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Old Nov 14, 2012, 07:54 PM   #1
262Runnr
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Thunderbolt...the new Firewire?

Are prices for Thunderbolt devices ever going to come down to reasonable levels. I would love to see a reasonably price external drive that's twice as fast as USB 3.0 but not at the current prices. It seems like my Thunderbolt port right now is relegated to serving as an HDMI / VGA video converter output...
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 04:43 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 262Runnr View Post
Are prices for Thunderbolt devices ever going to come down to reasonable levels. I would love to see a reasonably price external drive that's twice as fast as USB 3.0 but not at the current prices. It seems like my Thunderbolt port right now is relegated to serving as an HDMI / VGA video converter output...
Give it time. The prices will go down, and they already have, compared to what they were almost two years ago. You can thank Intel Cactus Ridge for that, which helped get TB into PCs, and therefore, made more manufacturers actually care.

What I'm waiting for right now is someone (OWC, perhaps?) to start making external TB drive enclosures and drive docks. A single-bay dock or enclosure at perhaps a $150 price point would seem fair. Right now, the closest thing we have to that is LaCie's eSATA hub at $200, which feeds two eSATA drives into a TB port... :P
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 05:25 AM   #3
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Some more RAID towers would be nice. Pegasus is the only game in town in that arena. I know Sonnet has been working on them but they've been vaporware for two years now.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 08:29 AM   #4
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I don't think the intent of TB is uber fast external storage. The only thing that an saturate it is RAID 0'd SSD's I think 5 is the number. The intent of TB is to make the TB display serve as docking station.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 08:48 AM   #5
deconstruct60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 262Runnr View Post
Are prices for Thunderbolt devices ever going to come down to reasonable levels.
In addition to the relatively recent appearance of the "port ridge" ( dongle TB device oriented controller), another issue is the active electronics required at both end of the TB cable. There has been only one supplier of both the active filtering and the cables:

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/07...ve-until-2013/


Quote:
I would love to see a reasonably price external drive that's twice as fast as USB 3.0 but not at the current prices.
TB is never going to price match USB 3.0 ( or replace it). It is also a bad mismatch with single drives. Unless there is some data aggregation involved in the system TB doesn't really get deep traction. For example, coupled to a SATA RAID controller is a more natural fit but that also will take you nonlinear than single USB drive like prices.

Mainstream external storage was not the primary problem Thunderbolt was invented for. It is likely to turn out to be only a minor fraction of TB devices even after prices come down.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by JesterJJZ View Post
Some more RAID towers would be nice. Pegasus is the only game in town in that arena.
Not.

http://www.drobo.com/products/profes...o-5d/index.php




Quote:
I know Sonnet has been working on them but they've been vaporware for two years now.
Again not.

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/fu...underbolt.html

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanyChris View Post
The intent of TB is to make the TB display serve as docking station.
That is a bit too specific. The intent of TB is to aggregate legacy data traffic that would be sent to PCI-e if this was an internal set up. So one or more PCI-e controllers of legacy data connected to a computer's PCI-e controller. TB just extends that out of the box. The video aspect is more a convenience of a standard port factor more so than anything else. It also gives it something to do while the primarily value proposition gets off the ground.

Tying GPUs to the motherboard also plays into Intel's ( and AMD's ) agenda of fusing CPU-GPU into a single package. TB just "value adds" that proposition.

Docking station is a very good fit to a CPU-GPU based system with limited (or no) PCI-e slots. That happens to be the major direction the overall PC market is going so there is high synergy. But the 'display' aspect of the docking station isn't necessarily a given right now.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 10:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 262Runnr View Post
Are prices for Thunderbolt devices ever going to come down to reasonable levels.
P.S. Generally you need to wait for two full Consumer Electronics Show (CES) show cycles before can even remotely see if something is going to gain mainstream adoptions.

CES '11 was mainly early adopters of Thunderbolt. CES '12 is where can minimally see if this is going to be adopted by a wide spread set of vendors or not. It is still too early to make the call.

Apple adopting Thunderbolt ( and the Mac Pro adopting TB ) doesn't mean much to widespread adoption at the levels to dramatically decrease prices.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 11:14 AM   #7
GermanyChris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deconstruct60 View Post
In addition to the relatively recent appearance of the "port ridge" ( dongle TB device oriented controller), another issue is the active electronics required at both end of the TB cable. There has been only one supplier of both the active filtering and the cables:

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/07...ve-until-2013/




TB is never going to price match USB 3.0 ( or replace it). It is also a bad mismatch with single drives. Unless there is some data aggregation involved in the system TB doesn't really get deep traction. For example, coupled to a SATA RAID controller is a more natural fit but that also will take you nonlinear than single USB drive like prices.

Mainstream external storage was not the primary problem Thunderbolt was invented for. It is likely to turn out to be only a minor fraction of TB devices even after prices come down.

----------



Not.

http://www.drobo.com/products/profes...o-5d/index.php






Again not.

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/fu...underbolt.html

----------



That is a bit too specific. The intent of TB is to aggregate legacy data traffic that would be sent to PCI-e if this was an internal set up. So one or more PCI-e controllers of legacy data connected to a computer's PCI-e controller. TB just extends that out of the box. The video aspect is more a convenience of a standard port factor more so than anything else. It also gives it something to do while the primarily value proposition gets off the ground.

Tying GPUs to the motherboard also plays into Intel's ( and AMD's ) agenda of fusing CPU-GPU into a single package. TB just "value adds" that proposition.

Docking station is a very good fit to a CPU-GPU based system with limited (or no) PCI-e slots. That happens to be the major direction the overall PC market is going so there is high synergy. But the 'display' aspect of the docking station isn't necessarily a given right now.
I'm to cynical for your explanation, I think it's to sell displays.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 11:22 AM   #8
deconstruct60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanyChris View Post
I'm to cynical for your explanation, I think it's to sell displays.
Myopically for Apple yes. The Display is the only major TB device they sell. (the TB FW and Ethernet dongles are a necessary 'side show' ).

For the overall PC industry. No, that isn't the primary motivating factor.

Apple is being risk adverse and opportunistic. They are selling the smallest number of 'safe' TB products. That isn't necessarily what are going to be the most widespread or numerous TB products. Same as FW and USB. Apple never had the broadest, most pervasive FW/USB products.


P.S. Also dubious that the Mac Pro needs TB just because there is a TB Display. That's the tail wagging the dog.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 11:41 AM   #9
GermanyChris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deconstruct60 View Post
Myopically for Apple yes. The Display is the only major TB device they sell. (the TB FW and Ethernet dongles are a necessary 'side show' ).

For the overall PC industry. No, that isn't the primary motivating factor.

Apple is being risk adverse and opportunistic. They are selling the smallest number of 'safe' TB products. That isn't necessarily what are going to be the most widespread or numerous TB products. Same as FW and USB. Apple never had the broadest, most pervasive FW/USB products.


P.S. Also dubious that the Mac Pro needs TB just because there is a TB Display. That's the tail wagging the dog.
I've never understood the why the MP needed TB it seems redundant.
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