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MacRumors
Apr 3, 2013, 06:42 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/03/sonnet-announces-thunderbolt-dock-with-internal-drive-bay-and-blu-ray-drive/)


Sonnet has announced a new Thunderbolt dock (http://www.sonnettech.com/product/echo15thunderboltdock.html) that combines USB 3.0, SATA and eSATA, FireWire 800, audio input and output, and Gigabit Ethernet ports, a DVD or Blu-ray reader/burner, as well as a 2.5" or 3.5" 6 Gb/s SATA drive bay.

The dock is available for pre-order (http://www.sonnettech.com/product/echo15thunderboltdock.html) for $400 with a DVD drive and $450 with a Blu-ray drive. Additional choices are available with hard drives built-in.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/04/sonnetthunderbolt.jpg
Back in February, nearly 18 months after it was announced, Belkin announced it was finally taking pre-orders (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/14/belkin-finally-taking-pre-orders-for-thunderbolt-express-dock/) for its Thunderbolt Express Dock. However, the company has again delayed shipment of the device, issuing this statement to MacRumors:
Belkin's Thunderbolt Express Dock utilizes a brand new interface and has an ambitious set of features. The Belkin team is taking the time and steps necessary to ensure that we deliver the best user experience possible. Customers who placed pre-orders for the Thunderbolt Express Dock on Belkin.com were alerted of the new product status and will be kept up to date via email.

Article Link: Sonnet Announces Thunderbolt Dock With Internal Drive Bay and Blu-Ray Drive (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/03/sonnet-announces-thunderbolt-dock-with-internal-drive-bay-and-blu-ray-drive/)



komodrone
Apr 3, 2013, 06:43 PM
I just need an adapter: 1 thunderbolt -> 2 thunderbolts... :(

srxtr
Apr 3, 2013, 06:44 PM
Awesome.

Now, how about a thunderbolt dock that us normal folks can afford?

Peace
Apr 3, 2013, 06:47 PM
I rather have an adapter that converts 1 thunderbolt to 2 thunderbolt ports... :(

It's got two TB ports

For $600 bucks it's a nice deal compared to other TB products.

Also I smell collaboration between Apple and this company in reference to 10.9


http://www.sonnettech.com/product/images/echo15tbadapter_overview.png

jav6454
Apr 3, 2013, 06:48 PM
I'd take the USB 3 ports it has.

komodrone
Apr 3, 2013, 06:49 PM
It's got two TB ports

Image (http://www.sonnettech.com/product/images/echo15tbadapter_overview.png)

it also has a $400 price tag.

Peace
Apr 3, 2013, 06:50 PM
it also has a $400 price tag.

For all it has $400 is cheap.

Jimmy James
Apr 3, 2013, 06:51 PM
$450 for a dock that adds ports & Blu-ray?

This is hardware I hope to find in a computer in the first place.

Also note , it say drive bay. No actual drive.

theart666
Apr 3, 2013, 06:53 PM
Looks like a piece of ****! as if Apple had anything to do with this.. jeez

komodrone
Apr 3, 2013, 06:58 PM
For all it has $400 is cheap.

I'm not carrying a chunky device that costs $400 that has a whole bunch of stuff I don't need.

BEFORE you reply to this comment saying "then don't buy it", you should read the entire conversation.

Peace
Apr 3, 2013, 07:00 PM
I'm not carrying a chunky device that costs $400 that has a whole bunch of stuff I don't need.

Then don't buy it.

:confused:

LimeiBook86
Apr 3, 2013, 07:01 PM
This is the first dock I'd consider! USB 3, Thunderbolt, a HD dock and a slot for an optical drive plus eSATA? Yay! :D

Yes it's a bit steep but this may add a way to add an SSD to my 2011 iMac and USB 3 capabilities. *crossesfingers*

StellarSoul
Apr 3, 2013, 07:03 PM
Was excited to read about the built in blu-ray drive. But then I remembered that OSX doesn't allow native blu-ray playback. You know, I've always understood the value in dropping the optical drives, but to NOT allow playback of blu-ray films? WTF Apple.

felt.
Apr 3, 2013, 07:04 PM
Optical media is dead. Give it up already.

Slim02
Apr 3, 2013, 07:04 PM
$450 for a dock that adds ports & Blu-ray?

This is hardware I hope to find in a computer in the first place.

Also note , it say drive bay. No actual drive.

You can get Blu-ray and HDD together...
Echo 15 Thunderbolt Dock (with Blu-ray Drive + 2TB HDD)
$549.99

http://store1.sonnettech.com/product_info.php?&products_id=458

Echo 15 Thunderbolt Dock (with Blu-ray Drive)
$449.99

http://store1.sonnettech.com/product_info.php?&products_id=456



Optical media is dead. Give it up already.

Maybe in your dreams.. I myself will take Blu-ray and what ever else is after Blu-ray over digital form any day.. Plus I can make my own version of formats from optical media that is better then any digital version you download.. But keep believing in false hope tho...

StellarSoul
Apr 3, 2013, 07:06 PM
Optical media is dead. Give it up already.

You're wrong. Blu-ray sales of films are strong. P.s. Tell me the non optical disc solution to where consumers can get films in TRUE 1080p HD with loads of special features and subtitles.

Rocco83
Apr 3, 2013, 07:08 PM
I'm not saying Belkin's product will be obsolete by time it comes out...but unless it comes in a lot cheaper than the other options out there people may settle for other docking stations. I don't care for the price, but I'm highly interested in the USB 3 on this dock. Could care less for the Blu-Ray, Audio In/Out, or ethernet port.

I could see how something like this would be pretty nice to take with me when I just have my Air, if I had somewhere to plug into for power. The extra storage I could have in this as well as the ability to hook up to about anything would be nice. You know, as long as it doesn't weigh 10 pounds and look like as big a brick as I think it will be. Upside is you could use it as a bludgeoning weapon in a self defense situation.

Repo
Apr 3, 2013, 07:13 PM
Optical media is dead. Give it up already.

As much as I'd love to agree with you, it's unfortunately not true.

Blu-ray still has the upper hand. That's why we rip them. ;)

utekineir
Apr 3, 2013, 07:26 PM
For non portable use, this just made the constantly delayed and further stripped belkin and matrox docks look like junk.

LuxoJunior
Apr 3, 2013, 07:31 PM
I'd buy it, if it ever ships.

Orlandoech.com
Apr 3, 2013, 07:40 PM
I'd buy it, if it ever ships.

It will, in 2014 with features taken out for some reasons.

LunaticSX
Apr 3, 2013, 07:42 PM
Was excited to read about the built in blu-ray drive. But then I remembered that OSX doesn't allow native blu-ray playback. You know, I've always understood the value in dropping the optical drives, but to NOT allow playback of blu-ray films? WTF Apple.

If you check Sonnet's product page you can see that it comes with Mac drivers for Blu-ray video playback.

Would've been nice if the original MacRumors article mentioned this. :rolleyes: ;)

a0me
Apr 3, 2013, 07:45 PM
You're wrong. Blu-ray sales of films are strong. P.s. Tell me the non optical disc solution to where consumers can get films in TRUE 1080p HD with loads of special features and subtitles.
While I agree with you that Blu-ray blows away digital downloads in terms of quality and features, I'm not sure why you'd need a Blu-ray player for your computer.
A Blu-ray burner I would understand, but if you're going to watch movies on a small computer screen and with PC speakers, you won't be able to tell the difference from a DVD or a digital download.

tmanto02
Apr 3, 2013, 07:50 PM
I think for all it offers it is a great product!

Pity its so butt ugly! They should have made it more Mac Mini-esque! Aluminium would have sucked in so many Fanboys!

Rocco83
Apr 3, 2013, 07:55 PM
While I agree with you that Blu-ray blows away digital downloads in terms of quality and features, I'm not sure why you'd need a Blu-ray player for your computer.
A Blu-ray burner I would understand, but if you're going to watch movies on a small computer screen and with PC speakers, you won't be able to tell the difference from a DVD or a digital download.

Who uses PC speakers? My iMac has a 1030 watt Onkyo 7.1 surround hooked up to it. That way when I watch ripped Blu-ray movies on it I can picture the screen being bigger to match the sounds...At least it makes Spotify seem cooler than it really is.

tevion5
Apr 3, 2013, 07:57 PM
$450 for a dock that adds ports & Blu-ray?

This is hardware I hope to find in a computer in the first place.

You expect to find a blueray drive on a modern Mac? In what universe exactly?

LunaticSX
Apr 3, 2013, 08:00 PM
It'd be cool if they offered a version with no optical drive at all and included mounting hardware for a second internal drive, at say a $30 discount (optical drives are really cheap, now).

This would also let you install your own Blu-ray recorder, since the Blu-ray drive Sonnet is offering is only a BD-ROM drive. Of course Sonnet could also offer a model with a Blu-ray recorder themselves...

Considering the major market for this dock is Mac users, a version that better matched Macs, in silver without the blue/red/green plastic in the front facing ports, would also be welcome.

After Belkin added and then removed eSATA from their Thunderbolt dock is this the first one to actually have those ports?

komodrone
Apr 3, 2013, 08:01 PM
Then don't buy it.

:confused:

I'm not, hence the comment: "I just need an adapter: 1 thunderbolt -> 2 thunderbolts..."
why are you trying to confuse yourself?

tevion5
Apr 3, 2013, 08:01 PM
While I agree with you that Blu-ray blows away digital downloads in terms of quality and features, I'm not sure why you'd need a Blu-ray player for your computer.
A Blu-ray burner I would understand, but if you're going to watch movies on a small computer screen and with PC speakers, you won't be able to tell the difference from a DVD or a digital download.

While I have no desire for a blueray drive as my mac has a magical ability by where HD films just appear in the downloads folder ;), I hardly think watching a film on my 27 iMac (spoiler, that's a big ass computer :P) with a Phillips 7.1 surround sound system is a poor experience.

ChrisA
Apr 3, 2013, 08:02 PM
While I agree with you that Blu-ray blows away digital downloads in terms of quality and features, I'm not sure why you'd need a Blu-ray player for your computer.
A Blu-ray burner I would understand, but if you're going to watch movies on a small computer screen and with PC speakers, you won't be able to tell the difference from a DVD or a digital download.

I have a 27" imac. I can see the difference. But on my 13" Macbook maybe not.

utekineir
Apr 3, 2013, 08:06 PM
While I agree with you that Blu-ray blows away digital downloads in terms of quality and features, I'm not sure why you'd need a Blu-ray player for your computer.
A Blu-ray burner I would understand, but if you're going to watch movies on a small computer screen and with PC speakers, you won't be able to tell the difference from a DVD or a digital download.


Ripping,


imagining uses beyond your own limited scope isn't exactly rocket science.


also, lots of people have great sound systems, or machines integrated into htpc setups.


how do you feed your apple tv?

Byrnes3969
Apr 3, 2013, 08:12 PM
Optical media is dead. Give it up already.

Dead??

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1415117/2012-blu-ray-sales-trends-put-all-historical-sales-figures-and-comments-here-new


Apple just wants to herd people to iTunes.

ZipZap
Apr 3, 2013, 08:14 PM
These devices are useless to me without 3 thunderbolt jacks. I want one wire to my rMBP and then to plug 2 monitors into the dock.

I have not yet found a thunderbolt splitter cable.

Bubba Satori
Apr 3, 2013, 08:16 PM
Optical media is dead. Give it up already.

Streaming media looks and sounds like garbage on anything but junk tvs, sound systems and computer screens.
And many don't have a fast enough connection to get the garbage.
No matter how many times the lie is told about BD, it's still a lie to those can think for themsleves.
And how's that Junk HD download working for your data cap? LOL
Give it up already.

utekineir
Apr 3, 2013, 08:43 PM
These devices are useless to me without 3 thunderbolt jacks. I want one wire to my rMBP and then to plug 2 monitors into the dock.

I have not yet found a thunderbolt splitter cable.

you allready have 2 thunderbolt ports. Dock--> monitor, 2nd tb port to monitor

you also have hdmi out, and there are various adapters on the market.

cclloyd
Apr 3, 2013, 09:12 PM
Optical media is dead. Give it up already.

Just wait till 4K is standard. You can't stream 4K at the rate people will want to watch it. I downloaded a 4 minute clip and it was 900MB. Now make that a 2 hour movie.

LucidX
Apr 3, 2013, 09:27 PM
This is great. It truly transforms a Macbook/Air/Pro into a desktop computer. It basically is a desktop computer minus the processor & ram. It is not inexpensive but for all one gets it isn't overpriced either given the flexibility of having the hard drive, disc drive and the 2 esata ports for hooking up a raid enclosure.

CrazyNurse
Apr 3, 2013, 09:27 PM
Stop it with the optical media hate! Quit praying at the altar of Steve Jobs.

Yes, it will go away someday as will desktop PCs, notebooks, OSX and Windows.

A/V enthusiasts will continue to use Blu-Ray, CDs and Records...yes, LPs.

Until the tech and cost benefit catches up with the quality, many will refuse to compromise.

LimeiBook86
Apr 3, 2013, 09:39 PM
Looking at this again, I agree the optical drive should be optional. Yes it wouldn't save too much money but... (assuming it's using an SATA port) it would leave the option open for another hard drive or SSD. Plus the optical drive is a laptop one, I currently use a full-size external drive for the added speed. But no complaints, that can be plugged into one of the nice eSATA ports :)

On a related note... has anyone with a non-USB 3.0 equipped Mac had success in using USB 3.0 devices via one of these TB docks? For example, my 2011 iMac only has USB 2.0. By using one of the already available Thunderbolt docks (or this one) has anyone gained USB 3.0 capability, or does it simply clock down to USB 2.0 speeds? Thanks! :D

Update: Sad to see that the system requirements state (http://store1.sonnettech.com/product_info.php?&products_id=456) OS X 10.8.2 is required. Maybe this isn't final? I'm still on 10.7 and have no intention to upgrade due to compatibility issues with some hardware and software. :(

a0me
Apr 3, 2013, 09:48 PM
Who uses PC speakers?
The vast majority of people who owns a PC?

heelsbigc
Apr 3, 2013, 09:52 PM
Just placed my order. I'd been waiting on belkin. But this fits my needs much better.

velocityg4
Apr 3, 2013, 10:06 PM
These prices are ridiculous. Considering that I can get a Motherboard with Thunderbolt and loads more ports, expansion slots, &c for less than $200. This much simpler piece of technology should be much less. After all it's just a dock not a full computer.

Arcsylver
Apr 3, 2013, 10:08 PM
this is exactly what I have been hoping for in a usable thunderbolt dock for my rMBP.

