New Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet adapter - custom/not TB?

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Original poster
Dec 12, 2002
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Alongside the updated MacBook Air and Retina-Display-equipped MacBook Pro, Apple also released a Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet adapter.
Apple Store | Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

It is insanely cheap, $29 - the same price as the USB 100Mbit Ethernet adapter! And it says it is only compatible with the MacBook Air and "MacBook Pro with Retina Display". No other Thunderbolt-equipped Macs.

This makes me wonder if it is truly a Thunderbolt device, or just a physical-wire adapter to pass through a built-in Ethernet adapter that just doesn't have a physical port... (Although the USB Ethernet adapter only ever claimed support on the MacBook Air, too.)

(I really want to get a Mac mini server plus one of those to give it two Gigabit Ethernet ports.)
 

Poki

macrumors 65816
Mar 21, 2012
1,317
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Well, it could be that these adapters are only supported by the new TB controllers probably used in the new Notebooks. Don't kniw for aure however.
 

gabicava83

macrumors regular
Aug 31, 2010
235
2
That is interesting.

What if you are wanting to use dual external displays (none apple) which you will need to purchase two adaptors for and then, you also want to use the gigabit ethernet?

Seems like that is not possible.
 

radiogoober

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2011
972
1
I'll find out today if this adapter works on all thunderbolt macs. I looked up the USB ethernet adapter Apple made, and on it's product page it said it is compatible with only the MacBook Air, but in the "Questions & Answers" people wrote that it works with any computer with a USB. So I feel pretty confident that this will work with any Thunderbolt-equipped Mac.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
Alongside the updated MacBook Air and Retina-Display-equipped MacBook Pro, Apple also released a Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet adapter.
Apple Store | Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

It is insanely cheap, $29 - the same price as the USB 100Mbit Ethernet adapter! And it says it is only compatible with the MacBook Air and "MacBook Pro with Retina Display". No other Thunderbolt-equipped Macs.

This makes me wonder if it is truly a Thunderbolt device, or just a physical-wire adapter to pass through a built-in Ethernet adapter that just doesn't have a physical port... (Although the USB Ethernet adapter only ever claimed support on the MacBook Air, too.)
How would that work ? A physical wire adaptor to pass through what? :confused: :confused:

It is a Thunderbolt to gigabit Ethernet adaptor. There is no magic going on. The only question left is how will a Mac computer deal with another GbE port when it's already equipped with one. That I do not know since the only dual GbE port Mac is the Mac Pro

Does your router/switch support aggregated linking by the way?
 

ray648

macrumors regular
Jan 10, 2008
118
0
It is a Thunderbolt to gigabit Ethernet adaptor. There is no magic going on. The only question left is how will a Mac computer deal with another GbE port when it's already equipped with one. That I do not know since the only dual GbE port Mac is the Mac Pro
It will cope just fine with having multiple ethernet ports. Since the thunderbolt display has ethernet on the back, anyone using one with a macbook pro is already in this situation. You end up with multiple ethernet ports showing up in the network settings.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
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Poole, England
It will cope just fine with having multiple ethernet ports. Since the thunderbolt display has ethernet on the back, anyone using one with a macbook pro is already in this situation. You end up with multiple ethernet ports showing up in the network settings.
Thanks for the confirmation.
 

jayband

macrumors newbie
Mar 18, 2010
2
0
Bought it today at the retail store, I had a 2011 MBA with Thunderbolt port and 10.7.4, no go on the ethernet side. Nothing shows under System Preferences/Network. Try to do a "+" still not showing anything related the adapter.

Under System Information, it does show the gigabit adapter is connected.
 

jayband

macrumors newbie
Mar 18, 2010
2
0
Bought it today at the retail store, I had a 2011 MBA with Thunderbolt port and 10.7.4, no go on the ethernet side. Nothing shows under System Preferences/Network. Try to do a "+" still not showing anything related the adapter.

Under System Information, it does show the gigabit adapter is connected.

Dig through Google and see the issue, you have to go to:

http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1544

and download the update manually and install it, now it works great!
 

Balaamsdonkey

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2008
289
60
Washington
Alongside the updated MacBook Air and Retina-Display-equipped MacBook Pro, Apple also released a Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet adapter.
Apple Store | Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

It is insanely cheap, $29 )
I know this isn't what your thread is about, and I really don't want to hijack this thread but. . .

You think $29 for a required adapter for use of a basic method of connecting to the internet is insanely cheap? Seriously? I would have gladly gave up a few mm for the change to have an in-box ethernet port. Or better yet, perhaps the largest, and most profitable company in the world could maybe throw an adapter in the box as a thank you for dropping +$2500.

Maybe I'm being entitled, but I use ethernet all the time on my mid-'10 MBP. I would definitely wait for a third party adapter if one comes out. No doubt it will be cheaper.

