Thunderbolt for 5,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by squeezed, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. squeezed macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2014
    #1
    I apologize in advance if this subject has already been beaten to death. The last remnants of discussion seem to end in late 2012 but there does seem to be some development on this issue for PC, just wondering if anyone has any info or insight on this for Mac. In late 2013 Intel seems to have started a program called "Thunderbolt Ready", again it's directed for PCs.

    I'm in the annoying position of needing to upgrade my Mac but the program/hardware/developer (Avid/Pro Tools) that my professional work is most closely tied to has not yet approved the new thunderbolt Mac Pros and they are often slow to do this, there are no macs of any kind later than 2012 that are approved currently. So, although I have always been comfortable buying last years model, in this case it doesn't make sense because of this discontinuation of pcie and Avid's move towards thunderbolt. I just would like to see if there's a way to use thunderbolt on a 2012 Mac Pro. Thanks.
     
  2. jakesaunders27 macrumors 6502a

    jakesaunders27

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  3. 4dtough macrumors member

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    #3
    There are cards showing up for PCs
    So I would say soon
     
  4. squeezed thread starter macrumors newbie

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  5. jakesaunders27 macrumors 6502a

    jakesaunders27

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    #5
    I do hope soon! Maybe I can keep my Mac Pro a little longer!
     
  6. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    Mar 10, 2009
    #6
    Not even remotely close to an end date. Try December 2013, a mere two months ago.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1681725

    or September 2013

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1646497

    or Auguster 2013

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1622020


    exactly when this showed up. The program is not directed simply at PCs.


    http://vr-zone.com/articles/thunderbolts-great-pcie-hope/50677.html

    One of the main articles discussions revolved around this is ONLY for specific systems that generally have three required elements.

    a. x4 PCIe lanes for the TB controller.
    b. displayPort input required (in the context of it being present on the motherboard anyway with mainstream Intel CPU packages)
    c. GPIO.

    The last is significant for the legacy Mac Pros. No GPIO , no TB certification. It is going to be that simple. The "exception" clause that workstation CPUs are going to get is not the primary issue, that third requirement is.

    If no Macs of any kind are certified why would a TB card help? If not certifying with the Macs that come with TB by default then an optional config is even less well motivated ( a tremendously smaller market).
     
  7. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #7
    Curious ... if anyone knows offhand ...

    If one were to disregard the video requirements via Thunderbolt and limit the solution to storage devices only, would there be any insurmountable technical issues to adding some useful degree of Thunderbolt capability to an existing Mac Pro? :confused:
     
  8. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    Mar 10, 2009
    #8
    First, going to technically insurmountable when Intel cuts off the supply of TB controllers. Any vendor who looks the other way while large number s of TB cards happen to fall off the back truck and head for this non licensed use is likely going to get in trouble.


    Second, GPIO , boot, and plug-n-play issues. (e.g, Apple's TB target mode... not particularly likely )

    There likely is some technical kludge where hack around getting the controller booted and getting a single, static PCIe switching network set up. Just like it is not technically impossible to write all of OS X in assembly language. it is not particularly likely to be done either. Basically, missing one of two primarily configuration inputs to configuration.

    The video inputs are just misdirection. Intel has already outlined that workstation class, iGPU-less systems can make the video optional (there are HP systems with demo cards). GPIO isn't optional.
     
  9. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #9
    No, there are not.

    The only cards that exist are add-on cards for motherboards that already have Thunderbolt headers. The classic Mac Pro does not have one of these motherboards.
     
  10. 4dtough macrumors member

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    #10
    Only time will tell, and soon you will see
     
  11. RoastingPig macrumors 68000

    RoastingPig

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    #11
    how much would i pay for thunderbolt ad on card? i'd say 500 bucks. i wanna get rid of my 2 27 cinema displays because i know something fresh is coming thats thunderbolt only
     
  12. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #12
    I suppose I will, but I'm yet to see any upgrade cards for a motherboard that doesn't have headers or support for it. Burden of proof would be on you here, especially in since Intel has said they won't be supporting that configuration, and there are technical reasons why it's not possible.

    You did say showing up. So if you can link me to one of these cards...
     
  13. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Hollywood, CA
    #13
    Artificial limits placed on this.

    Intel & Apple trying to jam something down everyone's throat that nobody asked for.

    Yippity, a Data transfer standard combined with my Display Output, just what everyone was clamoring for.

    Data only Lightpeak was interesting.(note that "light" was part of name)

    Adding copper to power stuff watered it down and made it far less impressive.

    Forcing display connectivity into standard further watered it down.

    I used the example before, nobody is begging for a single pipe that brings water & electricity & cable TV into your house while removing waste.

    No advantage to combining those things.
     
  14. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #14
    "Data", as you use the term, and "display connectivity" are forms of data and it does actually make sense to send the data using the same connection. Your analogy regarding plumbing and cable TV makes no sense as these have nothing in common.

    ----------

    What will we see?
     
  15. handheldgames macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

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    Apr 4, 2009
    #15
    I could't agree with you more...


