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Old Jul 5, 2011, 10:05 PM   #26
nanofrog
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Originally Posted by mac.tastic View Post
Not possible. Its design is tied into the GPU.
Actually, it isn't.

The TB chip only adds DisplayPort output it to the signal if wired up (shares a single cable for 2 different signals when DP is wired up). But it's not a requirement for the TB chip to work. You can still use it for DATA only if you wish.

The controversy is to do with the effect this sort of confusion could have with adoption (i.e. is it data, video, or both? sorts of questions by users, and if they're not sure, they may not buy into Thunderbolt). And Intel wants their money back (R&D) with interest as soon as possible.

Laptop users would benefit from video over the cable as well as data, but not so much for desktop users. The reason for this, is there are existing graphics interconnects available that are faster than 10Gb/s and desktops don't suffer the PCB real estate issues laptops do.

So there's merits for both Data only and Data + Video variants. When we'll see purely Data solutions is another matter, but it certainly simplifies things to keep video on it for now from Intel's POV. The issue with this, is there are other devices being announced that use TB ports (i.e. smartphones and cameras) that users will want to connect to desktops that use discrete graphics cards (not an issue for AIO's like the iMac, as it uses an embedded GPU chip on the board = easy to wire up to the TB chip/s).

But there's even ways to get a DP signal off of a PCIe graphics card to a separate PCIe TB card.

If you're interested in more information, go back and take a look at earlier threads (including those on LightPeak).
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Old Jul 5, 2011, 10:14 PM   #27
mac.tastic
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Originally Posted by nanofrog View Post
Actually, it is
Thats what I said. Go read the actual specs by intel.
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Old Jul 5, 2011, 11:23 PM   #28
nanofrog
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Originally Posted by mac.tastic View Post
Thats what I said. Go read the actual specs by Intel.
Your post came off as the video signal is an absolute requirement to make TB operate to me, which is not the case. It can operate as a data only interconnect, though this isn't the desired approach with a laptop, and what Intel is actively targeting ATM (fastest way to introduce TB to users). AIO's will be faster to bring to market than PCIe slot equipped desktops as well, due to either an integrated or embedded GPU.

Technically possible vs. restricted by Intel is another argument, but that doesn't hold water in the long run either IMO (does in the short term due to how confusion can affect adoption rates).

If you go back and look at the information Intel released, they didn't mention what effect this meant for desktops with PCIe slots at all, let alone state incontrovertibly "Data Only implementations = never going to happen". Not even close. Instead, they never even addressed it = open ended.

This isn't really surprising IMO, as it's faster to introduce TB to the laptop market than try to get a working method of getting DP data to a TB card in order to avoid confusion (simultaneous support needs GPU card maker support). So they opted to get a product out sooner than later in order to get a return on their investment now rather than later. Pretty simple really.

In terms of how to get a DP signal on a TB chip between discrete PCIe cards (GPU and TB), think of a flexible PCB between the GPU card and TB card (same methodology as SLI or Crossfire cables). Easy and cheap too, but it does mean an open standard that GPU card makers will adopt and use = hard part. Creating standards tends to come with a lot of bickering, and takes time to sort. Hence leaving it open-ended gives them the option to offer it if such a standard is ever adopted, or dump the idea if the standard is never agreed upon as well, and they didn't waste time on profit generation while waiting for this to get sorted. Makes sense from a business perspective anyway.

Assuming the worst case happens (standard adoption = never), then it's still possible to make Data Only TB cards in order to allow desktop users access to TB equipped devices (camera, smartphone, ... whatever).

Imagine Canon creates their TB cameras as promised, but users can't use them with a single desktop on the planet because there are no TB cards available. They'd remind Intel that allowing Data Only PCIe cards for desktops has merit and will be financially beneficial to both (Intel sells more TB chips, and Canon can actually sell their cameras).
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Old Jul 15, 2011, 04:33 AM   #29
Isidore
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Surely one reason for TB on a desktop is for syncing a laptop and a desktop? That's the reason I want TB on a mac pro.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 11:07 AM   #30
reed101
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certification

Thunderbolt requires certification from Apple Intel,,,, a PCIe card would also require that it could run displays and plug and play ................ not so easy to get certification.


from a little search that seems to be the reason.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 07:56 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by TomKing View Post
I just cant help but wonder why you'd need thunderbolt on a mac pro, or anything other than laptops (and of course the imac).

For me its a great idea, but, well. We have internal storage space for desktops, with up to SATAIII now, plus esata for external, plus many other I/O options.

I just dont see the need for thunderbolt on desktops, other than to enable you to use the peripherals.

Unless the thunderbolt port could be used as some crazy fast data and video network connection.... to a thunderbolt switch..... with fibre storage hanging out of it.... Now that would make it interesting.
LMAO This post had -1 and there's not even a "down" arrow anymore (I gave you a point ).
... And it was the exact comment I was going to make: Why the heck do we need thunderbolt on a machine that can run an eSATA/USBIII/FW800/3rd party video card?

I really doubt that a thunderbolt bridgeboard to eSATA is going to be as good as my PCIe eSATA controller.
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