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Old Aug 20, 2013, 06:26 AM   #176
JordanNZ
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Originally Posted by toke lahti View Post
External PCI has enabled using normal pci cards with laptops a long time.
So, in that sense TB offers nothing new. But if TB would have been made cheap & widely used in industry, it could have became a whole lot cheaper than external pci, which remained to be expensive niche.
(Btw, funny that Avid doesn't publish TB latency. Or is it really same than with internal pci card? Latency chart also tells how "horrible" the latency with usb is. Fw has been told to be way better than usb and that's why users still want to use their fw devices. Usb2 latency is 7ms, fw 5ms and pcie is 1-3ms. I'd guess that usb3 latency is on same level than fw and usb3.1 will be even better. So actually the latency differences might be about 1ms. Is this so very important for so many?)
The thunderbolt version of Native has the same latency as the PCIe version.

And you're completely speculating about the latency of USB3 and 3.1 in real world devices. Especially considering that USB 3.1 doesn't actually exist outside of a spec.

If you want low latency audio monitoring, then you're not going to get that with USB, and you're not going to get Pro Tools native running over usb, but you can get it running on thunderbolt. Today.

My entire argument is that both USB and Thunderbolt each have their advantages, and disadvantages, and can co-exist just fine. Just because thunderbolt isn't useful for yourself doesn't mean it's not useful for someone else.

Last edited by JordanNZ; Aug 20, 2013 at 09:32 AM.
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Old Aug 20, 2013, 04:06 PM   #177
toke lahti
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Originally Posted by subsonix View Post
Sorry s/pdif is several orders of magnitude slower, it supports audio at audio sampling frequencies up to 96KHz only. For two channels that's about 0.6MB/s. They picked copper because it was significantly cheaper.
You missed my point. S/pdif was the Light Peak of 80s'. It was like from sci-fi, real rocket science for that age. First it was very expensive, but got cheaper as it was widely accepted. So far it doesn't look very sure that TB will ever make that.
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Originally Posted by subsonix View Post
Not true, Thunderbolt v2 is supported on v1 cables. If v3 is optical going to PCIe v3 for example, the cable transceiver can be switched for a silicon photonics module. Such a cable is backwards compatible with current standards.
Since TB2 hasn't shipped yet, we can't be sure of that. But since it doesn't actually have more bandwidth, it could be backwards compatible. It just bonds to 10Gbps pipes together.
But it also doesn't make the jump to optical any cheaper or easier. I'd guess that we will also see TB3 in copper, only more bundled pipes with sligthly better speeds. TB1 is 4x10Gbps, TB2 is 2x20Gbps, TB3 could be 4x15Gps pipes bundled as 2x30Gps.
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Going along with that theory why do you think R&D costs would be lower with optical, it does seem like a more expensive technology at this point in time which is why they settled for copper after all.
Costs would not be lower per device, but they would have longer lifespan and cables would be cheaper. So over years TCO would be lower.
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Originally Posted by JordanNZ View Post
And you're completely speculating about the latency of USB3 and 3.1 in real world devices. Especially considering that USB 3.1 doesn't actually exist outside of a spec.
I was talking and quoting about usb3.0.
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Old Aug 20, 2013, 09:14 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by toke lahti View Post
I was talking and quoting about usb3.0.
"I'd guess that usb3 latency is on same level than fw and usb3.1 will be even better. So actually the latency differences might be about 1ms. Is this so very important for so many?"

Can you back this claim with any evidence? Or were you speculating?


Quote:
Originally Posted by toke lahti View Post
Since TB2 hasn't shipped yet, we can't be sure of that. But since it doesn't actually have more bandwidth, it could be backwards compatible. It just bonds to 10Gbps pipes together.
Intel have already announced Thunderbolt1 cables will work with Thunderbolt2.