    You have a better chance of getting the new AMD/Industry Standard of USB3.0/DisplayPort with Power aka DockPort on an AMD video card that you do of getting Thunderbolt.

    While Intel/Apple seem to like Thunderbolt, their implementation for 3rd party devices is a joke and the Displayport folks seem to agree.... The Asus/Intel implementation looks like it was cooked up by the sweedish chef.

    I'm sure the fanboys will find reasons to disagree with the industry who seems to be flipping Apple/Intel the bird.

    FWIW the x58 chipset does indeed support GPIO, just not the fancy new connector their debotched standard requires.
     
  16. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #16
    Okey doke. And Unicorns live in North Korea and Politicians want to help citizens and strippers really DO like you.
     
  17. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

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    #17
    Before you upgrade see what Avid announces at the NAB in April. The new "engine" in MC is suppose to be on the horizon and a possibility of MC 7.5 being skipped! So straight to MC8 we go! :D There has not been any mention of ram being the "driving" force behind MC8 but remember the reason for MC6 being 64bit was to use more ram in the future. The future is now.
    If Avid gets this right and their engine is better than Adobe's "Mercury", you will be able to play multi layers of Red 5K without a redrocket X card! :eek:
     
  18. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #18
    I actually really like having the ability to attach my Macbook Air to a Thunderbolt Display with one cable that carries the video/ethernet and everything.
     
  19. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #19
    :eek: Unicorns really do live in North Korea?
     
  20. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    #20
    Nice history of an alternative universe .......


    Lightpeak never was "Data only". It was a bit oversold as being one connector to solve everything, but from Intel Video from January 2010

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfGevFIVKw4

    As highlighted there lightpeak was addressing

    a. distance.
    b. smaller devices
    c. multiple data protocols on encoded onto one cable

    The aspects of Lightpeak that were borrowed from the proposal for fiber USB 3.0 had a "data" only flavor but lightpeak was a break from that USB work.


    Another Demo from Sept. 2009

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izNoF1SWtSg

    ".. At IDF09 Intel demonstrated a high-speed optical cable technology available next year that will connect mainstream electronic devices like laptops, HD displays, televisions, cameras, video players, iPods, docking stations and Solid State Drives (SSDs) to each other using optical fiber, rather than copper wires. ... "

    At 1:39 in the video he compares a single channel optical voice transciever to dual channel lightpeak one. Hmmm, I wonder what they thought they were going to segregate on that other channel ??

    Another take around Sept 2009 of the IDF demo

    http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/24/video-intels-light-peak-running-an-hd-display-while-transferri/

    "... Intel just did a pretty impressive demo of its new Light Peak optical device interconnect, driving a greater-than-HD display while saturating an SSD RAID all over one cable, ... "


    Or this Intel Blog

    "... General Manager, Intel Architecture Group Dadi Perlmutter showed a demonstration of real silicon transmitting storage, LAN data and display (1080p) data across a single thin, 30m fiber optic cable. ... '
    http://blogs.intel.com/technology/2009/09/lighting_fast_-_high_speed_opt/


    Copper in part watered it down to lower cable pricing and allows for "bus powered" dongles. The notion of "affordable fiber" was clearly extremely overly optimistic. TB would be much more segregated from USB 3.x with purely optical connections but it also would be much smaller deployments.

    The primarily thing that copper waters down is mainly distance. It also probably is an impediment to cranking up the bandwidth toward those long term 100Gb/s objectives. Some of the reshuffling the deck chairs on bandwidth in TB v2.0 is copper constraints. Also helps to build forward momentum if extremely backward compatible.


    Far more general users have high bandwidth video data than they have high bandwidth coming off there storage drives. There is an issue of getting enogh broad base support for the standard to get economies of scale. DisplayPort needs more deployments. So does Thunderbolt so they merge.

    Being "yet another port" would not get TB placement on a broad variety of systems as edge space is limited.
     
  21. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    Mar 10, 2009
    #21
    The DisplayPort folks primarily want to expand their deployment. Lots of systems are still clutching VGA and DVI outputs. They need more monitors and systems with DP connectors. If TB and DockPort help turn the tide then fine.

    That Thunderbolt was going to sweeping everything aside and unite everything as one port to rule them all? Pffts. that was hyperbole sales pitch. The DisplayPort , Thunderbolt, and DockPort folks all note they need help in displacing legacy ports. They tend to cling to system designs like barnacles. Getting synergies from combined infrastructure makes alot of sense.

    External PCIe doesn't try to do synergies and it is where in terms of large scale deployment? Yep, brilliant strategy. I guess they got more than DockPort at this point, so yeah it is working extremely well.


    What the chipset supports is immaterial if there are no connectors/traces on the motherboard to distribute the functionality.

    The C602 chipset supports 10 SATA devices... see any SATA connectors in the Mac Pro 2013? Chipset supports USB 2.0 ports .... see any onthe Mac Pro 2013?

    The real core issue is legacy system being used for technologies they were not designed for. No that isn't going to work any more than legacy PCI only systems are going to run PCI-e v3 cards in the future. PCI/PCIe is not a panancea of "future proofing" systems. Neither is having GPIO capabilities in the chipset.
     

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