Still no USB 3.0 to Thunderbolt adapter?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by tmanto02, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. tmanto02 macrumors 65816

    tmanto02

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    Australia
    #1
    I am surprised that I still cant find a simple Thunderbolt to usb 3 adapter online! I know apple don't make one, yet they make a firewire and ethernet adapter.

    Does anyone know if any third party adapters exist?

    I know that some docking station hubs have been released but I only need one port and don't want to pay a few hundred dollars to add USB 3 to my 2011 Mac Mini.

    TA
     
  2. Acorn macrumors 68020

    Acorn

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    #2
    I checked monoprice and they didnt have one. if they dont carry it i doubt anyone does.
     
  3. opinio macrumors 65816

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    Mar 23, 2013
    #3
    I do not think Apple will ever make one like they have with FireWire and Ethernet because you are forced to upgrade to a new Mac to get USB 3.0 (like I have been). In other words, if they make an adapter then we will have less reason to say update from a 2011 mac mini to 2012 etc.
     
  4. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    Jul 29, 2011
    #4
    Apple needed relatively cheap Firewire and Ethernet adapters to cushion the effect of dropping FW and Ethernet from the Retina MacBook Pros.

    If you look at this article you'll see that they've done something clever - interfacing a PCIe ethernet controller directly to the Thunderbolt socket without using the (expensive) Intel thunderbolt controller chip. It doesn't seem that third parties have caught on to that wheeze yet.

    However, there's clearly no way of daisy-chaining another TB peripheral or display adapter from this type of 'cut price' TB adapter. The Ethernet and FW adapters are mainly for the benefit of rMBP users, who have 2xThunderbolt + HDMI so that's not such a big deal.

    The only real market for a 'simple Thunderbolt-to-USB3 adapter' is for users of 2011 models with no USB3. That's a limited market to start with - now subtract all the Macbook Pro users who don't want to sacrifice their only external monitor connection, and all the Mac Mini and 22" iMac owners who don't want to lose their second display output, and you're pretty much left with 27" iMac users and Thunderbolt Display owners. Quite a small market, really, and in electronics small market = high price.

    If you don't want to lose your only display output, then you want a full-blown TB device with a proper TB controller, a TB-through socket and the internal gubbins to make the TB-out usable with DisplayPort. Plus a TB cable. By the time you paid for that overhead, throwing in a couple of extra ports to make something like the forthcoming Caldigit dock makes sense.
     
  5. tmanto02 thread starter macrumors 65816

    tmanto02

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    #5
    I wasn't aware of the caldigit dock, looks great! Hopefully it's not far off.

    My need for USB 3 is quite petty really but it annoys me when giving movies to friends and only having USB 2 speeds.
     
  6. opinio, May 25, 2013
    Last edited: May 25, 2013

    opinio macrumors 65816

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    Mar 23, 2013
    #6
    Caldigit is not out but a few similar hubs are if you are that interested. I hope you have a big wallet though :)

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Matrox/DS1HDMI/

    http://www.belkin.com/us/F4U055-Belkin/p/P-F4U055

    BUT seriously, you can buy and entry level mac mini for a few more dollars...

    This hub looks the best. I wonder if it will ever be released. And at what price ???

    http://www.sunix.com.tw/cc/en/e-DM/2012_COMPUTEX-banner/sunix_thunderbolt_dock .html
     
  7. cuestakid macrumors 68000

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    San Fran
    #7
    this is probably a good indicator

    https://secure1.sonnettech.com/index.php?cPath=139_169&osCsid=bee5259958cf0694ce7dc7f55a1c4649
     
  8. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    Jul 29, 2011
    #8
    Unfortunately, the Sunix link points to a Computex 2012 press release. If you look on their main site, there's no sign of this dock, but they're now showing something more like the Caldigit offering

    The fact that Sonnet are actually taking pre-orders inspires a bit more confidence that their dock will surface in the not-to-distant future.

    Pity - I like the sound of the hot-swap bay, SPDIF and BD-R offered by the Sunex. Seems odd not to include SPDIF on the Sonnet when one of their claims is Blu-ray playback, and SPDIF could let you output surround sound.

    OTOH, Sonnet has eSATA and Firewire.

    Ho hum.
     
  9. tmanto02 thread starter macrumors 65816

    tmanto02

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    #10
    Brilliant thanks! I have been waiting for this for ages! I emailed Kanex about 6 months ago and they said they were developing one, finally it's not far off! :)

    ----------

    This simple usb 3.0 adapter is on its way!

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully it is full 5Gbps and not 2.5Gbps like the overpriced belkin hub.

    Thanks to Genea for finding this!
     
  10. ivnj, Oct 26, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013

    ivnj macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Just what I needed. So anyone know when the kanex will be released? And how much?
     