Last edited by JordanNZ; Aug 20, 2013 at 09:19 PM.
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Old Aug 20, 2013, 09:36 PM   #179
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Originally Posted by toke lahti View Post
You missed my point. S/pdif was the Light Peak of 80s'. It was like from sci-fi, real rocket science for that age. First it was very expensive, but got cheaper as it was widely accepted. So far it doesn't look very sure that TB will ever make that.
So your complaint is that Thunderbolt is too expensive, yet you think they should pick optical which would make it significantly more expensive. At 100Gb/s it's too expensive to take of even at places like Facebook with current technology, these optical modules are currently hand made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toke lahti View Post
Since TB2 hasn't shipped yet, we can't be sure of that. But since it doesn't actually have more bandwidth, it could be backwards compatible. It just bonds to 10Gbps pipes together.
But it also doesn't make the jump to optical any cheaper or easier. I'd guess that we will also see TB3 in copper, only more bundled pipes with sligthly better speeds. TB1 is 4x10Gbps, TB2 is 2x20Gbps, TB3 could be 4x15Gps pipes bundled as 2x30Gps.
Yes we can be sure of that, it's the same cables. Current cables have 2 bidirectional 10Gb/s channels, Thunderbolt 2 aggregates these to 1 20Gb/s bidirectional channel. Since it now uses x4 PCIe v2, going to v3 would increase bandwidth to 40Gb/s with the same amount of lanes. Adding lanes could mean a need for new cable and sockets, unless there are spare and unused connectors in the socket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toke lahti View Post
Costs would not be lower per device, but they would have longer lifespan and cables would be cheaper. So over years TCO would be lower.

I was talking and quoting about usb3.0.
Longer lifespan, how so? You can continue to use gear at it's rated spec even if newer faster standards come along, it's pretty much a cost of doing business though as things don't remain constant. I have seen you previously think the omission of PCMCIA was a bad choice, why don't you just use USB 3 then? The fact is that Thunderbolt is everything and more than both PCMCIA and FireWire.

Last edited by subsonix; Aug 20, 2013 at 09:41 PM.
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Old Aug 21, 2013, 12:27 PM   #180
toke lahti
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Originally Posted by JordanNZ View Post
"I'd guess that usb3 latency is on same level than fw and usb3.1 will be even better. So actually the latency differences might be about 1ms. Is this so very important for so many?"

Can you back this claim with any evidence? Or were you speculating?

Intel have already announced Thunderbolt1 cables will work with Thunderbolt2.
Ok, then the cables work, maybe not next time anyway.
Do you have any evidence that usb3.1 have worse latency than usb3.0?
Or any reason to suspect so?
If someone can tell any latencies for usb3 connected pro(sumer) audio devices, I'd be happy to learn some more.
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Originally Posted by subsonix View Post
So your complaint is that Thunderbolt is too expensive, yet you think they should pick optical which would make it significantly more expensive. At 100Gb/s it's too expensive to take of even at places like Facebook with current technology, these optical modules are currently hand made.
If you are talking about 100G ethernet, it is expensive, but not that expensive. Or is Facebook in some kind of economical trouble now?
http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1281026
;P (Ok, $10k per port is pretty steep...)
But really 100G switches are expensive, but TB or LP switches are not. Since they just don't exist. And probably never will.
Ethernet developers made a big mistake by going from 1G straight to 10G. That was far too expensive when they did it to become widespread enough. Now we've been waiting for 10Gether to become affordable about an decade.

So that's not what I suggested, what they should have made is real optical Light Port with 10Gps. Or even 5Gps if it would have been much cheaper. After that there could have been wide demand for optical modules and slowly the prices would have gone down. If after about a 5 years there would have been 100 million optical modules sold, they would really be cheap. Now TB still has zero optical modules sold, so it will be long time before prices drop and when even more expensive optical TB version is introduced, lots of people start asking that can't we just continue using this old cheaper version, because it's fast enough anyway.
S/pdif is remarkable accomplishment, since it's the only time in industry that new media(optical) has been managed to make cheap.