It has an optical drive for converting my 100+ dvd/Bluray collection, a 2 TB drive for my iTunes library and still allows me to have 2 thunderbolt ports as well as MUCH more expansion options while at home.

This looks to be the best thunderbolt dock so far and I will definitely be saving up to pick one up ASAP.

Jimmy James
Apr 3, 2013, 10:13 PM
You expect to find a blueray drive on a modern Mac? In what universe exactly?

I didn't specify Mac. And I know that Apple won't provide it.

But yes, I want a computer that has a Blu-ray drive. Just like I want a computer that has a substantial sized hard drive, even though alternatives are available; and even if Apple decides to eliminate that option.

Rocco83
Apr 3, 2013, 10:35 PM
Just wait till 4K is standard. You can't stream 4K at the rate people will want to watch it. I downloaded a 4 minute clip and it was 900MB. Now make that a 2 hour movie.

So you're saying that at 900MB for a 4 min clip to a 2 hour movie streaming is terrible. So with that math they are going to be able to put 27GB worth a movie on a disc...Your logic is unflappable.

LucidX
Apr 3, 2013, 10:40 PM
These prices are ridiculous. Considering that I can get a Motherboard with Thunderbolt and loads more ports, expansion slots, &c for less than $200. This much simpler piece of technology should be much less. After all it's just a dock not a full computer.

Can you legitimately purchase all the parts (not simply a motherboard) - case, power, etc. and assemble it to function like a dock and not have it work as a computer (no boot up, OS, etc.)?

Rocco83
Apr 3, 2013, 10:40 PM
A/V enthusiasts will continue to use Blu-Ray, CDs and Records...yes, LPs.

Nothing sounds better and more pure or better than Vinyl. No matter how many crazy gadgets I get and newest tech, I will never, ever, not in a million years give up my vinyl collection.

a0me
Apr 3, 2013, 10:42 PM
I have a 27" imac. I can see the difference. But on my 13" Macbook maybe not.
You either have incredibly acute vision or you're sitting way too close to your screen.

a0me
Apr 3, 2013, 11:08 PM
Ripping,


imagining uses beyond your own limited scope isn't exactly rocket science.
Ripping copy-protected DVD and Blu-ray discs is illegal in most countries; in some cases (like where I live) it can also carry a prison sentence.
also, lots of people have great sound systems, or machines integrated into htpc setups.
Maybe lots of people around you do, but most people only use what came in the box with the PC.
how do you feed your apple tv?
Movies, TV shows and music that are in my iTunes library. Also, Internet radio stations. Isn't that how most people use it?

emeraldringer
Apr 3, 2013, 11:14 PM
It's gear & prices like this that make me wonder if Thunderbolt will ever really catch on. It's been over two years since Apple started shipping Macs w/ Thunderbolt; you'd think there'd be a lot more Thunderbolt accessories at decent prices by now.

a0me
Apr 3, 2013, 11:23 PM
While I have no desire for a blueray drive as my mac has a magical ability by where HD films just appear in the downloads folder ;), I hardly think watching a film on my 27 iMac (spoiler, that's a big ass computer :P) with a Phillips 7.1 surround sound system is a poor experience.
You're free to pirate movies and watch them sitting at your desk.
I'm more into paying for the stuff that I like and watching movies on a big screen (over 40") from my couch.
To each his own, I guess, but I'd like to think I'm in the majority on this one.

X38
Apr 3, 2013, 11:29 PM
Interesting, but where are the Thunderbolt docks with PCI slots already? That would actually be worth a few hundred dollar price.

Paclypse71
Apr 3, 2013, 11:32 PM
I'd rather have a Thunderbolt Display with a drive bay and video card (Not the same as an iMac).

Interesting, but where are the Thunderbolt docks with PCI slots already? That would actually be worth a few hundred dollar price.

Or a suitable PCIe video card to use with this: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thunderbolt/PCIe_Chassis/Mercury_Helios/
(I was in the middle of writing this when you posted your comment.)

a0me
Apr 4, 2013, 12:38 AM
Just wait till 4K is standard. You can't stream 4K at the rate people will want to watch it. I downloaded a 4 minute clip and it was 900MB. Now make that a 2 hour movie.
I can tell the difference from a Blu-ray movie vs. a standard DVD on my 42" screen but I seriously wonder what screen size you would need to tell 1080p and 4K apart.

schaibaa
Apr 4, 2013, 12:47 AM
I can tell the difference from a Blu-ray movie vs. a standard DVD on my 42" screen but I seriously wonder what screen size you would need to tell 1080p and 4K apart.

I was at CES this year and witnessed 4K -- the difference is more dramatic than the difference between 720p and 1080p. You could be 20 feet away from a 42" and tell the difference. It's very similar to a rMBP - without two side by side it might not seem that much better - but put them next to each other and it's dramatic.

ctdonath
Apr 4, 2013, 12:49 AM
Does it randomly replace data with ads?

(Belkin used to sell a router which did.)

JesterJJZ
Apr 4, 2013, 12:53 AM
Must have if the next MacPro lacks an optical drive and/or firewire.

nzalog
Apr 4, 2013, 01:05 AM
I'm not carrying a chunky device that costs $400 that has a whole bunch of stuff I don't need.

Lol i don't think you understand the concept of a docking station. You're not supposed to carry it everywhere with you. It what you "dock" to when you get home.

----------

I'd rather have a Thunderbolt Display with a drive bay and video card (Not the same as an iMac).



Or a suitable PCIe video card to use with this: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thunderbolt/PCIe_Chassis/Mercury_Helios/
(I was in the middle of writing this when you posted your comment.)

That's pretty awesome, why didn't they just put a full length PCIe slot in there even if it on goes at 8x speed.

Anonymous Freak
Apr 4, 2013, 01:16 AM
You're wrong. Blu-ray sales of films are strong. P.s. Tell me the non optical disc solution to where consumers can get films in TRUE 1080p HD with loads of special features and subtitles.

Um.... iTunes? Netflix? Amazon?

All three offer 1920x1080, 24 or 30 fps progressive-scan video. That is "True 1080p HD". All three offer subtitles. iTunes offers varying levels of special features depending on the title.

But yes, Blu-ray does still have the most special features, and the reliably-repeatable high picture quality. (Note: bit rate alone does not dictate picture quality - many Blu-ray discs still use ultra-high-bit-rate MPEG-2, even when much lower bit rate AVC would produce a better picture.)

ikir
Apr 4, 2013, 01:19 AM
Awesome, a lot of port even eSata and FW800.
When you come back from work, just plug one Thuderbolt port and you have anything you need already plugged. Cool.

----------

Dead??

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1415117/2012-blu-ray-sales-trends-put-all-historical-sales-figures-and-comments-here-new


Apple just wants to herd people to iTunes.

Optical media is terrible support, even Blueray for space, energy efficient, speed, damage over time reasons.The future is digital but nobody is saying Blueray are already dead.

JesterJJZ
Apr 4, 2013, 01:24 AM
Um.... iTunes? Netflix? Amazon?

He means not compressed to hell and back...

RoastingPig
Apr 4, 2013, 01:28 AM
i hope the mini stax gets thunderbolt because i got the one with blu ray and this thing is sweet

Nightarchaon
Apr 4, 2013, 01:33 AM
I just need an adapter: 1 thunderbolt -> 2 thunderbolts... :(

isnt there a limitation in thunderbolt that precludes that ? i could be very long but my understanding is devices on thunderbolt can only have a max of two ports because thunderbolt devices need to be chained in series once you leave the initial host computer (which could in theory have 7 ports chained internally), its not like USB where you can easily have a HUB that splits the channel into many ports without the HUB also containing a brand new thunderbolt enabled motherboard of some sort (so not impossible, just probably VERY expensive for a hub)

as for this device, love the idea, make the box a little bigger and give me a full length PCI slot so i can drop in an external GPU and you've got the perfect macbook pro/air docking station/iMac upgrade device for $450 (id even go $700 for a PCI slot version)

shabbasuraj
Apr 4, 2013, 01:34 AM
Thunderblunder is just fail. Heads need to roll....

Anonymous Freak
Apr 4, 2013, 01:47 AM
He means not compressed to hell and back...

Ah, zealots. Yes, iTunes is of marginally lower quality than Blu-ray. But have you honestly watched a 1080p iTunes purchase and a Blu-ray of the same movie, on the same TV, from a reasonable viewing distance? WITHOUT making a point of specifically looking for flaws?

For the vast majority of movies, you won't be able to see any difference.

Please don't get a "FLAC/ALC lossless compressed versus uncompressed WAV/AIFF music" argument too...

komodrone
Apr 4, 2013, 01:49 AM
Lol i don't think you understand the concept of a docking station. You're not supposed to carry it everywhere with you. It what you "dock" to when you get home.


you didn't understand the context of this conversation. thanks for butting in.

----------

isnt there a limitation in thunderbolt that precludes that ? i could be very long but my understanding is devices on thunderbolt can only have a max of two ports because thunderbolt devices need to be chained in series once you leave the initial host computer (which could in theory have 7 ports chained internally), its not like USB where you can easily have a HUB that splits the channel into many ports without the HUB also containing a brand new thunderbolt enabled motherboard of some sort (so not impossible, just probably VERY expensive for a hub)

as for this device, love the idea, make the box a little bigger and give me a full length PCI slot so i can drop in an external GPU and you've got the perfect macbook pro/air docking station/iMac upgrade device for $450 (id even go $700 for a PCI slot version)

this docking station does what I want: 1 port -> 2 ports, but I dont want the extras.

nzalog
Apr 4, 2013, 02:19 AM
you didn't understand the context of this conversation. thanks for butting in.
Oh my mistake...

However, as internet commenter that sort of is my obligation.

utekineir
Apr 4, 2013, 02:21 AM
Ripping copy-protected DVD and Blu-ray discs is illegal in most countries; in some cases (like where I live) it can also carry a prison sentence.

Maybe lots of people around you do, but most people only use what came in the box with the PC.

Movies, TV shows and music that are in my iTunes library. Also, Internet radio stations. Isn't that how most people use it?


So we agree.

Not everyone is like you, and those people may find this sort of thing appealing.


You don't see me knocking the used underwear vending machines in your country, dont knock our fondness for ripping and putting big speakers onto computers.

a0me
Apr 4, 2013, 03:05 AM
So we agree.

Not everyone is like you, and those people may find this sort of thing appealing.
That's about the only thing we agree on.
I'd argue however that most people are 1) willing to pay for content and 2) prefer to watch movies and TV shows on their couch, not a computer...
You don't see me knocking the used underwear vending machines in your country.
Thanks for this completely uncalled for, and unnecessary stereotyped swipe at Japan. I just happen to live here BTW, so you can go on knocking that country all you want to, I won't be insulted.

appahappa
Apr 4, 2013, 03:56 AM
Looks really nice. That's the first Thunderbolt Dock I might consider to buy. Isn't that expensive.

a0me
Apr 4, 2013, 04:20 AM
I was at CES this year and witnessed 4K -- the difference is more dramatic than the difference between 720p and 1080p. You could be 20 feet away from a 42" and tell the difference. It's very similar to a rMBP - without two side by side it might not seem that much better - but put them next to each other and it's dramatic.
The store near my place has the new 84" BRAVIA 4K model and the difference with a 1080p TV of the same size is very obvious 10 feet away from the set.

Based on the definition of Retina Display and Pixels Per Degree (PPD) however, it doesn't sound like most people would be able to tell the difference between 4K and 1080p on a 42" screen.

A 1080p 42" screen viewed from a 10 feet distance works out to about 110 PPD, which is already about twice the iPhone 5 Retina Display resolution and 1.5 times the 15" rMBP. A 4K screen seen in the same conditions works out to 220 PPD and I'm really curious to see any study showing that the human eye can differentiate the two.

Nightarchaon
Apr 4, 2013, 04:25 AM
These devices are useless to me without 3 thunderbolt jacks. I want one wire to my rMBP and then to plug 2 monitors into the dock.

I have not yet found a thunderbolt splitter cable.

You cant do that, Thunderbolt needs to be in series, so its one device to one device to one device, .

The only way to make a Thunderbolt "HUB/Splitter" would be if the hub or splitter contained a full new Thunderbolt controller (as on the motherboard of your Mac/PC now) so it would be VERY expensive

Remember, Thunderbolt is just a stupid name for an external PCI Express bus, its nothing magical or special, its the same as the PCIe ports on the motherboard of a normal PC, do not think of it as a super fast USB or Firewire type connection, its not, its a SLOW PCI Express type connection.

itickings
Apr 4, 2013, 04:48 AM
this docking station does what I want: 1 port -> 2 ports, but I dont want the extras.

I don't think it does what you think it does...

It doesn't turn one TB port into two ports, it allows you to connect the docking station to the computer and to connect something else to the docking station. Daisy chaining, not splitting. You don't get extra ports.

JM-Prod
Apr 4, 2013, 04:51 AM
It's only missing a half-length PCI-e slot, and we could add special audio or video boards to our laptops when they are connected @home.

Nightarchaon
Apr 4, 2013, 04:59 AM
So you're saying that at 900MB for a 4 min clip to a 2 hour movie streaming is terrible. So with that math they are going to be able to put 27GB worth a movie on a disc...Your logic is unflappable.

Blu-rays can hold upwards of 50GB with existing tech, so yar..

Nightarchaon
Apr 4, 2013, 05:18 AM
this docking station does what I want: 1 port -> 2 ports, but I dont want the extras.

but it doesnt do 1 port to 2 ports, it does one port to 1 port (because you'll be using one of the two ports to connect to your mac, so its passthrough single port, not one port in, two ports out)

Macist
Apr 4, 2013, 05:30 AM
Thunderbolt and Lightning. Apple has really hit a home run with these.

Djtrackie
Apr 4, 2013, 05:34 AM
I have a 2011 MBP, pretty much maxed with 16gig ram and SSD upgrade. I used it on my desk most of my time with a 27" ACD LED and after seeing these docks go for $300+ I might as well just see my whole setup and go for a brand new imac.

robertosh
Apr 4, 2013, 05:36 AM
ohh no.. no toaster function :(

MacDav
Apr 4, 2013, 06:16 AM
Was excited to read about the built in blu-ray drive. But then I remembered that OSX doesn't allow native blu-ray playback. You know, I've always understood the value in dropping the optical drives, but to NOT allow playback of blu-ray films? WTF Apple.

I have a blu-ray burner and player in my mac pro. I'm not sure where you got the crazy idea that Apple doesn't allow blu-ray playback. I burn blu-ray discs using Toast, and I play movies using Blu-Ray Player for Mac. In the future you might want to get your facts straight before you get all excited and post misinformation. ;)

Sol
Apr 4, 2013, 06:23 AM
I wish Apple offered something like this from the start of Thunderbolt. This is plain ugly, as in 1990s PC case ugly so there is definitely room for improvement. Still, for any Macbook user, this would be a great desktop option.

utekineir
Apr 4, 2013, 06:25 AM
That's about the only thing we agree on.
I'd argue however that most people are 1) willing to pay for content and 2) prefer to watch movies and TV shows on their couch, not a computer...

