Is anyone actually using thunderbolt.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Nychot, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Nychot macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2011
    I have a fast wifi laser printer and a great monitor, a couple of external usb and ac powered ext hard drives. I dont see needing tb in the near or far future. Plus from what i gather there isnt much avail for it anyway. So is anyone using it yet and for what and what are the benefits in real world usage?
  2. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
  3. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    There is plenty of real world usage, mainly for people who have a ton of data all over the place who need fast access to it. (I could really use thunderbolt myself).

    Take for example people who work with video, they can keep all their video on external thunderbolt drives and have super fast access to it. They can also daisy chain the drives since they will more likely have more than just one drive.

    It doesn't sound like much, but when you work with a ton of large files that type if speed increase is very helpful.
  4. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    It would be more useful if more devices were actually made for it. Intel already backed away from chipset integration of thunderbolt in 2012. If it makes it into PCs anyway I expect we could see a better list of thunderbolt hardware. Intel was really slow on sdks which really hasn't helped hardware development for thunderbolt. It could very well remain a fringe product for now.
  5. iRamza macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2010
    the problem is we don't have that many products like hard drives and such that support thunderbolt. so far I've only seen that super large/expensive one that apple sells.
  6. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    As for my cinema display yes but other than that no.

    I would love to have the thunderbolt external HDD but that costs like hundreds and hundreds on dollar :/
  7. jamesr19 macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2009
    As Mac is still a growing market then I don't think there will be much dependance on PC to boost thunderbolt hardware. People are straying from PCs to Mac. I think there are a lot of companies working on thunderbolt they just haven't managed to make it all stable yet
  8. alecgold macrumors 65816


    Oct 11, 2007
    +1 but I heard that G-technology will bring out one of their G-raid disks with thunderbolt somewhere in Q4. That might be a lot cheaper. And if not, I don't really need a $900 Raid 5 disk orso, my current G-Technology 3.5" disk does quite all right as well. Firewire might nog be as fast, but for time machine and for copying the occasional Gb sized file it does quite well.
    The reason I bought the TB display is that I have an 11" and combined with the TB, it makes for quite a nice combo. For 95% of the time it feels just like an iMac, but when I'm on the road the 11" is superb.
  9. Burundo macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2011
    ello to everyone.
    I have a lacie Littlebig drive 1 TB (2, 500 gb hd); noise aside, I like it, use it as hd work, I have some virtual machines, photos, videos, and when I use my air (13" ultimate in 2011) at home, I connect the hd to the thunderbolt, and it is as if I had a hd in the air ... more there is no comparison with the speed usb 2 (I did not know the differences and USB3) ... I have a monitor connected to the lacie minidp dvi adapter, and everything functions as well .... noise and the cost ....
  10. convergent macrumors 68030


    May 6, 2008
    Thunderbolt is the ultimate generic "docking station" connector. If you remember back to the expensive and proprietary docking stations, this is way better. I think it will eventually catch on as more peripherals are available that use it. Aside from the dock scenario, anyone doing photo or video editing is going to like using it for external disks.
  11. GekkePrutser macrumors 6502a


    Aug 18, 2005
    I'd have no use for it now, but once that Belkin Docking station comes out, I would! As long as it's reasonably priced.
  12. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Unfortunately, they have said it isn't coming out until the spring of 2012. Sonnet has also pushed back the release of their Expresscard adapter until the end of November, and it is also pricey at $149 (not including the $49 cable). Seagate has promised a portable hard drive. If it is less than LaCie's $400 1TB drive, I'll look into it for quick backups.

    Right now, Thunderbolt is good primarily for 2 things for consumers: connecting a notebook to a Thunderbolt display, and connecting two notebooks together with one in target disk mode. Enterprises could benefit from having the RAID storage devices, but I'm guessing not very many are hooking up MacBook Airs to them.

