Dual "ingoing" Thunderbolt ports on a device possible?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by nurivo, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. nurivo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    #1
    From a technical perspective — would it be possible to have a device, say a Thunderbolt display, to have two Thunderbolt ports and both of them connected to a Mac with a single Thunderbolt cable?

    Or if we talk about a Thunderbolt hub: Would a three-port hub be possible, so you would have two ports to connect to and one to daisy-chain to the next device?

    Or is Thunderbolt always strictly one-in, one-out and the only place where to ports are possible is directly on a Mac?
     
  2. harry454 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    #2
    Thunderbolt interface allows daisy chaining. The Thunderbolt display has one thunderbolt cable that plugs into your Mac and then I believe 2 more inputs on the back of the display where you can plug in more thunderbolt cables which still get routed through the main cable on the display.

    So to answer your question, yes its possible
     
  3. colshine macrumors regular

    colshine

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    Mar 2, 2011
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    UK
    #3
    The TBD currently has 1 spare thunderbolt port not two otherwise you are correct.
     
  4. nurivo thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 4, 2008
    #4
    But that's precisely my question, I am talking theoretically here: Would a Thunderbolt display with TWO ports be technically possible? (Sort of by "splitting" the single thunderbolt cable of the display into two ports)
     
  5. harry454, Nov 27, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012

    harry454 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 13, 2007
    #5
    You cannot split the actual Thunderbolt cable COMING OUT of the thunderbolt display, as that is a output. Otherwise in terms of the input on the back of the display, you can get a hub to add more. Usually hard drives (like lacie and WD) have an extra TB port on them as well to keep daisy chaining.
     
  6. nurivo thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 4, 2008
    #6
    It seems like I am not making myself clear here.

    I dont want to split the cable. I want to know if it is technically possible for Apple (or any other manufacturer) to split the Thunderbolt cable "inside" the device for it to offer two Thunderbolt ports for additional devices but just one cable connecting to your Mac.

    Just like a 4-port USB hub has one USB cable to your computer but offers four USB ports for additional devices.

    I have never seen such a HUB for FireWire and since that is using daisy-chaining like Thunderbolt is, I was curious if you can maybe have either daisy-chaining (FW, TB?) OR multi-port hubs (USB)
     
  7. colshine macrumors regular

    colshine

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    UK
    #7
  8. nurivo thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 4, 2008
    #8
    Thanks, that helps!

    I was thinking since Apple has integrated two ports in most of their latest Macs (Retina MBPs, iMac) they might do the same with a possible new Thunderbolt display. I was unsure whether this was even a possibility.
     
  9. mtmac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    #9
    i think for the vast majority of TB users, a TB display or a TB hub will be the only thing they will really use TB for, unless you count the multiple dongles for TB to mini display, firewire, etc. TB drives are so expensive vs. USB 3.0 drives. Only true power users will benefit from these exotic drives. I see the additional TB ports used more for dongles to convert to other formats. I wouldn't pay more for additional TB ports unless you already own a specific device you need to convert, as the USB 3.0 will likely handle your future needs. As TB daisy chains, you always have that option available anyway. I would guess that the next TBD would have 2 TB ports besides the cable that connects to the Mac, just like the new iMac does. USB 3.0 for sure, hopefully audio out, and a graphics card to boot!
     

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