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MacRumors
Jun 29, 2011, 12:44 PM
http://cdn.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/29/thunderbolt-supports-booting-from-external-disk/)


Ever since Apple and Intel introduced the Thunderbolt high-speed data connectivity standard back in late February, there has been speculation about whether the standard would support booting from external disks. At that initial release on revamped MacBook Pros, Andy Ihnatko reported (http://ihnatko.com/2011/02/25/new-macbooks-new-interface-new-os/) that booting was not supported, although Target Disk Mode (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1661) was supported. But a report from The Mac Observer (http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/new_imac_macbook_pro_support_thunderbolt_booting/) early last month indicated that booting from disk would be supported over Thunderbolt.

With Apple's Thunderbolt cable and the first third-party drive systems hitting the Apple Store yesterday (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/28/apple-thunderbolt-cable-and-promise-thunderbolt-raid-systems-hit-the-apple-store/), Apple posted a few support (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4614) articles (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4617) outlining some of the Thunderbolt functionality, but failing to disclose any booting capabilities and thus leaving potential customers still in the dark about compatibility.

http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/06/anandtech_promise_raid.jpg
AnandTech's 12 TB Promise RAID setup

It now appears, however, that we do have confirmation that booting over Thunderbolt is supported, as we received word yesterday from a reader who had received multiple confirmations from LaCie representatives that the feature will indeed be supported. Meanwhile, AnandTech has already received one of the new 12 TB RAID systems (http://www.anandtech.com/show/4473/apple-thunderbolt-cable-promise-pegasus-raid-system-available-now) from Promise and confirms (https://twitter.com/#!/anandshimpi/status/86048109284700160) that booting over Thunderbolt is supported.

Article Link: Thunderbolt Supports Booting From External Disk (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/29/thunderbolt-supports-booting-from-external-disk/)



soco
Jun 29, 2011, 12:45 PM
I'm sorry, but this alone is worth the "absurd" $50 cable.

MoreAwesomeDanU
Jun 29, 2011, 12:50 PM
sweet! now i won't have to take my imac apart to get a ssd drive in there for the os and all the apps

dethmaShine
Jun 29, 2011, 12:50 PM
Awww!!!! I need that sweet baby.

2 Replies
Jun 29, 2011, 12:51 PM
There's really no reason why it shouldn't.
If Apple expects their proprietary cable to become a defacto standard they can't be imposing restrictions just to protect their precious... (OSX).

Noiseboy
Jun 29, 2011, 12:51 PM
While it's good to know that it is indeed supported it will be some time before it comes down into my price range though hopefully more and more peripherals will spring up in the coming weeks/months.

0815
Jun 29, 2011, 12:52 PM
Anything else would have been a big fail.

This is the beauty of MacOS that you can easily clone (a live running) system to external drives and than boot up the same (or complete different Mac) from that image. Would have been sad not to support this.

gmcalpin
Jun 29, 2011, 12:52 PM
Sweet! Now I just need to wait for OWC to make Thunderbolt enclosures and Monoprice to make Thunderbolt cables, and I can buy an iMac instead of a Mac Pro for my next computer.

gmcalpin
Jun 29, 2011, 12:53 PM
There's really no reason why it shouldn't.
If Apple expects their proprietary cable to become a defacto standard they can't be imposing restrictions just to protect their precious... (OSX).
…Proprietary?

The fact that they are currently the only people making them doesn't mean it's proprietary.

shamino
Jun 29, 2011, 12:54 PM
I'm sorry, but this alone is worth the "absurd" $50 cable.
I assume that other manufacturers will start shipping TB cables for less money.

Just like an HDMI cable that sells for $75 at a retail store can be purchased for $10 from other suppliers, I expect that in a few months, we'll be able to find TB cables selling in the $5-10 range.

BTGeekboy
Jun 29, 2011, 12:56 PM
I'd be interested to see if the Monoprice MiniDP<->MiniDP (http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10246&cs_id=1024602&p_id=5991&seq=1&format=2) cables are good enough for Thunderbolt. $4.50 each.

Lesser Evets
Jun 29, 2011, 12:57 PM
Sweet! Now I just need to wait for OWC to make Thunderbolt enclosures and Monoprice to make Thunderbolt cables, and I can buy an iMac instead of a Mac Pro for my next computer.

Agreed. The need for MacPros is diminishing. A few more years and a low-end Air will be snappy enough for most current programs and with Thunderbolt it will be an excellent portable that expands to a snappy desktop.

soco
Jun 29, 2011, 12:58 PM
I assume that other manufacturers will start shipping TB cables for less money.

Just like an HDMI cable that sells for $75 at a retail store can be purchased for $10 from other suppliers, I expect that in a few months, we'll be able to find TB cables selling in the $5-10 range.

Oh I don't doubt this at all. I just meant that for now, people are bugging out about Apple's, when it should be obvious that they'd charge the premium as you can't get the cable elsewhere.

Yet.

uncle.zed
Jun 29, 2011, 01:02 PM
YES!!! 2xOCZ vertex 3 with SATA 3 RAID 0 in small TB box behind my iMac27". YEAS please/.

blesscheese
Jun 29, 2011, 01:03 PM
Agreed. The need for MacPros is diminishing. A few more years and a low-end Air will be snappy enough for most current programs and with Thunderbolt it will be an excellent portable that expands to a snappy desktop.

You know, I knew there was a reason why they put all that bloat in the software...your vision of the future would definitely cramp sales at the high end of the market.

Seriously, as pointed out, anything less than being able to boot off an external drive via TB would have been a huge fail.

macbwizard
Jun 29, 2011, 01:05 PM
Um... any modern mac can boot from USB as well as FW, not sure why anyone expected TB to be any different.

*LTD*
Jun 29, 2011, 01:06 PM
So now we *like* Thunderbolt?

Yesterday a lot of you panned it as a failure or approaching one, and now it's "I WANT."

Gotta love the usual MR crew.

