Does USB-C signify the end of ThunderBolt? If so, where does that leave nMP?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MacVidCards, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. MacVidCards, Mar 11, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015

    MacVidCards Suspended

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    #1
    I am amazed nobody else brought this up.

    Apple had been positioning TB as be-all, end-all connector for all.

    Now, they have intro'd a new "be-all, end-all" connector. And this time they mean it.If I had a giant factory getting ready to tool up new TB stuff I wouldn't be happy.

    We've seen them do it with ADB, ADC, Firewire 400 & 800. One day it's "gotta have !" then next it's a footnote with an asterisk.

    Any thoughts?

    I've also noticed a reduction in nMP cheer-leading around here.
     
  2. MacVidCards thread starter Suspended

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    #3
    I guess I meant on this MP section.

    It was good tech for MBP and others with no slots.

    As GoMac keeps saying, the whole nMP was designed basically to allow it to have TB. If Apple is giving up on TB, then nMP makes even less sense then it did.

    EDIT: Updated Title
     
  3. koyoot Suspended

    koyoot

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    #4
    It would be a downgrade compared to Thunderbolt.

    I think USB-C is the solution for every computer that need an All-In-One form of connection.

    Dont think thats what Mac Pro needs.
     
  4. theSeb, Mar 11, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015

    theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #5
    Crystal Lake brings Thunderbolt 3. The next 15" rMBP will have USB-C and TB 3 ports.

    These two technologies will happily live alongside each other. USB-C does not provide all of the functionality that's needed in the MBP, iMac and Mac Pro. Thunderbolt was never meant to replace USB and I believe that USB-C is not meant to replace TB.

    If you look at the side of the 15" rMBP you will see the problem with current TB. It's just too big for Apple and Jony. The Macbook is aimed at a different market/audience and hence there is no need for a TB port, but I would not be surprised to see a TB 3 port on other side in the future.
     
  5. edanuff macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Since USB-C can support DP 1.3, it may become the preferred monitor connection mechanism over Thunderbolt, especially if Apple wants to supply such monitors because their displays are primarily for their laptops. It will be likely that the next nMP includes USB-c ports.
     
  6. MacVidCards thread starter Suspended

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    #7
    Absolutely.

    Just like how Firewire and USB2/3 are.
     
  7. edanuff macrumors 6502

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    #8
    More like Thunderbolt and USB3 are. USB-C is pretty much the replacement for USB3 since it has USB 3.1 which is a 10 Gbit/s connection. Very likely we'll see the USB3 ports in the Pro replaced by USB-C ports (having to buy new cables is considered a feature to Apple). The question is how soon do you see Thunderbolt go away? Thunderbolt 2 sticks around for a while. Apple just put TB2 into the 13" rMBP and Air. TB3 now is in doubt though.

    In many ways, the USB-C path makes it more likely that we see Apple release an nMP update sooner, since it allows them to use older high margin parts in the next update and still getting things like 5K display support through DP 1.3 in USB-C rather than having to go the expensive route of waiting for TB3 with DP 1.3 to be available.
     
  8. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #9
    USB-C doesn't support PCI-e.
     
  9. mattspace macrumors 6502

    mattspace

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    #10
    The new Macbook is an interesting idea - by ditching all the things that let it be a desktop replacement, it becomes a more focussed (more portable, longer battery life) laptop.

    Given its limited external display options (HDMI or VGA), my suspicion is that you're supposed to own this AND a desktop, and use continuity/handoff/iCloud to switch your workspace between devices, rather than cables and peripherals to switch the use-case of your device.
     
  10. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #11
    USB-C port with support for:
    Charging
    USB 3.1 Gen 1 (up to 5 Gbps)
    Native DisplayPort 1.2 video output
    VGA output using USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter (sold separately)
    HDMI video output using USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter (sold separately)
     
  11. mattspace macrumors 6502

    mattspace

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    #12
    wait, so with a cable that's displayport on one end and usbc on the other you can just plug into a monitor? can you do that while also plugged into power - strange they wouldn't have a displayport and power adapter.
     
  12. MacVidCards thread starter Suspended

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    #13
    And thus my point about "Who needs TB and USB-C at same time"?

