Light Peak in mac pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by allupons, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. allupons macrumors member

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    Mar 11, 2010
    #1
    So now that it seems fairly clear that intel is announcing light peak on thursday for its (hopeful) launch in macbook pros, do you think there will be lightpeak pci-e cards available in the near future that we can hope to use in our mac pros? If they are in fact announced and present in the next macbook pro, I believe that will be enough to get me to upgrade from my 2006 macbook pro, and if I do I would love to have external lightpeak drives that I can use on both my macbook and mac pro. Thoughts?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    Although it depends on things like availability (announcement date is not same as availability date) and software support, I guess there will be Light Peak PCIe cards fairly soon after the launch.
     
  3. GadgetAddict macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Question is, when will we see the first use of Lightpeak (peripherals etc).
     
  4. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

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    #4
    Question is, do we have another case of FireWire on our hands?

    No doubt there will be CopperPeak cards since they will depend on them almost completely for acceptance in the PC world, like with USB2.0 PCI cards.
     
  5. goMac, Feb 23, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011

    goMac macrumors 603

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    #5
    Nope. Lightpeak/Thunderbolt (Ew) will replace all your ports. And I mean that it will replace all your ports because it's designed to work with your existing USB and Firewire devices. There will be adaptors, but that's going to be the future.

    Edit: I'll also note that Lightpeak will mean the end of the "is Apple going to drop FW400/FW800 from : blank : " debates. It'll always be possible to go from Lightpeak to Firewire whatever.
     
  6. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

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    #6
    I'm guessing that Apple may have some sort of external storage or other device to make use of lightpeak (thunderbolt) soon after launch. Otherwise I don't see much point in Apple bringing it out yet.
     
  7. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #7
    I suspect that initially, LightPeak will be used by Apple strictly as a sort of ultimate docking cable... to dock a laptop to an external display and peripherals with just one cable.

    Apple displays already make this pretty simple with an MDP and USB connector integrated into a single cable. LightPeak will just take that one step further and do away with the USB connection.

    So initially, I suspect the only LightPeak enabled devices will be Apple MacBooks and Apple Displays.

    If the rumors on the front page of MR today are true, then this is exactly what Apple has planned... in fact they appear to be using the MDP port on the laptop to double as a LightPeak connector so that it's backwards compatible with older Apple displays that don't have LightPeak.

    As a result, I don't see this first iteration of LightPeak coming to Mac Pro's as it would require redesigned graphics cards.
     
  8. goMac macrumors 603

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    #8
    This is also possible, but keep in mind, Apple had no FW800 devices at launch.

    I doubt Apple would ship a fully LP display, however. NVidia and ATI would have to be onboard, it would require significant GPU board redesigns.
     
  9. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #9
    Agreed - I'm not suggesting Apple will ship a display with LightPeak as the only connection... look at the front page of MR.

    The MDP port on the new MacBooks appears to be doubling as the Thunderbolt Port. Apple will likely integrate a USB to Thunderbolt adapter in new displays to eliminate the need to connect the display to the MacBook with a USB connector (which is currently used for connecting the display audio, camera, and of course, the built-in USB hub).

    Essentially new Thunderbolt equipped displays will work with new Thunderbolt MacBooks with just a single interconnect... while they will also work with older MacBooks (and any other Mac) via the old MDP and USB connections. Similarly, new MacBooks can connect to old displays via the dual connections.

    All of this means, there is no Thunderbolt coming to Mac Pro's this time around.
     
  10. goMac macrumors 603

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    #10
    This I doubt.

    Thunderbolt won't come to the Mac Pro GPUs, but if history is any indication, it will come to the Mac Pros this year, likely in a few months.
     
  11. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #11
    I say that, because I think the initial value driver behind Thunderbolt is integrating display and other connectivity into a single cable. If we agree it's not coming to Mac Pro GPU's, then I'm not sure what it would be used for. I suppose Lacie or someone else could offer a few external drives with ThunderBolt connections. What are you thinking?
     
  12. goMac macrumors 603

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    #12
    Light Peak is going to be Apple's answer to eSATA. It also happens to be able to drive displays. To be fair, what you're talking about is Light Peak and MDP happening to be in the same plug, which is really just putting two entirely different connectors into one plug. Light Peak won't actually be driving the display in what you're talking about, that's going to require far more specialized hardware.

    Given this, a Mac Pro with separate Light Peak and MDP could still connect to such a display. You'd just need an extremely basic dongle.

    Same situations that eSATA is being used in.

    You can also connect to existing eSATA devices with Light Peak.
     
