Do you have any Thunderbolt accessories? Which ones are good?

Hieveryone

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Apr 11, 2014
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Which ones? The only ports I use almost daily are:

1. Power

2. USB 1 for external hard drive for backup

3. USB 2 for iPhone charger

4. Headphone jack for Beats

5. SD card slot for external storage

6. HDMI for external monitor

My thunderbolts are always empty. I don't have any accessories and was looking to get some.
 

treekram

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Nov 9, 2015
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What type of accessory are you looking for? HDD? SSD? Monitor? Ethernet? Firewire? Audio?

Right now, there's a question of how much it's going to cost to connect a Thunderbolt 1/2 device to computers that have Thunderbolt 3 (if the MBP has it in the future). To the best of my knowledge (I haven't done a detailed search for a few weeks now), there is one announced TB3 to TB1/2 adapter which will go on sale in mid June and cost $104. How much will TB3 docking stations with TB1/2 connections cost? Without knowing more details about your situation, it's difficult to give advice. There was a person asking about DisplayPort vs. Thunderbolt monitors recently and the opinion I gave him was to go DisplayPort because throughput was pretty comparable and because it seems like it will be easier and cheaper to connect a DisplayPort monitor in the future than it will be for a TB1/2 monitor.

If you're only looking for a Thunderbolt device to fill the empty ports, I would advise against it unless you have money to burn.
 

Hieveryone

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What type of accessory are you looking for? HDD? SSD? Monitor? Ethernet? Firewire? Audio?

Right now, there's a question of how much it's going to cost to connect a Thunderbolt 1/2 device to computers that have Thunderbolt 3 (if the MBP has it in the future). To the best of my knowledge (I haven't done a detailed search for a few weeks now), there is one announced TB3 to TB1/2 adapter which will go on sale in mid June and cost $104. How much will TB3 docking stations with TB1/2 connections cost? Without knowing more details about your situation, it's difficult to give advice. There was a person asking about DisplayPort vs. Thunderbolt monitors recently and the opinion I gave him was to go DisplayPort because throughput was pretty comparable and because it seems like it will be easier and cheaper to connect a DisplayPort monitor in the future than it will be for a TB1/2 monitor.

If you're only looking for a Thunderbolt device to fill the empty ports, I would advise against it unless you have money to burn.
I don't really have any need for them. I honestly need more USB. Ideally a thunderbolt/lightning cable would be good.
 

RevToTheRedline

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Sep 27, 2007
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I have an Akitio Neutrino Thunderbolt 2.5" hard drive enclosure, it came with a 120GB Sandisk U100 SSD that I had intentions of tossing anyway to add a 1TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD, I wanted Thunderbolt because it allows the drive to be seen as an internal SATA drive. Thus allowing SMART and TRIM support. It also yield's great performance as much as it would connected internally on a SATA bus, about 500MB write, 500MB/s read.
 
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squarebreathing

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Feb 16, 2016
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I have and use the thunderbolt ethernet adaptor whenever I'm using my rMBP at home.

Oh my god do I miss the dedicated ethernet port. I'm pretty sure I've worn out both ports to some extent over the past year and a half I've been using the system. 90% of the time it is ok, but it will just randomly stop working or have to reconnect after the slightest bump. I know that ethernet is archaic and there are USB adaptors I could use (at much less speeds), but damn I hate how thunderbolt is designed.

I also used to use a thunderbolt to HDMI, but that's moot since rMBP come with HDMI. So yes that rocks.

But yea, there are some legacy connection options with thunderbolt like FIREWIRE that some people really love for music, video, and photo devices. Otherwise, not much use for them these days. It wouldn't surprise me if the next redesign widdled them down to just one, or just replaced them with USB C.
 

CE3

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Nov 26, 2014
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I have a thunderbolt audio interface. Love the fast speeds and low latency performance.
 
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dallegre

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Feb 25, 2016
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I use the CalDigit TS2 dock for my late 2011 MBP. This gives me access to USB 3, and it's one cable to connect my display, ethernet, external drives.
 

xraydoc

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Oct 9, 2005
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For my iMac at home I have two 6TB ThunderBolt hard drives.

