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View Full Version : Experiences with using TB display as hub for FW800 and GLAN?




seveej
Nov 26, 2011, 05:20 AM
People,

I did a quick search, but came up with nothing conclusive, so here goes.

My venerable MBAlu is at the end of it's life (dropped it one time too many).
So I need a replacement laptop. I currently also have a iMac (27" i7 (Rev.A)), which is used for the heavy lifting (but honestly it has more "oompah" than I need), and for juggling massive amounts of data (photographs and 25 years worth of digital archive - basically everything I've ever done).

I started out thinking that I'd just replace the laptop, but I've been bugged by the extra amount of table space needed for two machines for some time now (thanks to dropbox I've been able to handle the syncing seamlessly). So I started thinking I'd maybe just get a top of the line MBA, and ditch the iMac altogether. Whether this is doable depends on one single item, namely how well the Thunderbolt Display works, and especially, how well it's hub functions work.

As Apple is not the whitepaper company, I'm having trouble with some details.
The TB display has connections for FW800, Gigabit ethernet and Thunderbolt (and some USB's).
The FW800 port is critical, as if I'm to ditch the iMac I will need to use my current external FW-drives to handle all the data. Has anyone got any experience on how well this works?
Also, my experience until now is that Time Machine/Capsule is more reliable over wired LAN (the only time I usually miss wired LAN). Is the Wired lan on the TB display as plug-and-play as Apple professes?
As I see it, the thunderbolt port on the back of the display would allow me to some day (if and when TB drives become acceptably priced) replace my FW-drives with TB-drives. Correct?
does connecting the laptop to a LAN-enabled display automatically switch off (or away from) airport?


Further, I'd like your view (speculations?) on whether Apple may release a smaller (say 23") TB display? The reason I ask is that (IMO) the 27" resolution is overkill - I'm continuously overwhelmed by the 27" display on my iMac (the viewing angle is so large it makes my neck ache) and would gladly settle for a fullHD 23" as long as the connections stay the same.

What would be awesome, is if the LAN-enabled Thundebolt drive would be able to "serve" the attached storage over the LAN, but I'm sure that won't be happening.

Eagerly awaiting your comments.
RGDS,
Pekka



seveej
Nov 27, 2011, 04:45 AM
anyone ... ?

arrash
Nov 27, 2011, 05:13 AM
Hello,

I am currently using a MBP 15" i7 with Thunderbolt alongside my 27" Thunderbolt display. I utilize the docking capabilities of the monitor extensively. I have the following connected to the display:

USB Cable for iPhone/iPad
Gig-E LAN
FW800 Backup drive
USB KB/Mouse

Every morning, I arrive in my office, plop down my MBP and hook up the cable from the display. Without any configuration or setup at all, my Time Machine backup drive begins backing up, I switch to the faster Gig-E LAN connection, my KB/Mouse are functional and my iPhone/iPad start charging.

To answer your questions, the FW800 functionality is seamless. The Gig-E LAN is truly simply and plug and play. And yes, if your pickup a TB-enabled drive, it can be plugged into the TB port on the display for use on your Mac.

As for the speculation of any new Apple products, your guess is as good as anyone's. I don't believe it will ever come to be. I think the 27" hits Apple's sweet spot in terms of pricing and target audience. As far as the second bit about serving up TB-enabled storage over the LAN port, that would be pretty sweet although highly unlikely.

Hope this helps.

- Ari

seveej
Nov 27, 2011, 05:28 AM
To answer your questions, the FW800 functionality is seamless. The Gig-E LAN is truly simply and plug and play. And yes, if your pickup a TB-enabled drive, it can be plugged into the TB port on the display for use on your Mac.

Brilliant. That's exactly what I wanted to hear.
Now I just have to dig up that wad of cash.
Thank you very much.

RGDS,
Pekka

arrash
Nov 27, 2011, 07:18 AM
You're welcome! Good luck.