderbolt needs.


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