So what I really tried to say, is that I think that optical 5th gen TB would be cheaper if they would have started with optical. Now the jump from electrical to optical when 3rd or 4th gen will arrive, will be almost impossible.
For 1st gen TB adopters, I'd guess it would have been no issue, if devices would have been $100 more expensive. To get TB wider acceptance, it would have and will be issue, but maybe Apple isn't interested in wider acceptance.
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Originally Posted by subsonix View Post
Since it now uses x4 PCIe v2, going to v3 would increase bandwidth to 40Gb/s with the same amount of lanes. Adding lanes could mean a need for new cable and sockets, unless there are spare and unused connectors in the socket.
You got the problem opened. Adding lanes will be very hard for maintaining backward compability. Also making one lane faster in copper will be very difficult. And going to optical now will also be very hard for backwards compability. So my best guess is that they don't dare to jump to optical yet next time and they can't double the speed in copper lane. So that's why I'm guessing they will try to increase speed by 50% and if needed make new bigger connector that has more lanes, but you can still use old connector (just like what they did with mini-usb3).
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Originally Posted by subsonix View Post
Longer lifespan, how so? You can continue to use gear at it's rated spec even if newer faster standards come along, it's pretty much a cost of doing business though as things don't remain constant. I have seen you previously think the omission of PCMCIA was a bad choice, why don't you just use USB 3 then? The fact is that Thunderbolt is everything and more than both PCMCIA and FireWire.
I do think that removing expansion that is widely accepted in industry is mistake and I also think that replacing that with new expansion that is not widely accepted does not correct the mistake.
Apple could have kept the EC (yep, EC is not the same than PCMCIA, if you don't know) slot at the same time when adding a TB port. This things can and should overlap. This would be most beneficial to users, since they can choose when they like jumb to some new standard.
Same way Apple could offer MP that has same external expansion than new MP will, but at the same time have the same internal expansion that the old MP had. But they chose not to.
Same way they chose in 2011 offer TB without usb3. Although the latter would have been far more useful for far more greater audience.

Optical interconnect would have longer lifespan if it would have been chosen from the beginning, because then there would be no need to change the connection ever. No adding lanes and changing the shape of connector according to that. Now it will be very interesting to see if there is any convenient way to do that when they have to change to optical. Will they stay with active cables having media conversion on both ends on all cables? What will the prices be then? If they make real optical connection with passive cables, how do you connect older TB devices to that? I see no easy roadmap ahead. But I do see some professionals asking, why other than Apple's laptops can daisy chain two 4k monitors, but macs can't.
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Last edited by toke lahti; Aug 21, 2013 at 12:33 PM.
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Old Aug 21, 2013, 11:12 PM   #181
subsonix
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Originally Posted by toke lahti View Post
If you are talking about 100G ethernet, it is expensive, but not that expensive. Or is Facebook in some kind of economical trouble now?
http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1281026
;P (Ok, $10k per port is pretty steep...)
I'm not talking about Ethernet specifically, but a 100Gb/s optical link. Here's what Andy Bechtoisheim (Sun cofounder) said about it a Open Compute Summit:

Quote:
"The whole thing about 100-gigabit Ethernet is that it's not practical until the cost of the optics comes down. The current optics are so expensive that – I don't even know how to put it – they basically inhibit the market."

With the advent of silicon photonics modules such as those Intel demonstrated on Thursday, however, "One hundred–gigabit becomes a very viable technology for the networking industry," Bechtolsheim said, "and it will take off as soon as this is shipping."
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04..._breakthrough/

Quote:
Originally Posted by toke lahti View Post
So that's not what I suggested, what they should have made is real optical Light Port with 10Gps. Or even 5Gps if it would have been much cheaper. After that there could have been wide demand for optical modules and slowly the prices would have gone down. If after about a 5 years there would have been 100 million optical modules sold, they would really be cheap. Now TB still has zero optical modules sold, so it will be long time before prices drop and when even more expensive optical TB version is introduced, lots of people start asking that can't we just continue using this old cheaper version, because it's fast enough anyway.
S/pdif is remarkable accomplishment, since it's the only time in industry that new media(optical) has been managed to make cheap.

