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Old Jan 15, 2013, 09:41 AM   #26
deconstruct60
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Originally Posted by rmwebs View Post
.... unofficial sources have on multiple occasions quoted prices between $70 and $100 - just on the license.
Per unit? or just general license covering all units? In the latter case that is cheap. It hardly seems likely to be the former since there are sub $!00 dongles with the technology.

It may be the case that for extremely low unit numbers the license is high but Thunderbolt doesn't really need a race to the bottom. Crap margins is only going to lead to crap products.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 09:46 AM   #27
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I just wanted a thunderbolt cable to use for my iPhone.... It's been over a year now, right?
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 09:47 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by hamean View Post
Thunderbolt has been an abject failure to this point. Bytes from this article indicate that it will continue to be available exclusively at the professional price point for the foreseeable future.
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Originally Posted by roadbloc View Post
Meh. Its probably too late for Thunderbolt to be adopted at a large scale. USB 3, despite not being as good, is backward compatible to the many many many USB 2 + 1 devices out there.
Depends on your definition of success.

Thunderbolt's Unique Selling Point is in the professional sector: allowing you to attach fast RAID arrays and pro audio/video capture devices and alternative interfaces to laptops and SFF machines. It could be critical in keeping Macs in the pro audio/video market.

I don't think it ever was going to be a viable competitor to USB3 for consumer applications: you don't need Thunderbolt to attach a backup drive or a memory stick.

Where it could have a consumer application is in 'docks' that add a variety of extra ports to a laptop, potentially performing as if they were attached to PCIe. Sadly, apart from the Apple Thunderbolt Display, the promised Belkin one is still vapourware and the Matrox one is seriously hampered by their insistence on including a DVI port at the expense of Thunderbolt-through. (why? Everybody has MiniDP-to-whatever adapters that can go at the end of a TB chain!)

A decent dock which added Ethernet, Firewire, 2-3 x USB3 plus a bunch of extra USB2 (no sense in wasting a USB3 by hooking your keyboard to it) eSATA, TOSlink and maybe a MagSafe PSU would be a great addition. Apple should produce one - and market it: if Apple are good at one thing it is making people want stuff.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 09:50 AM   #29
deconstruct60
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Originally Posted by Stella View Post
That quote actually came from Apple.. specifically Steve Jobs, in a keynote speech.
Like Steve Jobs never sold kool-aid; reality distortion field.

Apple was spinning doing Thunderbolt first and while USB 3.0 late. It always was going to be two over the short-medium term future. The great distance future nobody, including Apple, knew about.

Apple, Mac's specifically, has a much deeper need Thunderbolt sooner rather than later because they were largely limited to no PCI-e expansion. They needed some ability in that area to be competitive in the general market. So it was made an extremely high priority.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 09:51 AM   #30
MagnusVonMagnum
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The report indicates that the biggest holdup to wider adoption of Thunderbolt appears to be Intel's licensing and certification process, with the company dedicating only limited resources to helping third-party vendors bring their Thunderbolt products to market.
Intel is basically saying no, we don't discriminate among developers and then turns around and says, why yes we do!

Thunderbolt isn't going to turn around any time soon. Exactly how many Windows PC manufacturers are supporting it? How many Mac users are going to choose a $400 1TB Thunderbolt drive over a $125 3TB USB3 drive with the same performance??? Only a few fanatics and those that bought 2011 Macs that don't have USB3 (and even they might be better of choosing FW800 drives if absolute performance isn't worth that kind of markup to them).

OTOH, I'm fast running out of USB 3 ports on my new Mini and apparently most hubs don't work well with it, especially with hard drives. It'd be ironic if I were forced to buy a FW800 or TB drive at some point due to a simple lack of a working hub for this thing.

Meanwhile, look at "unlicensed" products and their cost instead. I got a TB/MDP HDMI adapter for $3 with free shipping (compare that to $30). I don't think Thunderbolt HAS to be expensive. But one wonders how much licensing is costing these 3rd party developers. If it's killing Thunderbolt then it's Intel's own fault.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 09:52 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Pentad View Post
It's dead...let it die. With the improvements coming to USB3, there is no reason to adopt TB for a majority of hardware vendors. USB3 is cheap, fast, getting faster, and supports waaaaay more devices than the handful of TB items out there.