8CoreWhore
Jun 29, 2011, 01:08 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

I like it.

ravenvii
Jun 29, 2011, 01:09 PM
Just wait for Monoprice to add Thunderbolt cables to their inventory.

The rest, as they say, will be history. :)

Stente
Jun 29, 2011, 01:10 PM
So this means I can buy a SSD external drive for my iMac and boot up through it?

I would greatly appreciate an answer :o ?

ratsg
Jun 29, 2011, 01:11 PM
Its not proprietary, and its not Apple's. It's Intel's.

Didn't we have a story last week where either HP or Sony was adding Thunderbolt technology to their systems, but under a different name?


There's really no reason why it shouldn't.
If Apple expects their proprietary cable to become a defacto standard they can't be imposing restrictions just to protect their precious... (OSX).

peskaa
Jun 29, 2011, 01:16 PM
So this means I can buy a SSD external drive for my iMac and boot up through it?

I would greatly appreciate an answer :o ?

When the external SSD enclosures launch, yes.

Biolizard
Jun 29, 2011, 01:18 PM
Didn't we have a story last week where either HP or Sony was adding Thunderbolt technology to their systems, but under a different name?

Light Peak, the codename for Thunderbolt. Because that won't cause confusion at all :rolleyes:

bmk
Jun 29, 2011, 01:18 PM
Um... any modern mac can boot from USB as well as FW, not sure why anyone expected TB to be any different.

The point is that Thunderbolt speeds would mean it would be as fast or faster than your internal hard drive. Yes it's possible to boot with a firewire disk but it's not practical to use it in any real sense to work on.

Nanker/Phelge
Jun 29, 2011, 01:19 PM
Does anyone with a TB Macbook Pro/iMac and another non TB comp have TB cable in hand yet? If so can you check if Target Disk Mode works via the Mini Displayport jack?

wovel
Jun 29, 2011, 01:28 PM
Did anyone but one weird blogger think this wouldn't work? It just extends the pci bus, there is still a disc controller on the other end. If someone makes a device with a non bootable controller, then that device won't work. Thunderbolt is completely irrelevant to the question.

gramirez2012
Jun 29, 2011, 01:29 PM
It's 2011, ALL storage buses should be bootable.

NutsNGum
Jun 29, 2011, 01:33 PM
A GoFlex Thunderbolt > SATA dock would be nice. Please Seagate, do us all a favour.

There's $20 in it for you!

fender4645
Jun 29, 2011, 01:37 PM
In the world of software/hardware, "works" and "supported" are two very different things.

baritz
Jun 29, 2011, 01:42 PM
Agreed. The need for MacPros is diminishing. A few more years and a low-end Air will be snappy enough for most current programs and with Thunderbolt it will be an excellent portable that expands to a snappy desktop.

The problem is that by then, current programs will be out of date, and the new ones will be flashier and more resource intensive. The MacPro will still deliver a smoother, faster experience.

We have been, however, at a point for quite some time where consumer-grade software is "fast-enough" on entry level computers that $2,000+ is simply unjustifiable for a majority of people.

ThisIsNotMe
Jun 29, 2011, 01:42 PM
So who wants to test target disk mode between their iMac and MacBook Pro?

danvdr
Jun 29, 2011, 01:49 PM
Pretty much made my mind up. Soon I'll get a new iMac w/o SSD. Then in a year or so, when I want the extra speed of an SSD I can get an external (and hopefully prices will have dropped by then--esp that silly cable :rolleyes:

fmaxwell
Jun 29, 2011, 02:03 PM
Imagine a Mac Mini, a Mac Micro if you will, that did not contain the hard drive or optical drive, with those drives residing in external Thunderbolt enclosures.

Your Mac Micro starts having issues with WiFi, video, or just is dead.
You unplug your drive enclosure(s) from it, take it to the Apple store, and pay them $200 to exchange it for a working refurbished one.
You plug your drives into that, turn on the power, and you've lost nothing.


Want to replace the drive? Get a second TB drive, run software to clone the old drive to the new one, unplug the old drive, and reboot.

Want to upgrade to the new Mac Micro? Just buy it, move the peripherals, including the drives over, and you've got an upgraded system with all of your programs, settings, and files.

Sure, I know how to do all of that already without Thunderbolt. So do many of you. But I'm thinking about the average consumer who believes that the guys in the Best Buy Geek Squad are technical wizards. Take the pain out of repairs, replacements, and upgrades and you make a lot more sales.

RalfTheDog
Jun 29, 2011, 02:04 PM
I wonder if you could get any extra performance by stacking the Pegasus external RAID with six SSDs? I wonder how many banks you would need to rob?

ChrisA
Jun 29, 2011, 02:07 PM
So this means I can buy a SSD external drive for my iMac and boot up through it?

I would greatly appreciate an answer :o ?

Some day maybe in the future you might be able to do that. But as of today no one sells an external TB SSD. I bet the first ones will cost $1,000

ChrisA
Jun 29, 2011, 02:11 PM
Want to replace the drive? Get a second TB drive, run software to clone the old drive to the new one, unplug the old drive, and reboot.

Want to upgrade to the new Mac Micro? Just buy it, move the peripherals, including the drives over, and you've got an upgraded system with all of your programs, settings, and ..


A simpler way to say all that is this "The CPU box, Storage, and display are all Thunderbird devices that can be replaced or upgraded individuality.

maxp1
Jun 29, 2011, 02:14 PM
Some day maybe in the future you might be able to do that. But as of today no one sells an external TB SSD. I bet the first ones will cost $1,000


Take This... (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227515) and put it in external SATA II enclosure. Costs about $3000.

0815
Jun 29, 2011, 02:15 PM
Its not proprietary, and its not Apple's. It's Intel's.

Didn't we have a story last week where either HP or Sony was adding Thunderbolt technology to their systems, but under a different name?