For my MBP I have a gigabit ethernet adapter (much faster than Apple's USB-ethernet adapter). Also have a TB-Firewire 800 adapter but that doesn't get any use any more.
 

treekram

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Nov 9, 2015
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I don't really have any need for them. I honestly need more USB. Ideally a thunderbolt/lightning cable would be good.
I don't think a Thunderbolt(1/2)-to-Lightning cable exists. You can buy a Thunderbolt(1/2)-to-USB3 cable for about $80 and then attach the USB3-to-Lightning cable to it.
 

BoneDaddy

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I have a thunderbolt audio interface. Love the fast speeds and low latency performance.
OOOOOOHHH which one? I'd love to try one but it's low on my priority list for the studio.


Which ones? The only ports I use almost daily are:

1. Power

2. USB 1 for external hard drive for backup

3. USB 2 for iPhone charger

4. Headphone jack for Beats

5. SD card slot for external storage

6. HDMI for external monitor

My thunderbolts are always empty. I don't have any accessories and was looking to get some.
EWWWWWWW, beats. Promise if you try new headphones, you'd feel like those beats are dollar store headphone. Try Shure, Sennheiser, AKG, Beyerdynamic, and others.

As far as thunderbolt, I only have the OTC thunderbolt 2 dock and I love that thing. For the thing you are using, daily, I highly suggest you grab a dock. Hook up one cable and you're connected to the whole system. It's fantastic.
 
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Hieveryone

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OOOOOOHHH which one? I'd love to try one but it's low on my priority list for the studio.




EWWWWWWW, beats. Promise if you try new headphones, you'd feel like those beats are dollar store headphone. Try Shure, Sennheiser, AKG, Beyerdynamic, and others.

As far as thunderbolt, I only have the OTC thunderbolt 2 dock and I love that thing. For the thing you are using, daily, I highly suggest you grab a dock. Hook up one cable and you're connected to the whole system. It's fantastic.
But does it have enough base?
 

BoneDaddy

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What you want is balanced sound. If you're looking for overbearing bass, sure, keep the beats. Otherwise, you can add bass to quality headphones by adding thick ear cups. Beyerdynamic customs have a cool feature that will allow you to adjust to your preference. Aside from bass, beats headphones are muddy. Every pair I've tried makes me feel like I put my head in a fish bowl. I dare you to try some of these brands. Sometimes the sound quality is so impressive, that even bass heads will forget to desire overwhelming bass. Shure SR840s have very nice but balanced bass. For someone who likes bass, I would recommend those. I too like bass, but bass with great sound quality.
 

MRxROBOT

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Apr 14, 2016
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My accessories are anything but exciting but I do make use of my Thunderbolt 2 ports daily. I have the Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter. It's great because it keeps my USB ports free and it is capable of Gigabit speeds whereas the Apple USB Ethernet Adapter is only capable of 10/100BASE-T performance. I'm not sure if this counts as an accessory but I also use a 2.0 m Thunderbolt cable often enough. If you have two Thunderbolt equipped Macs, it is the fastest (reasonably priced) way to transfer data between them. I wish there were portable drives available that were capable of the same throughput.


Edit:

There is the Thunder Rocket by Nifty and the Sonnet Fusion Flash Drive but they're $589 and $499 respectively for their entry level 256 GB models. I believe the drives used are the Samsung SM951 PCIe SSD which can be had for ~$150. That's a $349+ premium for the Thunderbolt 2 interface. I can't justify pricing in that realm, so I suppose I meant I wish there were more affordable portable drives capable of utilizing Thunderbolt 2.
 
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MRxROBOT

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Apr 14, 2016
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never seen a supported accessory in the wild.
you obviously haven't been looking hard enough.
They're not very common in the wild really because the most common uses I've seen for Thunderbolt ports are Gigabit Ethernet, DAS, connecting an external display, docking station and file sharing over a TB cable. Not likely to see someone using the aforementioned in a place like a coffee shop for instance. BUS powered drives would be something more appropriately used in a place like a coffee shop but I've never seen one of those used there either but who knows I'm not really checking out people's Thunderbolt ports when I'm out and about.
 
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Richdmoore

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Jul 24, 2007
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My 2011 iMac has 2 thunderbolt accessories. I have a caldiget thunderbolt station (I use it to give me USB 3, the internal hardware is only USB 2 on that model) and a delock enclosure with a ssd inside as a boot drive (ending the chain.)
 

RiverOak

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Apr 21, 2016
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Got an Apollo Twin and a UAD Satellite Octo. Some of the best purchases I've made. Rock solid and awesome to use.
But it doesn't seem to be what you are looking for. :)
 
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