TB gigabit Ethernet vs USB gigabit Ethernet?

Lax1085

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 22, 2010
48
8
I know USB 2.0 is capped at 30mb/s but I seem to get 30 mb/s on a regular gigabit ethernet.

Is there a difference between the two adapters in terms of speed?
 

GoreVidal

macrumors 6502a
Jun 19, 2011
597
0
USB adapter = 10/100 Mb/sec
Thunderbolt adapter = 10/100/1000 Mb/sec

so, 10x faster with the TB adapter.

Your speed is likely based on the source/server you're pulling from.
 

Alameda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 22, 2012
623
103
If you buy the TB Ethernet adapter for a MacBook Air, you can't plug in a display at the same time.

Which seems so obvious, that I should have realized it before I bought it :-<
 
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Lax1085

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 22, 2010
48
8
If you buy the TB Ethernet adapter for a MacBook Air, you can't plug in a display at the same time.
Yeah I want to use an external monitor. so is USB 2.0 adapter good enough to stream 720p videos with Ac3 audio? or will it be capped at 100mb/s don't have a wireless n router or am I better of using 2.4ghz n
 

ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
5,460
862
I had the TB adapter and I have a gigabit USB 2.0 adapter from monoprice. I use comcast.

I could not perceive any difference in throughput in normal use.

I returned the TB adapter.
 

blevins321

macrumors 68030
Dec 24, 2010
2,760
78
Winnipeg, MB
Yeah I want to use an external monitor. so is USB 2.0 adapter good enough to stream 720p videos with Ac3 audio? or will it be capped at 100mb/s don't have a wireless n router or am I better of using 2.4ghz n
For outside internet streaming, you won't notice a difference at all between the TB and USB ethernet adapters. The only time you'll notice is if you're doing very high def internal-network streaming or file sharing. 720p is low enough bandwidth so that the USB would be perfectly fine.
 

waw74

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2008
3,232
227
straight 1080 blu-ray rips run at about 5 MB/s.
so 720 files should be no problem.

also what are the files streaming from? if they're on a USB drive to begin with, then you're already limited by USB speeds at that end.

a quick and dirty way to see if a file will play.
in finder copy that file to your desktop (you don't have to let it complete, so don't worry about available space), once it get's going if the finder estimate of time to copy is less than the running time of the video, then you'll be ok. you can then cancel the copy.

-----
also please note
mb and mB are 2 different things. (same for gb and gB)

mb = megabit
mB = megabyte

8 mb = 1 mB

USB 2 = about 240 Mb/s or 30 MB/s (real world speed)
ethernet = 10/100/1000 Mb/s or 1 / 12 / 125 MB/s
 

Alameda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 22, 2012
623
103
Yeah I want to use an external monitor. so is USB 2.0 adapter good enough to stream 720p videos with Ac3 audio? or will it be capped at 100mb/s don't have a wireless n router or am I better of using 2.4ghz n
You'll be fine with the USB Ethernet adapter and it will be faster and more reliable/consistent than wifi.

The added speed of the TB adapter is not used at all when you stream video or use the Internet. It's noticeable if you copy a lot of files or run Time Machine backups over your network -- and even then, it's only if all your equipment, including the cables and the switch, support gigabit Ethernet.

Don't get me wrong -- it's great that Apple makes the product, but its benefit is limited to those who need it and make sure they're set up for it.
 
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murphychris

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2012
661
1
Umm, according to the specs the Apple Thunderbolt Display has GigE built into it as well as FW800.

A 3rd party display that has only one Thunderbolt port is doing their customers a disservice by not having a 2nd passthrough Thunderbolt port, or a GigE and possible FW800 ports as well.