We can ship TB to the Island of Misfit Technologies where it can run and play with OpenDoc, Pippin, Taligent, Pink, and Copland.


-P
While we are shipping stuff over, can we also scrape the world off windows 8. Possibly the single worst OS for desktops right now.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 09:52 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by deconstruct60 View Post
Generally, Thunderbolt is used to supply/product video signal; not accept it. Video outbound from the GPU is what it is designed for. "Accept" is the wrong direction.

Folks could do data captures from a HDMI/VGA/DVI source but again that transformation would be done inside the peripheral and the result just PCI-e data traffic; no additional adapter required.
Are you saying it's possible for me to use my 2011 27" iMac as a screen for my Xbox 360 or my 2009 Macbook?
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 09:55 AM   #33
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One day in the distant future Macs are going to be so thin that it will only contain one Thunderbolt and one USB, and you use adapters/docks for everything else
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 09:59 AM   #34
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Meh. Its probably too late for Thunderbolt to be adopted at a large scale. USB 3, despite not being as good, is backward compatible to the many many many USB 2 + 1 devices out there.

I'm not buying new peripherals, I'll stick to USB.
me too. Can't believe when I was debating the 2010 and 2011 imac I took the 2011 because of thunderbolt. To this day nothing has been plugged into that port.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:06 AM   #35
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I'm surprised by the number of Thunderbolt-haters in this thread. Comparing it to USB3 as if there is a direct comparison. It's apples and oranges. Thunderbolt is fundamentally a very different connector. You can hate it all you want, but it's here to stay and will be the preferred connector in the years to come.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:06 AM   #36
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Firewire was not a flop and if Thunderbold does as well as Firewire is then I'll be a very happy Mac user for the forseeable future. Thanks to Firewire, Macs have been able to do things PC users could only dream of.
Thanks to FW the original iPod loaded music at least 10 times as fast as USB1, and was able to charge the battery in no-time.
Thanks to FW external harddrives have been constantly at least twice as fast as their contemporary USB counterparts, until the adoptation of extrnal SSDs attached to USB3.
Thanks to FW there's been bus powered external harddrives, many many years before USB could handle that.
Thanks to FW we could hook up digital videocameras years before those with USB.
Thanks to low latency FW with priority traffic FW enabled audio and video hardware that could never be attached to anything USB.
Thanks to FW we could daisy chain external units like harddrives, CD/DVD-burners, videocameras and a whole world of audio and video gear that USB users to this day can only dream of.
Thanks to FW we can target boot our Macs. That's something that USB will never be able to do.
Thanks to FW we could have our peripherals in another room, supporting cable lenghts of 100s of feet far beyond the range of USB.

Most of these features are replicated with Thunderbolt but not challenged by USB3 like much longer cable length, much higher bandwidth, lower latency, daisy chaining and target mode, and more electrical power. And Thunderbolt adds a lot of features to FireWire that's not supported by USB3, like monitor support, external PCIe expansion and protocol agnosticity.

Stuff we'll never see on USB are 4K (aka Retina) displays, 10 Gb Ethernet-ports (or multiple Gbit Eth) and bidirectional 10 Gb links is just the _first_ implementation of Thunderbolt. This technology is actually designed for 100 Gbps so it has room to grow.

So, no, it's just not designed to support the stuff like external harddrives so if that's your narrow scope of problems, USB is the solution.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:08 AM   #37
deconstruct60
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Originally Posted by bungiefan89 View Post
Are you saying it's possible for me to use my 2011 27" iMac as a screen for my Xbox 360 or my 2009 Macbook?
With current, and likely future, Apple firmware no. Thunderbolt Target display mode requires a Thunderbolt cable.

"Target Display Mode does not work with Mini DisplayPort cable "
http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3775

Thunderbolt FAQ
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5219?viewlocale=en_US

Those machines do not have a Thunderbolt socket to accept a Thunderbolt cable.

