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View Full Version : Is Thunderbolt worth it?




HawkBYU
Apr 25, 2011, 10:31 AM
I don't know too much about Thunderbolt, but is it worth getting it on a new MBA? I am getting an 11" MBA in June and am wondering if I should just get the current model at a discounted rate when the new one comes out. Is Thunderbolt worth it, or is is going to just die like Firewire did? I also don't really like the idea of it replacing one of the USB ports.



simsaladimbamba
Apr 25, 2011, 10:35 AM
Thunderbolt has just arrived and is starting to make some friends, but we don't know yet, if it will stay.
Btw, the current MBA already has a Thunderbolt-like port, it is just called "Mini DisplayPort", therefore no USB port will be taken away, otherwise the MBPs would only have one USB port, except for the 17" MBP with its three ports.

Penn Jennings
Apr 25, 2011, 11:30 AM
I don't know too much about Thunderbolt, but is it worth getting it on a new MBA? I am getting an 11" MBA in June and am wondering if I should just get the current model at a discounted rate when the new one comes out. Is Thunderbolt worth it, or is is going to just die like Firewire did? I also don't really like the idea of it replacing one of the USB ports.

My opinion/guess is that in a year or 2, it will be great. I was very disappointed that Apple released Thunderbolt with no devices to showcase the technology. However, after thinking about it I realized that it will be years before Thunderbolt device makers show a profit. THAT is Thunderbolts biggest draw back. It doesn't make sense to for anyone to rush to develop and produce products that will lose money.

I don't think that it makes sense to purchase a system just for Thunderbolt this year. By next year I would think that Thunderbolt devices and drive enclosures should be available for for "only" a 50 to 100% premium over USB devices.

The one exception that could occur sooner would be Apple releasing Thunderbolt monitors. It would be nice if you could connect 2 monitors via thunderbolt, I would hope to see that in the next few months.

Blues003
Apr 25, 2011, 12:17 PM
Theoretically, Thunderbolt is great. It is also made by Intel, the world's largest CPU manufacturer. I personally think it's a matter of time until Thunderbolt gets significantly widespread, perhaps even trumping over USB 3.0, a worse but more-widespread technology.

If anyone can make Thunderbolt a reality, it's Intel.

Panch0
Apr 25, 2011, 12:34 PM
..., or is is going to just die like Firewire did?

Firewire's been around since 1996. It's had a long rich life, and is still chugging along. Just because it has never been included on the MBA doesn't mean it's dead.

I sort of expect to see a Thunderbolt "hub" that allows connection of FW, USB (2 & 3), eSATA and 1GB Ethernet. It would be great if that function were served by an updated Cinema Display.

I don't have an Air yet, but I have my eye on it for my next Laptop. Although I think that TB would be a great update, when I think about how I would want to use the MBA, I think more of network/cloud storage than direct attach. I certainly see connecting to an external monitor, but I'm not so sure that I care about having gobs of fast attached storage hanging off of it.

BigBeast
Apr 26, 2011, 05:58 AM
Thunderbolt is the best interconnect period. Devices yet to hit market showcase 900MB/s transfers! Compare that to USB 2.0's 30 MB/s. Notice how USB 3 has yet to really make ANY dent in PC's. Trust me- with Intel, and true speeding equalling theoretical speed BEFORE ANY PRODUCTS DEBUT, Thunderbolt will roll out.