No - they add their own proprietary docking port based on lightpeak/thunderbold - but apparently only good for their own dock and nothing else.

zweigand
Jun 29, 2011, 02:18 PM
The point is that Thunderbolt speeds would mean it would be as fast or faster than your internal hard drive. Yes it's possible to boot with a firewire disk but it's not practical to use it in any real sense to work on.

Disagree. I am using an OWC FW800 SSD as my 24" iMac's boot drive right now. Much faster overall than the internal HD.

http://zweigand.blogspot.com/2011/03/original-imac-hd-vs-owc-fw800-ssd.html

That being said, I'm extremely excited about Thunderbolt. It'll unlock the full potential of external SSDs.

Richdmoore
Jun 29, 2011, 02:19 PM
Very, Very sweet. I am so glad I waited for a TB iMac, since this will allow me to put in a SSD boot drive once the price for them (inside a TB drive) drops to consumer levels.

Torrijos
Jun 29, 2011, 02:21 PM
Some day maybe in the future you might be able to do that. But as of today no one sells an external TB SSD. I bet the first ones will cost $1,000

I remember reading that LaCie little big drive had a version with two SSDs in RAID 0 (not as dangerous as with mechanical drives but still not to be used for long term storage).

JavaTheHut
Jun 29, 2011, 02:24 PM
Looks like a ssd or 2.5in drive can be mounted right into these trays without additional adapters
http://images.anandtech.com/galleries/1208/DSC_4156_575px.jpg

Nice!

Mad Man
Jun 29, 2011, 02:27 PM
Disagree. I am using an OWC FW800 SSD as my 24" iMac's boot drive right now. Much faster overall than the internal HD.

http://zweigand.blogspot.com/2011/03/original-imac-hd-vs-owc-fw800-ssd.html

That being said, I'm extremely excited about Thunderbolt. It'll unlock the full potential of external SSDs.

I believe it ... I have an older setup cloned to an external USB drive (USB2) and sometimes boot it up - I'm every time surprised how usable it is, FireWire 800 must be great as boot drive. But I also can't wait for the Thunderbold/SSD combination to extend the storage for my new iMac.

mathcolo
Jun 29, 2011, 02:38 PM
Does anyone with a TB Macbook Pro/iMac and another non TB comp have TB cable in hand yet? If so can you check if Target Disk Mode works via the Mini Displayport jack?

I don't have a Thunderbolt-compatible Mac with me, but I'm about 80% certain that it won't work. Mini-DisplayPort without Thunderbolt doesn't support data transfer beyond that required to drive displays.

0815
Jun 29, 2011, 02:45 PM
Does anyone with a TB Macbook Pro/iMac and another non TB comp have TB cable in hand yet? If so can you check if Target Disk Mode works via the Mini Displayport jack?


Thunderbold ports can act as MiniDisplay ports
MiniDisplay ports can not act as Thunderbold ports

Thunderbold backward compatible - MiniDisplay didn't/couldn't look into the future.

diamond.g
Jun 29, 2011, 02:46 PM
So now we *like* Thunderbolt?

Yesterday a lot of you panned it as a failure or approaching one, and now it's "I WANT."

Gotta love the usual MR crew.

Eh, I am personally indifferent. My MBP is from 2010 while my wife's is a 2011 model so only she would benefit.
I am interested in seeing how all this plays out. I don't expect it to unseat USB but I think it will displace FW. That is also assuming we can get over that pesky 6 device limit.

henrystar
Jun 29, 2011, 02:49 PM
Steve Jobs must be furious that this leaked.

RichardBeer
Jun 29, 2011, 02:53 PM
Good to see that it hasn't been crippled. I really want to see this standard take off throughout the industry. It's about time we threw USB 2.0 into the trashcan and 3.0 is inferior.

Lesser Evets
Jun 29, 2011, 03:02 PM
The problem is that by then, current programs will be out of date, and the new ones will be flashier and more resource intensive. The MacPro will still deliver a smoother, faster experience.

False: current programs won't be out of date by then. Current programs don't need Rosetta, and I doubt there will be a major processor upgrade within a handful of years which will negate the ability to run 2010-on programs.

Sure, newer programs will always be flashier, but they have come to a point where everything aside from professional video and CGI are hitting a ceiling with function. Web stuff will always evolve, true. Anything with basic writing and graphics and data shoveling is pretty much closing in on a natural limitation, so for 95% of the market, a MacPro is completely over-blown computing.

The MacPro will always deliver smoother, faster, but how fast do you need for the majority of work? So few people need that. Double the speed of the current MacPros and what do you have? A great video editor, a great CGI machine, perhaps. PS filters going from 5 seconds to 2.5 seconds isn't that big a deal-maker. Back in the days of wait-10-minutes-to-fill, MacPros were luxurious for anyone doing professional work in graphic, forget video or CGI. Now, and onward, they will become "mildly better" for the vast market majority.

Computer hardware on desktops is hitting a natural boundary at last. I've seen it progress toward this point. 10 years ago, a "MacPro" (Power Mac) seemed like heaven compared to the iMacs. That doesn't hold true anymore because of capabilities of programs being easily met by processors and memory. The industry is going to change away from the steady pace it progressively, routinely took over the last 25 years. We're right at that peak, at this moment, where the shape and function of computers will morph into something a little different.

RebootD
Jun 29, 2011, 03:14 PM
Agreed. The need for MacPros is diminishing. A few more years and a low-end Air will be snappy enough for most current programs and with Thunderbolt it will be an excellent portable that expands to a snappy desktop.

Glossy screens + mobile GPU + enclosed happy-bake-oven design = no purchase as a workstation replacement.

AidenShaw
Jun 29, 2011, 03:19 PM
Sweet! Now I just need to wait for OWC to make Thunderbolt enclosures and Monoprice to make Thunderbolt cables, and I can buy an iMac instead of a Mac Pro for my next computer.

Agreed. The need for MacPros is diminishing. A few more years and a low-end Air will be snappy enough for most current programs and with Thunderbolt it will be an excellent portable that expands to a snappy desktop.