  11. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #12
    Kanex is a funny company.
    Then they go ahead and let you vote between "USB 3.0 plus eSATA to Thunderbolt" and "USB 3.0 plus Gigabit Ethernet to Thunderbolt", to be used on Machines that already feature Gigabit Ethernet and have no use for 3GBit/s eSATA when USB 3.0 brings them 6GBit/s (or 5GBit/s) SATA.

    How about "USB 3.0 to Thunderbolt" and knock some $10 off the product? "Dual USB 3.0 to Thunderbolt"?
     
  12. ivnj macrumors 65816

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    Dec 8, 2006
    #13
    My mid 2011 mac mini is not gigabit ethernet is it? If not then it might be useful.
     
  13. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #14
    All Macs since about 2000 have Gigabit Ethernet.
     
  14. tmanto02 thread starter macrumors 65816

    tmanto02

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    #15
    +1
     
  15. ivnj macrumors 65816

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  16. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    Jul 29, 2011
    #17
    2011 Macbook Airs have 1xThunderbolt, no USB3 and no Ethernet - a TB to USB3 + Ethernet adapter would be useful on those.

    I have an external HD that offers eSATA, FW800 or USB2 and isn't ready for the junk heap just yet - eSATA would be the fastest way to connect that.
     
  17. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #18

    1st off, the only devices that don't have 3.0, but Thunderbolt are the 2011's. That limits the usefulness of this to begin with. So in order to make it as useful as possible, they have clearly targetted at the Macbook Air devices as well. I had a 2011 Macbook Air. If you have a device that already has Ethernet and Thunderbolt, don't use the Ethernet. Sure it MIGHT be cheaper by $10 without it, but then it would really limit the usefulness.
     
  18. Giuly, Oct 27, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014

    Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #19
    It may be useful on a 2011 MBA, it may also be useful on everything else if you have a NAS that supports link aggregation, but for most MBP, Mac Mini and iMac users, it takes up space that would be better used up by a second USB 3.0 port, with its own channel to have the full 5GBit/s on both ports and not via an internal hub.

    Also, this:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Startech has an USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet adapter with a pass-through port that works on Macs. Heck, Kanex themselves have such an adapter for $25 (sans the pass-through).

    Want eSATA? Here, works on a Mac and even supports eSATA multiplexing for multi bay enclosures over a single cable:
    [​IMG]


    A version with an Ethernet port is great and they should make one, but it shouldn't be the main product. Dual-USB 3.0 ports make it most useful for most everyone regardless of the Mac model.
     
  19. ivnj macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Nice.
     
  20. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #21
    First off, the USB to gb Ethernet adapter means you are giving up 20% of your USB 3.0 bandwidth. I iwould rather have an Ethernet adapter that is connected to Thunderbolt/PCIE directlly and leave the entire USB 3.0 bandwidth alone. Although I will grant you, until we see how Kanex adds the Ethernet port, it may or may not be better. They very well could just be using a glorified USB 3.0 to Ethernet adapter and more or less just be "hanging" the Ethernet off of the USB 3.0 internally.

    Secondly, if you have ever used the DatOptic USB to eSATA you will find that it does not handle constant writes well at all. I do a lot of recording of video and audio and it can not handle being constantly written to. It is great if all you want is to use it for file storage where it momentary stops in writing or reading isn't a big deal, but if you are trying to write to your RAID array from a buffer (as I do) it fails miserably. I ended up with so many corrupt recordings with all kinds of scrambled video that I basically put both of my adapters in a drawer and have never gone back to them. I might pull one out eventually and use it for less critical uses, but as a direct replacement to eSATA it certainly is not. How it gets such high ratings on Amazon is beyond me (although if you actually read the reviews, most are just using it for simple DAS solutions and not heavy read/write scenarios). I have actually started replacing my eSATA 4Bay enclosures with USB 3.0 4Bay enclosures since so far there isn't a single Thunderbolt to eSATA device that can do Port Multiplier. I have been waiting for SonnetTech to release the Echo15 which supposedly has 2 eSATA ports with Port Multiplier, but as per most of Sonnet's stuff it is pretty much vaporware and/or waaayyyy past due (it was supposed to be released by "Summer 2013" and we are now well over a month into Fall).

    Again, neither of those USB to X solutions are the best.
     
  21. KaraH macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Location:
    DC
    #22
    Exactly, my whole point in wanting a TB to USB is so I do not use bandwidth. Anything else (USB+esata? usb+firewire?) is a plus, but a USB not on the main bus is what I need. I do not want to take bandwidth from my SSD just because USB decided to allocate a bunch of bandwidth to a backup drive.
     
  22. ivnj macrumors 65816

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    #23
  23. tmanto02 thread starter macrumors 65816

    tmanto02

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    #24
    Nothing yet. I honestly question whether or not it will actually happen. I understand that r&d needs to be thorough however their market is only shrinking as 2011 mac users are either upgrading or finding other solutions.
     
  24. ivnj macrumors 65816

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    Dec 8, 2006
    #25
    Well I'm not upgrading any time soon. I sent kanex an email. Will let you know what they said.
     

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