  13. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #13
    That would be quite nice, it is highly unlikely with the first LP release, though. This first release is capable of 10Gb/s. Although that is sufficient for 2560x1600 @ 60Hz, I don't think that it's a wise decision to replace DisplayPort with such a proprietary port. Apple tried this once with ADC and it didn't work out.
    DisplayPort for itself has a maximum bandwidth of ~17Gb/s, which suffices for 4k displays or multiple displays driven of one single port, and I think it is the way to go until LP catches up. I reckon it will take at least 5 years from now till LP replaces DP.
     
  14. goMac macrumors 603

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    #14
    Right, I think he was suggesting putting both MDP and LP in one cord, not actually sending display signal over LP. But Apple could make that work on a MP with distinct LP and MDP ports by just using a simple "unsplitter" dongle.

    I doubt we'll see LP on graphics boards for a bit as it's kind of unnecessary, the additional bandwidth required over the card's bus would be taxing, and as you pointed out, LP can't drive a large display yet anyway.
     
  15. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #15
    Thanks, that's indeed what I was suggesting.

    It should all become clear tomorrow how Apple intends to use this... and what, if any, peripherals might take advantage of it. Then we might be in a better position to speculate on when we might see LP on other Mac's.
     
  16. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #16
    Oh right, I though about replacing it and going proprietary. Shoving the stuff in one cable and then splitting it to multiple connections sounds reasonable as that's what they usually do with their displays.
    It would basically replace the USB port in the current display models.
    That would indeed be great.

    BTW: What exactly is tomorrow? (except for thursday ;))
     
  17. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #17
    Where have you been?! :p :D Apple's announcing new MBP's with LP and Intel's also announcing LP.
     
  18. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #18
    Had a hard day at work. :D
    I usually don't look at the MacRumors main page, but after taking a quick look all this "Thunderbold" stuff people are talking about here actually starts to make sense. :rolleyes:
    Great, now I want a new MBP. :mad: :p

    Thanks for the heads up!
     
  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #19
    Or include the "unsplitter"/signal separation aspect in the next line of monitors released. This could be a bit cleaner for the laptop systems due to a single cable to the monitor (until an LP device is used anyway...).

    Just a thought, but it seems to fit with Apple's philosophy from what I've seen. ;)
     
  20. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    Jan 5, 2008
    #20
    Apple Display Connector makes its triumphant return (sans power).

    It was a cool idea at the time, but given that the industry is still dragging its heels over abandoning VGA for DVI ( led that charge), way too early.

    Be interesting to see if it can make some inroads with the support of Intel/AMD/Nvidia.
     
  21. goMac macrumors 603

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    #21
    The difference being that the MDP/LP combo would be backwards and forwards compatible with MDP. You could use a combo monitor on a MDP only machine, and a combo machine with a MDP only monitor.

    Doesn't require any support from ATI/NVidia, and as I mentioned, given the bandwidth we're talking about for them to add LP to their cards, that's not likely to happen any time soon.
     
  22. nanohits macrumors regular

    nanohits

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    #22
    Getting sick and tired of all these rumors about Apple lately. We dont even know if Light peak will come to any Apple products this year. All we are hearing is rumors for now. Maybe we will see this in 2012 if we are lucky. Time will tell.

    I mean Apple announced an event on March 2nd and all the press says its an iPad 2 event when Apple never mentioned anything about iPad 2. And rumours already speaking about iPad 3. lol..

    Oh well...
     
  23. goMac macrumors 603

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    #23
    ...the multiple pictures of boxes, the scheduled press conference, and the machine itself is rumor?

    You have pretty high standards for fact. :)
     
  24. nanohits macrumors regular

    nanohits

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    #24
    Seriously you havent seen pics of iPad 2 floating around for the last 6 months??? You must be very naive to believe photos, 90% of them photoshopped. And how many times have people got it so wrong on these rumors?

    Like I said lets wait and really see if Ligh peak is there or not. If it is then all the power for it. But it is just getitng a bit boring with every media jumping on some vague source reporting things. I mean come on iPad 3 already even before iPad 2 has been announced? and the dumb media that even cover such **** is a joke.
     
  25. mdgm macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 2, 2010
    #25
    The invitations showed what looks like an iPad. It's pretty obvious.

    Whilst you can't be 100% sure about rumours, the good rumour sites will show rumours that have a reasonable chance of being true. As the release of a product draws close (e.g. MBP) then actual information about products becomes known.

    As for Light Peak arriving in the Mac Pro we'll have to wait and see when it happens.
     

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