Lightpeak for MacPro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by whwang, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2009
    Now there are several USB3.0 PCI cards for MacPro.
    Is there a PCI card for MacPro that can allow MacPro to have thunderbolt connection?
  2. Giuly, Feb 3, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013

    macrumors 68040


    Unfortunately, no. But someone will probably figure out how to produce a PCIe x8 card with Mini DisplayPort input and two thunderbolt outputs soon.
  3. macrumors 603

    Mar 10, 2009
    No. Pragmatically Thunderbolt requires DisplayPort signals that can't be user disconnected on the motherboard.

    Intel has always positioned that Thunderbolt was not coming to PCI-e cards.

    A some point the supply of TB controller chips may get loose enough that some Chinese chop-shop whips together some uncertified hack. But it probably won't need a DP input. It would like be some sort of renegade 'PCI-e data only' hack. Right now though Intel controls distribution of TB controllers and if try to distribute volume uncertified solutions they just cut off your supply of the controllers.

    Some vendor have build Rube Goldberg kludges like this but none of them have passed certification to my knowledge.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2012
    PowerPC land
    Nothing is impossible. I am sure someone over there will come up with a way to accomplish this.. though I am wondering if thunderbolt will help when using carbon copy cloner to make system wide clones and backups.

    Thats the only use I would have for thunderbolt.

  5. macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    Why do we need/want thunderbolt on a Mac Pro again?

    I'm beginning to think this thunderbolt on a Mac Pro is more of a Me-Too thing than anything else.
  6. macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2010
    I can see the use in Thunderbolt for people who purchased a bunch of Thunderbolt accessories... for example, if one has a Mac Pro and an iMac with a Pegasus RAID unit, and wanted to move the Pegasus to the Mac Pro.

    Otherwise, there is no point in using a slower Thunderbolt interface with a Mac Pro that can use faster connections like mini-SAS cables. USB 3.0 on both my MacBook Pro and Mac Pro ensured that I won't be using Thunderbolt for the foreseeable future. I do wonder if TB will ever catch on.
  7. macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2010
    I bet we will see more of Pro users to adopt TB if/when Thunderbolt becomes fully developed using optical fiber?
  8. macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2012
    I'm with you to a degree here.

    The way I see it, it's useful if one has spent money on TB devices (PT Native TB, UAD Apollo interface with TB option) and want them to work with both their laptops, and shiny new towers, if/when they come out. In the case of the UAD there is at least a FW port on it.

    Same goes for external storage etc yada yada. Sure, there's e-sata already, but i dont see e-sata ports on the mbp w/o buying something as an intermediary.
  9. macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    Apple Thunderbolt Displays?
  10. macrumors 603

    Mar 10, 2009
    Tail wagging the dog.

    There is a pressing need for a docking station functionality for a Mac Pro? The thunderbolt display is a docking station that happens to have an LCD embedded. It has a fixed, relatively short, length cable attached to it. The Mac Pro doesn't need power supplied to it from a docking station. There are far better displays can get for the money for a Mac Pro.

    The TB display doesn't connect at all to standard PCI-e GPU cards. The GPU attached to the TB ports on a Mac Pro is likely embedded.

    Unless the Mac Pro is stripped of the vast majority of its PCI-e slots, Thunderbolt doesn't solve any problem the Mac Pro has.


    In the context of current Mac Pro user base which has had more money spent on it:

    1. TB devices

    2. Expensive PCI-e cards and/or external SAS/eSATA storage units.

    I can see the "future money will buy TB" trend. However, already capital costs spent aren't not going to be driven by Thunderbolt on an overall market scope.

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