Ethernet Adapter: USB vs. Thunderbolt

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by A4orce84, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. A4orce84 macrumors 6502

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    #1
  2. bennibeef macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Thunderbolt.

    Thunderbolt one is the one which can give you gigabit ethernet.
     
  3. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    #3
    Another option is a 3rd party adapter that does gigabit ethernet and is USB 3.0. If you're not using your thunderbolt ports for anything though, you may as well use one for ethernet.
     
  4. A4orce84 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Yup, not using either thunderbolt ports today on my macbook.

    USB I'm assuming does NOT do gigabit?
     
  5. leman macrumors 604

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    #5
    USB 3.0 does do gigabit Ethernet
     
  6. A4orce84 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    As far as I know, the Apple ethernet adapter I linked above (which is the only one I'm considering) is a USB 2.0 version. Does Apple make a USB 3.0 Ethernet adapter?

    I'm only considering the 2 adapters I linked above (or an Apple 3.0 USB To Ethernet Adapter). Don't want to deal with any 3rd party adapters please.

    Thanks.
     
  7. kahuna0k, Jul 9, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014

    kahuna0k macrumors member

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    #7
  8. A4orce84 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apple does not make a 3.0 USB To Ethernet Adapter? Just to be clear.

    Thanks!
     
  9. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

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    #9
    A) USB 3.0 is capable of gigabit Ethernet.

    B) Apple does not produce a USB 3.0 to gigabit Ethernet adapter.

    C) Third-party companies produce USB 3.0 to gigabit Ethernet adapters that will work on a Mac.

    If you're not using your Thunderbolt ports, though, you might as well get one of those instead of USB.
     
  10. leman, Jul 9, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014

    leman macrumors 604

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    #10
    USB, Thunderbolt and Ethernet are open standards and there is a large amount of manufacturers producing quality appliances for all of these standards. What Apple makes is as much third party in this context as anyone else. An Apple adapter is neither better nor more compatible - but it's often more expensive.

    Edit: It turns out I was wrong — I was under impression that all these adapters work without drivers. So you can safely disregard my post
     
  11. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    #11
    I use the gigabit Thunderbolt adapter. It's harder do find, but what more you would do with 2 TB ports?

    MBPs even have a HDMI port, so TB is by far the #1 option, since it's faster and let your USB ports free for external storage.
     
  12. nutmac macrumors 68040

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    #12
    From what I can gather, 3rd party USB 3.0 ethernet adapters all seem to require installing their driver. Which may be fine with current version of OS, but not entirely future proof.
     
  13. A4orce84 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Ended up ordering the Thunderbolt adapter.

    Thanks everyone for your time and help! It is greatly appreciated!

    --Asif
     
  14. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    #14
    Thundebolt has problems under Windows. Afaik has no plug&play support.
    If I wanted one for gaming, I would go for USB 3.0. Those just work.
     
  15. laurihoefs, Jul 10, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014

    laurihoefs macrumors 6502a

    laurihoefs

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    Do any of the third party adapters work without intalling drivers, or with OS X Recovery?

    The cheapest third party option I've found this far is ~20€ + shipping. So paying 29€ for the Apple TB to GbE adapter I can get a device that works without any extra effort on all TB enabled Macs, will keep working even with future OS X releases, and will even work with OS X Recovery.

    And there have actually been some USB Ethernet dongles, that used chips with fake vendor ID's. New driver releases might not be compatible with those dongles, as vendors might prevent the drivers from working with devices with fake serials.

    If you can get the dongle for $4, you might be tempted to take the risk. But as the cheapest third party adapters I could get shipped here are closer to 20€, the extra 9€ For the Apple device is starting to sound like the better deal.
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #16
    I don't use TB when in bootcamp. For some reason the machine will not go to sleep if I have my Tb/ethernet dongle plugged in :/
     
  17. leman macrumors 604

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    Ok, I stand corrected. For some reason I was sure that these adapters would work out of the box, like most of the USB interfaces. Apparently its not the case. Sorry!
     
  18. laurihoefs macrumors 6502a

    laurihoefs

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    #18
    I was actually hoping you knew something I didn't, e.g. that you had found an adapter that worked out-of-box ;)

    Some might actually work out-of-box, but as most don't even list which USB to ethernet bridge is used, it's impossible to know for sure without purchasing one and trying it out.
     
  19. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Came to this thread searching for a non-OEM Thunderbolt gigabit ethernet adapter and after reading through, seems there isn't one? If so, will pony up the $28 to get from Amazon. For $27 I can get it from Amazon warehouse, but might as well pay a buck more to have it brand new.
     
  20. laurihoefs macrumors 6502a

    laurihoefs

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    There's the Kanex Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet + USB 3.0 adapter, which is quite expensive at 99,95€, and not actually available before late October / early November.

    So if you need an adapter now, and don't need the (extra) USB 3.0 ports, the Apple adapter is the best option.
     
  21. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    ^ Thanks, I'll just go for the Apple one like you recommended.

    I just got my new rMBP last night and parted with my mid-2010 MBP i5. The FireWire 800 and Ethernet ports I'm already missing.
     
  22. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    ^ Ended up ordering the Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter new from Amazon ( http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008ALA6DW/ref=pe_385040_121528360_TE_dp_1 ). It was a dollar cheaper than on apple.com - and I would have preferred to order from Apple just to make the risk absolutely zero that it could be aftermarket - but w/ my free shipping due to prime and fast delivery, just went with amazon. The seller for the product on Amazon DOES say Apple so I'm sure there's no risk.

    Wish I could have saved a few more bucks on it though - $30 is still $30. I went on ebay to see, and negotiated with some of the sellers who were doing best offers, but they all wanted pretty much the cost of new.

    Ah well. Maybe I'll have better luck finding a cheaper Thunderbolt to Firewire cable
     
  23. boast macrumors 65816

    boast

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    #23
    Depending on the usb polling rates, usb will have a higher latency than thunderbolt. (Latency, not throughput)
     
  24. Void5150 macrumors member

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    #24
    I bought the Thunderbolt ethernet adapter.

    Is this the best option for Mac + Windows (Bootcamp)? :confused:
     
  25. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    For me, a third party USB 3.0 gigabit Ethernet adapter was a better solution than the Apple Thunderbolt adapter. I bought one similar to this one. I just plug the adapter into my USB hub. This keeps my Mac connections and my desk much cleaner. When I'm home, I just plug power and and the USB hub into my rMBP and I'm "docked".

    I have the Apple adapter, but I hated running the ethernet cable to my desktop and having the nasty little Apple dongle hanging a few inches from my Mac.
     

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