Considering the number of complaints about hot MacBooks and Imacs, I wonder if they would have trouble with overheating if you started to throw workstation class loads at them.


The point is that Thunderbolt speeds would mean it would be as fast or faster than your internal hard drive. Yes it's possible to boot with a firewire disk but it's not practical to use it in any real sense to work on.

A TBolt drive is just a SATA drive - drive X in a TBolt expansion won't be faster or slower than the same drive X internally mounted.


Disagree. I am using an OWC FW800 SSD as my 24" iMac's boot drive right now. Much faster overall than the internal HD.

For most things an SSD, even hampered by 1394b, would be a lot "snappier" than a spinning drive. For large transfers though, the internal SATA drive would go faster than the peak 80 MBps of 1394b. On any test that would involve head movements, though, the SSD would probably win.

For example, copying a large file from one internal SATA drive to a second internal SATA drive should be faster than copying from the internal SATA drive to the SSD.

Copying the file onto the same internal drive would cause lots of head movements, and the SSD would probably be faster at copying onto the same drive.

macbook123
Jun 29, 2011, 03:34 PM
I have to admit that I have not yet understood what is so amazing about this? It seems to me it only matters if the external drive is much faster than the internal drive of the computer. Why are you all assuming that is the case, especially with the only currently available external drives supporting TB?

I have an SSD in my Air and my OS on an SSD in my future iMac. Why would I care about booting from an external drive via TB?

Again, excuse my ignorance if this question has an obvious answer.

kryptticAZ
Jun 29, 2011, 03:36 PM
Hurray... Now I can boot my computer from something more expensive than my computer! :D

kryptticAZ
Jun 29, 2011, 03:38 PM
I have to admit that I have not yet understood what is so amazing about this? It seems to me it only matters if the external drive is much faster than the internal drive of the computer. Why are you all assuming that is the case, especially with the only currently available external drives supporting TB?

I have an SSD in my Air and my OS on an SSD in my future iMac. Why would I care about booting from an external drive via TB?

Again, excuse my ignorance if this question has an obvious answer.

Having an external drive to boot from helps when cloning your system drive, doing maintenance, etc. Some also use external drives to try out new operating systems (like the Lion Beta).

jasonxneo
Jun 29, 2011, 03:39 PM
Sweet! Now I just need to wait for OWC to make Thunderbolt enclosures and Monoprice to make Thunderbolt cables, and I can buy an iMac instead of a Mac Pro for my next computer.

THATS A ACTUALLY A GOOD IDEA......:cool:

jayfehr
Jun 29, 2011, 03:42 PM
Here is my naive question. Does this mean bootcamp will be supported on external drives as well? Since I only use Windows for games I would love to just disconnect an external drive when I'm working and not have lost any valuable HD space on my laptop.

philipma1957
Jun 29, 2011, 03:51 PM
I have to admit that I have not yet understood what is so amazing about this? It seems to me it only matters if the external drive is much faster than the internal drive of the computer. Why are you all assuming that is the case, especially with the only currently available external drives supporting TB?

I have an SSD in my Air and my OS on an SSD in my future iMac. Why would I care about booting from an external drive via TB?

Again, excuse my ignorance if this question has an obvious answer.

if your internal ssd dies you are dead in the water at least this is true in the case of imacs. many other reasons.

zephonic
Jun 29, 2011, 04:01 PM
I don't get it. What's the big deal? you can boot from an external USB or FW drive too, right?

!ˇ V ˇ!
Jun 29, 2011, 04:03 PM
Not sure why :apple: and intel cannot include eSata, much cheaper and I believe you can boot from it as well. The rotating HDD is the bottleneck and considering SSD can run faster than Sata III/ 6, providing an eSata port rather than a TB port would make multiple products already available more viable then to introduce a new product I/O to the mix. Can TB run power and handle enough power to run a display or even a multiple bay storage device? If not what is the point, considering that Light Peak is a better way to go down the road when fibre is cheaper. I see another DVD Ram fiasco. :p

weckart
Jun 29, 2011, 04:25 PM
What's with all the Thunderbold posts? Is this Safari's spellchecker undermining Intel's latest glory?

kresh
Jun 29, 2011, 04:31 PM
I have to admit that I have not yet understood what is so amazing about this? It seems to me it only matters if the external drive is much faster than the internal drive of the computer. Why are you all assuming that is the case, especially with the only currently available external drives supporting TB?

I have an SSD in my Air and my OS on an SSD in my future iMac. Why would I care about booting from an external drive via TB?

Again, excuse my ignorance if this question has an obvious answer.

When I travel to my parents I take my FW800 OWC drive with me. It is bootable and has a copy of all my files.

I plug it into their iMac and boot using the FW800 drive and it is like I never left home. Not only do I have my data files, but vastly more important is that I have all my apps (and their pref files).

blakespot
Jun 29, 2011, 04:33 PM
After getting repeatedly burned by ReadyNAS and Drobo -- data loss, unrecoverable -- I'll trust no further consumer RAID system beyond simple two-drive dumb mirroring.

Good luck, ye bolder than me.



bp

manu chao
Jun 29, 2011, 04:34 PM
if your internal ssd dies you are dead in the water at least this is true in the case of imacs. many other reasons.
Just bring the iMac to your local Mac repair shop, they'll pop it open in no time and put something new in. And it is not like SSDs are dying every couple of months. More likely you want to upgrade to faster or larger SSD before the SSD fails.

!ˇ V ˇ!
Jun 29, 2011, 04:39 PM
When I travel to my parents I take my FW800 OWC drive with me. It is bootable and has a copy of all my files.

I plug it into their iMac and boot using the FW800 drive and it is like I never left home. Not only do I have my data files, but vastly more important is that I have all my apps (and their pref files).