Thanks for this completely uncalled for, and unnecessary stereotyped swipe at Japan. I just happen to live here BTW, so you can go on knocking that country all you want to, I won't be insulted.

There are people out there that rip the content they purchase, thanks for assuming they don't exist.

There are also people that hook computers up to tvs, many even have a dedicated htpc machine for that, the mini actually makes a great box for the use, although it lacks a disc drive that would make it a more complete solution.

A box that matches the profile of the mini, holds a drive for media storage, has a blu ray drive, includes blu ray software, has esata and provides other connectivity.

That reads like a potentially great addition to a mini htpc rig.

Hell, assuming the thunderbolt display still hasn't been updated by the time this launches this would make a great companion for it. Run the tb display off this, one cable for full connectivity, disc, storage, lan, ports, sound system, etc.

If this launches at the stated price, with the stated features it will blow the matrox and belkin docks out of the water. At this rate it may even beat the belkin dock to market.

The other docks being delayed, disappointing and overpriced for limited features is the only thing since the op that matters.


I'm more into paying for the stuff that I like and watching movies on a big screen (over 40") from my couch.
To each his own, I guess, but I'd like to think I'm in the majority on this one.

40" isn't big anymore.

MattSepeta
Apr 4, 2013, 06:56 AM
This is the first dock I would actually consider... Good for Sonnet. Shame they made it so ugly though...

Codyak
Apr 4, 2013, 07:18 AM
I'm still waiting to try out that horizontal dock for the rMBP's. The drive in a dock doesn't really make sense to me, especially considering the markup they always seem to add.

cclloyd
Apr 4, 2013, 07:26 AM
So you're saying that at 900MB for a 4 min clip to a 2 hour movie streaming is terrible. So with that math they are going to be able to put 27GB worth a movie on a disc...Your logic is unflappable.

They make blu ray disks 50GB.

inlinevolvo
Apr 4, 2013, 07:34 AM
I see a lot of people aren't happy about the price but thunderbolt peripherals are still very young and rare. The technology is expensive because it is new and faces stuff competition from USB 3 and its difficult to break this mold because at these prices it only caters to early adaptors. It is a cools idea non the less.

yg17
Apr 4, 2013, 07:50 AM
Thunderbolt and Lightning. Apple has really hit a home run with these.


Very very frightening me

Mactekk
Apr 4, 2013, 08:04 AM
Fiber digital audio output would of been nice.....

rmwebs
Apr 4, 2013, 08:12 AM
Then don't buy it.

:confused:

Read what the op posted again. His comment was that he just wanted (like most people) a pretty simple little thunderbolt 'splitter' to get 2 ports out of one.

A lot of us just want a simple thunderbolt to usb 3.0 hub, or something similar.

Yet all the devices coming out are high-end (and in this case, butt ugly) docking stations (this one isn't really a dock though, merely a mashup of crap loads of connectors in a box).

A few more simple devices are needed, thats what the MAJORITY want, and wont pay silly prices for it.

LimeiBook86
Apr 4, 2013, 08:21 AM
This is the first dock I would actually consider... Good for Sonnet. Shame they made it so ugly though...

I'd rather have it ugly and functional, rather than pretty and cut out some key features. Especially considering there's a HD drive bay and an optical drive bay that need to be shoved in there. Kinda looks like a tall Mac Mini from the G4 days.

davidwarren
Apr 4, 2013, 08:22 AM
this thing would be awesome with one of the new imacs. get the wall mount option and you would only have the power and thunderbolt cable coming off the imac. mount this thing under your desk or something, keep all the (and more) ports of the imac accessible, no cable clutter.

iGrip
Apr 4, 2013, 08:30 AM
Attaching a bag of hurt with Thunderbolt does't make it less of a bag of hurt.

And besides, Apple has the best HD movie and TV options in iTunes.

----------

, but to NOT allow playback of blu-ray films? WTF Apple.

Apple has the best HD movie and TV options in iTunes. They are making certain that you have the best possible User Experience. That is what they do.

mus0r
Apr 4, 2013, 08:32 AM
For all it has $400 is cheap.

I'm going to second this. For all that, it's the best TB expansion, value-wise.

That said, I only need the ports and not the drives. Maybe they'll offer a smaller model minus the HDD/Opti drives for a lower price.

It seems most Mac users are only asking for more I/O, and yet vendors are wanting to give us everything but the kitchen sink and at a huge price. Is it really that hard to make a box with a couple FW800, USB3 and Gig E? Hell, I'd even take a squid configuration. Just please leave me with a video port. I don't even need an extra TB, MDP is fine.

----------

Fiber digital audio output would of been nice.....

Oh, and this, too.

iGrip
Apr 4, 2013, 08:40 AM
Just wait till 4K is standard. You can't stream 4K at the rate people will want to watch it. I downloaded a 4 minute clip and it was 900MB. Now make that a 2 hour movie.

Apple will simply allow you to download it overnight. It will be SO worth it!

----------

I didn't specify Mac. And I know that Apple won't provide it.

But yes, I want a computer that has a Blu-ray drive. Just like I want a computer that has a substantial sized hard drive, even though alternatives are available; and even if Apple decides to eliminate that option.

You may also want to drive a horse and buggy, but don't try that on the freeway!

Apple skates to where the puck is going to be. And the puck is going towards iCloud and iTunes.

Lead, follow, or get out of the way. Your choice.

tevion5
Apr 4, 2013, 08:53 AM
You're free to pirate movies and watch them sitting at your desk.
I'm more into paying for the stuff that I like and watching movies on a big screen (over 40") from my couch.
To each his own, I guess, but I'd like to think I'm in the majority on this one.

Well I'm 17 and don't have an income like most high school students in Ireland. Going down to a film rental shop is slow, poor choice of films and expensive. Thus my current form of acquiring films is better.

However, I love something like netflix that is even lazier than my current method. This I would pay for in a heartbeat given income.

I acquire my games similarly, but if I like a game, especially Indie games, I always purchase the game legally.

sartis
Apr 4, 2013, 09:13 AM
I'll wait for this...


http://www.hengedocks.com/order_horizontal_dock.php

macnerd93
Apr 4, 2013, 09:20 AM
Really out done themselves on design. It looks AWFUL. If its a Mac product at least do what G-tech do and make it sorta have a Mac look, its not like its a cheap product either.

theluggage
Apr 4, 2013, 09:30 AM
His comment was that he just wanted (like most people) a pretty simple little thunderbolt 'splitter' to get 2 ports out of one.


Which isn't technically possible (at least, not if you want to keep the word "simple" in there).


A lot of us just want a simple thunderbolt to usb 3.0 hub, or something similar.


If you have a USB3 Mac, then what you want is a regular USB3 hub.

I agree that a TB-USB3 box would be useful - but only to those of us with 2011 Macs with Thunderbolt but no USB3. That's probably too limited a market - and shrinking as the people with deeper pockets upgrade their 2-year-old Macs - for anybody to make an affordable one.

(Personally, I can live without USB3 until I upgrade in a year or so - but the Sonnet box looks far more useful, and will probably still be relevant to whatever I upgrade to).

If you are desperate, you can get a Sonnet Thunderbolt-to-ExpressCard adapter and stick in a USB3 ExpressCard interface. However, that product isn't for you - its for AV people with expensive ExpressCard-based kit who are up the creek since Apple dropped ExpressCard from the MBPs - so you won't like the price.


Yet all the devices coming out are high-end (and in this case, butt ugly) docking stations (this one isn't really a dock though, merely a mashup of crap loads of connectors in a box).


Thing is, there's a large fixed cost to building a box with a TB-to-PCIe bridge and Thunderbolt in/out (plus the punter has got to buy a relatively expensive cable). Once you've done that, it makes sense to throw in all the interfaces you can eat, using regular PCIe-to-USB3/Firewire/Ethernet/SATA controllers.


A few more simple devices are needed, thats what the MAJORITY want, and wont pay silly prices for it.

That's not what Thunderbolt is for. If you want a "simple device" then USB will almost always be a better bet. USB3 is fast enough for anything up to a single fast SSD. Thunderbolt comes into its own when you want something like a SSD RAID set... or a dock with half-a-dozen interfaces running at once.

I suspect that Apple's 'cheap and simple' Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet/Firewire adapters are heavily subsidised - and/or some type of kludge short of a full blown Thunderbolt device - on the basis that Apple needs them to smooth over the removal of these interfaces from the rMBPs.

What you have with the Sonnet dock is a box that turns a Mac Mini or MacBook Air into something more like a desktop mini-tower.

albusseverus
Apr 4, 2013, 10:02 AM
Sure hope these Docks deliver full throughput on all those ports. They cost a fortune.

Ugly, isn't it? Looks like someone punched some holes in one of Nanna's old biscuit tins and painted it black.

Thunderbolt is very cool, so I do hope this brings its advantages to more users.

I got a LaCie Thunderbolt drive a while ago - only 5400rpm, but man it's fast. Open a huge folder of folders and all the sizes are already calculated. No tricking the system into calculating, it's all just there, the way it should be. You know, the way it was in Mac OS, before OS X made Mac as dumb as Windows.

Anyone remember font sizes that didn't change with screen resolution? (points ain't pixels, dumb-arse)
Apps that you could actually put into the background and kept processing, not popping back to the front, for no apparent reason? Heck, it wasn't that long ago you could put a Safari tab into the background and it kept loading - not any more, it waits until you switch back to it, to load. Yech! OS X is getting dumber by the minute. I really miss Mac OS.

Er… more power to Sonnet… just make it live up to the promises.

a0me
Apr 4, 2013, 10:50 AM
I hardly think watching a film on my 27 iMac with a Phillips 7.1 surround sound system is a poor experience.
I'm 17 and don't have an income like most high school students in Ireland. Going down to a film rental shop is slow, poor choice of films and expensive. Thus my current form of acquiring films is better.
I'll just let the irony sink in...

mcalevy
Apr 4, 2013, 10:56 AM
If you have a USB3 Mac, then what you want is a regular USB3 hub.

I agree that a TB-USB3 box would be useful - but only to those of us with 2011 Macs with Thunderbolt but no USB3. That's probably too limited a market - and shrinking as the people with deeper pockets upgrade their 2-year-old Macs - for anybody to make an affordable one.



There are at least 30 million macs out there with thunderbolt ports and no USB3. I have never seen the question seriously asked why this gap in demand has never been filled. This has cost apple millions of iMac sales, because it drove many of us to the Mac mini for USB3, and that only arrived seven months after intel included the capability in sandy bridge, and only years after the first macs with thunderbolt ports shipped. Thunderbolt is a worthless interface unless SSD drives are on the other end of it. For 98% of us it is like buying a Ferrari for commuting in heavy traffic. Apple is no longer a serious computer company. I wish they would sell/license the OS to someone that cared and get the hell out of the hardware business.

pietrociao
Apr 4, 2013, 11:30 AM
I wish there was a version with a Floppy Disk drive.

Benthic
Apr 4, 2013, 11:30 AM
For those that wanted an optical drive, an extra HDD bay, and some additional ports, this thing is a great companion to a Mac Mini. Just wish it actually looked more like one (a color match would be fine, I don't mind the box itself)

utekineir
Apr 4, 2013, 11:30 AM
I'll just let the irony sink in...

You're making fun of a high school kid on a tech forum.

I'll just let the irony sink in.

a0me
Apr 4, 2013, 11:39 AM
You're making fun of a high school kid on a tech forum.

I'll just let the irony sink in.
How's that ironic?
Not making fun of anyone here, but I'm always amazed by people who buy the most expensive gadgets around and then complain that music/movies/games are too expensive...

utekineir
Apr 4, 2013, 11:43 AM
How's that ironic?
Not making fun of anyone here, but I'm always amazed by people who buy the most expensive gadgets around and then complain that music/movies/games are too expensive...

Spending beyond your means and complaining about what you don't have is human nature.


I want 250 posts to peek in the market place, whats your excuse for trolling this thread?

EmaDaCuz
Apr 4, 2013, 12:16 PM
If it ever comes to Europe within the end of the year and sells for max 300€, I will definitely get it. Nice companion for my Air, just to leave in my office and plug it in when I am at work.

rmwebs
Apr 4, 2013, 12:31 PM
If you have a USB3 Mac, then what you want is a regular USB3 hub.

I've got 5 of them. Not a single one works due to OS X having a borked USB 3.0 driver. It's widely documented and Apple has made no attempt at fixing it.

ed724
Apr 4, 2013, 02:09 PM
The problem with these devices is the cost to license thunderbolt. That's why you're seeing these devices with unneeded options. They're adding them on to help justify the cost and make it seem amenable. I would like to see simple things, like maybe T-bolt to USB3 (only) without all the other crap that's not needed.

hfg
Apr 4, 2013, 02:42 PM
The problem with these devices is the cost to license thunderbolt. That's why you're seeing these devices with unneeded options. They're adding them on to help justify the cost and make it seem amenable. I would like to see simple things, like maybe T-bolt to USB3 (only) without all the other crap that's not needed.

There are "simple" ones such as the Apple "Thunderbolt to FireWire" and "Thunderbolt to Gb Ethernet" dongles. :)

However, USB-3 may present some power issues with the ability to supply the higher 900ma/port current required by the USB-3 specifications from the limited 550ma @ 18v (10 watt max) power available at the Thunderbolt port without an external power supply. I have experienced problems with trying to pull large SSD level power from the Thunderbolt port, where USB-3 has shown no problems so far.

komodrone
Apr 4, 2013, 02:48 PM
I don't think it does what you think it does...

It doesn't turn one TB port into two ports, it allows you to connect the docking station to the computer and to connect something else to the docking station. Daisy chaining, not splitting. You don't get extra ports.

whoops, I could of sworn I counted three ports.

blanka
Apr 4, 2013, 04:07 PM
I miss the PCI slot for a videocard.

Colpeas
Apr 4, 2013, 04:27 PM
This box is so huge it could accommodate a decent video card... Then purchasing this would me no-brainer for me.

paulrbeers
Apr 4, 2013, 08:03 PM
Well I pulled the trigger on one of the Blu-Ray models without the hard drive (I'll bring my own on that). I really wanted it for the eSATA Multiplier ports and this will be perfect for my 2013 rMBP (waiting to buy the next model before I pull the trigger).

