Big FAIL of ALL Thunderbolt docks


cube

macrumors P6
Original poster
May 10, 2004
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I don't see the need for it, probably, neither do they :)

I have a Thunderbolt-eSATA hub from Lacie and it connects to RAID boxes that have their own power.
I want to plug and unplug a portable SSD twice a day.
 

bennibeef

macrumors 6502
May 22, 2013
339
161
Maybe you want to think about to get a USB 3.0 case for your mobile ssd. Its faster than esata. If you dont have USB 3.0 ports, heck maybe use firewire 800 which is still better than USB 2.0 or think about get just a Thunderbolt case for the SSD.

Lets be honest who is using esata drives these days? Especially in the mac world.
 

cube

macrumors P6
Original poster
May 10, 2004
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Get a 2.5" Thunderbolt enclosure?
Because the fact that Thunderbolt docks have at most only 2 Thunderbolt ports is an even bigger FAIL ?

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Maybe you want to think about to get a USB 3.0 case for your mobile ssd. Its faster than esata. If you dont have USB 3.0 ports, heck maybe use firewire 800 which is still better than USB 2.0 or think about get just a Thunderbolt case for the SSD.

Lets be honest who is using esata drives these days? Especially in the mac world.
Because there would be no UNMAP currently using USB 3.0, AFAIK ?
 

bennibeef

macrumors 6502
May 22, 2013
339
161
Because the fact that Thunderbolt docks have at most only 2 Thunderbolt ports is an even bigger FAIL ?

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Because there would be no UNMAP currently using USB 3.0, AFAIK ?
That "fail" that all thunderbolt docks have at most 2 ports is because you dont double or tripple this bus. This isnt USB. It it ultimately a different thing. It is to daisy chain the stuff on a PCIe bus. Yes the fail is at the devices which support only 1 thunderbolt port and not 2.


You mean UNMAP in things like trim?
Well I dont know about that but everyone is using SSDs with USB 3 or thunderbolt and heard nothing bad about it.
 

cube

macrumors P6
Original poster
May 10, 2004
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That "fail" that all thunderbolt docks have at most 2 ports is because you dont double or tripple this bus. This isnt USB. It it ultimately a different thing. It is to daisy chain the stuff on a PCIe bus. Yes the fail is at the devices which support only 1 thunderbolt port and not 2.


You mean UNMAP in things like trim?
Well I dont know about that but everyone is using SSDs with USB 3 or thunderbolt and heard nothing bad about it.
Yes, UNMAP, like one would use over UASP, so USB 3.0 is out.

If there were a 1-bay 2.5" Thunderbolt enclosure with 2 ports, I would have already bought it.
 

bennibeef

macrumors 6502
May 22, 2013
339
161
Yes, UNMAP, like one would use over UASP, so USB 3.0 is out.

If there were a 1-bay 2.5" Thunderbolt enclosure with 2 ports, I would have already bought it.
Well if this is so important it does not work without it for some SCI things.

Maybe something like this?
http://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-108493-3-Feet-eSATA-eSATAp/dp/B009GUP5C8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1406917841&sr=8-3&keywords=esata+esatap

use the esata port from something you get from thunderbolt like a dock or thunderbolt -> esata adapter and get the power for esatap from usb
 

cube

macrumors P6
Original poster
May 10, 2004
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Maybe something like this?
http://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-108493-3-Feet-eSATA-eSATAp/dp/B009GUP5C8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1406917841&sr=8-3&keywords=esata+esatap

use the esata port from something you get from thunderbolt like a dock or thunderbolt -> esata adapter and get the power for esatap from usb
Not elegant, but I guess I can waste a USB 3.0 port because I would have to get a a hub too anyway. Thanks.

It doesn't change the fact that the easiest clean solution to the current situation is for the dock manufacturers to provide eSATAp ports, even if they were restricted in not supporting USB.
 

bennibeef

macrumors 6502
May 22, 2013
339
161
Yes its not really elegant. But I think there is not really much of a market for especially esatap so sad it sounds. I would go this far and say there is not much market for esata anyway. It sounds like you have a very special setup and there is a solution but not a pretty one
 

cube

macrumors P6
Original poster
May 10, 2004
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Yes its not really elegant. But I think there is not really much of a market for especially esatap so sad it sounds. I would go this far and say there is not much market for esata anyway. It sounds like you have a very special setup and there is a solution but not a pretty one
Thunderbolt is expensive and rare, and the fact that USB3 might not be ready for SSDs, means that there is a market.

