Thunderbolt 3 cable > 2 meter

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Hans7D, May 10, 2018.

  1. Hans7D macrumors newbie

    Hans7D

    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #1
    I am about to pull the trigger and move from a Windows machine to a 27” iMac / i5 / 580 / 512SSD / 8GB (+32GB upgrade)with a G-Technology G-DRIVE THUNDERBOLT 3 - 4TB as external drive for my data.

    As I do not want the G-Drive external disk on my desk and there is no wall-mount available for it I intend to place it in a cabinet next to the desk. For this I would need a Thunderbolt 3 cable that is well over 3 meters and from what I understand this does not exist (yet). As the G-drive has its own power supply I do not need the cable to carry any power, just data at a speed that does not limit the data transfer rate of the G-Drive. For the specs of the G-drive see https://www.g-technology.com/products/desktop/g-drive-with-tb3#0G05363

    In another forum jimthing proposes a solution which sounds like a good option however it is very expensive. The Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapters Apple TB1/2<>TB3 adapters cost €59 each and an optical Thunderbolt 2 cable is €500 around here.

    What if I do not use an optical TB2 cable but just a normal TB2 cable:
    • would this limit the data transfer speed between the iMac and the G-drive
    • would I still be able to daisy-chain a USB3 backup drive through the G-drive or would I have to connect it to the iMac directly
    • the cabinet also houses the printer. Would I be able to also daisy-chain the printer through the G-drive or would I have to connect it to the iMac directly

    A lot of questions, I know but I know no other knowledge source as good as this forum.

    Thanks!

    Hans

    Edit: typo
     
  2. BlueTide macrumors regular

    BlueTide

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle
    #2
    I wanna hear too in case TB3 cable situation has improved.
     
  3. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #3
    Give up the dream, at least for the foreseeable future. I've posed this question to my vendors, and check with my suppliers regularly as I'm wanting to standardize my company on the USB-C interface.

    What we're up against: active TB3 cables are high-speed but fairly expensive, and lack USB 3.1 Type-C compatibility. Passive TB 3 cables are generally short (under 2m) for best performance, and maintain USB 3.1 Type-C compatibility. No manufacturer that I'm aware of is making TB3 cables longer than 2m; Corning got out of the optical TB cable business a couple of years ago so you won't see anything new from them. It's not a TB restriction at this writing, rather a USB-IF certification issue - these drives convey data via USB, and there aren't any USB 3.1 Gen 1/2 cables longer than 2m that I'm aware of. If the cable manufacturer isn't on that list, I don't buy from them

    That written, I'm a long-time G-Tech fan. Don't waste your money on the TB3 unit. I have the USB version of that 4TB drive for personal use about one-half of the price; I still have a 9-year-old 2TB G-RAID that runs and runs and runs via a cheap USB3-to-eSATA adapter. Even with the newer unit a longer USB 3.1 cable doesn't exist yet, and my vendors confirmed it last week when I asked. TB 2/3 works well only when SSDs are involved, old news here.

    I have my G-Tech drive mounted in an under-desk enclosure. I also have two Synology NAS 2-drive units stashed in a cabinet, using USB dongles to connect to my two Macs and Win box. I'm pretty new again to the iMac - my last iMac was a 2009 version and I've an iMP now, but my GF has owned iMacs for about the full 20-odd years the line's existed. She owns and uses a 2017 iMac, and she mounts the external drive on a twelve south BackPack - I didn't even know she had two DAS devices (a G-RAID and a T3) attached until I saw the G-RAID's white light flashing during a rendering session, so consider that as a mounting option?
     
  4. Hans7D thread starter macrumors newbie

    Hans7D

    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #4
    I was traveling and had no opportunity to react until now.

    Thanks for your exhaustive reply, I did not even know the Twelve South Backpack solution. Actually I intend to get the iMac version with VESA adapter in order to connect it to a foldable wall mount arm. In this setup there is no space for such a backpack solution.

    I know that the data transfer speed of USB3 is sufficient so I basically won't need TB 2/3 for that. What I like however about TB2/3 is the possibility to daisy-chain devices over this connection. In the setup that I have in mind with the hard drive in a cabinet I could use just one cable to connect the hard drive, the printer and a backup drive. This cannot be done with USB, only with TB 2/3.

    So my question is, if I connect the G-tech drive with two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapters Apple TB1/2<>TB3 adapters and a three meter long TB 2 cable
    (https://www.thomann.de/gb/delock_th...LCJjdXJyZW5jeSI6IjIiLCJsYW5ndWFnZSI6ImVuIn0=?), will this allow a daisy-chained setup as described above?
     
  5. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #5
    Sorry as I have zero experience with the newer TB3 adapter and networking as you've planned/intended.

    I'm just getting into networking via TB, having relied on Ethernet and fiber channel with a bit of wireless. I empathize in that I also have a new base iMP in my home office that I'll be mounting via a VESA adapter. My two backup devices are 2-disk Synology NAS units each with 2 WD Red drives (2x2x8TB), with the NAS units in cabinets and with ASUS wireless USB dongles; the wireless features are managed in Synology's NAS OS and the throughput isn't that bad (better than over powerline IMO) and I don't have to deal with cables and wall warts around my desk.

    I've held off on exploring TB networking until whoever is behind their "standards" figures it out. Your plan seems sound, although I've never heard of the company that supplies the TB cable you listed; I've always stuck with active and not passive TB cables, like the TB cables made by CableMatters or Belkin (at least the cables that specify "active"). Let me know what you end up with and how it works, if you go that route? Cheers!
     
  6. USAntigoon, May 16, 2018
    Last edited: May 17, 2018

    USAntigoon macrumors regular

    USAntigoon

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Location:
    Rochester Hills, MI
    #6
    I have a Thunderbolt3 G-drive and needed a longer cable. Ordered a (6)ft Neckteck and be sure it’s a "passive" cable. The G-drive is a passive drive...I didn’t knew this, but learned it the hard way. My IMP went into kernel panic and had to do a hard shut down. Re-installed the OEM Thunderbolt3 cable from G-Technology G-drive and all went fine. Neckteck was very helpful in explaining why the G-drive wasn’t going to work with an active Thunderbolt3 cable..
     
  7. Hans7D thread starter macrumors newbie

    Hans7D

    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #7
    Thanks for the suggestions, you mean a cable like this? https://www.amazon.com/Certified-Cable-Matters-Thunderbolt-Black/dp/B01AKP8Z4C
     
  8. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #8
    Yes, that's the cable we're using in two of my offices, we have a few of them when a bit of a "reach" is needed.

    No offense intended, IMO Neckteck is not a reputable company. They list several products as "certified" relative to USB-IF - they don't even show up in that organization's database. You didn't offer which G-Tech unit you're connecting to TB3 or USB-C Gen 1 (I own the latter) - the 1m & 2m TB3 cables are not backward-compatible with USB 3.0 or 3.1 Gen 1 and in my experience flaky at best over USB 2.0, a reason that I'm not investing in TB3 peripherals for my company. I did see that Neckteck is list in the TB certified product database but I'll pass due to their USB-IF claim. Cheers.

    No Neckteck.png
     
  9. USAntigoon macrumors regular

    USAntigoon

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Location:
    Rochester Hills, MI
    #9
    Returned the original to Amazon as it didn’t work..Got the passive cable for free from Neckteck, hence reputable for me..
     

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