So much for Thunderbolt

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lloyd709, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. lloyd709 macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2008
    What a great name but shame it's practically f¢#€k all use after almost 2 years!! What I don't understand is why are Apple seemingly letting it die given they have so much market power? Sorry, it's just a rant but so disappointed!
  2. spork183 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2006
    See "Sony: BetaMax" ;)
  3. SpyderBite macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2011
    How did Apple let it die? They put it out there and the third party manufacturers haven't jumped on board yet. LaCie seems to be doing well with it.

    Meh. Don't use it if you don't need it. Funny how people wont adapt to new technology unless its shoved down their throats. See: Removal of optical drives
  4. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    What exactly do you want it to be used for? I think it does exactly what it needs to do. People claimed firewire was dying for years(yes, it finally did), but for a good majority of that time it was very useful for the people who needed it.
  5. rworne macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2002
    It'll just take a bit of time to catch on. No one will take it seriously (except the more exotic 3rd party market) until Intel has Windows boxes shipping with it.
  6. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    It will catch on soon, when the newer low-power controller chips hit the street.
  7. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Works for me on my Lacie drives and Ethernet. Can't wait for the next generation ATD.
  8. Cypther macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2012
    Well it's lack of thunderbolt accessories and high prices compare to USB 3.0. Apple Thunderbolt Cable cost $50.00 where you can get a USB 3.0 500gb storage drive for $60-80 so I think that might be a problem with thunderbolt.
  9. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Am using my thunderbolt-gigabit adapter $29 reasonable. Wo TB, I would have to go through USB3 at 480 kbit downgrade?

    Firewire... now let that die.
  10. MaxPower72 macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2012
    Chicago, Illinois, Crooks County
    likely so.
    I've been looking for an external TB enclosure where I can put an extra SSD that I have but so far no luck :mad:


    it served well for several years but it seems that manufacturers don't care much for TB, it's all about USB3...
  11. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012

    Amen. Right along with USB 2.
  12. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    It is a price issue. Those Thunderbolt docks and stuff seem to be difficult to develop and the giants that can like Apple don't provide assistance. Intel promised but didn't seem to really care enough or had technical problems they couldn't overcome. I think most of it just that so many thunderbolt peripherals only make money or are worth the risk of sinking development costs into projects at prices which most consumers simply won't pay.

    Thunderbolt chips are simply too expensive. Cables cost too much and the PCIe electronics on the external side are difficult. It is a niche.

    It is not like there is nothing. There is the go flex TB for an HDD. But the enclosure costs more than an average HDD and helps nothing with the speed. Even for SSDs USB3.0 is fast enough. Yet USB costs a fraction, has a tiny foot print and requires little to no expensive stuff on the pcb. Those TB pcbs are huge.
    TB just makes no sense unless you want to attach a huge expensive raid array or a dock + display. It is not that manufacturers don't care it is just a stupid choice for most use cases. USB is simply better and fast enough.
  13. quasinormal macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2007
    Sydney, Australia.
    I find it very useful mainly because it gives me a third option after USB and FireWire or 2 FireWire ports with the TB to FW adapter.

    It sure beats having just a mini display port, DVI port or VGA port.
  14. farmermac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2009
    Almost no one will admit it but tb is the answer to the question no one asked. Usb3 from a consumers perspective is perfectly fine. Backwards compatible to usb2 ports, cheap, widely adopted. Why apple didn't just go along with the flow 2 years ago, is anyones guess. At this point tb is like FireWire for the majority of consumers. No ones heard of it or cares about it especially since usb3 has finally been implemented
  15. Saladinos macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
    The best thing about thunderbolt is that it's a kind of universal connector. You can tunnel basically anything down it - including USB3 (you could make a TB->USB3 dongle, similar to the ethernet ones).

    One of the big things this enables is external docks - like the Apple Thunderbolt display, which has USB, audio and ethernet ports all tunnelled over a single Thunderbolt cable, along with the display data.

    Third parties have been getting involved (to a limited extent) as well - here's a Sony Vaio that uses a thunderbolt dock to house an external GPU, optical drive and more:

    I've seen other benchmarks that suggest it is viable to use Thunderbolt to house an external GPU. You can get double the performance of the MBP's on-board discrete GPU with a thunderbolt eGPU (and possibly more). Those are extremely expensive, though - a generic PCIe<>TB enclosure can cost $300 or more. That said, it's a technical solution you can't do over USB3.