    Someone mentioned 5K and nMP. Sadly, the fact that cMP can run one before nMP in OS X is entirely Apple's decision. I have read reports that there is actually an AMD driver for Windows that enables it to run on a nMP in Windows.

    So, my guess is that nMP 7,1 is going to gain this wonderful "upgrade".
     
  13. dmylrea macrumors 68000

    dmylrea

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    #14
    While everyone was expecting a uni-port iPad PRO 12, what they really got was the uni-port MacBook 12! Rumors be damned!

    It will be interesting to see if Apple makes a USB-C to TB adapter. Is that even technically possible? If not, it's a huge assumption on Apple's part that buyers of the new MB 12 won't want to connect any existing peripherals to it (or that they need to go out and buy new ones). TB *IS* Apple. A computing product without it just doesn't seem like the same Apple.

    ----------

    Can there be a PCI-e USB-C card that will work in a cMP?
     
  14. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #15
    I might also add that Apples USB-C only goes up to 5 GB.

    TB does 10 GB.
     
  15. goMac macrumors 603

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    #16
    I'm not sure what I think of USB-C vs. Thunderbolt yet. Obviously Apple still cares about Thunderbolt, the new Macbook Air got Thunderbolt upgrades...

    Technically, it can't carry a 5k signal as far as I can tell, which is where the goal post is right now. If Apple wants to get a 5k display out, Thunderbolt 3 will still be useful.

    I don't think you can do a USB-C to Thunderbolt adapter. You should be able to do a USB3 to USB-C adapter though, so you don't need to buy a new card just for USB-C. USB3.1 and USB-C are nearly the same thing, just different cable ends.

    Thunderbolt started out as a bolt-on to USB. Now I'm wondering if maybe we'll see them combine Thunderbolt and USB-C back into a single connector.
     
  16. edanuff macrumors 6502

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    #17
    There's a difference between what USB-C as currently implemented in the MacBook can do and what USB-C allows in the spec. The spec allows for DP 1.3 (i.e. Up to 8K displays). A nMP with USB-C would likely support that.
     
  17. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    This what I would say as well.

    I would say is more a case of positioning the product. When you look at the spec of the new macbook then TB is looking as overkill, how much would it add to the battery drain etc. Also how much would it add to the cost, additional space taken up in the system , meaning more heat and less battery.

    For single drive enclosures etc the USB is more then adequate, and with the spec of the new macbook then clearly isn't a powerhouse where attaching myriad of devices to it, or big multitask enclosures. Will buy a more powerful laptop or even a desktop of need something like that.
     
  18. fuchsdh macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I really don't understand the freak-out.

    Thunderbolt, like FireWire and eSATA before it, has always had a more niche market segment—the people who need speed. I can tell you from the number of old A/V equipment I've been cleaning out of our office and the number of PC FW PCIe cards we've still got lying around that it served its purpose well... and then Apple moved on, as we all should.

    If by "one day it's gotta' have, then next it's an asterisk"... you mean 10 years, in the case of FireWire 400? 10 years again, in the case of FireWire 800? In that time we jumped from dual 1.25GHz G4s to eight core Xeons with clock speeds twice that. Apple has always moved quickly, and I think that's a good thing, if for no other reason it encourages other PC makers along. The only quickly-discarded port since Jobs' return was ADC (and while I think it was a good idea, they were probably right to can it.)

    If any port is endangered by USB3 Type C, it's Lightning, which it seems Apple mostly made because the USB Consortium couldn't figure out a compact and useful port design to save its life for years. Type C solves many of the issues, including size, reversibility and bidirectional charging capabilities. Lightning is still a bit more robust of a connector physically, and Apple probably enjoys the profits from its MFI, so I'd give it even odds on sticking around.
     
  19. violst macrumors 6502

    violst

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    #20
    I don't think USB-C means the end of thunderbolt at all. The USB-C connector is perfect for the ultra thin and minimal Macbook, Thats a perfect use for it.

    The nMP won't see an update until apple implements new I/O ports like TB-3 and USB-C then and I believe only then will apple release an updated nMP. New Xeon's alone have never seemed to motivate Apple to release an update on the Mac Pro.