Dr iMac
Apr 4, 2013, 08:42 PM
Now what this needs is a roll your own fusion drive.... (A program to do this with a GUI would be even better) :):apple::)

deconstruct60
Apr 4, 2013, 08:42 PM
You cant do that, Thunderbolt needs to be in series, so its one device to one device to one device, .

The only way to make a Thunderbolt "HUB/Splitter" would be if the hub or splitter contained a full new Thunderbolt controller (as on the motherboard of your Mac/PC now) so it would be VERY expensive

Eh? There is a full Thunderbolt controller in every TB device.

Some are capable of running two ports (each with data and video). Some capable of running one physical port ( with data and video ). Lastly there is one model not that can take just one TB channel (typically) is is useful for dongles ( chain ending devices ).

There are no TB controllers capable of running 3 (or more) physical ports. Neither in PCs or in peripherals. The TB devices that you see with two ports largely have the same controller as you would see inside most computers at this point. ( some ultra thin computers have the one physical port controller since that is all they have to keep the power consumption down. )

So there are no "splitters". It is a switched network of daisy chained devices. There are not mutlibroadcast "hubs". That isn't how the network works. It is highly doubtful they could keep the switching latency down to a minimum if TB switches weren't just making "is this for me yes/no?" (yes, keep packet. no, pass it on. ) decisions.


If have a single port computer with the single phys port controller from the current gen what you need is either

a. At least one TB display (docking station with integrated LCD panel). In short, a TB device that will "peel" one of the encoded DP streams off while forwarding the rest of the data/video down the chain.

b. A docking station that has a DVI/HMDI out but also two TB ports. ( not any of those around**. ) Again it peels off one of the video streams and forwards the rest.

Apple primarily wants folks to choose a. since they sell that. :)


** an earlier Belkin docking station had some video out but the current ones have two TB ports but no video out. I suspect there is a complexity in certification issue that folks don't want to deal with to do both. Apple is motivated because can sell two $999 devices.


Remember, Thunderbolt is just a stupid name for an external PCI Express bus,

Actually it is not. First, there is a external PCI-e standard already out there that predates Thunderbolt. Second, the data isn't transmitted in PCI-e protocol but in TB protocol. So it isn't the same. It also doesn't just transmit PCI-e data. It also encodes DisplayPort protocol data and transports it too typically on a separate TB channel so less drama about an isochronous transmission issues and latency.


do not think of it as a super fast USB or Firewire type connection, its not, its a SLOW PCI Express type connection.

It isn't slow in respect to those two protocols. The think about Thunderbolt is that it only talks to Thunderbolt. Its only job it is to transport signals between boxes and then it converts back to the "native" protocol that was transported.

Inside of a computer there are controllers that speak PCI-e on one side and the port specific protocol on the other (e.g., SATA-to-PCI-e USB-to-PCI-e, Firewire-to-PCI-e , etc.). Thunderbolts job is just to connect those remote controller's signals to the "master" PCI-e hub inside the personal computer. Same thing with video only largely in the other direction. Pump Video data out to remote DisplayPort "sinks" that are hooked to a physical display.

tevion5
Apr 4, 2013, 10:18 PM
I'll just let the irony sink in...

Parents money not mine, no control over what gets put before me!

skellener
Apr 4, 2013, 11:18 PM
Was excited to read about the built in blu-ray drive. But then I remembered that OSX doesn't allow native blu-ray playback.

From 2009....
Blu-ray playback without ripping now available (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=841318)

Works. Not for every disc - for many though. Was able to start a movie faster on the Mac than waiting for all the crap to load in a consumer blu-ray player from Sony.

I want one of those Sonnet boxes!

lairdo
Apr 5, 2013, 12:53 AM
One issue I have had with my TB display and an external drive is that the drive needs to be ejected before pulling the computer out of the chain. I have a Thunderbolt display at my desk and I use that with my laptop closed. My ideal solution is just to pull the TB cable and power plug and then I can walk away. But if you have a drive in the TB chain, you cannot do that without getting an ejection error message.

I wonder if this new doc somehow handles this. I doubt it unfortunately.

Still, the features vs. price of this unit are compelling.

ZipZap
Apr 5, 2013, 01:33 AM
you allready have 2 thunderbolt ports. Dock--> monitor, 2nd tb port to monitor

you also have hdmi out, and there are various adapters on the market.

You miss the point and the point of a dock. 1 wire to the computer. Only 1.
So it needs 3 thunderbolt .

theluggage
Apr 5, 2013, 04:36 AM
I've got 5 of them. Not a single one works due to OS X having a borked USB 3.0 driver. It's widely documented and Apple has made no attempt at fixing it.

Well, that's not the fault of Thunderbolt peripheral makers... and a Thunderbolt-to-USB3 adapter would use the same driver.

rmwebs
Apr 5, 2013, 05:48 AM
Well, that's not the fault of Thunderbolt peripheral makers... and a Thunderbolt-to-USB3 adapter would use the same driver.

I dont recall saying it was the fault of the Thunderbolt peripheral makers...It's Apples cockup, just like the broken HDMI port drivers in the rMBP.

deconstruct60
Apr 5, 2013, 10:03 AM
There are at least 30 million macs out there with thunderbolt ports and no USB3. I have never seen the question seriously asked why this gap in demand has never been filled.

Probably because folks can count more accurately. Apple only sells under 20M a year now. There was roughly a year and a several months of sales with the Thunderbolt/USB 2.0 Sandy Bridge combo. The problem you're count of 30 is that is missing the huge rush before the TB introduction (FYQ1 '11). Thunderbolt (TB) was introduced on the natural dip of Mac Sales.

http://cdn-static.zdnet.com/i/story/70/00/006435/26-10-2012-10-00-27.jpg
[ from story on Apple's Q4 2012 hardware sales. Note that Apple's Q1 2012 is actually last calendar Q of 2011. http://www.zdnet.com/apple-q4-2012-hardware-sales-by-the-numbers-7000006435/ ]

So in calendar year 2011 Apple was at a under 18M run rate. No way a year and half of a rate roughly around 18M is going to come out to 30M.



This has cost apple millions of iMac sales, because it drove many of us to the Mac mini for USB3, and that only arrived seven months after intel included the capability in sandy bridge,

A. the Intel IO Hub chipset that incorporated USB 3.0 was delivered with Ivy Bridge (the 2012 models) not Sandy Bridge (2011 ).

B. There was no several month gap between Mini and iMac. The 2011 Mini and iMac both had USB 2.0

May 2011 iMac ( http://support.apple.com/kb/SP623 ) USB 2.0 + TB
July 2011 Mini ( http://support.apple.com/kb/SP632 ) USB 2.0 + TB


Late 2012 iMac ( http://support.apple.com/kb/SP665 ) USB 3.0 + TB ( about 18 months )
Late 2012 Mini ( http://support.apple.com/kb/SP659 ) USB 3.0 + TB ( about 15 months )

There was only about a month were mini had USB 3.0 and iMac didn't. Apple openly stated in the FYQ1 2013 quarterly report that iMac sales were down around 770K so it is highly doubtful that millions diverted to the Mini.
If talking millions of sales revenue, not selling any iMacs at all during the transition probably "cost" more , temporarily, than any diversion to the Mini.

the laptops which dominate the Mac numbers all cycled on about 16 months on MBP and in less than year, 11 months, on the MBA.


and only years after the first macs with thunderbolt ports shipped.


Years? There are none close to 20 months let alone 24 month gap.


Thunderbolt is a worthless interface unless SSD drives are on the other end of it.

Only if fixated on using it as a direct attach storage connectivity. Thunderbolts utility is driven by multiple protocols being multiplexed onto a single cord. If only running a single fixed protocol then it isn't cost effective. (e.g., if only running SATA not any faster than eSATA. )


For 98% of us it is like buying a Ferrari for commuting in heavy traffic.


Completely misses the utility of TB. It isn't for drag racing single devices with single protocols.



There is no huge missing gap consumers. Folks with a USB 3.0 port on a portable Mac will still probably want a docking station with USB 3.0. The USB 3.0 enabled docking station is more so the market of all the mobile TB devices. The Mini and iMac folks stuck with USB 2.0 can ride on the bow wave of a market those folks create. It is actually here, but to large extent pragmatically needed to wait until Apple itself as an OS vendor started to deploy USB 3.0 (and xHCI ) drivers. It is a software and hardware issue.

paulrbeers
Apr 5, 2013, 10:18 AM
There is no huge missing gap consumers. Folks with a USB 3.0 port on a portable Mac will still probably want a docking station with USB 3.0. The USB 3.0 enabled docking station is more so the market of all the mobile TB devices. The Mini and iMac folks stuck with USB 2.0 can ride on the bow wave of a market those folks create. It is actually here, but to large extent pragmatically needed to wait until Apple itself as an OS vendor started to deploy USB 3.0 (and xHCI ) drivers. It is a software and hardware issue.

I am quoting this because it is spot on. I am buying a 2013 rMBP when they come out. I have also pre-ordered the Sonnet docking station. Why? Because I want to have two cables to worry about when I want to use my desktop: Power and Data (in this case Thunderbolt). I want my monitor, external hard drives, keyboard, mouse, ETHERNET all plugged into the docking station, so I don't have to individually hook each one up (okay so the hard drives, keyboard and mouse could be on a USB 3.0 HUB, but that only reduces cabling by a couple).

If one has never used a docking station, they wouldn't understand. It's the one thing that I missed about moving to All Mac (I've seriously considered the TBD many times, but I didn't like the 27" iMac I had so why would I like the TBD other than it is a docking station?).

Anecdotal story: For years, I tried to convince my mother to get a docking station. She uses 12" Fujitsu Tablet PC's for presentations. Loves the protability and loves the functionality, but when she wants to use it as a "desktop" she hated having to plug everything in. I finally just broke down and bought a docking station for her for Christmas one year. Now she won't ever go without one (she bought a second docking station for her office so she has one both at home and at the office she loved it so much).

I still love the old Powerbook Duo / Duo Dock combo from the 90's!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerBook_Duo#Duo_Dock

GermanyChris
Apr 5, 2013, 10:34 AM
I'm not carrying a chunky device that costs $400 that has a whole bunch of stuff I don't need.

you don't carry it. it's a docking station

Optical media is dead. Give it up already.

Not quite.

deconstruct60
Apr 5, 2013, 10:42 AM
The problem with these devices is the cost to license thunderbolt.

There is no direct cost to license Thunderbolt (the technology). Pragmatically, Intel is the sole source supplier of Thunderbolt so if you don't pay them for a controller, you don't get Thunderbolt. Likewise, if you don't pass their certification process you can't use the Thunderbolt trademarks. If want to cast that as a "technology license" and the cost to run certification tests are a cost perhaps, but it isn't particularly accurate.

Can Intel cut off your supply of the technology if try to end run them and skip certification. Yes. They'll cut you off at the knees, by choking off your supply of TB controllers. You can ship TB devices without one.

Given there is only one supplier are the controllers at the lowest possible cost? No.


That's why you're seeing these devices with unneeded options.


Not hardly. The reason why is the technoloy doesn't make alot of sense if not applied to protocol multiplexing environements ( i.e., not reducing the number of different cables from one box to another.)


I would like to see simple things, like maybe T-bolt to USB3 (only) without all the other crap that's not needed.

That's a dongle that doesn't make alot of market sense.

A. Unlike the Mac market subset the vast majority of the PC market moved on to USB 3.0. Couple that with relatively low adoption rates of TB in overall PC market and not many, relatively speaking, customers to sell to. Looking for customers with a combo of have TB but not USB 2.0 and not eSATA or other expansion options (PCI-e card , ExpressCard , etc. )

B. Power. USB 3.0 is suppose to pump out around 4.5W to its port. Thunderbolt is limited to 10W. On the surface, that sounds like enough until add up all the other stuff that 10W has to power in a dongle.

2 TB transciever filters ( one on each end)
1 USB 3.0 controller.
misc components the controller needs dangle off it

If that is anywhere close to 5.6W then.... don't have enough power.

In the Mac specific marketplace there are going to be folks who are going to get twisted when this port can't power the iPad. Doesn't do their high current draw external device. etc. Those will the subset of the over projected "millions" who aren't going to buy the product.

C. Going to need lot of credibility can actually sell alot of these things and pass the certification tests before Intel will let you sign up to buy the controllers necessary to go into them.

Intel doesn't seem to be interested in fueling a "race to the bottom" market of TB implementers. For these first 3 implementation generations that is probably a good idea. If they let random chop shops pump out corner cutting problems probably have a worse problems than the USB 3.0 interference one because the technology doesn't have as much inertia behind it.

coolspot18
Apr 5, 2013, 11:25 AM
I just want a 20.00 Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 adapter. When is that coming out?

OK I'll pay upto 50.00 for such an adapter.





B. Power. USB 3.0 is suppose to pump out around 4.5W to its port. Thunderbolt is limited to 10W. On the surface, that sounds like enough until add up all the other stuff that 10W has to power in a dongle.


Can be externally powered, at least with the initial versions. Let's call it a TB to USB 3.0 hub instead of a dongle!

itickings
Apr 5, 2013, 11:44 AM
I just want a 20.00 Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 adapter. When is that coming out?

OK I'll pay upto 50.00 for such an adapter.

I would guess that it comes out without too much delay after a potentially profitable market has been established. ;)

Personally I just don't think the market is there. Computers equipped with USB3 won't need it, a hub would be a better choice for them. That leaves us with a number of older Macs. That is not a growing market, quite the opposite in fact...

cube
Apr 5, 2013, 12:05 PM
Well, I complained before that the Thunderbolt docks didn't have enough interfaces, and now this one has in addition all the drive stuff making it bigger that I don't really need.

But as the Blu Ray burner I built with FW800 (FW400 is not enough) has rare HD DVD ROM support, I better save it for when it's really needed.

I could consolidate one of my hard drive enclosures with this, but I'm now thinking to replace with a 2-bay RAID-1 when 5TB hard drives become available.

So, maybe I would get it if it had a Blu Ray burner, but I guess I would still prefer the same but smaller without any drives.

And yes, Thunderbolt is a ripoff.

Wait... It doesn't have optical audio out??? FAIL

----------

I'll wait for this...


http://www.hengedocks.com/order_horizontal_dock.php

That does not exist for cMBP. What does exist blocks the ExpressCard slot.

tekboi
Apr 5, 2013, 12:17 PM
Price point is not bad considering what it offers. Plus, all of the new macs don't have optical drives anymore...

might look into this a few years from now

cube
Apr 5, 2013, 12:19 PM
What's the Blu Ray playback software that comes with this? That would be a selling point.

skellener
Apr 5, 2013, 12:42 PM
What's the Blu Ray playback software that comes with this? That would be a selling point.
MakeMKV & VLC.

