Is Thunderbolt dead in 5,1 and earlier MPs?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Mactrunk, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    May 12, 2005
    Now that the new MP is about to be released....
    I'm trying to figure out if Thunderbolt will work with my MP 5,1.
    Is there a way to connect?
  2. macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
  3. macrumors 6502


    Jul 18, 2002
    No, there is no way to connect. Intel isn't allowing add-on cards, it can only be a chipset on the motherboard.

    I wouldn't worry too much about it. Thunderbolt is a solution in search of a problem.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2010
    HP have announced thunderbolt add in cards for their new line of pro desktop machines...
  5. macrumors 603

    Mar 10, 2009
    Requires tapping into the motherboard GPIO subsystem. Doesn't particularly sound like something Apple would have designed into the previous generations of Mac Pros. Also those HP designs are based on Xeon E5 ( last year's motherboards.). That last time Apple did a Mac Pro motherboard from scratch was around 2008 ( shipping in 2009 ). HP's cards don't work in pre-2012 HP stuff either. Pre-2012 is all that Apple has.

    The issue is legacy workstations. Even the upcoming cards do not address legacy workstations.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2011
    Some could argue it's a solution for devices that haven't even been thought up yet due to prior I/O constraints.

    Others could argue that it could end up being another niche technology that virtually nobody else adopts.

    I've never heard anyone complain about having too much I/O available or too much expandability/connectivity. Being that TB is basically an external PCIe x4 port that opens up a lot more possibilities than USB3 or FireWire could ever dream of, and with TB2 on the way...well...

    Thunderbolt in place of expansion slots, though, I don't really agree with since you have to spend hundreds of dollars if you want to add slots via a TB -> PCIe enclosure.
  7. FireWire2, Sep 23, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013

    macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    You dont need TB in MP. Matter of fact MP would be better without TB
    You can add a massive storage using PCIE

    A PCIE with 8x lanes @ 5Gb/s - you are looking at 40Gb/s bandwidth, easily to get 1600MB/s transfer rate

    where Thunderbolt

    TB1 - 10Gb/s you must bonding 4x ports
    TB2 - 20Gb/s 2015?? and you must bonding 2x ports

    The bad part is as of now, you CAN NOT not bonding TB.

    I would hold on to MP
  8. macrumors 603

    Mar 10, 2009
    For storage you don't have to bond at the TB level. Quirky thing called RAID that came along a couple decades ago at this point.

    You can't bond two legacy standard x4 PCI slots in a configured system either. Thunderbolt is not particularly worse or better.

    The current MP actually splits the x4 bandwidth between the two x4 slots. They are switched which is going in the opposite direction of bonded. Yet they are sufficient to get things done. Same issue with Thunderbolt.
  9. macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
    the only way i ever see myself possibly ever using thunderbolt is if they create a solid docking station with a graphics card on it so i can game on my macbook air
  10. macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008

    That is what I'm talking about! You can not increase the bandwidth of data bus from TB

    Where the MP, we can use the 16x PCIe slot with PCIe x8 Gen2 RAID card or split it into two 8x slot using PCIE adapter

    In any rate:

    4x lane Gen2 PCIe is 20Gb
    8x lane Gen2 PCIe is 40Gb

    It's far better than current TB technology

    Matter of fact, there is NOWAY with Thunderbolt, even with Tbolt Gen2.
    can transfer at 1600MB/s like this SAS RAID box:

    Which is my client currently using

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