Theoretically probably could be some firmware kludge that effectively deactivates Thunderbolt put opens the DisportPort "pass thru" so that could hook to switch doing redirect to the screen. It is unlikely worth the effort for the very marginal increase in utility along with the additional user confusion.


What I'm talking about is more along the lines of Video capture devices like Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle or Extreme

http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/intensity/

They have HMDI inputs (other models have other video input formats) for Video capture. They are not primarily used as a connector to a LCD panel.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:10 AM   #38
ipmasta
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Thunderbolt

Yeah it sucks. I have had a mac mini with thunderbolt since 2011 and still have yet to find any of the accessories that I want. Also I dont want to drop $300 on an expansion hub! It sucks having such a powerful machine but not having enough options. It may end up being like firewire - aimed more for professionals. For it to be widely adapted it has to be more afforadable and there has to be plenty of accessories and options.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:11 AM   #39
John.B
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Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
Meanwhile, look at "unlicensed" products and their cost instead. I got a TB/MDP HDMI adapter for $3 with free shipping (compare that to $30). I don't think Thunderbolt HAS to be expensive. But one wonders how much licensing is costing these 3rd party developers. If it's killing Thunderbolt then it's Intel's own fault.
What you have is a mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapter, not a Thunderbolt-to-HDMI adapter.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:18 AM   #40
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Good luck connecting external monitors over USB 3.0 instead of Thunderbolt.

USB 3.0 + Thunderbolt is the perfect combination IMO. USB 3.0 for all the cheap consumer stuff, and Thunderbolt for the high-end stuff and monitors and docks.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:20 AM   #41
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Firewire was not a flop and if Thunderbold does as well as Firewire is then I'll be a very happy Mac user for the forseeable future. Thanks to Firewire, Macs have been able to do things PC users could only dream of.
I think you forget that PCs had FireWire too. Macs always were and always will be just a small subset of the PC market - above the average in terms of specs but not the high end.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:26 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by hamean View Post
Thunderbolt has been an abject failure to this point. Bytes from this article indicate that it will continue to be available exclusively at the professional price point for the foreseeable future.
It's been like... one year. I remember when USB came out, it didn't magically appear in every machine or on all peripherals for about 4 years, so to call it an "abject failure" before it's even gotten a chance to go either way is pretty dumb.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:30 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by deconstruct60 View Post
Per unit? or just general license covering all units? In the latter case that is cheap. It hardly seems likely to be the former since there are sub $!00 dongles with the technology.

It may be the case that for extremely low unit numbers the license is high but Thunderbolt doesn't really need a race to the bottom. Crap margins is only going to lead to crap products.
It was per unit. As I recall a few figures were quoted - all of which were around $75 or above. This was however about a year ago so its likely its dropped a bit since then. I'll see if I can dig out the sources as Google yielded nothing. As I recall Cnet had a fair bit on it.

In comparison, USB 3.0 is something like $5 (on average) and USB 2.0 is next to non existant (a lot of places dont bother licensing it).

----------

Whilst I think of it - anyone who's in the market for external drives for home/work - dont bother with Thunderbolt. USB 3.0 is perfectly fine. I transferred 15 gigs of apps I rarely use to a USB 3.0 drive (Western Digital Backup Plus) and it took about a minute. That's perfectly acceptable.

I've also got another drive with apps. For example I've got Mafia 2 - that runs perfectly fine from USB 3.0.

Unless you actually NEED (which you probably dont) stupidly fast external storage, just go with a cheaper USB 3.0 drive.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:32 AM   #44
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Thunderbolt's Unique Selling Point is in the professional sector: allowing you to attach fast RAID arrays and pro audio/video capture devices and alternative interfaces to laptops and SFF machines. It could be critical in keeping Macs in the pro audio/video market.
The one and only application keeps getting repeated over and over. Are there any other (interesting) applications for Thunderbolt?

Where are the external PCI-e enclosures, or docking devices that actually have a decent set of ports?
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:33 AM   #45
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Apple killed Thunderbolt when they included USB 3.0 in their devices. Now with USB 3.0 r2 coming in 2014 that offers same speed as Thunderbolt, it will officially die.