From 2009....
Blu-ray playback without ripping now available (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=841318)

cube
Apr 5, 2013, 01:24 PM
MakeMKV & VLC.

From 2009....
Blu-ray playback without ripping now available (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=841318)

Is this a serious answer? That is no real BD playback software.

GermanyChris
Apr 5, 2013, 01:36 PM
So you're saying that at 900MB for a 4 min clip to a 2 hour movie streaming is terrible. So with that math they are going to be able to put 27GB worth a movie on a disc...Your logic is unflappable.

dual layer blu- ray is 50gb

beestigbeestje
Apr 5, 2013, 07:28 PM
Nothing sounds better and more pure or better than Vinyl. No matter how many crazy gadgets I get and newest tech, I will never, ever, not in a million years give up my vinyl collection.

I respectfully disagree. Vinyl does not sound better of more pure. Ask every audio engineer/phile. Vinyl sounds different, more cramped, less resolution. Not saying it sounds bad. Just doesn't sound as good as CD. Try a Superaudio cd, and then the vinyl version, my god it's like listening to the mp3 version.

zorinlynx
Apr 5, 2013, 07:38 PM
Is this a serious answer? That is no real BD playback software.

Why is this, anyway? There has been lots of third-party DVD playing software; you'd think these companies could tap the Mac market for Bluray playing as well.

Is it that hard to get a license to create such software? There's tons of solutions on Windows!

unfrostedpoptar
Apr 5, 2013, 08:38 PM
Why is this, anyway? There has been lots of third-party DVD playing software; you'd think these companies could tap the Mac market for Bluray playing as well.

Is it that hard to get a license to create such software? There's tons of solutions on Windows!

Probably because no Macs have ever come with Blue-ray drives and maybe one out of a million Mac users have added 3rd-party drives so there's virtually zero market.

cube
Apr 6, 2013, 03:41 AM
Probably because no Macs have ever come with Blue-ray drives and maybe one out of a million Mac users have added 3rd-party drives so there's virtually zero market.

There is a market. A lot of people have been asking for BD. Many of those who don't already have a drive would buy one if there was proper BD playback software.

amerdian
Apr 6, 2013, 05:30 AM
This is actually bigger, fatter and uglier than a Mac mini, yet (with the exception of the optical drive) it offers almost the same I/O...

And the price difference between the dock and an actual computer is not that huge.

toke lahti
Apr 6, 2013, 08:30 AM
You expect to find a blueray drive on a modern Mac? In what universe exactly?
In that universe where new MP is released for real serious video production use.
Optical media is dead. Give it up already.
Yeah, dead like OsX and macs. (Btw, all 3 are selling more now than before..). Future is ipads and iOS, give up all the others. Also give up cars that don't fly. Flying cars are where the puck will be. Unfortunately story does not tell in what century or universe the puck will be there.
Ah, zealots. Yes, iTunes is of marginally lower quality than Blu-ray. But have you honestly watched a 1080p iTunes purchase and a Blu-ray of the same movie, on the same TV, from a reasonable viewing distance? WITHOUT making a point of specifically looking for flaws?

For the vast majority of movies, you won't be able to see any difference.
Macs are not for vast majority. Macs are people who like to pay more to get more quality. Identical situation with blu-ray. Not majority of human civilization wants to pay attention to quality, but many people do. They pay big sums of money to get equipnment that shows the difference. They tune, calibrate and profile their system to get the last % of quality out of it and train their eyes, ears and brains to spot problems. And finally when they can notice quality that others can't, they enjoy this quality. You can't change this and selling crap to sheep, that can't use more than 1% of capabilities of anything thay have, doesn't change this.
Attaching a bag of hurt with Thunderbolt does't make it less of a bag of hurt.
Something does not change to bag of hurt just by someone calling it so.
There are no TB controllers capable of running 3 (or more) physical ports. Neither in PCs or in peripherals.
This is probably the biggest flaw so far for TB. There's something so frong with the tech, when you can only daisy chain one after another, no splitting no hubs.
Nevertheless I don't see any technical limitations to put 2 TB chips in a one box. You just need to have pci bus between those chips. Real problem here is of course the price and thats why I see TB more dead than blu-ray (which actually had same problems in the beginning, the tech was too expensive..).
Well, that's not the fault of Thunderbolt peripheral makers... and a Thunderbolt-to-USB3 adapter would use the same driver.
Actually that's fault of 2 biggest players in industry: Intel & Apple. Both neglected usb3 too long, when they were the only players big enough to remove compatibility problems away. Now that intel's chipsets are industry standard for usb3 compliance, I'd guess that compatibility issues will be thing of the pass.

Actually when you compare this Sonnet's box to miniStackMAX, these are pretty competitive to each other. MAX costs $220, but needs a slot loading bd-burner, which costs $300.
To Echo15, you can buy even (tray loading) BDXL-burner for $100!
(Those who don't know BDXL means 100GB disks, so it's like blu-ray v1.5..)
So with less price you can get also esata & ethernet!
EDIT: If Sonnet would install bd-burner in the first place, that would make Echo15 even more attracting!

cube
Apr 6, 2013, 08:40 AM
Yes, this dock should actually come with a BDXL burner, not plain BD.

Fishrrman
Apr 6, 2013, 09:27 AM
"For those that wanted an optical drive, an extra HDD bay, and some additional ports, this thing is a great companion to a Mac Mini..."

I like it, too.

But Sonnet left one thing out -- a PCI slot. If it had this, one could hook it up the Mini, and then install a high-powered graphics card.

Perhaps that's something that's coming later on down the line...

deconstruct60
Apr 6, 2013, 10:55 AM
I just want a 20.00 Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 adapter. When is that coming out?

OK I'll pay upto 50.00 for such an adapter.
......
Can be externally powered, at least with the initial versions. Let's call it a TB to USB 3.0 hub instead of a dongle!

It can be externally powered but that is going to drive the costs up. If price a quality empty HDD case with a decent power supply or a plug-in USB 3.0 hub with a decent quality power supply and proper USB 3.0 EM shielded and you are already at around $45-50.
( yes there are cheaper ones but here are three

http://www.amazon.com/D-Link-4-Port-SuperSpeed-USB-DUB-1340/dp/B005AS337Y/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1365261643&sr=8-13&keywords=usb+3.0+hub+powered
http://www.amazon.com/Oct-2012-Upgraded-Version-Compatible/dp/B006TT91TW/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365262011&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=usb+3.0+hub+powered+fresco

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=17-404-118&ParentOnly=1&IsVirtualParent=1 )


Thunderbolt will probably add another $40 to that (about $35 in parts and $15 because not every generic chop shop can be an implementer). At that point it gets to be a $90 and substantially fewer folks want to buy it.

To a large extent it is an expectation mismatch problem. People want a TB drive to cost just as much as a USB or FW drive. Or a TB dongle to be the same as a USB 2.0 dongle. It isn't going to be the same.

I suspect Apple is doing something that Apple doesn't generally do and selling their Ethernet and Firewire dongles pretty close to "at cost". They are passing up profits to make those other ports "go away over time" and get more folks to accept Thunderbolt while the TB device costs are still elevated due to relatively low update in overall PC market. Apple also has pricing power on TB controllers because they buy 10's of millions of them. Nobody else does.

deconstruct60
Apr 6, 2013, 11:19 AM
But Sonnet left one thing out -- a PCI slot. If it had this, one could hook it up the Mini, and then install a high-powered graphics card.

No they didn't. This thing is likely already oversubscribed. Thunderbolt only has about x4 PCI-e lane amount of throughput to the Thunderbolt controller.

USB 3.0 controler needs x1 ( audio sockets likely layered on top of USB )
FW 800 controller needs x1
Ethernet controller needs x1
Four lane SATA controller needs x2-4 (they could be throttling a bit with just a x1 connection)

It is already either throttled or oversubscribed . Adding another x4 for a card would only oversubscribe to the extent that like would see glitches through the PCI-e switch you'd need to install inside the box ( which also raises the costs and design complexity higher).

With Thunderbolt there is a natural cap of about 4 different protocols you can mix. After that likely are going to start running into glitches when try to use all 4+ concurrently.

The TB controller is oriented to either providing 4 x1 lanes that are trunked onto the TB network or a x4 bundle that is trunked onto the network. Conceptually could install a switching/kludge to try to do both at the same time but just inviting drama. The upcoming ones will allow configs of 4 1x, 2 2x , 1 4x , but there is still a total 4 v2.0 cap.



Perhaps that's something that's coming later on down the line...

Sonnet already has a PCI-e expansion boxes.

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/echoexpresschassis.html

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/echoexpressse.html

You'll get one (generic card expansion) or the other ( built in legacy ports ). A combination of those boxes may also run into bandwidth issues if both used at max capacity at the same time on same Thunderbolt network instance. But putting them both inside the same box makes it much more likely going to run into drama with glitches.


In short, thunderbolt can't do both what this kind of box does and a "high powered Graphics card" at the same time while both under full load. It may appear to work but it will be throttled. That throttling will surface as glitches from time to time.

deconstruct60
Apr 6, 2013, 12:16 PM
This is probably the biggest flaw so far for TB. There's something so frong with the tech, when you can only daisy chain one after another, no splitting no hubs.

It is not a flaw if looking for low latency connectivity. The routing is much simpler so the latency is much lower. If you make the routing complicated then either the latency goes up or you needs a substantially more expensive switch. There a 10-40Gb Eithernet and Infiniband switches, but you are not going to pay $20 for one any time soon.



Nevertheless I don't see any technical limitations to put 2 TB chips in a one box. You just need to have pci bus between those chips.

That would make that system a "host" which has different certification constraints (i.e., is a provider of DisplayPort output ). Same reason there is no "PCI-e data only" hosts. It isn't so much technical but a specification compliance constraint.

Frankly, it is probably a bad idea from a technical standpoint also if look at the overall network. Thunderbolt is primarily oriented to the transport of slower protocols over its network. That means Thunderbolt needs to be substantially faster than the others for this to work well. What essentially want is a fat tree network ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_tree ).

Linking two Thunderbolt networks ( each one of those two controllers is on a different TB network ) with just a x4 link across the top of those two "trees" isn't going to be far tree. You'd need something like a single host which could devote a seperate x4 (total x8 ) to each. Essentially a hub inside of a personal computer that is a TB host.

The problem is most personal computers don't have a budget of 8x lanes to 'blow' on Thunderbolt. Mainstream Intel designs only have a total of 8x lines on the I/O Hub controller. The CPU isn't that much better with just 16x. That is like 1/3 of the total PCI-e budget for the entire system being 'blown' on TB. That isn't particularly balanced nor I suspect in great demand given the necessary sacrifices of removing other PCI-e based controllers from the personal computer.



Real problem here is of course the price and thats why I see TB more dead than blu-ray (which actually had same problems in the beginning, the tech was too expensive..).

For the folks drinking the "One port to rule them all" kool-aid it is dead. Thunderbolt is doing OK. The utilization is still growing. It never was going to be a USB 'killer'. Price isn't scaring off vendors as much as Intel being the single source supplier. The growth is quite unlike Blu-Ray since it Thunderbolt isn't going through a "format war" ( Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD) as much as some folks want to turn Thunderbolt vs USB 3.0 (and USB 3.0+ the recent proposed bump) into something like the "format war".


Actually that's fault of 2 biggest players in industry: Intel & Apple. Both neglected usb3 too long,

Not really. First, Thunderbolt is not a replacement or equivalent to USB 3.0. Second, it actually helped the USB 3.0 market to have multiple implementers. If Intel had come in early with a discrete USB 3.0 implementation they would have probably squashed the multiple implementer market. Weaving USB 3.0 into an integrated core I/O chipset too soon would be a mistake. Jacked up core I/O chipsets with bugs can throw a hiccup into a CPU tick/tock cycles. ( In fact, it has both this year and last on some issues with SATA and this year with USB. The more stuff integrated the more likely to pop out bugs.) Only mature protocols should be weaved in. If Intel was doing only integrated USB 3.0 they were largely on time.


Apple was was a bit late but that in no way inhibited USB 3.0 all that much. Apple only has less than 8% of the PC market. Their little 8% was not going to drive overall industry rapid adoption for USB 3.0 than it has driven overall industry adoption of Thunderbolt. You can't make that argument that TB is a non factor but Apple could drive industry adoption at the time.

Apple has leaned on the crutch of "just going to pay attention to the Intel USB 3.0 controller" too long. The TB display would require a non-Intel controller so they were going to have to support as least one discrete controller eventually. Given the problems NEC/Renasas have with USAP/UAS it probably was a good call to wait for someone other than the first mover implementer in the USB 3.0 implementer market. ( I suspect they pick Fresco Logic, but likely isn't going to be the NEC one. ). UAS/USAP didn' settle down until after USB 3.0 initially launched.

If Apple wasn't rolling out TB it would have been off target. Given they were more motivated by TB the order makes sense. Apple's inability to push out a iOS7 upgrade without impacting OS X rollout doesn't speak well of them being able to walk and chew gum at the same time. I doubt they would have done well to try to do TB and USB 3.0 inside the same model year.






when they were the only players big enough to remove compatibility problems away. Now that intel's chipsets are industry standard for usb3 compliance, I'd guess that compatibility issues will be thing of the pass.

They? Apple isn't an implementer and they haven't driven TB to industry adoption. So there is no "they". What don't want with a industry standard like USB is that Intel and their defacto quirks in implementation to drive the standard. What is needed is something that everyone is trying to comply with and that the standard gets incrementally clarified in the first couple of years that is more fair to all implementers not just one. That is going to be a long term successful industry standard. You'll end up with multiple quality implementers.

When intel was trying to ram their vision for Fiber USB 3.0 as the future there was blacklash. Same also in the 1.1 ( 2.0) transition when Intel de facto drove implementation.

tmroper
Apr 6, 2013, 02:30 PM
Just thermal-glue a CPU onto it and you're good to go.

Zeov
Apr 6, 2013, 04:17 PM
I'm not carrying a chunky device that costs $400 that has a whole bunch of stuff I don't need.

it's a dock for your desktop, not a thing you bring with you everywhere you go.

Zeov
Apr 6, 2013, 04:59 PM
Well I'm 17 and don't have an income like most high school students in Ireland. Going down to a film rental shop is slow, poor choice of films and expensive. Thus my current form of acquiring films is better.

However, I love something like netflix that is even lazier than my current method. This I would pay for in a heartbeat given income.

I acquire my games similarly, but if I like a game, especially Indie games, I always purchase the game legally.

sigh

komodrone
Apr 7, 2013, 01:55 AM
it's a dock for your desktop, not a thing you bring with you everywhere you go.

yet another person that didn't read the entire conversation.

