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Thunderbolt
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Eden Aurora
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Feb 24, 2011, 02:59 PM
 
If i was to purchase the new MacBookPro with the Thunderbolt jack, and connect to an external hard drive via firewire 800. Isn't the transfer speed limited to the 800mb ?

The Thunderbolt speed is nice, but now we have to wait for all the hardware developers to implement Thunderbolt in their devices?
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Big Mac
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Feb 24, 2011, 03:11 PM
 
Yeah, if you connect using one of the older interfaces it won't magically be any faster.

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Eden Aurora  (op)
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Feb 24, 2011, 03:22 PM
 
Ok. Are there any external devices that have this Thunderbolt built into it already?
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Spheric Harlot
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Feb 24, 2011, 04:14 PM
 
Intel just announced it today. Part of their press conference was that Apple is first to the market with it.

Also, "Promise and LaCie will introduced devices in the "near future" as well as a statement from Western Digital for support. Other Media Connectivity & Creation partners: AJa, Apogee, Avid, Blackmagic, and Universal Audio."
     
turtle777
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Feb 24, 2011, 04:29 PM
 
Yes, but expect all vendors only provide their top-of-the-line products to offer TB.

Which means, it's gonna be expensive in the beginning.

-t
     
Spheric Harlot
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Feb 24, 2011, 04:38 PM
 
That's what Intel has said, yes.
     
Voch
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Feb 24, 2011, 06:47 PM
 
I'm hoping for the obvious: Thunderbolt on the MacBook Air or a future Air-like MacBook Pro. I love everything about the Air except the lack of Gigabit ethernet (I'm not saying "it sucks" because of that...it's a specific feature I like having on my current MacBook), and Thunderbolt can seemingly adapt whatever extra feature a "pro" would want on a MBA.

Thunderbolt may be part of Jobs saying that the Air is the "future of MacBooks" in that it can be used to satisfy "pro" needs in a smaller notebook package thanks to its incredible connectivity.

Voch
     
Eriamjh
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Feb 26, 2011, 06:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eden Aurora View Post
Ok. Are there any external devices that have this Thunderbolt built into it already?
Just this.




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Eden Aurora  (op)
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Feb 26, 2011, 08:24 PM
 
Will there be Thunderbolt cards for my MacPro? Do we have slots it could adapt to on the motherboard?
It would be upsetting to think that a portable has something so much better than a MacPro.
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cgc
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Feb 26, 2011, 09:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eden Aurora View Post
Will there be Thunderbolt cards for my MacPro? Do we have slots it could adapt to on the motherboard?
It would be upsetting to think that a portable has something so much better than a MacPro.
No. Intel said in order to upgrade an old computer to ThunderBolt you'd need to replace the motherboard (e.g. buy a new Mac).

BTW, I'm surprised Intel and Apple couldn't come up with a better name than "ThunderBolt"...
     
Eriamjh
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Feb 26, 2011, 09:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
BTW, I'm surprised Intel and Apple couldn't come up with a better name than "ThunderBolt"...
LightningBolt?

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CharlesS
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Feb 26, 2011, 09:27 PM
 
You could get a Thunderbolt-to-eSATA adapter and use it with an eSATA enclosure. eSATA is significantly faster than FW800, and faster than the max speeds of all currently available hard drives (not SSDs, though).

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cgc
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Feb 27, 2011, 09:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
You could get a Thunderbolt-to-eSATA adapter and use it with an eSATA enclosure. eSATA is significantly faster than FW800, and faster than the max speeds of all currently available hard drives (not SSDs, though).
Unless you're using an SSD, eSata is only marginally faster than FW800 (e.g. 80MBps vs 70MBps).
     
CharlesS
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Feb 27, 2011, 09:58 PM
 
Not sure where you got those numbers, but eSATA's theoretical limit is 3 Gb/s, or 375 MB/s, and eSATA Rev. 3.0 is coming out soon, with speeds of 6 Gb/s, or 750 MB/s. FireWire's theoretical limit is 800 Mb/s, or 100 MB/s.

Sure, the real-world speeds will be lower than theoretical, but with a theoretical top speed anywhere from 4x to 7.5x that of FireWire's, eSATA is going to come out on top no matter what you do. At any rate, it will be far faster than the maximum speed of any spinning hard drive, so you're not going to see any performance disadvantages to going eSATA (and besides, eSATA enclosures are far cheaper than FW800 ones).

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P
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Feb 28, 2011, 07:55 AM
 
The main reason that eSATA is faster than FW800 in real world tests is the latency added by the FW800-SATA bridge. A Thunderbolt connection would need a Thunderbolt-SATA bridge instead. There are good reasons to believe that this bridge would add much less latency, but we don't know until we see one in action.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
CharlesS
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Feb 28, 2011, 12:54 PM
 
Thunderbolt is PCI-Express, so the latency should be similar to that added by a SATA PCIe card. Which is to say, not much.

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hayesk
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Feb 28, 2011, 07:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Yeah, if you connect using one of the older interfaces it won't magically be any faster.
If you connect two or more however…
     
Eden Aurora  (op)
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Mar 2, 2011, 08:59 AM
 
man, i feel screwed.
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Spheric Harlot
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Mar 2, 2011, 09:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eden Aurora View Post
man, i feel screwed.
Um…

Why?

     
Big Mac
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Mar 2, 2011, 09:19 AM
 
It sounds like Eden has a substantial investment in FIrewire peripherals and thought they would somehow increase in speed naturally with the advent of Thunderbolt.

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CharlesS
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Mar 2, 2011, 11:01 PM
 
Even with legacy peripherals you can see an improvement from Thunderbolt. For example, if you use adapters to connect your USB and FireWire devices, you can get more than one adapter and have multiple buses for a given port, thus cutting down on the competition between devices. Heck, since Thunderbolt is PCIe and there already exist PCIe cards with multiple USB or FireWire ports, we might get adapters with a few USB/FireWire buses just on the one device.

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l008com
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Jul 8, 2011, 09:18 PM
 
I have my hopes up high that one day, someone will make a thunderbolt bridgeboard that has all sorts of SATA connectors on it. 5-bay thunderbolt hard drive towers will be great for the more "professional" setups. But at home, where we like to hack things together, my current firewire/sata combo mangled up tower filled with bridge boards could be replaced by one bridge board with all 6 hard drives plugged directly into it. And I could replace my older mac mini server with a current one for this to plug into (well not current, current when new ones come out that have thunderbolt). That would be an awesome setup.
     
ChrisF
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Jul 9, 2011, 02:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by l008com View Post
I have my hopes up high that one day, someone will make a thunderbolt bridgeboard that has all sorts of SATA connectors on it...
You can always put PCIe ESATA cards into an expansion chassis such as the Echo Express from Sonnet. Most of the cards are x4 PCIe, so you shouldn't see any degradation in performance as compared to putting the card directly into a Mac Pro, for instance.
     
l008com
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Jul 9, 2011, 04:45 PM
 
That's an interesting idea. But it will probably be much more pricey going that route. One way to simplify the whole setup would be to just buy one of those 8-bay thunderbolt towers that Sonnet also makes. But that's probably not the most cost-effective way to go.
     
   
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