    When you are able to drive a 5+K display then the Mac Pro will be back in the drivers seat.
     
  20. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #21
    They motivated them from 2006 through 2010. The problem was the emergence in the consumer market of 4-core CPUs and more than 8GB RAM support, mobile platforms becoming much stronger and Mac Pro sales thus dwindling. Obviously in 2012 it didn't seem feasible to do anything with the introduction of Sandy Bridge. There wasn't anything else going on outside CPUs really during those years that was amazing or special, and they were back again with Ivy Bridge/Thunderbolt when that was feasible.

    I think it is a shame they are skipping Haswell-E, I had hoped they wouldn't, but overall people don't seem to care. It isn't like Haswell-E CPUs offer massive gains or anything, and DDR4 brings nothing worthy to the table here either. Doubt they would go NVIDIA as NVIDIA won't cut them the sort of deal AMD will on Quadro branded GeForce priced GPUs, so there are minor gains in the graphics area too from what AMD seem to have put out (feel free to correct me on the latest AMD cards vs D series GPUs, but it doesn't much matter to Apple).

    Broadwell-E CPUs will require the same chipset updates as Haswell-E would have, but you've basically hit the nail on the head - it's the external I/O that means it doesn't make sense to move to Haswell-E and then have to revise again for Broadwell-E on such a small selling product. They also got away with missing a generation and dealing with high initial demand leading to major shipping delays, so they can continue to do what they want.

    I still get clients buying Mac Pros, but nothing like it was in the 2006-2008 era, and to a degree the 2009-2010 time period. I was working with orders for fleets of them deployed by the dozen back then. Macbook Pro retinas are hugely popular, 13" are filling out programmer inventories and many are just switching to PC workstations for the grunt work. Hackintoshes also pop up in a fair few professional environments here as they are pretty easy to deploy and maintain for passionate/experienced IT teams with flexibility in small shops.
     
  21. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    #22
    The Gen1 spec. doesn't offer any appeal to me, but it does prepare the path for Gen2. When Gen2 rolls out I'll be pining for a Mac compatible PCIe card. Then I'll be interested!
     
  22. bennibeef macrumors 6502

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    #23
    I thought you MacVidCards wouldnt ask this question.


    USB-C doesnt kill Thunderbolt. Normal USB didnt kill FireWire.

    These are two worlds. The one is open for everyone the other isnt.

    There would be many more Thunderbolt devices and PCs with it if it didnt have so much licensing to it. Its expensive not alone because its expensive but Intel wants their cut for the license.

    But USB cant do all the things thunderbolt does. Like PCI-E. The whole thing for external PCI-E Cards is a thunderbolt thing and no USB thing.

    Like you may will or you wont be able to put all your flashed cards into a case and use it with Thunderbolt

    Making a USB version of external PCI-E is going to be a hassle spec and speed wise.

    Maybe USB-C will be the new Display connector which is fine by me Thunderbolt will be a part of the higher specced macs
     
  23. thefredelement macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

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    #24
    It doesn't seem to make a lot of sense when viewed as a MacBook, it makes more sense when viewed as a 12" iPad with a keyboard.

    Apple really created a Netbook with an updated USB port and nothing else and that's really all it is.

    It's speed isn't going to get anything done, it's going to appeal to the same people who primarily use an iPad as a content consumption device. It's peripheral usage is based on wireless.

    It even comes in iOS device colors, in fact, it'd probably be faster if it ran iOS instead of OS X.
     
  24. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #25
    In Apple's eyes TB has replaced FW. USB lives alongside TB, just like it lived alongside FW.

    When the original Macbook Air was introduced it had the following ports:

    1× USB 2.0
    1× 3.5 mm headphone jack
    1 x Micro-DVI video port
    1 x power

    Now USB-C allows USB, Video and power, so the new Macbook has:

    1 x USB-C
    1 x 3.5 mm headphone jack

    The original Macbook Air did not kill firewire and the other Macs that came out at the same time, or later, did not lose FW until it was superseded by TB. TB ports were small enough for the MBA, so TB was included on the MBA.

    Did you also make threads in 2008 about how the Macbook Air is going to kill FW?
     

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