Mac-to-Go = external HDD/SSD with FW400/800

I have the same solution and it cost me nothing compared to what is being offered by TB. I see this as a stopgap technology. I would not sell any of my Mac to run out to buy a Mac with TB.

World Citizen
Jun 29, 2011, 04:45 PM
Nice,

Now I can buy a external TB drive at company's cost, and use my own MBP as hardware. The files from my company stay at work! Internal drive for own use.

I love this!

Digitalclips
Jun 29, 2011, 04:54 PM
It would have been so un-Appe had it not.

Marx55
Jun 29, 2011, 05:23 PM
How about powering-on Macs from Thunderbolt devices like dongles or keyboards? That was possible with old Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) and former USB.

Samsumac
Jun 29, 2011, 05:32 PM
Hurray... Now I can boot my computer from something more expensive than my computer! :D
Well said :) 50 dollar cable anyone..... Thunderbolt is a joke

iSayuSay
Jun 29, 2011, 05:56 PM
All article I found still only talk about 'Thunderbolt is bootable for OSX'

How about bootcamp? Can we install bootcamp windows on external Tb drive?? We need windows (usually for games) and the ability to install on external ssd is important too

I wouldnt worry too much about the price. Just like first plasma tv priced around $4000 for 42 incher :eek: the rest is history

Even with today price, that pegasus 4TB still a bargain compared to what u have to spent on single 512 GB SSD. Same price, same speed and 8x more capacity!!! Why the whining. You'd think that pegasus is cheap when you think it over SSD

zweigand
Jun 29, 2011, 06:01 PM
I have to admit that I have not yet understood what is so amazing about this? It seems to me it only matters if the external drive is much faster than the internal drive of the computer. Why are you all assuming that is the case, especially with the only currently available external drives supporting TB?

I have an SSD in my Air and my OS on an SSD in my future iMac. Why would I care about booting from an external drive via TB?

Again, excuse my ignorance if this question has an obvious answer.

Apple doesn't currently offer anything but an extremely expensive and meh-performance SSD solution in their iMacs. I'm not interested in spending the extra $500 when I can get what I need for half that. It also allows users to upgrade their boot drive down the road without having to worry about cracking open the case themselves or paying someone else to do it for them. It also allows you to get RAID performance which isn't possible on the iMacs.

RalfTheDog
Jun 29, 2011, 06:05 PM
I have to admit that I have not yet understood what is so amazing about this? It seems to me it only matters if the external drive is much faster than the internal drive of the computer. Why are you all assuming that is the case, especially with the only currently available external drives supporting TB?

I have an SSD in my Air and my OS on an SSD in my future iMac. Why would I care about booting from an external drive via TB?

Again, excuse my ignorance if this question has an obvious answer.

This lets you boot from a very fast RAID on an iMac. A six drive RAID is potentially MUCH faster than the internal iMac drive. The TB interface is also much faster than the SATA III interface in the iMac. Read speeds should be much faster, write speeds will be limited by the RAID controller in the device (With any luck, it will have hardware XOR), but are potentially much faster. This also gives much better data security on your boot drive (No excuse for not backing up).

wirelessness
Jun 29, 2011, 06:11 PM
I don't have a Mac with Thunderbolt yet. Considering how outrageously expensive these external enclosures are when compared to typical directly connected enclosures, I'm not about to rush out and upgrade my current system to get this feature.

A $50 cable is one thing...that's pretty typical for Apple. But there is no reason a 4 disk array should cost over TWICE as much as an eSata/FW800 enclosure.

The fact that none of the manufactures are selling diskless enclosures only further proves how much they are trying to gouge Apple owners.

John.B
Jun 29, 2011, 06:16 PM
iFixit teardown of Apple's $50 Thunderbolt cable:

http://guide-images.ifixit.net/igi/QBZvGuXR2nRD64NM.medium (http://www.ifixit.com/blog/blog/2011/06/29/what-makes-the-thunderbolt-cable-lightning-fast/)

http://guide-images.ifixit.net/igi/voxZcX1N1Yp5IYtP.medium (http://www.ifixit.com/blog/blog/2011/06/29/what-makes-the-thunderbolt-cable-lightning-fast/)

http://guide-images.ifixit.net/igi/DwUpoOboKVFUpQN1.medium (http://www.ifixit.com/blog/blog/2011/06/29/what-makes-the-thunderbolt-cable-lightning-fast/)

http://www.ifixit.com/blog/blog/2011/06/29/what-makes-the-thunderbolt-cable-lightning-fast/

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/06/why-apples-2m-thunderbolt-cable-costs-a-whopping-50.ars

.

0815
Jun 29, 2011, 06:22 PM
I have to admit that I have not yet understood what is so amazing about this? It seems to me it only matters if the external drive is much faster than the internal drive of the computer. Why are you all assuming that is the case, especially with the only currently available external drives supporting TB?

I have an SSD in my Air and my OS on an SSD in my future iMac. Why would I care about booting from an external drive via TB?

Again, excuse my ignorance if this question has an obvious answer.

(1) Before doing any bigger updates, I clone the disk to an external harddrive so I can easy clone it back if I don't like how things turn out (e.g. when installing XCode beta releases)

(2) I am now on my third Mac - but I still use my original installation. First I clone to external harddrive, than I boot the new Mac from the external harddrive and clone it to the internal harddrive

(3) I once had a harddrive fail on me when it overheated, I let the machine cool down, cloned to external harddrive, worked off my installation on a loaner Mac until I got mine repaired, cloned it back to the orignal machine - didn't loose a single bit of data and kept working like nothing happend

It's really nice that the clone works on every Mac (MacBook, iMac, ...).

You can even use applications like CCC to make incremental clones as bootable backup.

tech324
Jun 29, 2011, 06:27 PM
Just give me an external GPU on thunderbolt for my 13 inch MBP and I will be set.

I'm not a newb
Jun 29, 2011, 06:35 PM
If you own anything with thunderbolt hold down "t" at startup.

See for yourself the glory of thunderbolt target-disk mode.


ut.

