nMP - question about TB2 sockets reliability

2128506

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 28, 2013
178
108
Heart of Mordor
Hey, happy New Mac Pro owners, a quick question:

Did Apple use same flaky TB connector as in current rMBP/iMac?

One that would lose connection if you jiggle a cable. Fed up with rMBP losing Ethernet every time I touch TB cable. Same with iMac TB displays, drops every time cable is moved.

This is rather important for nMP, since everyone would use some sort of TB DAS system, and having that disconnected while in operation can be really disastrous.
 

CH12671

macrumors 6502
Dec 29, 2013
350
0
Southern US
I've not had that problem with any of my thunderbolt adapters/cables....on either my MBP or my iMac. I wonder if you don't have a faulty adapter? Mine seem to seat well and stay connected.
 

2128506

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 28, 2013
178
108
Heart of Mordor
I've not had that problem with any of my thunderbolt adapters/cables....on either my MBP or my iMac. I wonder if you don't have a faulty adapter? Mine seem to seat well and stay connected.
I honestly don't think so, disconnect issues with TB Display to iMac'12 / rMBP'12 and with Ethernet adapter to the same rMBP.

A friend of mine has exact same problems - the connector is just kinda too loose in the socket and will disconnect if you bend the cable too far. Maybe some first-gen issues or something. It's not like it's "faulty", it works, just does not seem to seat properly all of the time.
 

CH12671

macrumors 6502
Dec 29, 2013
350
0
Southern US
although my MBP has an onboard NIC, I do own the TB-NIC adapter you're talking about. I haven't used it a whole lot, but I have a few times when I needed multiple network connectivity. Most of the time, when in this situation, the laptop pretty much just sits there and does it's thing....so I can't comment on that particular adapter under "normal" use. However, my TB-VGA adapter gets use extensively with my MBP, and no issues at all with it coming loose. Also, my TB cable leading to my Raid Array has no issues with the iMac. Currently running TB-HDMI off of the TB array controller back to an HDMI monitor with, again, no issues.
 

Luba

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2009
1,206
174
I was examining a nMP at an Apple Store, the TB2 cable comes right off with the least amount of force. If someone were to bump into the cable it would come right off. It's nowhere near as "sticky" as a USB plug where you actually need some force to pull it out. I think that amount of force would be appropriate. Or the same amount of force to pull out a lightning cable that the iPhone uses. I'd say the FW800 and the TB2 need around the same amount of force to pull out, which is too low.

What would what happen if the TB2 cable came off while the nMP was accessing external storage? Would the all the disks inside be corrupt or just the disk it was trying to access?
 

echoout

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2007
600
16
Austin, Texas
I was examining a nMP at an Apple Store, the TB2 cable comes right off with the least amount of force. If someone were to bump into the cable it would come right off.
This is what I got railed on for complaining about after the initial announcement. I've used Thunderbolt professionally for a number of devices for quite a while and this has been a problem for me.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,069
4,138
The Peninsula
What would what happen if the TB2 cable came off while the nMP was accessing external storage? Would the all the disks inside be corrupt or just the disk it was trying to access?
It depends. With JBOD, potentially all disks (there might be cached data for other disks that hasn't been written). It's not likely, though, with journaled file systems.

"Corrupt" might be also too strong a word. There might be specific file corruption or missing updates, but much less likely that a volume would be destroyed. For example, it shouldn't be worse than pulling the power cord on the new Mini Pro instead of pulling the T-Bolt2 cord.

The bigger risk would be if you were doing software RAID between disks in multiple T-Bolt2 enclosures - pulling the T-Bolt2 connection to one of the enclosures would be risky, since IO to the different parts of the RAID array could be out of sync.
 

pprior

macrumors 65816
Aug 1, 2007
1,440
8
Haven't used TB, but I'm shocked given the implications that there isn't some sort of locking system like mini-sas connectors! this is bad news.
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,960
120
Ah jeez now everyone is complaining about "thunderboltgate".... I've never had any reliability or disconnections with my thunderbolt ports on 6 different Macs with thunderbolt ports.

As far as the store model: Think about how often they probably get played with. If course they are lose now.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,069
4,138
The Peninsula
Ah jeez now everyone is complaining about "thunderboltgate".... I've never had any reliability or disconnections with my thunderbolt ports on 6 different Macs with thunderbolt ports.
I think that if you read the posts here since the new Mini Pro was unveiled at MacWorld Summer '13, there's been quite a bit of concern expressed about having most of the system's storage connected via non-latching cables.


Ah As far as the store model: Think about how often they probably get played with. If course they are lose now.
Conversely, think about what a short time that they've actually been in the stores to be played with.

But good job at coining "T-Bolt Gate" to describe the problem! ;)

----------

Haven't used TB, but I'm shocked given the implications that there isn't some sort of locking system like mini-sas connectors! this is bad news.
Yeah, those mini-SAS latches are almost good enough to be used for seat belts.

