It's fair to say that the new Mac Pro is basically designed around thunderbolt. The difficulty Apple faced in adding Thunderbolt is that allowing users to upgrade the video cards in a LGA2011 system would likely neuter Apple's ability to sell Thunderbolt displays. It is very possible to use a standard non-thunderbolt PCIe GPU and pipe the video signal through the thunderbolt port. However, the options are rather limited/cumbersome: 1) Hijack the graphics chip on the CPU. This has been proven to work seamlessly on PCs, however the LGA2011 chipset Apple's using does not support CPU graphics, so this is not possible. 2) jerry-rigg the display port into the thunderbolt controller. - This design is not yet approved by Intel, but will likely be soon, according to ASUS. So Apple was really left with only 3 options - Have NO thunderbolt at all on the New Mac Pro - Have thunderbolt ports with NO video signal - Have proprietary video cards which pipe their signal directly into the TB controller, essentially an internalized version of the #2 option above With these options, it was still possible to have PCIe and Thunderbolt co-exist. Again, the only issue is with PCIe GPU's not being able to display over thunderbolt. Obviously Apple went with the 3rd option. We're told by the Thunderbolt fans on this forum that thunderbolt is the greatest thing ever, and Apple was forced to ditch PCIe. This is a false choice--they did have options. However, just out of curiosity, this poll asks: If you HAD to choose between PCIe slots and Thunderbolt, what would you choose?