Thunderbolt Card

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jakesaunders27, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. jakesaunders27 macrumors 6502a

    jakesaunders27

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    #1
  2. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

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    #2
    Have you thought how would you connect it to the MP?
     
  3. jakesaunders27 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jakesaunders27

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    #3
    A thunderbolt card? PCI, the one above as i mentioned i mistook it for a PCI but its for an audio interface.
     
  4. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #4
    No. There will never be a Thunderbolt add-in card for the Mac Pro.
     
  5. jakesaunders27 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jakesaunders27

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    #5
    True I suppose with the new mac pro, what about windows users though
     
  6. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #6
    In my opinion there will never be an add-on Thunderbolt card for legacy PCs that were not designed with Thunderbolt in mind.
     
  7. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

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    #7
    HP has one for the z800 line.
     
  8. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #8
    HP Thunderbolt add-on cards only work in the Z800 line that was designed for Thunderbolt in the first place.

    There will never be an add-on Thunderbolt card for legacy PCs that were not designed with Thunderbolt in mind.

    I would love to be proven wrong, really.
     
  9. slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

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    #9
    Intel is designing one, but clearly lays out the specs which no MP and few existing PC mobos have. Hot-swappable PCIe being one of them. It makes sense when you think about it.
     
  10. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #10
  11. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502

    AlexMaximus

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    #11
    Petition for a TB upgrade card from Microsoft for exist. MP's


    Sorry Sir, but that's not entirely true. The Z800 was never designed with Thunderbolt in mind. They did add the card because the card does not interfere with HP's product portfolio strategy.
    In case of Apple it is a major issue. If they would put a TB card on that market,
    a lot lot lot lot viewer MP owners would consider the new iCan.
    From a technical point of view it would be no problem at all to put a Thunderbolt Upgrade card for the current MP out there. It is actually only a driver thing, because cards like that exist for PC's for some time now.
    TB is not rocket science, gentlemen!

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/asus-thunderbolt-Z77-H77-pcie,15925.html

    I am actually wondering why the hell Microsoft is not doing that. They would/could "castrate" Apple's product line in mitigating incentives for the new iCan. And because of that, you are still correct in a sense. There will never be a TB upgrade card from Apple. Maybe we should ask Microsoft and do a Petition aout here, - this has to come from the competition.. :D
     
  12. slughead, Sep 28, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013

    slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

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    #12
    Mac Pro motherboards have no PCIe hot-swap capability, which is a stated requirement of Intel's PCIe -> Thunderbolt card (which has not been released yet, by the way). Thunderbolt basically is hot-swappable PCIe and display port with a less cumbersome plug.

    This product, should it ever even come to light, will require features the Mac Pro simply doesn't have, such as PCIe hot-swap, SMbus, and a GPIO header.

    [​IMG]

    That product (which is not currently available for purchase, by the way), requires a special plug only available on specific motherboards by a specific company (ASUS). It is NOT going to be compatible with the Mac Pro or 99% of the Motherboards out there:

    Those boards also likely have special bios and hardware features which allow the card to function, outside of the TB header.

    All these solutions are interesting and will likely see the light of day eventually, but it's fair to say there is very close to 0% chance a Mac Pro will work with them.
     
  13. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    #13
    Not really. First, that card never shipped. It is far more accurate that the idea has been flogged for some time now; not that there are shipping solutions. That card never passed Thunderbolt certification.

    If look at the other recent posting here you'll see that the upcoming cards require a GPIO connector. No GPIO connector, no solution. The fundamental issue here is that Thunderbolt is more than "just PCIe in a different wrapper". More is required than just a PCIe connection to have a Thunderbolt solution. If don't have all the basic hardware (and firmware) components, the software is not going to make a difference.

    The other requirement so far has been that there also be a DisplayPort input. It looks like Intel is going to allow that to be optional where there is no iGPU present in the CPU and the card is hooked/locked to that configuration context. However, that still leaves the GPIO requirement, which still leaves leagcy Mac Pro's in the dark ( along with most other motherboards).
     
  14. jakesaunders27 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jakesaunders27

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    #14
    You have an appolo!? :eek: I would love some UA gear! What else you got?

    I'm running a Focusrite setup with my Mac Pro but have been looking at the UA stuff does look top notch!
     
  15. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #15
    UA is incredible. Your sound will be as good as any top studio guaranteed if you record in a decent room!