I was tugging and pulling at a server, trying to get it to slide out of the rack. It would not budge.

When I looked at the back, and unlatched the mini-SAS cable, it came out quite easily.
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,960
120
I think that if you read the posts here since the new Mini Pro was unveiled at MacWorld Summer '13, there's been quite a bit of concern expressed about having most of the system's storage connected via non-latching cables.

But good job at coining "T-Bolt Gate" to describe the problem! ;)
While we can all agree that latching cables would be nice, it isn't like they just fall out. I've had a MacBook air that I've connected to a monitor multiple times a day with a converter to dvi for years with no issues. It isn't like it would fall out. Now my HP laptop with its VGA port without screw posts will fall out with the slightest movement......
 

Luba

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2009
1,206
174
This Apple Store had just set up a nMP (base Quad model), so couldn't be loose from people playing with it. I was probably the first customer playing with it.

The TB2 cable wouldn't just fall out, I said if the something or someone bumped into the cable it would come off. Comparing this with USB or the lightening cable in the iPhone where it takes a good tug to get it off, the TB2 cable connection is too loose. Maybe even looser than FW800.
 

echoout

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2007
600
16
Austin, Texas
My experience is that the ports in close proximity can be tricky. Having a 2 day render to a RAID going while disconnecting a mobile drive on the next port can be a sketchy endeavor. I've been burned more than a few times by it. Not sure how this point can be argued. It's a reality of external storage and connectivity, and a huge reason I moved my second SSD for my MBP to the optical bay.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
83
Poole, England
Hey, happy New Mac Pro owners, a quick question:

Did Apple use same flaky TB connector as in current rMBP/iMac?

One that would lose connection if you jiggle a cable. Fed up with rMBP losing Ethernet every time I touch TB cable. Same with iMac TB displays, drops every time cable is moved.

This is rather important for nMP, since everyone would use some sort of TB DAS system, and having that disconnected while in operation can be really disastrous.
I use various TB devices and the same thunderbolt to gigabit Ethernet adaptor. I must say that I have never experienced this problem with a 2012 rMBP.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
I plug and unplug my TB adaptor on my rMBP at least once (or more) every day for almost 10 months now, and it still fits tighter than OJs glove! ;)
 

wheelhot

macrumors 68020
Nov 23, 2007
2,080
249
I plug and unplug my TB adaptor on my rMBP at least once (or more) every day for almost 10 months now, and it still fits tighter than OJs glove! ;)
That's reassuring to hear as I'll be plugging in an out TB adaptor daily as well
 

DJenkins

macrumors 6502
Apr 22, 2012
271
4
Sydney, Australia
maybe there is some variance, some people at work are always kicking out their TB-ethernet adapters by accidentally pulling on the cable with their feet.

I once even completely inserted a TB cable in THE WRONG WAY. It was pretty tight but really that should not be possible at all. That's what happens when the ports are in a difficult place to reach or see. Glad I didn't damage anything though.
 

Cubemmal

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2013
824
1
I have a 2011 or 2011 MBP that had a flaky TB connector like you describe. Jiggle it a little bit and lose video. I didn't do anything about it, I should have sent it back but didn't think. About two years later the video output dropped entirely to both the screen and the output. The computer was fine otherwise.

Anyhow I took it into the store for repair thinking "dammit ... dammit". Turned out to be easy. They did need to replace the motherboard - CPU, GPU, everything. It started out at $500+. OK, more than I wanted but at least it's not up at $1k. Then he found a way to do it (service center) for $250 or $320, something like that. I'll take that! Amazing price for replacing the whole board.

I have a theory that Apple had a bad production run and are giving cheap repairs if it fails.
 

bennibeef

macrumors 6502
May 22, 2013
339
161
I have a late 2011 macbook pro and this connector is so strong I would never get it out without force. My ethernet cable is constantly getting kicked out of the ethernet port because there is something wrong broken I think, but disconnecting the TB cable is never easy to get out.

inserting the wrong way happened to me before but I got it never inserted more of meh doesnt work lets turn it, like everyone knows with USB.
 

CH12671

macrumors 6502
Dec 29, 2013
350
0
Southern US
You can try to squeeze the connector just slightly (along the long axis, not the short axis) so that the connecting plates with the pins squeeze together just a bit. This will create more friction. Not too much, obviously, as you will deform the connector, or break the device. I've done this before with loose USB ends.

It's still weird because I've had zero problems with my 2012 MBP and 2011 iMac. I sure hope they have't loosened those ports up, that would be a shame. In fact, I just plugged my VGA adapter into my MBP, and I noticed (I paid attention this time) that it has at least equal force required to that of USB, if not a little more!