I wish the new iMacs had 3 thunderbolt ports.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by iCaleb, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    Here's what I would like to do........Have 2 1080p 21.5'' monitors to go with the iMac screen one to the left and one to the right.

    But at the same time I would also like to have an external drive set as the main boot drive running mountain lion.

    But with the two TB ports already taken up by the two hdmi monitors the only option would be to use a usb 3.0 drive as the main boot drive instead of a TB ssd drive.

    How much faster would the usb 3.0 ssd/hdd drive be compared to the internal standard hdd?
     
  2. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #2
    You can daisy chain Thunderbolt peripherals, so I think you can put an external TB drive in between the computer and one of your monitors.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    I can only afford the lacie rugged TB ssd drive but it only has one TB port making it non daisy chain able.

    Your idea would only work with the pricey Little big disk ssd which has two TB ports.
     
  4. macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #4
    Can you put the SSD/boot drive at the end of the chain? iMac->TBD->SSD/boot.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    I would be using two dell 21.5 inch displays via hdmi to DP not the TB display.

    If I could only find a hard drive with two TB ports for under 300.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    #6
    right there with you. Even thunderbolt hubs seem to be starting at £250ish
     
  7. macrumors 603

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #7
    I believe the current chip only supports 2 ports.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
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    #8
    So what are my other options?

    A usb 3.0 drive or some type of network storage?

    Or would these two options be slower than the internal hdd?
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #9
    This is a big problem right now. I had to spend a fortune on dual TB enclosures to be able to get extra ports. I needed to be able to house 5 drives via TB. An external monitor will be plugged into one of them and a Firewire adapter into the other end of the line. That's a long way to go and a lot of cash to get what could have been much less expensive and bother if there were more ports or if manufacturers simply included the pass through port to begin with.

    I'm using WD MY Passport Duo Thunderbolts which have 2 drives per unit and a passthorugh. Trouble is I had no use for the drives so they are moving to my Mac Pro which I'm selling, and using existing ssd & velciraptors in their place. The TB box was around $465 with the slow Green WD drives.

    I fully expect in a couple few months OWC and others will fill the gap, but for now it's a huge pain in several areas.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    If only Apple would of put an HDMI out port on the new iMacs this wouldn't be an issue.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    #11
    If only they would have done a lot of things. If wishes were _________ (fill in your favorite saying here)
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    My questions are still unanswered.

    Number one being the fastest and number four being the slowest.

    Would this be in the correct order as shown below?


    #1 External thunderbolt ssd.

    #2 External usb 3.0 ssd.

    #3 External usb 3.0 hdd.

    #4 Internal stock hdd.

    A thunderbolt drive is not an option for me unless I remove one display from my setup.

    So should I have a 2 screen setup and a thunderbolt ssd as the boot drive?

    Or should I have a 3 screen setup and a usb 3.0 ssd/hdd as the boot drive?
     
  13. hfg, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012

    hfg
    macrumors 68030

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #13
    You could get a refurbished LaCie "Little Big Disk" for $200, replace the hard disks with your choice of matching SSD drives, configure the SSDs for RAID-0 to maximize speed, then run your display off of the second Thunderbolt port on the LaCie. Set your system to boot from the external Thunderbolt RAID-0 SSD.

    This would be #0 in your list above.

    The LaCie LBD as received with RAID-0 hard disks would be about #1.5 to 2.2 in your list.


    -howard
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
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    #14
    I'm not a big fan of refurbished items.
     
  15. hfg, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012

    hfg
    macrumors 68030

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #15
    They appear to be new, possibly LaCie is dumping the old SATA-II internal bus stock and now is selling the current SATA-III internal bus models. But it is much cheaper for the old ones if you already have the SSDs.

    The most likely part to wear out is the disks ... and you are discarding them.

    You can get a brand new 1TB SSD LaCie Thunderbolt (highest speed) for $1000 if you don't already have the drives.

    That isn't a bad deal since doing it yourself would require 2 x $400 512GB SSDs plus the $200 Thunderbolt dual drive enclosure (less if you can use / sell the hard disks that come with it) making the DIY one $1000 as well (plus the cheaper refurbished enclosures may be a bit slower with SATA-II internal bus).



    -howard
     
  16. macrumors 68040

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #16
    Switch 3 & 4 around and I wouldn't place an SSD on usb 3 if I could get a TB enclosure. The pickup in speed would be worth the extra $ I think.
     
  17. macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #17
    Show me a real Thunderbolt hub that is for sale and shipping, I'll buy it.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    #18
    there....ermm...mmm....oh...there's one on the apple store for £899.
    There is also this huge screen on the back of it.

    =)
     
  19. macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #19
    :D Actually one just went on sale yesterday the Matrox DS1 I believe.
    1 USB3
    2 USB2 ... ?
    1 HDMI
    1 Gigabit
    Set of Headphone jacks

    for $249

    I'll wait for the Belkin Hub or a TBDisplay with USB3 if either ever makes it .
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    #20
    Just saw that too, for £200 though its still way over priced with only 2 TB's.

    I will wait for the Belkin Hub and pray that the pricing is just speculation.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #21
    I found the solution!!! A USB 3.0 to hdmi adapter. :)

    1st TB port using ssd OS drive.

    2nd TB port using hdmi adapter to first monitor.

    USB 3.0 port using hdmi to second monitor.

    PROBLEM SOLVED.
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    #22
    I would love to believe that that will work well for you, just have a gut feeling that you will have problems getting that to work... could be wrong, but?

    I know HDMI was giving people grief in the MacMini's. Factor in USB3 (also giving people grief in the 2012 Mac Lineup) plus HDMI and I start to have doubts. And how will you get them all to look the same? Can't help but think the HDMI will be glitchy for you...

    Hope I'm wrong though!

    OWC Helios could be an option for you ($399) but it gives you 2 TB ports plus whatever PCIe card you want to throw in it. I have a CalDigit Fasta6G (2) Sata Ports and (2) USB3 Ports. Kinda useful as a customizable hub for the future...
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #23
    you will NOT like the performance of the 2nd monitor with the usb connection. hope you're only using it for text.
     
  24. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Cape Cod, MA
    #24
    In the real world the speed of the disk will be the factor...
    Thunderbolt is 10 Gb/s
    SATA 3 is 6 Gb/s
    USB3.0 is 5 Gb/s

    SSD's with SATA 3 interfaces seem to work near the limit of the SATA 3 (6Gb/s) interface, so it will not be *that* much slower in a USB3.0 enclosure (depending on how well the USB to SATA Bridge works in said enclosure.) HDD's max out (because of the moving parts) about 1.5 Gb/s (SATA 1 speed)

    so #1 and #2 probably have no speed difference...

    use the USB3.0 SSD as a boot drive and enjoy the 3 screens... USB video is garbage...
     
  25. macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #25
    Agreed since the rMBP has HDMI out and 2 x TB and the Mini also has HDMI out. It seems like a silly omission.
     

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