    Apollo Quad, 4-710d (highly recommended), 2 PCIe Octos (crazy, yes) AND just about every plugin UA makes with the exception of maybe 10 or so

    Cables are really important! I use Mogami gold XLR and 1/4 inch for my instruments. For my ADAT optical connection between the 4-710d and Apollo I use Audioquest Diamond (very expensive audiophile cable) 0.75M, and from the Apollo to the Mac Pro is an Audioquest Diamond Firewire 800 3M (these 2 cost $489 and $950 respectively)

    The 4-710d is awesome, Solid State and Tube modulation is sweet for picking the right sound for your vocals, guitars, and other instruments. I'm actually in a session right now taking a break, for vocals I'm using a Shure KSM 353 running through the 4-710d with the setting about 60-40 Tube/Solid State. Logic Pro X runs all UA plugins in 64 bit. I'm recording in directly at 44.1kHz and have tried 192. I can't use 192 because it only gives me 2 out of 4 ADAT out of the 4-710d, which is no go for drums because I need all 4 on the Apollo and 4 on the 4-710d (This can be solved by purchasing another ADAT cable, which I won't do unless I get the best one and it's too expensive to need it right now). I'm happy with 96kHz, 48kHz or 44.1kHz. I can answer any questions you may have if you're on the fence about purchasing. I'd strongly recommend the PCIe Octo cards when you can afford it because they enable you to run UAD-2 plugins without requiring any Apollo or other UA hardware.
     
  16. jakesaunders27 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jakesaunders27

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    #16
    Nice man! I'm looking at having a good old rebuild, so been looking at the UA stuff. To start I would love some UA plugins but like you say need the cards or an Apollo. So if you have an Apollo you don't need and of the cards right? Also the Apollo has a few pre's on it doesn't it? Are they okay to use without another preamp? Thats my problem at the moment I can't really go higher than 44.1 but you say it still sounds good? Sounds like an awesome setup! Would you mind posting a few pictures?

    Cheers, thanks for replying!
     
  17. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #17
    You need the cards, an Apollo, or the Firewire Satellite unit which contains the SHARC processors. If you get an Apollo it's worth it to get the Quad... 2 cores won't get you very far in mastering. The Apollo has 4 state of the art CLEAN pre amps. You can use other pres, but if you have an Apollo you are going to want to use those unless you need more than 4, in which case I would interface your focusrite for additional inputs (they are pretty good!).

    44.1 is great for audio, I'm all about going for whatever is the theoretical max quality on all my stuff yet am totally fine with 44.1 on this system because it is the BEST 44.1 you can get. Seriously, the best pres in the business made by Millennia or similar run about $500/preamp. The 4-710d and Apollo are in that range and are on par with the best pres you can get... some solid state pres run $1000 a pre but anybody will tell you the Apollo or 4-710d sound as good or better.

    For plugins, you don't need all of them, I can tell you which are the most useful and get the most use:

    SSL E Series Channel Strip
    SSL G Bus Compressor
    Ampex ATR-102
    Studer A800
    API 500 EQ collection
    Brainworx digital_v2 EQ
    Fairchild Compressor
    Teletronix LA-2A collection
    1176 Limiter Collection
    Lexicon 224 Digital Reverb
    Ocean Way Studios
    UA Precision Multiband
    UA Precision Maximizer
    UA Precision De-Esser
    Little Labs VOG

    There's a couple others but that will make your recordings sound PRO mastered when set up properly. The presets are a great place to start.
     
  18. jakesaunders27 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jakesaunders27

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    #18
    Cheers again! Thanks for the list, I am most interested in the SSL and API ones but that list will be handy! I really do like the 4-710d, think that will have to be part of my new setup, and like you say my existing Focusrite kit also. I'm also considering the RME Fireface UFX have you ever used one? How does this compare to the Apollo interface wise, as i understand it does not have the Preamps or the Plugin Processing.

    Thanks again
     
  19. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #19
    Never used one. The only reason why I ended up with an Apollo is because I bought the Presonus 8Mic Preamp unit.... it wasn't compatible with Logic! I returned it and got the TC Electronic StudioKonnect 48 and guess what it arrived and wouldn't connect with Logic or my Mac at all. So I said screw it I'm getting the best because it better work! Lol that was an expensive choice.
     
  20. jakesaunders27 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jakesaunders27

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    #20
    I see! Good decision! Well thanks a lot for your help, and that list of plugins! Much appreciated :)
     
  21. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #21
    You're very welcome. Look out for special promotions from UA... if you get a PCIe card (Solo, Duo, Quad, Octo) for the next couple days (weeks?) they'll throw in $1050 worth of plugins.
     
  22. jakesaunders27 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jakesaunders27

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    #22
    Oh wow! Thats a point actually, do the firewire boxes work the same way as the PCI cards? as if I move to a iMac or the New Mac Pro I wont be able to use PCI obviously! Thanks
     
  23. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #23
    People continue to misunderstand that Asus card. Once again, that's a card designed only to work specifically with motherboards designed to work with it, and not for legacy PCs that were not designed with Thunderbolt in mind. Asus has basically made "Thunderbolt-Ready" motherboards without the Thunderbolt connector, and enabled users to upgrade to Thunderbolt via a card for those motherboards only.
     
  24. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #24
    I'd say theoretically the PCI cards will enable you to use slightly more plugins than Firewire 800 boxes will because of the bandwidth lost in firewire connections vs, say, thunderbolt (hence the TB adaptor on the Apollo which enables greater UAD plugin bandwidth with the same number of cores over the faster connection).
     
  25. spoonie1972 macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    the TB port will allow for lower latencies vs FW, but it's still no match for a direct PCIe card.

    The apollo is a nice unit, congrats. I think it's a total sham on UA's part to charge for the TB option.
     

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