    I don't think TB is a USB replacement. I don't think it's meant to be; USB serves most people perfectly well and is cheaper (largely due to technical requirements). Thunderbolt lets you do things that USB can't do. In the future, if we ever find USB limiting, Thunderbolt is there as a more flexible alternative.
  16. AppleMacFinder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2009
  17. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    This is what us 2011 MBP/MBA owners have been yelling for since last year. A $40 TB-USB3 adapter would satisfy the vast majority of us complainers. BUT NOOOOOO.... Apple would rather have you just buy a 2012 MBA/MBP. Given the ridiculous prices of the vaporware TB USB 3.0 Hubs from matrox,belkin etc..., it's actually more cost-effective at this point.
  18. Saladinos, Nov 18, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012

    Saladinos macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008


    I don't know the details, but perhaps it was a driver issue? In that case we can hope to see devices coming out soon now that OSX supports USB3.


    It appears that OWC are planning one to be launched soon, but someone doesn't think the Apple XHCI (USB3) drivers will work with the chipset. We'll see.
  19. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    But it's intended usage isn't just external storage thats just an added benefit.
  20. ssmed macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2009
    Thunderbolt frustration

    I share the OP's frustration. The lack of any hubs except for the ridiculously expensive and very shiny Apple Cinema Display, means that even those that have invested in TB technology can often only use limited numbers of accessories as so many have only one port and cannot be used used in a serial fashion.

    I have a mini-display port monitor (anti-glare), TB Ethernet adaptor, TB Firewire adaptor and a Promise RAID system, but at present can only use selected items depending on what I am doing. I have hoped for a Belkin Hub or similar for some time and that appears to be vapourware.

    Apple has shown some response in adding extra ports and an HDMI port to the newer portables, but overall this and the lack of TB on the MacPro reflects that the Thunderbolt implementation is a shambles.
  21. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    I would bet the 2013 incarnations of Mac Pro will have 0 FW, 0 USB 2, at least 1 TB, and multiple USB 3. Asus and a couple of other PC mobo makers already have TB motherboards.
  22. willcapellaro macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2011
    previous quote: Firewire... now let that die.

    Amen. Right along with USB 2.
    I totally don't understand port and protocol haters.

    Did Firewire do any particular harm to anyone here? It was comparable and sometimes competitive with USB and offered some unique features. And it paved a pathway to unique function stuff that Thunderbolt touches has. USB, in comparison, has some limitations (never seen a target display or target disk mode for USB).

    You blast Thunderbolt, which is essentially "displayport with benefits." It's an extremely powerful protocol that millions of people use daily. The magic, and the success, is that they don't even have to buy firewire-style expensive peripherals to use the protocol. Anyone plugging in a display to the thunderbolt port is using the protocol. Have a Thunderbolt display sitting around? Plug it in and you've got an insane hub and A/V setup. I'll admit it's not a great example, because it it's not cheap, but boy is it capable, and it's sold to consumers as well as professionals.

    Do you want thunderbolt thumbdrives or something else symbolic thunderbolt's preeminence? It's possible, but it's not necessary. It's basically not that kind of protocol. Thumbdrives are USB because of convenience and compatibility.

    Thunderbolt can connect to all sorts of devices/standards through hubs and adapters: Ethernet (missed your denigration of that), USB, and (gasp) Firewire devices that are still around and valid.

    This strategy of this uber-compatible powerhouse was partly based on protocol-haters like you all who flamed firewire to no end, despite it being totally capable.

    Lastly, you attack USB2. I slap you with my glove. Did USB touch your family members in an appropriate way? It's quite laughable to argue against the popularity of USB in general, and USB2 was the incarnation that bore it to glory.

    ...That said I don't think every port needs to be USB3 nowawadays. If I know I'm going to be plugging a keyboard in, why the hell do I need USB2, let alone 3? Remember that you need extra juice and transistors to handle these powerhouse ports. It's a testament to our times that we're not hauling around devices that need to connect physically all the time, but it's nice that we have the option.

    NOBODY should be complaining about computer tech in 2012.

    That felt good. Excuse any enjoyment that showed through. That's been bottled up since the Firewire 400 vs USB1 days.
  23. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012

    Did we worked on a FW project? ;)

    Should had told me, I threw away a box-full of FW stuff that I have no longer use for. Looking back, it never worked smoothly with my Windoze laptop.

    Am all bent-over they took away my beloved ethernet jack, but I'll get over it with the dang dongle.
  24. pgiguere1, Nov 19, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012

    pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Thunderbolt will make more sense once SSDs will be cheap enough to be considered as external storage.

    As it is, people buy mostly USB 3 mechanical external hard drives and Thunderbolt would offer no real benefit.

    But once you will be able to get an internal 256GB SSD for less than 100$, of course people will consider buying a TB enclosure as it will offer much better speeds than USB 3. I give it one year until 256GB of SSD is $99.99.

    At some point a SSD of reasonable size will be about the same price as a hard drive and people will obviously buy them much more, and Thunderbolt will be much more of a hit amongst consumers.
  25. thedarkhorse macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2007
    There is definitely a growing market for thunderbolt right now, just not so much in the consumer world. Funny how someone listed Sony BetaMax, which was DOA for the consumer world but the professional variant betacam is still used today as a professional standard definition format.

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