Sensamic
Jun 29, 2011, 06:36 PM
So if the new macbook air (or the next imac too) comes with SATA 2 then it could work even faster if I use an external SSD as main drive via TB (10GBs versus 3GBs of SATA 2).

Is this correct?

ctucci
Jun 29, 2011, 08:29 PM
After getting repeatedly burned by ReadyNAS and Drobo -- data loss, unrecoverable -- I'll trust no further consumer RAID system beyond simple two-drive dumb mirroring.

Good luck, ye bolder than me.



bp

Hey Blake - Chris here from Hampton, used to run that applebbs there on a IIc. Agree about the consumer grade Raid. Striping over elements be the path to madness, arrrr.

twoodcc
Jun 29, 2011, 08:31 PM
now this is great news! but the enclosures have got to come down in price

a9f4
Jun 29, 2011, 09:54 PM
Since Apple likely has eventual plans to get rid of Firewire, this feature has to be there for me to buy in to it.

I figured the feature would be added, that it was inevitable, but I'm grateful for the confirmations nonetheless.

nemaslov
Jun 29, 2011, 10:01 PM
They need George Castanza or a better hand model. Really bad thumbnails! :eek:

cult hero
Jun 29, 2011, 10:18 PM
There's really no reason why it shouldn't.
If Apple expects their proprietary cable to become a defacto standard they can't be imposing restrictions just to protect their precious... (OSX).

Proprietary cable? It's part of the Thunderbolt spec.

cult hero
Jun 29, 2011, 10:21 PM
Agreed. The need for MacPros is diminishing. A few more years and a low-end Air will be snappy enough for most current programs and with Thunderbolt it will be an excellent portable that expands to a snappy desktop.

I cannot understand all the negative ratings this post got. This is exactly where Apple is going with their computers and frankly, I'm excited about it. In particular, plugging my laptop into an external, gaming worthy video device is VERY exciting. (And a few years after that we'll be plugging in our phones instead of our laptops!)

cult hero
Jun 29, 2011, 10:25 PM
Imagine a Mac Mini, a Mac Micro if you will, that did not contain the hard drive or optical drive, with those drives residing in external Thunderbolt enclosures.

Your Mac Micro starts having issues with WiFi, video, or just is dead.
You unplug your drive enclosure(s) from it, take it to the Apple store, and pay them $200 to exchange it for a working refurbished one.
You plug your drives into that, turn on the power, and you've lost nothing.


Want to replace the drive? Get a second TB drive, run software to clone the old drive to the new one, unplug the old drive, and reboot.

Want to upgrade to the new Mac Micro? Just buy it, move the peripherals, including the drives over, and you've got an upgraded system with all of your programs, settings, and files.

Sure, I know how to do all of that already without Thunderbolt. So do many of you. But I'm thinking about the average consumer who believes that the guys in the Best Buy Geek Squad are technical wizards. Take the pain out of repairs, replacements, and upgrades and you make a lot more sales.

I like the idea of everything being external. I actually built my PC around this. All the drives are in external docks that connect via SATA. I know it's not quite the same, but it's a direction I've been envisioning for a long time. Thunderbolt is in its infant stages now but it is VERY exciting (especially when it hits 100Gbps).

frankk
Jun 29, 2011, 10:28 PM
Imagine a Mac Mini, a Mac Micro if you will, that did not contain the hard drive or optical drive, with those drives residing in external Thunderbolt enclosures.

Your Mac Micro starts having issues with WiFi, video, or just is dead.
You unplug your drive enclosure(s) from it, take it to the Apple store, and pay them $200 to exchange it for a working refurbished one.
You plug your drives into that, turn on the power, and you've lost nothing.


Want to replace the drive? Get a second TB drive, run software to clone the old drive to the new one, unplug the old drive, and reboot.

Want to upgrade to the new Mac Micro? Just buy it, move the peripherals, including the drives over, and you've got an upgraded system with all of your programs, settings, and files.

Sure, I know how to do all of that already without Thunderbolt. So do many of you. But I'm thinking about the average consumer who believes that the guys in the Best Buy Geek Squad are technical wizards. Take the pain out of repairs, replacements, and upgrades and you make a lot more sales.

I think we might be on the verge of a new format of computer, pioneered by those using external FW bootable drives.

What I like about the iPad is the synching, it's not a new device, and this will only get better with iCloud. Even better if I don't need a separate computer at home and work. What if your computer was a small iPod sized TB-enabled SSD drive, wherever you went you simply plugged it in to an interface.

As soon as the price is reasonable I'll get one for my new i7 iMac.

How about the new TRIM support that Apple is enabling on their own SSDs, will this be needed on the externals, will there have to be workarounds?

cult hero
Jun 29, 2011, 10:31 PM
False: current programs won't be out of date by then. Current programs don't need Rosetta, and I doubt there will be a major processor upgrade within a handful of years which will negate the ability to run 2010-on programs.

Sure, newer programs will always be flashier, but they have come to a point where everything aside from professional video and CGI are hitting a ceiling with function. Web stuff will always evolve, true. Anything with basic writing and graphics and data shoveling is pretty much closing in on a natural limitation, so for 95% of the market, a MacPro is completely over-blown computing.

The MacPro will always deliver smoother, faster, but how fast do you need for the majority of work? So few people need that. Double the speed of the current MacPros and what do you have? A great video editor, a great CGI machine, perhaps. PS filters going from 5 seconds to 2.5 seconds isn't that big a deal-maker. Back in the days of wait-10-minutes-to-fill, MacPros were luxurious for anyone doing professional work in graphic, forget video or CGI. Now, and onward, they will become "mildly better" for the vast market majority.

Computer hardware on desktops is hitting a natural boundary at last. I've seen it progress toward this point. 10 years ago, a "MacPro" (Power Mac) seemed like heaven compared to the iMacs. That doesn't hold true anymore because of capabilities of programs being easily met by processors and memory. The industry is going to change away from the steady pace it progressively, routinely took over the last 25 years. We're right at that peak, at this moment, where the shape and function of computers will morph into something a little different.