----------

you don't carry it. it's a docking station


for the third time, you didn't read the entire conversation.

fa8362
Apr 7, 2013, 01:05 PM
Not even worth $200 to me. Pass.

toke lahti
Apr 7, 2013, 05:14 PM
Frankly, it is probably a bad idea from a technical standpoint also if look at the overall network. Thunderbolt is primarily oriented to the transport of slower protocols over its network. That means Thunderbolt needs to be substantially faster than the others for this to work well. What essentially want is a fat tree network ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_tree ).

Linking two Thunderbolt networks ( each one of those two controllers is on a different TB network ) with just a x4 link across the top of those two "trees" isn't going to be far tree. You'd need something like a single host which could devote a seperate x4 (total x8 ) to each. Essentially a hub inside of a personal computer that is a TB host.

The problem is most personal computers don't have a budget of 8x lanes to 'blow' on Thunderbolt. Mainstream Intel designs only have a total of 8x lines on the I/O Hub controller. The CPU isn't that much better with just 16x. That is like 1/3 of the total PCI-e budget for the entire system being 'blown' on TB. That isn't particularly balanced nor I suspect in great demand given the necessary sacrifices of removing other PCI-e based controllers from the personal computer.
First thanks for very nice answers. I really learn from these and I like play with this kind of thoughts.
I think TB could loosen up from the ideal fat-tree topology. This would make it a lot more useful and very few users would ever notice any hickups.
I wasn't suggesting that mainstream computers would use dual-TB from their small pci resources.
Better idea would be separate hub, that can be used only when needed. This hub would be topologically at the root level of tree ie. the first thing after the computer. The pipe from hub to computer would be 200% overprovisioned, but I guess that in very rare occassions that would become any hindrance. This hub could have more than 2 ports and nececcary amount of controllers inside it. I'd guess that almost in all user cases, the problems with daisy-chaining is about physical connections, not about bandwidth or lag. In very few cases all TB devices are working with full speed all the time. So there is usually spare bandwidth avaialble.
Other option, if we want to keep strictly to clean fat-tree, would be making a hardware switch. You could attach many devices to a switch and with nice GUI choose which one is "connected". No fiddling with cables.
Not really. First, Thunderbolt is not a replacement or equivalent to USB 3.0. Second, it actually helped the USB 3.0 market to have multiple implementers. If Intel had come in early with a discrete USB 3.0 implementation they would have probably squashed the multiple implementer market. Weaving USB 3.0 into an integrated core I/O chipset too soon would be a mistake. Jacked up core I/O chipsets with bugs can throw a hiccup into a CPU tick/tock cycles. ( In fact, it has both this year and last on some issues with SATA and this year with USB. The more stuff integrated the more likely to pop out bugs.) Only mature protocols should be weaved in. If Intel was doing only integrated USB 3.0 they were largely on time.

Apple was was a bit late but that in no way inhibited USB 3.0 all that much. Apple only has less than 8% of the PC market. Their little 8% was not going to drive overall industry rapid adoption for USB 3.0 than it has driven overall industry adoption of Thunderbolt. You can't make that argument that TB is a non factor but Apple could drive industry adoption at the time.
They? Apple isn't an implementer and they haven't driven TB to industry adoption. So there is no "they". What don't want with a industry standard like USB is that Intel and their defacto quirks in implementation to drive the standard. What is needed is something that everyone is trying to comply with and that the standard gets incrementally clarified in the first couple of years that is more fair to all implementers not just one. That is going to be a long term successful industry standard. You'll end up with multiple quality implementers.
Hmm,
usb3's awfully long time to mature is not Intel's and Apple fault because:
1) TB is not usb3
2) discreet chips from other vendors were good thing even when they didn't work
3) Apple couldn't helped because they are so small

Sorry, but these just don't cut to me, because
1) 3rd party discreet chips would be needed anyway, even if intel had rushed real working specs through. The difference would be, thet then those chips would work great, now they don't.
2) De facto quirks are needed when specs are not matured. Otherwise you end up with what's happened: you have half dozen different de facto quirks from small companies that don't work together.
Better option would have been de facto quirk from giant like intel and all the small players would have to follow. Just like with usb2 in decade earlier.

Apple could also have used their muscle in this. They still are the biggest and about the only player who makes both hardware and software for their machines. If working usb3 would have been rolled out in 2009 and Apple adopted it in 2010, there would have also not been these false hopes about TB. Apple made the comparison by themselves when offering TB as high speed interconnection and not offering usb3. They were the last manufacturer to offer usb3. The way Apple handled both TB and usb3 shows just how little they care about macs as "state of the art" anymore. Their product philosophy has long been fewer models with better profits and it's only natural that then they consentrate to mainstream products and something like TB means very little to this.

Sad thing here is, that when Apple looses interest in something (xServe, xRAID, macPro, Shake, FCP, Color, even Aperture, maybe even OsX), they don't sell it away, to those who care, who could continue development. They just axe it.

Still the question remains: why usb3 devices are not working with macs as good as with other computers? What Apple has done wrong and why they don't fix it? Is this a way to tell customers that "we told you TB is better, but you didn't believe us..."? Or just that they don't care?

phrehdd
Apr 7, 2013, 07:39 PM
What are the dimensions of this unit? It somewhat looks like the size of a Mac Mini. If so, its going to be straight competition for the Ministack.

mpainesyd
Apr 7, 2013, 08:27 PM
Except the Ministack does not seem to be available with a Thunderbolt port or a Blu-ray optical drive.

Connecting it to the latest iMac using a TB to Firewire adapter is not likely to be a good solution (the iMac lacks Firewire and optical drive)

Keerock
Apr 8, 2013, 08:55 AM
Maybe in your dreams.. I myself will take Blu-ray and what ever else is after Blu-ray over digital form any day.. Plus I can make my own version of formats from optical media that is better then any digital version you download.. But keep believing in false hope tho...

Maybe you meant optical disc vs hard disk? They are obviously both digital. The sheer size of uncompressed or low compression video is better suited for optical because of bandwidth and transfer issues?

HenryAZ
Apr 8, 2013, 10:58 AM
What are the dimensions of this unit? It somewhat looks like the size of a Mac Mini. If so, its going to be straight competition for the Ministack.

I emailed them that question. Their response was that marketing has not released those numbers yet.

Crimson Hikari
Apr 8, 2013, 11:10 AM
Well I'm 17 and don't have an income like most high school students in Ireland. Going down to a film rental shop is slow, poor choice of films and expensive. Thus my current form of acquiring films is better.

However, I love something like netflix that is even lazier than my current method. This I would pay for in a heartbeat given income.

I acquire my games similarly, but if I like a game, especially Indie games, I always purchase the game legally.

Why not try finding a part time job for some income? If I wanted stuff when I was 17, I had to earn it myself, or wait patiently for Christmas or my birthday to make its way around.

New tech tastes a lot sweeter when you've earned the money for it yourself.

curmudgeon32
Apr 8, 2013, 11:34 AM
Why not try finding a part time job for some income? If I wanted stuff when I was 17, I had to earn it myself, or wait patiently for Christmas or my birthday to make its way around.

Thanks for chiming in Grandpa.

deconstruct60
Apr 8, 2013, 11:52 AM
In somewhat reverse order:


.....
Still the question remains: why usb3 devices are not working with macs as good as with other computers? What Apple has done wrong and why they don't fix it? ...

That question is not very probative in a discussion about USB 3.0 vs. TB inspiring some implied hidden agenda. It is true for USB 2.0 (OS X vs. Windows or Linux performance) which predates both of them. Not sure why would expect a change from that status with USB 3.0.

A contributing factor is Mach. While there are hard real-time constraint microkernel OS, Mach isn't one of them. OS X's driver overhead is different.

The other contributing factor is scale. There are just more resources poured into Windows drivers largely because there are more people on Windows. But yes, Apple probably could have developed a substantially better USB and xHCI driver R&D resources by now if they had started 3-4 years ago when they should have.



there would have also not been these false hopes about TB.

The vast majority of these false hopes were driven but ungrounded debates in forums. Apple never said they were going to skip USB 3.0 or that Thunderbolt was a replacement for USB. Intel had a small subset of kool-aid offering marketing folks but for the most part that dried up after they started shipping Thunderbolt in earnest. There was a ton of hype during the Lightpeak phase but that was mainly hype just to get folks to pay attention. Once, Intel dropped product, they more so relied on the actualy product to do the "talking".

Folks who believe that each new Apple product is "magical" and "defies physics" don't really have a "false hopes" problem. They have a believe anything problem.

Thunderbolt never was going to be the "one port to rule them all". For the most part it doesn't get rid of any ports. Just moves the same ports to a different box. ( the oddball exception embedded SATA ports inside an external drive are more the exception than than the rule).

Thunderbolt was always heavily dependent upon PCI-e and DisplayPort which is dual sided sword. It means it has their limitations also.


I think TB could loosen up from the ideal fat-tree topology. This would make it a lot more useful and very few users would ever notice any hickups.

That's doubtful. there is lots of isochronous traffic that traverses USB 2.0 and FW controllers. They are more sensitive to latency that you are brushing off. For example I think was Anatech that did a early test of Thunderbolt display and Pegasus TB device where got hiccups on the audio stream just by driving the Pegasus at full speed. That is just one downstream device. If there are 2-3 of equally high throughput?


Flatten out the speed and increase the switching latencies and users either see more glitches or will be forced to tweak the drivers even more. One of the "kool-aid" pitches for Thunderbolt was that no new software was needed. That wasn't technically true. Needed PCI-e drivers that would support hot-plug-and-play. That wasn't a new concept to PCI-e (big-iron 24/7 servers tended to support this) but was pragmatically new to the mainstream PC space.

If you increase the latencies between controllers sitting on PCI-e network there will be software fall out.

Second, system implementors, not Thunderbolt is largely driving this corner case. Computers outfitted with two TB sockets solves most folks problems. "These I need a hub" use cases are largely driven by one TB socket systems and possible use of two "chain ending" devices ( either a DisplayPort display or a TB dongle device).

A daisy chain with the computer in the "middle" gets you 10+ external TB devices and 2 displayPort chain enders. If Thunderbolt adds Display 1.2 legacy mode that would work on one of the ports then several displays could be dangled off one port and 6 TB devices on the other. That is enough coverage to leave just a lowly populated subset.

Chain ending TB dongles are not the "norm" device and can always just be suck at the end of a daisy chain.

Better idea would be separate hub, that can be used only when needed. This hub would be topologically at the root level of tree ie. the first thing after the computer.

Thunderbolt just extends the PCI-e network to remote boxes. The computer is the root of the PCI-e network. Not the "first thing after the computer". You are trying to finess the problem by effectively moving the TB controller out of the computer. This is on the path of contorting TB to fit some corner case not mainstream needs.

The "root" is inhibited if just have one branch coming out. That is the core issue. Two branches get something that is much more like a "tree".



The pipe from hub to computer would be 200% overprovisioned, but I guess that in very rare occassions that would become any hindrance.

You're guess don't really match up with the realities. You could finesse the 200% overprision by hooking a PCI-e v3.0 links to a TB controller. The problem is that PCI-e is peer-to-peer transfer network. You have only solved the issue pragmatically in the case were all the traffic is bound to-from the computer. Technically two TB peripherals could communicate with each other directly. The overprivisoned link to the hub isn't going to help them.

A fat tree has "thicker" (more bandwidth) links at the top largely so that nodes at the bottom can communicated better to anywhere else in the network. Not just to the root.


The "hub" is largely folks mapping USB solutions back onto TB. There are lots of SCSI/SAS chains that have no hubs. And where there are expanders they are largely useful only when the devices down stream a much slower than the link being provided. Four 6Gb/s SSDs on the other side of a SAS/SATA expansion switch are going to have about 6Gb/s worth of aggregate throughput.



Other option, if we want to keep strictly to clean fat-tree, would be making a hardware switch.

As I pointed out 10-40Gb/s Ethernet and Infinband switches exist. They don't cost anywhere near $20. Cost is a real factor in Thunderbolt. There are lots of features that can add to Thunderbolt that would increase the flexibility and scope. They also increase costs.

USB hubs work cheap because the latency is no where near what Thunderbolt's is. Not even close.

roderickv
Apr 8, 2013, 12:47 PM
I think for all it offers it is a great product!

Pity its so butt ugly! They should have made it more Mac Mini-esque! Aluminium would have sucked in so many Fanboys!

It is Aluminum... It's just black in color.

Crimson Hikari
Apr 8, 2013, 03:09 PM
Thanks for chiming in Grandpa.

I'm 21. And female. And learned if I want something, I have to earn it myself.

Like I will earn the money for Thunderbolt accessories myself.

coolspot18
Apr 8, 2013, 03:26 PM
It can be externally powered but that is going to drive the costs up. If price a quality empty HDD case with a decent power supply or a plug-in USB 3.0 hub with a decent quality power supply and proper USB 3.0 EM shielded and you are already at around $45-50.
( yes there are cheaper ones but here are three

Thunderbolt will probably add another $40 to that (about $35 in parts and $15 because not every generic chop shop can be an implementer). At that point it gets to be a $90 and substantially fewer folks want to buy it.


Those are retail prices, the cost of the cable and power adapter are probably 5.00 to the manufacturer. So even if the chip is 40.00 + $5.00 + 100% markup, it'll still be ~$100.00 max.

phrehdd
Apr 8, 2013, 03:48 PM
I emailed them that question. Their response was that marketing has not released those numbers yet.

Thanks much for the response.

If they decide to make this the same foot print as the Mini, it would be a real find for those of use who prefer the Mini over an iMac. The MiniStack would then be the poor man's version of this "box."

Crimson Hikari
Apr 8, 2013, 05:57 PM
This would be a hell of a utility for me in terms of Blu-Ray and USB 3.0, but it's still far too expensive. Plus I would never use eSATA, so it would be a waste of those ports, and since there's already a firewire port on my MBP which I already never use, it seems silly to have it on there.

Knock down the price a little, and you have yourself a deal.

tevion5
Apr 8, 2013, 06:30 PM
Why not try finding a part time job for some income? If I wanted stuff when I was 17, I had to earn it myself, or wait patiently for Christmas or my birthday to make its way around.

New tech tastes a lot sweeter when you've earned the money for it yourself.

Your right, I really should.

Crimson Hikari
Apr 8, 2013, 07:15 PM
Your right, I really should.

The first thing bought with money you earned yourself tastes like...victory. It'll probably suck, but in the end, when you're staring at that SWEET piece of equipment on your desk knowing you made every single penny/cent to get it, it'll all be worth it.