Intel needs to do something NOW to keep this technology active in the consumer market.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:34 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by deconstruct60 View Post
boo-hoo Intel can't help the vast majority of the industry doing their "homework". This is more indicative of the deep and pervasive lack of innovation and creativity of the PC market. A few vendors have high margins to do sensible R&D and the large majority sit back and just copy-cat the technology after it is commoditized for them.

'Quality versus Quantity' is a reasonable strategy for Intel to take given that Thunderbolt isn't trying to take over the whole market for sockets ("the one socket to rule them all.").

Cheaply shielded USB 3.0 sockets causing interference problems won't kill off USB 3.0 because it can leverage the deeply entrenched USB 2.0 interia. The same problem for Thunderbolt likely would have been a larger momentum killer than this tactic of helping a limited few to lay the foundation for future expansion.
TB is dead and USB3 killed it. If you are an OEM, are you going to waste time and money chasing a connector that nobody uses, or are you going to load up with USB3.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:38 AM   #47
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Thunderbolt is a prosumer-level technology, it's not designed to be a USB replacement. It's effectively a PCI-e bus extension. If you don't need what that offers then a USB 3.0 external drive might be all you ever need.
It looks like that is what's going to happen, another regrettable race to the bottom; top-notch technology pushed aside by cheaper, but less able, alternatives. A set-back to simplicity, imho. But it didn't have to be that way. If only the prices came down. INTEL is justifiably concerned about the integrity of Thunderbolt, ie no subpar 'junk' to tarnish the standard. TB's original promise was convenience, simplicity and off-the-charts speed. Eventually (and that is the key word here), a few TB ports on each desktop or laptop could have replaced most of that other myriad of connections now found on almost all computers. A shame, really.
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:39 AM   #48
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Hurry up! I want reasonably priced hard-drives, docks and adapters!
Why not use USB 3?
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:40 AM   #49
deconstruct60
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As most have already point out, PRICE is the reason its not being adopted - not Intel's licensing or certification.
That isn't really true. It is also not widely adopted on more expensive systems either. There were no Xeon workstations introduced with it. The solution doesn't really work (Rube Goldberg contraption solutions aside. e.g. loop back cables and non standard connectors ). It is also not an industry standard. Nor it is being developed by an industry standard committee. There is exactly one and only one controller implementer.

There are few, if any, system vendors that want another piece of Intel they are solely dependent upon Intel for. It is lopsided enough that they have control of CPUs and have largely wrestled control of GPUs. Thunderbolt is yet another that would further push system components towards Intel's blackhole.

It is a entirely proprietary solution being positioned as a "industry standard" when it actually doesn't have widespread acceptance. When Thunderbolt appeared most system vendors were trying to digest USB 3.0. Most don't really have margins to digest multiple somewhat overlapping standards so the vast majority have made the safe bet on putting more focus on USB 3.0. Even safer since more system vendors actually sell perhaps even too many boxes that have PCI-e expansion already (and often eSATA ). They don't have the pressing need that Apple had to add PCI-e expansion to most of their line up.

Once the risk is largely gone ( there are several TB deployments to take implementation lessons from) , USB 3.0 is a commonplace feature, and laptops become more powerful and commonplace then more will be willing to take on the proprietary feature due to limited differentiation (both between other laptops and probably more so relative to tablets ... the other very prominate threat to classic PC growth at the moment.) .
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Old Jan 15, 2013, 10:41 AM   #50
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It looks like that is what's going to happen, another regrettable race to the bottom; top-notch technology pushed aside by cheaper, but less able, alternatives. A set-back to simplicity, imho. But it didn't have to be that way. If only the prices came down. INTEL is justifiably concerned about the integrity of Thunderbolt, ie no subpar 'junk' to tarnish the standard. TB's original promise was convenience, simplicity and off-the-charts speed. Eventually (and that is the key word here), a few TB ports on each desktop or laptop could have replaced most of that other myriad of connections now found on almost all computers. A shame, really.
Well that's unfair

Nothing is compelling about tb over USB 3 for the average consumer
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