So what I really tried to say, is that I think that optical 5th gen TB would be cheaper if they would have started with optical. Now the jump from electrical to optical when 3rd or 4th gen will arrive, will be almost impossible.
For 1st gen TB adopters, I'd guess it would have been no issue, if devices would have been $100 more expensive. To get TB wider acceptance, it would have and will be issue, but maybe Apple isn't interested in wider acceptance.
Maybe, but a link capable of 5 or 10Gb/s, would not scale to 100Gb/s which means, new sockets and cables going forward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toke lahti View Post
You got the problem opened. Adding lanes will be very hard for maintaining backward compability. Also making one lane faster in copper will be very difficult. And going to optical now will also be very hard for backwards compability. So my best guess is that they don't dare to jump to optical yet next time and they can't double the speed in copper lane. So that's why I'm guessing they will try to increase speed by 50% and if needed make new bigger connector that has more lanes, but you can still use old connector (just like what they did with mini-usb3).
Actually, they can scale up to 80Gb/s with PCIe 4.0 without more lanes, but who knows what they will do, I think it depends on when intel gets silicon photonics on the market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toke lahti View Post
I do think that removing expansion that is widely accepted in industry is mistake and I also think that replacing that with new expansion that is not widely accepted does not correct the mistake.
Apple could have kept the EC (yep, EC is not the same than PCMCIA, if you don't know) slot at the same time when adding a TB port. This things can and should overlap. This would be most beneficial to users, since they can choose when they like jumb to some new standard.
Same way Apple could offer MP that has same external expansion than new MP will, but at the same time have the same internal expansion that the old MP had. But they chose not to.
Same way they chose in 2011 offer TB without usb3. Although the latter would have been far more useful for far more greater audience.
Yep, they could have a period where they offered both, except on the Mac Pro I believe it's dependent on internal graphics to work, or a loop back cable. However you seem to agree that USB is not the answer to everything and technically Thunderbolt is superior to ExpressCard (yes it's not pcmcia, but s/pdif is not optical so..).