If I had the luxury of not paying bills/board, I'd have Thunderbolt accessories for everything. :/

Bangolufsen
Apr 8, 2013, 09:09 PM
is usb 3.0 going to be running at full speed?
i will be buying one if it is

Macsonic
Apr 8, 2013, 11:12 PM
Who uses PC speakers? My iMac has a 1030 watt Onkyo 7.1 surround hooked up to it. That way when I watch ripped Blu-ray movies on it I can picture the screen being bigger to match the sounds...At least it makes Spotify seem cooler than it really is.

This is a nice way too to watch Blu-ray movies. I have a Marantz 5.1 system hooked up to my Mac and sounds great. I'll look forward to the new Sonnet dock.

APlotdevice
Apr 9, 2013, 12:38 AM
Just wait till 4K is standard. You can't stream 4K at the rate people will want to watch it. I downloaded a 4 minute clip and it was 900MB. Now make that a 2 hour movie.

To be fair it's probably going to be quite a few years before 4K becomes standard. By then home broadband connections could improve considerably.

cclloyd
Apr 9, 2013, 07:03 AM
To be fair it's probably going to be quite a few years before 4K becomes standard. By then home broadband connections could improve considerably.

Isn't there some federation working to make current wifi average speeds 8x faster by 2014?

lee27
Apr 9, 2013, 08:21 AM
Isn't there some federation working to make current wifi average speeds 8x faster by 2014?

yes, i've seen it on BBC click :)

utekineir
Apr 9, 2013, 10:51 AM
yes, i've seen it on BBC click :)


The last time i was told to click for BBC it didn't go so well.

Or maybe it went very well?

I forget.

polaris20
Apr 9, 2013, 01:24 PM
I'm not carrying a chunky device that costs $400 that has a whole bunch of stuff I don't need.

Then don't buy it. This isn't designed to carry with you. It's designed to have a light powerful MBA or MBP retina, and then have additional IO when you get home or to office.

Optical media is dead. Give it up already.

Really? Any numbers to back that up, or are you just talking out your nether region? The ability to read/write Blu Ray is very handy, given the size per disk.

komodrone
Apr 9, 2013, 02:23 PM
Then don't buy it. This isn't designed to carry with you. It's designed to have a light powerful MBA or MBP retina, and then have additional IO when you get home or to office.


you didn't read the entire conversation.

tevion5
Apr 9, 2013, 04:09 PM
The first thing bought with money you earned yourself tastes like...victory. It'll probably suck, but in the end, when you're staring at that SWEET piece of equipment on your desk knowing you made every single penny/cent to get it, it'll all be worth it.

If I had the luxury of not paying bills/board, I'd have Thunderbolt accessories for everything. :/

well rich parents make you lazy :p but I'll be out of the house in a year

wizard
Apr 10, 2013, 07:02 PM
Unfortunately TB docks have generated a reputation as being vapor ware. This dock certainly has much of what I'd look for in a dock but right now it is about as real as my imagination.

If you check Sonnet's product page you can see that it comes with Mac drivers for Blu-ray video playback.

Would've been nice if the original MacRumors article mentioned this. :rolleyes: ;)

----------

It is an introductory price and likely will adjust when initial sales slow. As to being a full computer it likely is a full computer. For something like this to work it likely has a processor to direct data flow, and RAM to act as buffering. The price might be a bit stuff but so are new motherboards that support the latest hardware.

These prices are ridiculous. Considering that I can get a Motherboard with Thunderbolt and loads more ports, expansion slots, &c for less than $200. This much simpler piece of technology should be much less. After all it's just a dock not a full computer.

----------

You either have incredibly acute vision or you're sitting way too close to your screen.

The idea that 1080p is the ultimate resolution is really nothing more than a marketing ploy. There is more to perception than seeing the dots.

russellfko
Apr 12, 2013, 01:40 AM
Awesome.

Now, how about a thunderbolt dock that us normal folks can afford?

how much is affordable? I have read caldigit is releasing a 199 one with less ports, but enough for normal folks :)
search google and get some good pictures from show
http://www.thunderbolt4mac.com/caldigit-thunderbolt-station.htm

toke lahti
Apr 12, 2013, 09:28 AM
Apple never said they were going to skip USB 3.0 or that Thunderbolt was a replacement for USB.
That was pretty much the problem that Apple always has. They don't say about anything. What were the audience supposed to expect? Every other manufacturer had usb3 already in their products and then Apple gives tb, but not usb3 and does not tell, that tb is not meant to replace usb3 and Apple will implement usb3 in the next models. All Apple said that they introduce new fastest interconnection. Not even for what it was for.
That's doubtful. there is lots of isochronous traffic that traverses USB 2.0 and FW controllers. They are more sensitive to latency that you are brushing off. For example I think was Anatech that did a early test of Thunderbolt display and Pegasus TB device where got hiccups on the audio stream just by driving the Pegasus at full speed. That is just one downstream device. If there are 2-3 of equally high throughput?
Since the system is already affected by hiccups, I don't see any reason to try protect users from these hiccups. What could be done, is educating users how to deal with issues. Well, some companies can't do that, since then they would admit that their products aren't magical miracles or otherwise fully perfect.
Chain ending TB dongles are not the "norm" device and can always just be suck at the end of a daisy chain.
Biggest flaw with TB-daisychaining is, that the one device that is usually never moved (display) has to be at the end of chain. You loose picture from display every time you need to connect or disconnect something.
Thunderbolt just extends the PCI-e network to remote boxes. The computer is the root of the PCI-e network. Not the "first thing after the computer". You are trying to finess the problem by effectively moving the TB controller out of the computer. This is on the path of contorting TB to fit some corner case not mainstream needs.

The "root" is inhibited if just have one branch coming out. That is the core issue. Two branches get something that is much more like a "tree".
Putting tb controller out of the computer is a good idea. Every tb device is like this. If pci is extended to external box and then divided to 2 tb controllers, I'd see there now additional "computer" or "host".
A fat tree has "thicker" (more bandwidth) links at the top largely so that nodes at the bottom can communicated better to anywhere else in the network. Not just to the root.
Sadly there's no instructions for using tb to comply this fat tree topology. Users will see hiccups when devices' added bandwidth exceeds last link's bandwidth. Nothing new or revolutionary in daisy-chaining with tb.

Nevertheless it's pretty interesting that firewire was able to support isochronous transfers, daisy chaining AND hubs 2 decades ago. Where did that know-how disappeared?
As I pointed out 10-40Gb/s Ethernet and Infinband switches exist. They don't cost anywhere near $20.
I was suggesting "mechanical" switches, same kind of that you can buy for hdmi for $20. Just to help not needeing to pull and push the cables every time.
USB hubs work cheap because the latency is no where near what Thunderbolt's is. Not even close.
Can you also tell why fw-hubs are cheap, even with low latency and isochronous data transfer?

theluggage
Apr 12, 2013, 05:50 PM
This would be a hell of a utility for me in terms of Blu-Ray and USB 3.0, but it's still far too expensive. Plus I would never use eSATA, so it would be a waste of those ports, and since there's already a firewire port on my MBP which I already never use, it seems silly to have it on there.

It costs a fair bit just to build a box with a thunderbolt controller, thunderbolt in/out/through etc. which is all relatively new technology (plus, theres the cost of a TB cable). After that, it should be just a case of adding bog-standard PCIe to firewire/ethernet/USB/SATA chips. Also, making lots of different versions of a device to suit different people's need is expensive and a stock control nightmare. So it makes sense to throw in as much as possible.

They need a SATA controller for the Blu-Ray - which probably provides 4 x SATA interfaces, so adding eSATA is relatively straightforward. If you need another HD, eSATA is the way to go - you'll get something like the speed of a Thunderbolt hard drive without the expense.

Some people will want Firewire (Macs only just got USB3 - before that, Firewire was the best way to attach external HDs).

You're missing two major points of these devices:

1. To minimise the number of cables you have to plug in to your laptop and have trailing across the desk.

2. To give a laptop or small-form-factor computer with a limited selection of interfaces something like the flexibility of a mini-tower PC (which often feature all of these interfaces).

carestudio
Apr 12, 2013, 06:26 PM
1. To minimise the number of cables you have to plug in to your laptop and have trailing across the desk.

2. To give a laptop or small-form-factor computer with a limited selection of interfaces something like the flexibility of a mini-tower PC (which often feature all of these interfaces).

Good points! The more Thunderbolt cables you use, the more you pay :) I am seriously thinking about this sonnet docks or CalDigit's Thunderbolt station which is another great docking system. To do firewire, I can just use Apple's Thunderbolt-to-FireWire adapter downstream from Caldigit's dock.

APlotdevice
Apr 12, 2013, 08:51 PM
Biggest flaw with TB-daisychaining is, that the one device that is usually never moved (display) has to be at the end of chain. You loose picture from display every time you need to connect or disconnect something.

That is true if you're using a DisplayPort monitor or adapter. A TB monitor can be placed anywhere on the chain.

toke lahti
Apr 14, 2013, 05:11 PM
That is true if you're using a DisplayPort monitor or adapter. A TB monitor can be placed anywhere on the chain.
As long as Apple does not make matte screen with 10-bit colors and adobeRGB gamut, TB monitors don't exist to me.

toke lahti
Apr 15, 2013, 10:33 AM
This would be a hell of a utility for me in terms of Blu-Ray and USB 3.0, but it's still far too expensive. Plus I would never use eSATA, so it would be a waste of those ports, and since there's already a firewire port on my MBP which I already never use, it seems silly to have it on there.

Knock down the price a little, and you have yourself a deal.
If you don't need eSata, why don't you buy CalDigit's dock?

carestudio
Apr 15, 2013, 08:03 PM
I am wondering how does sonnet do 4 USB3 ports where Belkin and Caldigit only provide 3 instead. Saw some big poster online but not that much information available yet.

Had the same question from this guy
http://www.thunderbolt4mac.com/sonnet/Echo-15-Thunderbolt-Dock/index.asp

brbttyl
Apr 15, 2013, 08:53 PM
I love all these gizmos essentially replicating what you already have in the Mac Pro

http://tinyurl.com/dym45fj

alexgowers
Apr 16, 2013, 03:08 AM
First is, thunderbolt is not an apple product, it's an intel standard and can be in a pc too you know.

Anyone saying blu-ray is dead can't criticise thunderbolt. Both are having issues penetrating the market. Thunderbolt will superseed usb3 in time if they are licensed correctly to manufacturers.

This dock is way expensive though for the connectivity you are getting, it's ugly to boot. If you want to sell an apple accessory you should add some style you can probably charge more too.

I don't know about anyone else but iTunes on my connection streaming hd movies looks amazing and I never see compression artefacts have no loading times and get to take my tiny Apple TV anywhere I want like friends houses.

I don't actually think blueray with its old compression techniques actually looks that much better, for most it's no convenient to go to a store to buy one when you can click a few times and play it instantly.

I still go to the cinema and love the 4k screens and sound systems but I very very doubt 4k will be a consumer device anytime soon. 99% of TV broadcast is still sd or 720p or massively compressed 1080p, it looks like junk when you leave quality up to broadcasters!

TV screens are still way ahead of the content available from TV providers. YouTube is still over compressed.

Blueray will be around for a while by its sheer quality, only as a standard but iTunes proves you can do quality video that matches the screen online.

I really think thunderbolt is the future especially if they introduce a micro version for phones, thunderbolt to lighting would be amazing for speed though wireless 802.11ac will kill that I think.

JHUFrank
Apr 16, 2013, 12:15 PM
Yup, a little pricey and a little too big and clunky.

Crimson Hikari
Apr 16, 2013, 03:46 PM
It costs a fair bit just to build a box with a thunderbolt controller, thunderbolt in/out/through etc. which is all relatively new technology (plus, theres the cost of a TB cable). After that, it should be just a case of adding bog-standard PCIe to firewire/ethernet/USB/SATA chips. Also, making lots of different versions of a device to suit different people's need is expensive and a stock control nightmare. So it makes sense to throw in as much as possible.

They need a SATA controller for the Blu-Ray - which probably provides 4 x SATA interfaces, so adding eSATA is relatively straightforward. If you need another HD, eSATA is the way to go - you'll get something like the speed of a Thunderbolt hard drive without the expense.

Some people will want Firewire (Macs only just got USB3 - before that, Firewire was the best way to attach external HDs).

You're missing two major points of these devices:

1. To minimise the number of cables you have to plug in to your laptop and have trailing across the desk.

2. To give a laptop or small-form-factor computer with a limited selection of interfaces something like the flexibility of a mini-tower PC (which often feature all of these interfaces).

It would be a waste FOR ME. I wouldn't be able to justify paying that much for something that I'm only going to use half of the ports it offers. I would use the Blu Ray drive. A LOT. I'd use all the USB 3.0 ports (I have a late 2011 MacBook Pro, so it would give me access to a wider variety of accessories). But I never use firewire, and never use eSATA (I hadn't heard of eSATA until a few months ago).

I'm not saying they should make different versions, either, so I don't know where you're getting that from, and I'm not missing any points. I'm stating that it wouldn't be as useful a utility to me as it would be to someone else.

----------

If you don't need eSata, why don't you buy CalDigit's dock?

Already looked at it and signed up to be notified when it's available in the UK. :D

theluggage
Apr 17, 2013, 04:46 AM
It would be a waste FOR ME.

Only if you were paying a large premium for the extra, unused ports. You seem to be assuming that half the ports = half the price.

So, you're paying $250 extra for the Sonnet with Blu Ray vs. the Caldigit.

For that you're getting:

- the Blu-Ray player (c.f. ~$100 for an external BD)
- ability to add an internal 2.5 or 3.5" SATA hard drive (bare drives will cost you less than a USB3 external drive, far less than a Thunderbolt external drive).
- 4 USB ports rather than 3.
- you free up 1 or 2 USB ports because you don't need external bluray or HD.

You lose:
- some portability (if that's important to you - pretty irrelevant if you want this as a desktop dock)
- HDMI (and I'd really wait for the reviews to see what the pros/cons of that are).

However, after the history of the Belkin dock, I'd wait for these things to actually be on sale before inferring too much about specs and prices.

cocacolakid
Apr 17, 2013, 04:52 AM
Awesome.

Now, how about a thunderbolt dock that us normal folks can afford?

Get a Seagate adapter. You don't need a Seagate drive. They have a 2.5" version for $99 and a 3.5" version for $150.

roadbloc
Apr 17, 2013, 05:11 AM
I'm not carrying a chunky device that costs $400 that has a whole bunch of stuff I don't need.

Then don't buy it. Why are you even here? To prove that it is useless? Because it isn't to them who need something like this.

Would be great to play my BluRay collection on my Mac.

komodrone
Apr 17, 2013, 03:44 PM
Then don't buy it. Why are you even here? To prove that it is useless? Because it isn't to them who need something like this.