Maybe the problem lies in that people don't know that they are lacking TRIM with USB in the general lack of awareness about eSATAp (I am thinking about a particularly shortsighted vendor to blame in part about that).

It would be cheap to use eSATAp connectors and just provide power to them in Thunderbolt docks, while it would be a major selling point.
 

cube

macrumors P6
Original poster
May 10, 2004
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Well, I found another cable 0.5m long. Let's hope it works at 6Gbps.
 

ColdCase

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2008
2,957
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NH
No eSATAp
Dock guys probably just implement eSATA circuits from 5 years ago, before eSATAp was implemented. They just grabbed something they used on another product and plugged it in. SATA interoperability compliance is such a pain that sometimes developers just reuse what worked before. You would think they would use current stuff, its easy to put power on the cable.... but my experience is that most overlook portable eSATA drives in their use cases.
 

cube

macrumors P6
Original poster
May 10, 2004
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Dock guys probably just implement eSATA circuits from 5 years ago, before eSATAp was implemented. They just grabbed something they used on another product and plugged it in. SATA interoperability compliance is such a pain that sometimes developers just reuse what worked before. You would think they would use current stuff, its easy to put power on the cable.... but my experience is that most overlook portable eSATA drives in their use cases.
I have to commend Dell for putting eSATAp in laptops years ago already.
 

ColdCase

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2008
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People still use eSATA?
Most prosumers and pros do if they do a lot of hard drive stuff with or without encryption. USB3 just can't cut it with its command set limitations and protocol inefficiencies. I use eSATA as much as I can, especially for any software RAID applications.
 

Pitmaster

macrumors member
Jul 13, 2014
51
0
Most prosumers and pros do if they do a lot of hard drive stuff with or without encryption. USB3 just can't cut it with its command set limitations and protocol inefficiencies. I use eSATA as much as I can, especially for any software RAID applications.
Pro here. Haven't used eSATA in 4 years running a high end post production facility. All USB 3, RAID and Thunderbolt. But to each their own.
 

ColdCase

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2008
2,957
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Pro here. Haven't used eSATA in 4 years running a high end post production facility. All USB 3, RAID and Thunderbolt. But to each their own.
A lot of eSATA drives come in here containing secure video for processing. Rarely see USB3. Although there was a burp maybe a year ago, but the customers experienced all the performance and reliability disadvantages and went back to eSATA or moved to Thunderbolt. eSATA is so much better than USB3 when pushing the envelope and have deadlines to make... and is less money than thunderbolt for this purpose. Perhaps eSATA may be pushed out by thunderbolt eventually, but the customers want eSATA here. You know, we see more firewire than USB 3.
 

cube

macrumors P6
Original poster
May 10, 2004
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Most prosumers and pros do if they do a lot of hard drive stuff with or without encryption. USB3 just can't cut it with its command set limitations and protocol inefficiencies. I use eSATA as much as I can, especially for any software RAID applications.
Do you know if indeed there's no UNMAP with a Mac and a UASP enclosure?
 

grayskyz

macrumors regular
Nov 21, 2008
161
93
Los Angeles
Do you know if indeed there's no UNMAP with a Mac and a UASP enclosure?
If anyone knows the answer to this, I'm interested in finding out the answer as well!

And for the record, I do video/photography as a profession and I've recently jumped on the Caldigit bandwagon. I have a T3 and AvPro and have been pretty impressed with the speed and quality over all.
 

dyn

macrumors 68030
Aug 8, 2009
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Maybe the problem lies in that people don't know that they are lacking TRIM with USB in the general lack of awareness about eSATAp (I am thinking about a particularly shortsighted vendor to blame in part about that).
The problem lies in people not knowing what TRIM actually is. People seem to be thinking that TRIM is crucial for an ssd to work which isn't true. There is also GC and both are only used for clearing out NAND cells that aren't used any more. Having TRIM on an external SSD is just a very big bonus imo.

It would be cheap to use eSATAp connectors and just provide power to them in Thunderbolt docks, while it would be a major selling point.
eSATA is very hard to find, normal SATA devices however...so what we're seeing are a lot of products aimed at interfacing with SATA (USB2/USB3/Thunderbolt-SATA docks). Manufacturers are getting rid of their eSATA ports; take a good look at the various models (the Dell Optiplex series is a good one: used to have eSATA, now comes without it).

IIRC StarTech has some kind of Thunderbolt-eSATA adapter (unpowered) but that's it really.