    Hopefully more of the "Ultrabooks" start coming out in 2012 with Thunderbolt ports. Unfortunately, the ASUS UX21 and UX31, arguably the highest end Windows Ultrabooks out right now, have USB 3.0 and Micro-HDMI, but not Thunderbolt.
  13. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Enterprise RAID storage devices use FC or iSCSI, not some host based Thunderbolt. And the laptops connect to file servers that map those LUNs to actual filesystems. ;)

    There's very little need in "Enterprise" for Thunderbolt actually. At best, remote sites that don't have access to the SAN could use Thunderbolt as a cheaper way to access external storage arrays.
  14. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    The Mac Mini is the closest Apple has to a server now, so I could see a small outfit connecting a RAID backup to the Mini's Thunderbolt.
  15. LordVic macrumors 601

    Sep 7, 2011
    Thunderbolt to me represents the pinacle in expansion capabilities.

    A 40gbps direct line to the PCI-e bus! it gives every single laptop equiped with it a direct capability of almost unlimited expansion capability.

    if a device can be PCI-E. it can basically be Thunderbolt. think about that! its fantastic! Want usb3? why not a PCI-E based thunderbolt expansion?
    why not external video cards?
    why not super fast hard drives?
    why not external SSD's
    why not...

    the list goes on and on. the potential here is pretty endless. I for one was extremely excited with the idea, that a breakout expansion dock with a 2nd video card to expand for gaming would be fantastic and a big sell

    yet, we've seen absolutely NOTHING of real consumer value use it yet. which scares me, and saddens me
  16. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    Thunderbolt at this point is not worth it to me considering the availability
  17. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    You said Enterprise, not small outfit. ;)
  18. amagnet macrumors newbie


    Oct 26, 2011
    Irvine, CA
    I Use my thunderbolt port all the time, as the video out. I hate that there's no S-Video dongles though, Legacy TV's and projector still exist!
  19. LordVic macrumors 601

    Sep 7, 2011
    Thats not using thunderbolt

    you're only using Display port.

    Just so happens that apple / intel decided to carry DP signal over thunderbolt and use the identical connector

    But unless you're using the Apple Thunderbolt display right now. you're not actually using the thunderbolt protocol
  20. johnhurley macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2011
    Yup ... me also!
  21. Risasi macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2011
    I would rather see it used as a backplane to other devices. iSCSI, PCIe cages, a high-speed hub for tying together multiple machines for clustering. Stuff like that. I have a feeling it's going to be cost prohibitive though...
  22. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    I'm using it with my TB display which is pretty awesome. TB devices are projected for end of year from mainstream companies and especially spring when the cheaper TB chipsets are available from Intel. I have no doubt TB will be a big deal because of speed and the ability to daisy chain devices of different types.
  23. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    I said this in another post, USB 3.0 will be the next standart. Having said that, Thunderbolt will make great USB 3.0 hubs, I clearly see a hub going into an Macbook Air, making it the ultimate docking station
  24. Judas1 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2011
    Thunderbolt sounds great on paper, but I don't see how it will be useful in real life. So far a few people have used it for their thunderbolt display. But how is it an improvement over people who previously used a miniDP display? I feel thunderbolt is being pushed on people way too early. We currently have more than adequate alternatives or equivalents.
  25. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    The people who can make excellent use of it today are those who previously needed things like esata and dedicated pci hardware. This especially opens up a lot of possibilities on the laptop end where you previously had limited IO options.

    I think it'll still depend somewhat on Windows/Linux adoption rates. We have seen a couple really great products come out on thunderbolt standards, but they've been cost prohibitive at the consumer level. With the current cost of chips + development it may take some time.

    They are but PCs are still strong in corporate environments outside of IOS devices which may never see thunderbolt connections (currently not all that practical for them). I could see this being a cheaper alternative to fibre channel and 10G ethernet. It's already being implemented in devices that previously existed as pci cards allowing the use of such devices on your macbook pro. I'm not sure if it'll take off in the mid ranged market just yet. If external ssds were more common that would definitely push the standard.

    I hate the thunderbolt display. You can still attach a mini displayport display. You can use a regular displayport display with an adapter as well. There are way better displays out there. Intel lagged on sdks and they're backing away from thunderbolt chipset integration (probably due to cost), but for those who purchased macs this year, it does give them future proofed technology which isn't a bad thing. To be fair laptops and the non mac pro desktops were pretty IO starved in general. Firewire is a really tired technology at this point.

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