In addition to that, "workstation class" hardware (Xeons, ECC memory and their accompanying motherboards) is so ridiculously overprices that it's unbelievable. Thunderbolt, in a way, is going to almost give people the "customizable" Mac that the enthusiast crowd has been chiming for forever. Wait till video cards and other devices are available over TB. It's gonna be sweet.

mdgm
Jun 29, 2011, 10:44 PM
Could I store a Windows 7 Boot Camp partition on a Thunderbolt device, so I don't need it stored on the main hard drive?

Crzyrio
Jun 30, 2011, 12:09 AM
Could I store a Windows 7 Boot Camp partition on a Thunderbolt device, so I don't need it stored on the main hard drive?

Windows dosent allow to boot via USB, i highly doubt it will work with Thunderbolt. There are points during the windows start up at which power is not supplied to the ports.

Like people said, that is one of the upsides of OS X

JabbaII
Jun 30, 2011, 01:20 AM
It now appears, however, that we do have confirmation that booting over Thunderbolt is supported, as we received word yesterday from a reader who had received multiple confirmations from LaCie representatives that the feature will indeed be supported.

Not sure why Apple could not confirm this when they included thunderbolt in their hardware. i.e. whether thunderbolt is designed to boot or not.

Booting is a Mac OS X thing, nothing to do with the manufacturer.

e.g. you cannot boot from eSATA drives in OS X, although you can boot from eSATA in a Windows PC.

macnisse
Jun 30, 2011, 03:10 AM
Booting from TB would be excellent! Even more so when third party hardware suppliers catch up and prices go down. Wonder how long that will take? :rolleyes:

Rygaard
Jun 30, 2011, 03:19 AM
This was why i did not get internal SSD (also the 1K$ ekstra was abit to much, combined with the extra 4 weeks delevery)

im getting a Little Big Disk (http://www.lacie.com/dk/products/product.htm?id=10549) ... Dual SSD in Raid 0 to run OSX and my programs from .. as soon as they stick a price and a shipping date on that, ill get my Mastercard out :D

AidenShaw
Jun 30, 2011, 05:14 AM
Not sure why :apple: and intel cannot include eSata, much cheaper and I believe you can boot from it as well.

eSATA and SATA are electrically and protocol-wise the same. eSATA is just a shielded connector for running SATA signals external to the case.

Any SATA link from the Intel chipset can be run to an eSATA port on the machine. You can buy cheap external connectors for this.

http://images17.newegg.com/is/image/newegg/12-816-070-TS?$S300W$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812816070&cm_re=esata_bracket-_-12-816-070-_-Product

shamino
Jun 30, 2011, 09:33 AM
The need for MacPros is diminishing.
Diminishing, but will never be gone. Some of us need (or really really want) lots of internal storage. This means multiple 3.5" drive bays. And if you need to share a single display with multiple computers (e.g. because there isn't enough desk space for multiple displays,) something with a built-in display (like an iMac) is out of the question.

For my next purchase, I can really only choose between a Mini and a Pro, because I have no room for another display on my desk. With the mini, I'll need external Firewire drives for storage. With the Pro, I can have all the storage I'm likely to ever need internal to the case. (No, this isn't the only reason to want a Pro, just the one I'm mentioning here. See below for another.)
We have been, however, at a point for quite some time where consumer-grade software is "fast-enough" on entry level computers that $2,000+ is simply unjustifiable for a majority of people.
Today, a cheap Mac (like a mini) is more than fast enough for today's software. Larger systems are nice for high-power apps (like video work), but are only necessary if you need a lot of storage (since a mini's 2.5" hard drive tops out at 500GB.)

But there's the issue of longevity. When I got my PowerMac in 2002, it was a top-end system (cost about $3500). I'm still using it today, nearly 10 years later, and it still does everything I need. It's only now, with Adobe and Mozilla dropping the PPC architecture that I now consider myself forced to upgrade. I plan on upgrading to some version of Mac Pro (probably the base $2500 model) with the expectation of getting 8-10 years of useful service out of it. Amortized over 8-10 years, the price isn't that bad, especially if a cheaper system is going to need to be replaced every 2-3 years.
Imagine a Mac Mini, a Mac Micro if you will, that did not contain the hard drive or optical drive, with those drives residing in external Thunderbolt enclosures. ...
This sounds like the way things were in the 70's. When you used an Apple II, your floppy drives were external. So was your hard drive, if you could afford to own one.

While it makes upgrades and repairs easy, I think most people would prefer to not have all those boxes, which all have to be set up and attached correctly (and probably all require separate power cables.) I think most of the "geek squad" customers would prefer something all-in-one, like an iMac or a laptop, which can be set up and moved easily, even if it does mean requiring a skilled tech to repair/replace components.
eSATA and SATA are electrically and protocol-wise the same. eSATA is just a shielded connector for running SATA signals external to the case.
Yes and no.

On the physical side, eSATA's connector is designed to survive repeated insertion/removal. An internal SATA connector isn't, and doesn't always last long if you attach/remove it a lot.

On the electrical/protocol side, the two may or may not be identical. I believe eSATA devices are required to support several features that are optional for internal SATA devices, including hot-pluggability and support for port multipliers. People who extend a motherboard SATA port to an external connector often find out about these differences the hard way.

Bertmg
Jun 30, 2011, 10:47 AM
If Apple changes the proprietary electric/data connection (sorry I don't know the name) of the iPod, iPhone and iPad products, consumers will be force to use it. The price should not be passed to consumers, for in the long run, making Thunderbolt a standard will benefit Apple greatly. Sure there will be complains, but the standard will be pushed :D

psingh01
Jun 30, 2011, 11:08 AM
I thought the built in circuitry was already known. They said in the future when the TB cables are fibre optic it will still be compatible with currently released hardware since the changes will occur within the cable.

wallysb01
Jun 30, 2011, 01:51 PM
Great discussion here about the possible future capabilities of the TB cable, its certainly broadened my horizon on some additional options than I had been thinking. I particularly like the idea of simply moving you TB SSD to a station at home and work. And that may one day be a very nice option for many people, including myself.