Quote:
Originally Posted by toke lahti View Post
Optical interconnect would have longer lifespan if it would have been chosen from the beginning, because then there would be no need to change the connection ever. No adding lanes and changing the shape of connector according to that. Now it will be very interesting to see if there is any convenient way to do that when they have to change to optical. Will they stay with active cables having media conversion on both ends on all cables? What will the prices be then? If they make real optical connection with passive cables, how do you connect older TB devices to that? I see no easy roadmap ahead. But I do see some professionals asking, why other than Apple's laptops can daisy chain two 4k monitors, but macs can't.
Not so sure about that, or are the physical properties of a 100Gb/s link the same as Toslink for example, are you sure or are you assuming.
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Old Aug 26, 2013, 06:57 AM   #182
toke lahti
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Originally Posted by subsonix View Post
I'm not talking about Ethernet specifically, but a 100Gb/s optical link. Here's what Andy Bechtoisheim (Sun cofounder) said about it a Open Compute Summit:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04..._breakthrough/
This is pretty much same they said in 2009 when introducing LP and what was said in 2003 about 10GbE. I wouldn't hold my breath. Wikipedia tells that over 3 million 10GbE ports were shipped already in 2010, but we still haven't seen steep enough price drop. I'd guess than now over a million is sold in a year, but maybe it needs 20 million...
Quote:
Originally Posted by subsonix View Post
Maybe, but a link capable of 5 or 10Gb/s, would not scale to 100Gb/s which means, new sockets and cables going forward.
Optical sockets and cables have been scaling very nicely in fibre channel and at least in single-mode ethernet. I don't know why it wouldn't scale with TB.
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Originally Posted by subsonix View Post
Actually, they can scale up to 80Gb/s with PCIe 4.0 without more lanes, but who knows what they will do, I think it depends on when intel gets silicon photonics on the market.
Those who know about very fast copper signalling have told, that 20Gbps per lane would mean very short cables and very expensive electronics for few years at least. So if TB developers really want to widespread their tech, it would very probable that they'd chose 15Gbps per lane for TB3, if they decided to stay with copper. There might be idea that they should sell at least few million ports outside macs and apple's display to get people accustomed to TB and only after that make the final jump to expensive optical version. So TB's lane speed might not keep up with pcie's lane speed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by subsonix View Post
Yep, they could have a period where they offered both, except on the Mac Pro I believe it's dependent on internal graphics to work, or a loop back cable. However you seem to agree that USB is not the answer to everything and technically Thunderbolt is superior to ExpressCard (yes it's not pcmcia, but s/pdif is not optical so..).
S/pdif is not a connector, it's a data link layer. Terminologically it's correct to use toslink to feed s/pdif.
Anyway, I have never said that usb would be enough for everything. What I have tried to say, that for common mac user good, Apple should get rid of expensive TB when usb3.1 ships. And for pro's they should offer both TB and internal pci (also sata/sas) and let the pro user choose what is best for them. Only benefit what I can come up with TB might be that, Apple want's to have more os x support for add-on cards. Installed MP base has not been big enough for this, so maybe they thought that people would buy them more with TB boxes and this would encourage card makers to write more and better drivers for those cards, but IMHO this hasn't succeeded in any level. They just simply haven't succeeded lowering the prices. After 3 years the cables in my country costs (including tax) between $50-$100, esata adapter is big and bulky and costs about $250 and I'm still waiting for something like seagate's dock, but for 2 disks and preferrably less than $250...
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Old Aug 26, 2013, 08:46 AM   #183
subsonix
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Originally Posted by toke lahti View Post
This is pretty much same they said in 2009 when introducing LP and what was said in 2003 about 10GbE. I wouldn't hold my breath. Wikipedia tells that over 3 million 10GbE ports were shipped already in 2010, but we still haven't seen steep enough price drop. I'd guess than now over a million is sold in a year, but maybe it needs 20 million...
The difference is that it's not only economics of scale at play here. Integrating the entire optical module in a regular silicon chip is cheaper to manufacture, so the module it self becomes cheaper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toke lahti View Post
Optical sockets and cables have been scaling very nicely in fibre channel and at least in single-mode ethernet. I don't know why it wouldn't scale with TB.
Well, if you read the link above it should be clear that 10Gb/s modules can not be used for 100Gb/s transfers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toke lahti View Post
Those who know about very fast copper signalling have told, that 20Gbps per lane would mean very short cables and very expensive electronics for few years at least. So if TB developers really want to widespread their tech, it would very probable that they'd chose 15Gbps per lane for TB3, if they decided to stay with copper. There might be idea that they should sell at least few million ports outside macs and apple's display to get people accustomed to TB and only after that make the final jump to expensive optical version. So TB's lane speed might not keep up with pcie's lane speed.
Well who knows what they will be doing, not you, not I. It was only a response to your claim that they would need more lanes and thus new cables and sockets going forward, moving to optical mean that they can scale, I know about the limitations of copper hence the active cables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toke lahti View Post
