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Old Apr 28, 2014, 08:00 PM   #1
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42 Peripheral Devices Connected to One 2013 Mac Pro




Since Thunderbolt ports can support up to six peripherals in a daisy chain, which is a wiring scheme where multiple devices are chained together in a certain order, Macworld decided to test how many devices they could daisy chain together with the new Mac Pro's six Thunderbolt ports, four USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI port and two gigabit Ethernet ports.

Macworld named the test the "Mac Pro Daisy Chain Challenge" and was able to connect a total of 42 peripheral devices to the Mac Pro.
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We connected 36 drives (19 Thunderbolt, 15 USB, 2 FireWire 800) with a combined capacity of 100.63TB. In addition to the drives, we also connected two Thunderbolt docks (the Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock and the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station, an Apple*Thunderbolt Display, two Apple Cinema Displays, and one HP*Z Display Z27. All this to a single Mac Pro.
Only a dozen of the drives were being powered from the cables connecting them to the Mac Pro.*The 24 remaining drives required external power and had to be plugged into three power strips with an attached Watts Up power meter. The combine power draw when Macworld ran a script that copied data from the Mac Pro's internal flash storage to the drives was 865 Watts.

Through*Mac OS X's Activity Monitor, the lab found that there was a combined throughput of 3 Gbps. The rate slowed as the fastest drives, of which OWC's Mercury Helios was the fastest, finished transferring data.

The lab also found that the daisy chains didn't affect the performance of a single drive working alone. Rather, the location of the drive within the daisy chain affected performance. For instance, one drive's average write speed was 709.8 Mbps when tested at the beginning of the daisy chain and without a daisy chain and only 556.7 Mbps when placed at the end of the chain.

The full list of devices connected to the Mac Pro, along with more information on the challenge and future tests can be found at Macworld.

Article Link: 42 Peripheral Devices Connected to One 2013 Mac Pro
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 08:02 PM   #2
spyguy10709
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What a freaking mess.
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 08:05 PM   #3
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Can't innovate my ass.
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 08:05 PM   #4
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That's great and all...

..but all I want is more than 1TB and I have to have some crap hanging off his beautiful system.
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 08:06 PM   #5
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I am impressed. More by the amount of money that would cost rather than the number of devices connected.
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 08:07 PM   #6
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Heat??

Just a curiosity... I wonder what would happen if all devices were powered through the connecting cable... I'm assuming that would generate lots of heating and strain on the mac pro, no?
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 08:13 PM   #7
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42 - The answer to life
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 08:15 PM   #8
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Wow, and all the devices together are probably the weight of a few Mac Pros.
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Last edited by Jessica Lares; Apr 28, 2014 at 08:20 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 08:15 PM   #9
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Why do people get a kick out of unrealistic, impractical uses of technology?

No one would ever daisy chain that much hardware via a non-locking cable. I am sure even the builder wouldn't no where to begin looking if a part of the chain unmounted.
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 08:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CartoonHeroII View Post
42 - The answer to life
I'm six minutes too late to make the same comment


And yes, that's really messy, but impressive too
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 08:19 PM   #11
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an impressive stress-test
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 08:21 PM   #12
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They spent all there money on peripheral's and forgot to buy a chair and desk...
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 08:22 PM   #13
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Wow. And I still haven't found a need to use one of my 2 Thunderbolt ports.
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 08:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
42 Peripheral Devices Connected to One 2013 Mac Pro
Typical for the new age.


This is a more realistic picture:

[thanks to user "cc bcc" @ arstechnica]
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 08:34 PM   #15
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Thunderbolt is such a cool technology, sad it is really only for pro people. I think adoption rates will stay low.
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 08:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Retrofire View Post
Typical for the new age.


This is a more realistic picture:
Image
[thanks to user "cc bcc" @ arstechnica]
I love how they add something without any wires to the bottom right, just for kicks. Also, a Superdrive and a Blu-Ray player? I'm not sure what the purpose of having both is other than doing disc->disk (which would be faster without the Superdrive anyways).

Also, I wasn't aware the old Mac Pro had a built-in UPS.
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 08:45 PM   #17
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He must be really popular with the ladies with that setup!
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 08:51 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Parasprite View Post
I love how they add something without any wires to the bottom right, just for kicks. Also, a Superdrive and a Blu-Ray player? I'm not sure what the purpose of having both is other than doing disc->disk (which would be faster without the Superdrive anyways).

Also, I wasn't aware the old Mac Pro had a built-in UPS.
It's not a UPS. It's just a power point.
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 09:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Retrofire View Post
This is a more realistic picture
So what you're saying is that the old Mac Pro could hold 42 separate internal devices?

This was an exercise in stretching a NMP to its limits. I doubt anyone would consider adding that many peripherals. A single multi-bay disk enclosure and perhaps an optical drive (although those are rapidly becoming obsolete) wouldn't add much clutter at all. With the NMP's six T-Bolt ports, 4 USB 3 ports, 2 ethernet ports and HDMI, many people could get by without even a dock.
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 09:04 PM   #20
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Have the White Knights charged in yet to defend poor defenseless pros from the horrors of the new Mac Pro, despite not actually themselves experiencing the issues they like to parrot?

Hopefully not.

I like the Pro design because it provides a replaceable "performance hub" with the speed-critical components separated from the tower chassis (if you even truly need one) beside it. The SSD, RAM, CPU and GPU are in one super-quiet unit, leaving you the "expandability" to keep everything else when you upgrade those some years down the road. Icing on the cake: at least 3 of those individual components can be swapped out as well.

Of course, it's more fun to pretend that pros never used externals before
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 09:09 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Retrofire View Post
Typical for the new age.


This is a more realistic picture:
Image
[thanks to user "cc bcc" @ arstechnica]
And here's how they both look when they are put into a closet the way most real professionals do (despite nagromme's objections ).

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Old Apr 28, 2014, 09:16 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
"Mac Pro Daisy Chain Challenge"
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Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
"15 USB"
USB can't be daisy chained.
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 09:18 PM   #23
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USB can't be daisy chained.
But it can be "hubbed", which is how they got 15 devices all connected to the mac.
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 09:22 PM   #24
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But it can be "hubbed", which is how they got 15 devices all connected to the mac.
Hubbed is not a daisy chain.
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Old Apr 28, 2014, 09:25 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Skunk View Post
Why do people get a kick out of unrealistic, impractical uses of technology?

No one would ever daisy chain that much hardware via a non-locking cable. I am sure even the builder wouldn't no where to begin looking if a part of the chain unmounted.
Because it just shows how well the system will work when it is put into a realistic situation
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