Am I the only one who connects my MBP to Ethernet when available and not inconvenient?
 

radiogoober

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2011
972
1
I know this isn't what your thread is about, and I really don't want to hijack this thread but. . .

You think $29 for a required adapter for use of a basic method of connecting to the internet is insanely cheap? Seriously? I would have gladly gave up a few mm for the change to have an in-box ethernet port. Or better yet, perhaps the largest, and most profitable company in the world could maybe throw an adapter in the box as a thank you for dropping +$2500.

Maybe I'm being entitled, but I use ethernet all the time on my mid-'10 MBP. I would definitely wait for a third party adapter if one comes out. No doubt it will be cheaper.

Am I the only one who connects my MBP to Ethernet when available and not inconvenient?
It sounds like you just want something to cry about.

1. WiFi. Welcome to 2002.

2. No one is forcing you to buy a computer without a wired ethernet port.

3. $29 is cheap for a Thunderbolt accessory. In fact, it's probably the cheapest Thunderbolt accessory on the market.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,068
811
Pennsylvania
It sounds like you just want something to cry about.

1. WiFi. Welcome to 2002.

2. No one is forcing you to buy a computer without a wired ethernet port.

3. $29 is cheap for a Thunderbolt accessory. In fact, it's probably the cheapest Thunderbolt accessory on the market.
Actually, Apple included dongles (and remotes) through 2007 on the Macbook Pro's I believe.
 

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Original poster
Dec 12, 2002
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Cascadia
How would that work ? A physical wire adaptor to pass through what? :confused: :confused:

It is a Thunderbolt to gigabit Ethernet adaptor. There is no magic going on. The only question left is how will a Mac computer deal with another GbE port when it's already equipped with one. That I do not know since the only dual GbE port Mac is the Mac Pro

Does your router/switch support aggregated linking by the way?
Quite often, adapters don't do actual *ADAPTING*, but just pass wires through along with a signal to say "hey, don't send the signal you're supposed to send, send this other one instead."

The Mini-DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter (http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB572Z/A) is just such. When that is plugged in, the physical port on the side of the computer is not sending digital DisplayPort data, it is sending analog VGA signals. Which is why it will not work connected to a Thunderbolt Display. The Thunderbolt 'passthrough' on that display passes through Thunderbolt and/or DisplayPort only. It does not comprehend VGA at all, and the adapter isn't an active converter.

That's also why the Mini-DisplayPort-to-dual-link-DVI adapter (http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB571Z/A?fnode=MTY1NDA5OQ) costs so much more than the single-link DVI adapter (http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB570Z/A?fnode=MTY1NDA5OQ.) The single-link adapter just tells the port "send DVI now instead of DisplayPort" (there are enough wires for single-link DVI,) but the dual-link has to actively convert the DisplayPort signal into a dual-link DVI signal (there aren't enough wires for that.)

I'm not wanting a second Gigabit for teaming, I want it to connect to separate networks.
 

Balaamsdonkey

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2008
289
60
Washington
It sounds like you just want something to cry about.
Nope, I just think giving Apple +$2500 entitles me to a little extra that's all.

1. WiFi. Welcome to 2002.
Why thank you, but I must ask. If you have an ethernet cable sitting right there, are you going to choose the WiFi over that just because you have to plug it in? If I'm close to an Ethernet cable that is connected to by Airport Express then I'm going to use it.


2. No one is forcing you to buy a computer without a wired ethernet port.
Did I say anyone was? I was merely expressing the feeling that for the amount of money I'm giving Apple (for arguments sake) they don't need to nickel and dime me after the fact. That makes them sound greedy

3. $29 is cheap for a Thunderbolt accessory. In fact, it's probably the cheapest Thunderbolt accessory on the market.
I can't really speak to this as my current machine has no Thunderbolt port, so I haven't looked around. What I do know is hardly anyone is supporting it from what I've heard, and I don't see that this is a salient point. I must fall back on the, "I spent over 2500 on a laptop without a fairly basic, and constant piece of hardware and you can't throw in some plastic wrapped around some cables that fool the computer into doing what I want with the information provided.
 

KylePowers

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2011
1,688
197
Nope, I just think giving Apple +$2500 entitles me to a little extra that's all.
So if the price of the Mac was $2529 and it came with a TB-to-Ethernet cable, then you'd be fine with it? You would no longer be nickeled and dime'd, so to speak?

Clearly it's all relative. We're already chalking up hundreds on top of competitor pricing for similar spec'd hardware for the privilege to run OSX and to have it all incorporated into an aesthetically pleasing chassis. What's another $29? (which, like someone mentioned, is quite cheap for a TB peripheral)

If you need a laptop with ethernet, then get one with ethernet. Do you buy a honda civic and complain that it's not a tank? It's not like you didn't know it from the start, but you're still making the economical and conscientious decision to make the purchase. Complaining about it on a forum isn't going to solve anything.