S/pdif is not a connector, it's a data link layer. Terminologically it's correct to use toslink to feed s/pdif.
And I never said that it was! It's available both on copper and over Toslink, so just saying s/pdif does not imply optical. Neither is it merely a data link layer but an entire standard for transferring digital audio developed by Sony and Panasonic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toke lahti View Post
Anyway, I have never said that usb would be enough for everything. What I have tried to say, that for common mac user good, Apple should get rid of expensive TB when usb3.1 ships. And for pro's they should offer both TB and internal pci (also sata/sas) and let the pro user choose what is best for them. Only benefit what I can come up with TB might be that, Apple want's to have more os x support for add-on cards. Installed MP base has not been big enough for this, so maybe they thought that people would buy them more with TB boxes and this would encourage card makers to write more and better drivers for those cards, but IMHO this hasn't succeeded in any level. They just simply haven't succeeded lowering the prices. After 3 years the cables in my country costs (including tax) between $50-$100, esata adapter is big and bulky and costs about $250 and I'm still waiting for something like seagate's dock, but for 2 disks and preferrably less than $250...
That will probably not happen, it's not particular expensive at all btw, that esata adapter you mentioned, yeah I agree but why pay to limit your bandwidth to 25-50% of what is possible.
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Old Aug 27, 2013, 03:17 PM   #184
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The difference is that it's not only economics of scale at play here. Integrating the entire optical module in a regular silicon chip is cheaper to manufacture, so the module it self becomes cheaper.
Especially in chip business economics of scale are huge. R&d + building a manufacturing line is very expensive. If you make 10 million chips, it's affordable, 100 million it's dirty cheap, but 1 million damn expensive. Pretty much like if the chip is going to cost $10, $50 or $500.
Intel is surely not going to build a plant that can produce IC's with integrated optical module, before they can be sure that the whole industry buys them. At least 10 million units a year and you know that.
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Well, if you read the link above it should be clear that 10Gb/s modules can not be used for 100Gb/s transfers.
I was talking about backwards compability and if you have 100G optical module, it can connect to 10G optical module at the other end of cable, if the cable and socket are compatible. You can't do same with today's TB and the optical one without adapters, which - again - will be very expensive, since it's a niche of niche.
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Well who knows what they will be doing, not you, not I. It was only a response to your claim that they would need more lanes and thus new cables and sockets going forward, moving to optical mean that they can scale, I know about the limitations of copper hence the active cables.
Still, I doubt that if TB3 comes in copper before 2018, it will have 20Gbps per lane.
For convenience, I'd say that there might be pretty big demand even before that, to be able to daisy chain 2 pieces of 4k monitors. Which will happen, IMHO with DP in next year. Which also reminds the problem of how to attach DP monitor to optical TB connector. There will be lots of problems ahead...
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Originally Posted by subsonix View Post
And I never said that it was! It's available both on copper and over Toslink, so just saying s/pdif does not imply optical. Neither is it merely a data link layer but an entire standard for transferring digital audio developed by Sony and Panasonic.
Sorry, not Panasonic, but Philips... okayy, enough nitpicking...
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That will probably not happen, it's not particular expensive at all btw, that esata adapter you mentioned, yeah I agree but why pay to limit your bandwidth to 25-50% of what is possible.
Sata connected storage can't get faster than sata and that's enough for almost everybody when talking about external storage.
But when I can get 2-bay hdd dock with esata & usb for about 50 bucks, so I can copy files from one external to the other, I don't see the TB alternative with 10x pricetage "not particular expensive". Ten times more is particular expensive for me, especially when real world experience isn't very different.
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Old Aug 27, 2013, 04:42 PM   #185
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Why don't these guys just team the f**# up and make it one mother***#$% port.

It's just the consumer that dies slowly in the end...

And the whole point of it being a universal serial bus is that we wouldn't need multiple different incompatible serial ports on our computers!
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Old Sep 4, 2013, 01:43 AM   #186
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Why do people on here defend thunderbolt so much? Right now at this moment its an expensive port with very limited accessories. Who cares what it theoretically can do when there isn't any actual real products that utilize it.
Because some people seem to think that they do the same job and are even intended to be replacements for one another. They're not, which is why intel was involved in the invention of BOTH technologies.
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Old Dec 5, 2013, 07:06 PM   #187
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will the upcoming type-C connector be mandatory for USB 3.1? Perhaps there will be usb sticks with both A and C connectors... I know there was a combined usb/eSata stick with double ends.

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Old Dec 6, 2013, 06:49 AM   #188
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Most people commenting don't know about the underlying technologies and just go off the 'specs'.

USB 3.1 is fine and dandy, it doesn't hold a candle to Thunderbolt, v1 or v2.

USB is for consumers, Thunderbolt is for the Pro's.

I will never trade Thunderbolt for USB.
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