Would be great to play my BluRay collection on my Mac.

read the entire conversation. then try replying again.

Crimson Hikari
Apr 17, 2013, 07:59 PM
Only if you were paying a large premium for the extra, unused ports. You seem to be assuming that half the ports = half the price.

So, you're paying $250 extra for the Sonnet with Blu Ray vs. the Caldigit.

For that you're getting:

- the Blu-Ray player (c.f. ~$100 for an external BD)
- ability to add an internal 2.5 or 3.5" SATA hard drive (bare drives will cost you less than a USB3 external drive, far less than a Thunderbolt external drive).
- 4 USB ports rather than 3.
- you free up 1 or 2 USB ports because you don't need external bluray or HD.

You lose:
- some portability (if that's important to you - pretty irrelevant if you want this as a desktop dock)
- HDMI (and I'd really wait for the reviews to see what the pros/cons of that are).

However, after the history of the Belkin dock, I'd wait for these things to actually be on sale before inferring too much about specs and prices.

I suppose those are some distinct advantages, although it would be great to be able to swap in your own Blu Ray drive into it.

It's the idea of not using a lot of the ports that gets me thinking that it might be a waste for me. I don't use eSATA or Firewire, as I said before, and while the internal hard drive is a nice feature, it isn't essential. Might be nice for Time Machine backups though.

It looks like I would be getting a better deal because I'd be using all the features it offers rather than just half of them, especially with a pretty big price difference. Its a bit of a steep price to pay to get just one extra usb 3.0 port, a SATA port and a Blu Ray drive I might not be able to swap out should it break, and a premium I can't afford at the moment. I have a usb BR drive already which works great and is very portable for when I go see my friends at their university, and I'm only earning minimum wage at the moment, so I don't know if I could justify it unless I was going to make use of every feature it offered.

But hey, you feel like being generous and buying it for me if and when it comes out, I'll welcome it with open arms and you with a nice homemade pizza.

And yeah...where the heck is the Belkin Dock? What happened to the whole taking pre-orders thing?

roadbloc
Apr 18, 2013, 03:43 AM
read the entire conversation. then try replying again.

Already have. Nice try.

theluggage
Apr 18, 2013, 04:05 AM
I suppose those are some distinct advantages, although it would be great to be able to swap in your own Blu Ray drive into it.

I'd hope that will be possible - it would be better if they offered it without an optical drive and let you fit your own or use the space for another HD. Not offering a blu-ray writer is odd, too.

Value vs. cost is a tricky one - I'd say the Sonnet offers at least equivalent value to the Caldigit, but you can't ignore the fact that it costs more.

polaris20
Apr 18, 2013, 11:29 AM
you didn't read the entire conversation.

Sure I did. Let me recap:

Thread is about a $400 dock designed to sit on a desk. You comment how you don't want to spend $400 on something so clunky, because all you need is a splitter for TB.

That's awesome that that's all you need, but it's really not at all what the thread was about. It's like me posting in a Mac Pro thread "there's no way I'm paying $3000 for a computer. All I want is a Mac Mini".

The product in the OP isn't remotely aimed at someone looking for a simple splitter, so why bother commenting at all? Of course people are going to respond "just don't buy it" because it was a dumb thing to post in the first place.

komodrone
Apr 18, 2013, 05:20 PM
because all you need is a splitter for TB.



exactly, all I need is a splitter for TB, which strongly implies I'm not buying. Later in the thread, I explained why I'm not buying it. Therefore, your comment "Then don't buy it" followed by an explanation that simply repeats the reason I gave already about not buying it is completely unnecessary. Why even bother commenting when you're just repeating?

That's like saying "then don't watch the indie Steve Jobs movie" right after I explained I'm not going to watch the indie version because I rather see the studio version which seems intriguing.

----------

Already have. Nice try.

then you have failed with your comment. try again.

Crimson Hikari
Apr 18, 2013, 06:29 PM
I'd hope that will be possible - it would be better if they offered it without an optical drive and let you fit your own or use the space for another HD. Not offering a blu-ray writer is odd, too.

Value vs. cost is a tricky one - I'd say the Sonnet offers at least equivalent value to the Caldigit, but you can't ignore the fact that it costs more.

If they offered it without a Blu-Ray drive, or swappable ones, I might save for a little bit and think about purchasing. But then again, I'm not completely sure. I use my external BR drive when I go see my friends, and they don't have a player so it's all "Hey, can you plug in the laptop and play this???" (I managed to get Mac Blu Ray Player cheap as part of an app bundle, so its a great portable player).

The writer thing is odd too...if they offer a reader, why not a writer too?

If they dropped the price, or offered it at a reduced price without the BR drive, it might just sway me from the Caldigit dock should it actually come out. I could swap my usb hard drive enclosures for some eSATA ones, but then that's an additional cost too. At the moment with the projected price of the Caldigit, it seems like a fair deal. The Sonnet seems like a heavier investment, where the Caldigit appears to give quick and convenient expandability. Either way, they both look like great products.

Anyway, if I did want the other one in the future (and had a better job) I could get the best of both with daisychaining.

russellfko
Apr 18, 2013, 07:03 PM
The writer thing is odd too...if they offer a reader, why not a writer too?

If they dropped the price, or offered it at a reduced price without the BR drive, it might just sway me from the Caldigit dock should it actually come out. I could swap my usb hard drive enclosures for some eSATA ones, but then that's an additional cost too. At the moment with the projected price of the Caldigit, it seems like a fair deal. The Sonnet seems like a heavier investment, where the Caldigit appears to give quick and convenient expandability. Either way, they both look like great products.

Anyway, if I did want the other one in the future (and had a better job) I could get the best of both with daisychaining.

Me too. Actually at this point the pricing is minor to me. How soon we can get the products on hand and use it is more important. I have been waiting for 2 years and finally saw a nice one from sonnet or caldigit. I just signed up caldigit's waiting list. No preorder but waiting list :) easier :)

Crimson Hikari
Apr 18, 2013, 07:29 PM
Me too. Actually at this point the pricing is minor to me. How soon we can get the products on hand and use it is more important. I have been waiting for 2 years and finally saw a nice one from sonnet or caldigit. I just signed up caldigit's waiting list. No preorder but waiting list :) easier :)

Yeah :) I waited ages for the Belkin dock, and it still hasn't materialised, so I'm praying these make their way into production soon!

toke lahti
Apr 19, 2013, 12:29 PM
I suppose those are some distinct advantages, although it would be great to be able to swap in your own Blu Ray drive into it.

It's the idea of not using a lot of the ports that gets me thinking that it might be a waste for me. I don't use eSATA or Firewire, as I said before, and while the internal hard drive is a nice feature, it isn't essential. Might be nice for Time Machine backups though.

It looks like I would be getting a better deal because I'd be using all the features it offers rather than just half of them, especially with a pretty big price difference. Its a bit of a steep price to pay to get just one extra usb 3.0 port, a SATA port and a Blu Ray drive I might not be able to swap out should it break, and a premium I can't afford at the moment. I have a usb BR drive already which works great and is very portable for when I go see my friends at their university, and I'm only earning minimum wage at the moment, so I don't know if I could justify it unless I was going to make use of every feature it offered.

But hey, you feel like being generous and buying it for me if and when it comes out, I'll welcome it with open arms and you with a nice homemade pizza.

And yeah...where the heck is the Belkin Dock? What happened to the whole taking pre-orders thing?
Sounds like you'd need only usb3 hub, if you don't need else than usb and already have bd-drive.

carestudio
Apr 19, 2013, 04:35 PM
Lets make a product called "Thunderbolt Complaints" where you can plug whatever you want including your ipad mini, samsung galaxy, google glass, HTC butterfly, Garmin GPS, nokia whatever phone and make Thunderbolt connection wireless 100G, and then you dont need the keyboard or mouse because you can issue signal from your brain directly to this TC unit and control your computer. Good eunf ? :0 DOH :)

StellarSoul
Apr 24, 2013, 07:18 PM
Attaching a bag of hurt with Thunderbolt does't make it less of a bag of hurt.

And besides, Apple has the best HD movie and TV options in iTunes.

----------



Apple has the best HD movie and TV options in iTunes. They are making certain that you have the best possible User Experience. That is what they do.

Oh really? Cause when I search iTunes for particular movies that are already on blu-ray, they're regularly not there. And more than half of the movies I watch on iTunes dont have ANY subtitles, let alone foreign language ones. Quality is no where near as good as blu-ray either.

g4cube
Jan 24, 2014, 12:46 PM
Sonnet has updated their info on the Echo 15:

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/echo15thunderboltdock.html

Perhaps we'll see it by the end of Summer '14.

They decided to redesign the Thunderbolt interface and update it to Thunderbolt 2.

I hope that no one who preordered a unit had their credit card charged.

This was originally announced in April 2013 at NAB.

HenryAZ
Jan 24, 2014, 02:04 PM
Sonnet has updated their info on the Echo 15:

Perhaps we'll see it by the end of Summer '14.

They decided to redesign the Thunderbolt interface and update it to Thunderbolt 2.


I like this statement on their update page:

"Equipping the Echo docks with Thunderbolt 2 will ensure you won't regret being an early adopter"

It doesn't much look like there will be early adopters, at this rate.

g4cube
Jan 24, 2014, 06:15 PM
A very expensive way to do market research.

When thunderbolt first came out on the Mac, Sonnet announced several products that never made it to market.

Even at NAB last year, they only had a larger banner illustration of the Echo 15 dock. Not even a physical mockup to display.

Announcing future products too early may lead to "the Osborne Effect":

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osborne_effect

ShinySteelRobot
Jan 24, 2014, 07:21 PM
Ah, zealots. Yes, iTunes is of marginally lower quality than Blu-ray. But have you honestly watched a 1080p iTunes purchase and a Blu-ray of the same movie, on the same TV, from a reasonable viewing distance? WITHOUT making a point of specifically looking for flaws?

For the vast majority of movies, you won't be able to see any difference.

Please don't get a "FLAC/ALC lossless compressed versus uncompressed WAV/AIFF music" argument too...

It depends on the Blu-ray disc. It's true, older and/or poorly-encoded BR discs are often comparable to iTunes quality.

However, most of the time I see a pretty significant difference between Blu-ray and iTunes. Of course, my Apple TV and my Blu-ray player are both hooked up to a 1080p native projector and 120" projection screen in a dedicated home theater room. Given I choice I will always watch content from Blu-ray instead of iTunes.

Also, like many home theater enthusiasts I watch a lot of 3D content on the 120" screen (it's like my own personal 3D IMAX) and iTunes really has nothing to offer there.

I chuckle every time someone says something like "optical is dead".

Optical will be even less dead when 4K arrives due to the flippin' ginormous file sizes.

phoenixsan
Jan 24, 2014, 08:20 PM
to me.....:D....Affordable price tag, good set of features. Obviously, no a laptop product, more an addition to a desktop setup.

Seems promising. Hope that quality and performance are in their best in this product. I always tought that Thunderbolt can gain momentum with affordable and feature-packed peripherals. Sounds like that time is coming...:D


:):apple:

ZipZap
Jan 25, 2014, 07:32 AM
All of these dock makers have to stop assuming that everyone will daisy chain thunderbolt devices.

There are almost NO thunderbolt monitors out there.

There needs to be at least 3 TB ports so a 2 monitor setup is possible.

Or F'n follow the lead of the Mac Pro and have 6 ports!

dyn
Jan 25, 2014, 08:04 AM
Users like you need to stop assuming it is as easy as hooking up things. It is definitely not. Also users like you need to stop assuming that each computer comes with 1289347692467823946 amount of Thunderbolt ports. If you get 2 you are lucky! Most computers will only have 1 and thus there is no other option but to daisy chain.

Another problem is the technical limitations with Thunderbolt and DisplayPort. A Thunderbolt device is only able to use 1 DisplayPort stream, meaning that it can only drive 1 DisplayPort display. If you put more ports on it and run that over Thunderbolt you only have a choice what kind of display connection you want to use. Only 1 of the connections will work, the others won't. Basically, if you want multiple non-Thunderbolt displays buy the new Mac Pro (it has 6 Thunderbolt ports).

The Caldigit dock is a very nice one because it has both hdmi and Thunderbolt on it. There is another brand which sports a similar layout on their dock. That way you can hook up a display and another Thunderbolt device such as the Thunderbolt Display (dual, triple display support!). I would have liked a mini DisplayPort or normal DisplayPort connector too because most modern displays come with them. However, the best thing would have been to have more Thunderbolt display options or the ability to hook up more displays. Unfortunately the problem is the infancy of the technology. It is still too new for such options. We'll see them in the future when bandwidth is enough for multiple DisplayPort streams (and thus multiple displays/higher resolution displays) and Thunderbolt is more popular.

ZipZap
Jan 26, 2014, 04:42 AM
Users like you need to stop assuming it is as easy as hooking up things. It is definitely not. Also users like you need to stop assuming that each computer comes with 1289347692467823946 amount of Thunderbolt ports. If you get 2 you are lucky! Most computers will only have 1 and thus there is no other option but to daisy chain.

Another problem is the technical limitations with Thunderbolt and DisplayPort. A Thunderbolt device is only able to use 1 DisplayPort stream, meaning that it can only drive 1 DisplayPort display. If you put more ports on it and run that over Thunderbolt you only have a choice what kind of display connection you want to use. Only 1 of the connections will work, the others won't. Basically, if you want multiple non-Thunderbolt displays buy the new Mac Pro (it has 6 Thunderbolt ports).

The Caldigit dock is a very nice one because it has both hdmi and Thunderbolt on it. There is another brand which sports a similar layout on their dock. That way you can hook up a display and another Thunderbolt device such as the Thunderbolt Display (dual, triple display support!). I would have liked a mini DisplayPort or normal DisplayPort connector too because most modern displays come with them. However, the best thing would have been to have more Thunderbolt display options or the ability to hook up more displays. Unfortunately the problem is the infancy of the technology. It is still too new for such options. We'll see them in the future when bandwidth is enough for multiple DisplayPort streams (and thus multiple displays/higher resolution displays) and Thunderbolt is more popular.

I have 2 TB on my rMBP but I am tired of all the dongles. The point of a dock it to have 1 connection to the computer and the move then other connections/dongles to the dock. If I am never going to be able drive 2 monitors from a dock (short of using TB) then that's a bit useless from my perspective.

dyn
Jan 26, 2014, 03:20 PM
Yeah, I know what you mean but unfortunately we are not entirely there yet with the technology. If you have a Mac with Thunderbolt 2 you can at least use DisplayPort 1.2 displays and daisy chain them. In theory that should work. For the old Thunderbolt stuff the only option is to use a second dock.