The fact is, a lot of people don't use ethernet anymore... just like how a lot of people don't use DVDs, CDs, floppy discs, laser discs, or records. It's a dying standard, despite how prevalent it unfortunately still is (mostly in work places for security purposes, so I've read). It isn't until we as a society shun its use that we'll finally start seeing some real advancement in wireless (which for a lot of people, is perfectly fine right now).

If you need ethernet, buy the tank!
 

helveta

macrumors regular
Mar 31, 2012
128
5
I just received my adapter, I bought it to use at home. It got me thinking, I've been using a thunderbolt to ethernet adapter for nine months now at work, through my TB display. Why do I need to do a software update to use the new adapter? How is that different from what I've been doing at work?
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,330
45
Colorado
I know this isn't what your thread is about, and I really don't want to hijack this thread but. . .

You think $29 for a required adapter for use of a basic method of connecting to the internet is insanely cheap? Seriously? I would have gladly gave up a few mm for the change to have an in-box ethernet port. Or better yet, perhaps the largest, and most profitable company in the world could maybe throw an adapter in the box as a thank you for dropping +$2500.

Maybe I'm being entitled, but I use ethernet all the time on my mid-'10 MBP. I would definitely wait for a third party adapter if one comes out. No doubt it will be cheaper.

Am I the only one who connects my MBP to Ethernet when available and not inconvenient?
Except for the Retina model, the new Macbook Pro's still come with Gigabit Ethernet built in.

If I want to be able to drive off road, I'm not going to complain that Chevy failed to provide off road capability in the new Corvette, I'm going to buy a new Silverado.
 

therealseebs

macrumors 65816
Apr 14, 2010
1,057
312
Except for the Retina model, the new Macbook Pro's still come with Gigabit Ethernet built in.

If I want to be able to drive off road, I'm not going to complain that Chevy failed to provide off road capability in the new Corvette, I'm going to buy a new Silverado.
There is a logical incompatibility between the characteristics of a high-speed road car and an off-road vehicle.

There is no logical incompatibility between a high-res display and Ethernet.
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,330
45
Colorado
There is a logical incompatibility between the characteristics of a high-speed road car and an off-road vehicle.

There is no logical incompatibility between a high-res display and Ethernet.
It's relevant when it come to simply buying the right tool for the job.
 

helveta

macrumors regular
Mar 31, 2012
128
5
I just received my adapter, I bought it to use at home. It got me thinking, I've been using a thunderbolt to ethernet adapter for nine months now at work, through my TB display. Why do I need to do a software update to use the new adapter? How is that different from what I've been doing at work?
I tried to plug the adapter into my 2011 MBA and the ethernet cable at work and the ethernet under network settings shows no connection. Just for the heck of it I called applecare and was told that the software download was just an update to existing software and that my MBA should still work with the adapter without it. I was told that the only way I could know for sure what the problem was was to take the computer and adapter to an apple store and that if I wanted any phone support for this issue I would have to pay $49.

There is no apple local apple store, except the best buy and I don't think they know anything about this.

WTF?
 

Balaamsdonkey

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2008
289
60
Washington
So if the price of the Mac was $2529 and it came with a TB-to-Ethernet cable, then you'd be fine with it? You would no longer be nickeled and dime'd, so to speak?
Not necessarily. And I may be arguing the wrong issue here. It may be that I should be requesting the RD be available in the "non-shutdown" model. After reading iFixit's review of it I was pretty disappointed in the product as a whole. I'm not in the market for a new computer anyway at this point, and perhaps by the time I am in the market, things will be different. I suppose what I was thinking was that it would be nice to wean us off ethernet, and throw the adapter in for free. There is no way it costs Apple much money to make those things.

Clearly its all relative./QUOTE]

Agreed.

Do you buy a honda civic and complain that it's not a tank?
Are you comparing a car to a tank? I don't think that is a valid analogy. In no way are the new gen MBPs to a car what MBP-RD is to a tank. If you were comparing a Macbook to a MBP-RD you'd have me. Of course I know what I'm buying before I get into it. That's why I'm not buying it!

Complaining about it on a forum isn't going to solve anything.
I posted, pointing out the issue, not for sympathy or to complain. I have my wife to complain about stupid stuff to. I was kind of wondering if anyone felt similarly. I didn't come out and say that outright, "Does anyone feel that. . ." but I didn't think I needed to pull out a big blinky sign either. Nor did I think I was getting particularly whiney. I'm sorry if it came off that way.


The fact is, a lot of people don't use ethernet anymore...
I'd love to see some documentation on this. I really don't know either way, but I think it is disingenuous of you to assume there are "lots" who do not ever use ethernet. I still use it when available because it is faster than WiFi. Judging by the tone of your last paragraph it seems you have a bit of a vendetta against Ethernet.

But ast you said earlier--it's clearly all relative.
 
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