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Affordable Thunderbolt Drives. When?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by fastlanephil, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. fastlanephil, Dec 16, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012

    macrumors 6502a


    I think the ideal solution for using an iMac as a DAW at least in my case is a 4TB to 6TB non-mirrored or mirrored Thunderbolt Raid drive for samples, audio recording and maybe mirroring. There is the G-Raid which looks like a solid unit but it's still pretty expensive when you include the cable. You cannot easily remove the drives either if at all. Best price is about $620 for the 4TB from MacMall including cable.

    My hope is that OWC will sell a thunderbolt Raid drive next year and that the cables start to drop in price. They sell an eSTA Raid 4 TB for $279. A Thunderbolt drive will be more but still hopefully affordable for the average home studio person.

    I don't want to spend four to five thousand dollars just to get the hard drive bays of a Mac Pro.

    I don't like Windows.
  2. macrumors 65816

    I use a MacBook Air myself and am disappointed at the lack of any kind of affordable Thunderbolt peripherals. I see that OWC now has the Buffalo MiniStation bus-powered thunderbolt drives for a good price ($200 for 1TB) but they use slow 5400RPM 2.5 drives which sort of defeats the whole idea of a fast interface. At least they include the cable.

    I would be happy with something like one of these with a 512GB SSD inside but it doesn't look like they sell the enclosure separately.
  3. macrumors regular

    I was hoping Thermaltake would have a BlacX Thunderbolt by now
  4. macrumors 6502

    i cant believe the complete lack of options in this regard.

    both with simple drives, drive-cases or hubs that don't suck.
  5. macrumors 6502

    wow, you're so cool and edgey
  6. macrumors 6502a


    I checked out the Western Digital My Book Thunder Bolt Duo. It's a little less money per GB than the others and has replaceable hard drives. It also uses the 5400 rpm Green Drive which allows it to be fan-less and quiet but I can't find any information on how well it would work for a DAW. It's slower than all the other Thunderbolt drives but supposedly faster than 7200 rpm FW 800 drives. All the tests I've seen have to do with pictures, video and music listening.

    I'd hate to invest in one and start hearing pops and clicks or get error messages from my software instruments.
  7. macrumors member

    It's pointless to use HDD with an external Thunderbolt drive. Might as well get a USB 3.0 External Drive/Enclosure/Array/etc. It's just overkill in terms of bandwidth which you will never use up. Of course if you plan on daisy chaining multiple devices with different functions, then its understandable.

    Only SSDs can come close to using the benefits of Thunderbolt.

    However, if you insist on having Thunderbolt, a really good option I've come across for a Thunderbolt array is the Promise Pegasus J4. Its reasonably priced and supports RAID. Drobo Mini is another option but its nearly double the price of the Pegasus J4.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    My 2011 iMac doesn't support USB 3.0.

    I checked out the Promise Pegasus J4(0GB). It would run about $730 for 3 TB with 750GB 7200 rpm 2.5" drive storage with the TB cable.
  9. macrumors 65816

    Even worse here, I have a late 2011 MBA. No USB3, no firewire. I just want inexpensive fast medium capacity drives, like I could get with a firewire mac. Apple positioned Thunderbolt as the next step beyond firewire (or that was my interpretation) but the peripherals still haven't joined the party.

    I have (literally) two milk crates of firewire drives with video I've shot over the years. Some of the older ones are firewire only and I have to use my 2008 MBP just to access them.
  10. macrumors 65816

  11. macrumors newbie

    FWIW re: Thunderbolt and other recent Apple debacles

    Apple seems to have joined the planned obsolescence movement in regard to adopting these new connectivity protocols and hoping they can drag/force the customer base to come along with them willingly. This, to me, is unacceptable unless one is in the privileged position of having money to burn on completely new Mac hardware, cables and peripherals every two years or so when Apple obsoletes and eliminates another connection standard. Thank God there are a few connection converters available.

    I have no intention of upgrading a perfectly nice early 2011 MBP that has FW800 (which practically all my peripherals use; that's why I bought them) just to have the expensive potential of a blazingly fast, new interface that no one seems particularly interested in, especially peripherals makers. (Ditto for the new connector cable/interface on iDevices: WTF, Apple? Is that one of the reasons the iPhone 5 wasn't an overwhelming blockbuster? Think of everyone's investments in docks, speakers, clocks, etc. with the old connector. . .simply walk away? Methinks not.)

    The only angle I can really see for Apple adopting Thunderbolt is that it will probably be the only way you'll be able to connect the coming Apple TV. So you'll not only have to foot the bill for the TV, but you'll also get dragged along into upgrading your base computer, etc. if you want a permit to remain living in the Great Walled Garden of Apple.

    :apple: has become oppressive to its user base, with a smile.
  12. macrumors 68020

    Thunderbolt may in retrospect be a failing project. If by now, we've not seen a broader implementation... it may limp along until it fizzles.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    Kind of like the economy. :D :eek:

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