However, for the time being I'm considering a Macbook Pro to somewhat do this for me, having a 2010 iMac at work and needing to replace an ancient PC at home that just can't keep up anymore (plus I really need Unix and these stupid ssh shells are getting aggravating).

So my question is, if I buy a Macbook Pro 13 or the 15 i7 2.0 (with lesser GPU) and I want to eventually run my Macbook Pro into a monitor, SSD, etc at home, will I eventually be able to do that with a superior video card attached through the TB? Will that even be necessary?

I don't want to go cheap now by opting for the lesser GPU or the 13 machine, then screw myself over by not being able to attach a larger monitor and run more graphic intensive programs later (mostly I work with a lot of photoshop and gaming may one day be important to me again).

Any suggestions or advice?

steveh
Jun 30, 2011, 02:23 PM
I'd be interested to see if the Monoprice MiniDP<->MiniDP (http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10246&cs_id=1024602&p_id=5991&seq=1&format=2) cables are good enough for Thunderbolt. $4.50 each.

Nope. They won't work.

A ThunderBolt cable is two parallel cables in one, with one being a miniDP.

That's also ignoring the active components at each end of the cable that are required to transfer usable signal.

It's going to be some time before you'll see a $5 TB cable. Not one that actually works, anyway.

caribousteaks
Jun 30, 2011, 03:01 PM
Promise just wrote and said they plan to have the RAID drives sell through B& H and the like from mid July. Save a bit of sale tax money for what its worth.

mdgm
Jun 30, 2011, 09:44 PM
Windows dosent allow to boot via USB, i highly doubt it will work with Thunderbolt. There are points during the windows start up at which power is not supplied to the ports.

Like people said, that is one of the upsides of OS X

That's a shame. I'd wanted to have Mac OS X on the main drive in a MBP and connect an external when I want to use Windows. I certainly wouldn't want the other way around. So I guess I'll need a higher capacity internal drive and Thunderbolt isn't as useful a technology as it could be.

shamino
Jul 1, 2011, 09:25 AM
It's going to be some time before you'll see a $5 TB cable. Not one that actually works, anyway.
Yes, but "some time" is relative. It will depend on how popular TB becomes.

For example Gigabit Ethernet used to cost $1000/per port. Now, you can get a PCIe card for $10.

On the other hand, Ultra-320 SCSI (a much less popular standard) still costs over $200 for a host-adapter card.

Which will TB become? I'm afraid I'll need a crystal ball to figure that one out.

shrimpdude
Jul 1, 2011, 01:56 PM
[deleted]

Torrijos
Jul 1, 2011, 02:20 PM
Because TB uses the Displayport jack, doesn't that mean you can't use an external display and a TB drive simultaneously? That kind of kills the appeal of docking to a big external drive for me, unless there's a way to split the connector between drives and displays.

You can thank to the "magical" daisy chain capacity of TB...

If you have a display without a ThunderBolt port (current and past displays) you should put that display at the end of the chain, because that Display doesn't offer a TB port to continue the chain.

Once (if ever) displays become available with ThunderBolt ports you can connect them anywhere on the chain (of ThunderBolt devices).

CURRENT possibilities example :
You have a MBPro 15'' with ThunderBolt, whenever you get home you can connect like this :
MBPro <- ((Promise RAID enclosure)^(1 to 6)) <- DisplayPort (or other ports with an adapter) display.

You could buy your MBPro with the smallest of SSDs or the slowest mechanical drive, then once home boot from the Promise enclosure getting better transfer rates than with the internal drive while having better data security, at the cost of a small increase in access times.

AidenShaw
Jul 1, 2011, 08:33 PM
On the electrical/protocol side, the two may or may not be identical. I believe eSATA devices are required to support several features that are optional for internal SATA devices, including hot-pluggability and support for port multipliers. People who extend a motherboard SATA port to an external connector often find out about these differences the hard way.

There are many device scenarios where neither hot-plugability nor PM is supported. I don't believe that either is a "requirement" for the standard - they're just good marketing buzzwords.

I have a Windows Server 2003 system that came from the factory with an eSATA port. It does not support hot-plug - reboots are necessary to connect or disconnect eSATA drives. It mostly supports PM - but on the first 4 drives, the 5th drive is invisible and is not usable.

I have a system with an eSATA port on the mobo that does not support PM. (As you commented, this is essentially the same case as adding a bulkhead connector and connector to an internal SATA port.)

My experience is that hot-plug is mostly a software issue - a system that hot-plugs fine with Windows Server 2008 R2 won't hot-plug under Windows Server 2003.

The PM issue is mostly hardware - some SATA controllers are fine with eSATA connections, but simply do not support PM.

Another issue is NIS support - this allows concurrent IOs to be active on multiple ports of a PM. Very important for performance, but not required.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_multiplier for some more info and pointers.

Sylonien
Jul 4, 2011, 09:05 PM
Now that it's finally confirmed. Should one still go for the iMac BTO internal SSD? :cool:

Since that SSD is rather slow compared to what's available on the market and the ability to run RAID. Question is when external enclosures are going to be available.

Too much news and stuff coming all the time. Too quickly! Can't decide. With SSD BTO was 4-6 weeks before but it's just dropped down to 2-4 days (UK). What to do what to do.

PaulMBe
Mar 6, 2012, 12:43 AM
Yes,

we have got OS X Lion Server running on a Mac Mini, using the Pegasus R4 as the boot device, so there is no data at all on the mac mini.

In case of disaster, just change the mac mini into another one!

We are putting all our findings on our blog --> www.idontcare.be

Cheerios