thunderbolt makes expresscard redundant?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bniu, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. bniu macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2010
    Given the 10Gbps max of the thunderbolt port, has it pretty much made the expresscard slot found on the 17" MBP redundant? (once accessories actually hit market). How soon would we be able to see just a row of thunderbolt ports on the side of the MBP?

    OTOH, what are some current uses of the expresscard slot on the MBP 17? I'm right now debating between a 2.2 15" hi-res or a 2.2 17". Difference is about $100 (online, 17" is $2366 at amazon, no tax, 15" hi-res is about 2260 after tax from apple with student discount)
  2. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    a) eSATA ports
    b) extra FW/USB ports
    c) extra Gb network port
    d) Cardreader flush with housing
    e) Miglia TV card, leaving USB ports free
    f) External video cards

    There may be others, but we are getting into niche territory then.

    Expresscard hasn't really taken off the way that PCMCIA or PC Cards did back in the day.
  3. amarcus macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2008
    London, UK
    I agree that thunderbolt is set to make ExpressCard redundant... However I think it will be sometime before we see more than one thunderbolt port on the Macbook Pro's. Here's my reasoning:

    1) Thunderbolt is designed with daisy chaining in mind so that there is no immediate need for multiple ports.
    2) Thunderbolt is new and hence requires a larger controller than say USB - the Macbook Pro's are constrained for size already!
    3) Following on from the previous point, larger controller => more costly/more heat output.
    4) There aren't any accessories to fill the first let alone the second thunderbolt port ;)

  4. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    I agree, expresscard is dead.

    The only advantage expresscard has is that it provides a small space to house your gizmo - functionally Thunderbolt is superior.

    Sonnet's peripherals should start hitting the stores in the next month or two. Some really neat stuff - even things like external full size PCIe card adapters:
  5. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    Having been around when pcmcia, pc card and the rest were much more popular I have a different perspective on them. Originally they were used by most people who purchased a laptop to add in a feature that was missing from the manufacturer. So, getting a modem, or later an ethernet adapter was common. After a couple more years it was a wireless adapter. Now those ports are built-in to even the cheapest laptop. Same thing with memory card readers, its virtually ubiquitous on any laptop big enough to support it.

    So, I'm not so sure that Thunderbolt had anything to do with it but I do think Express Card is a technology with limited usage. For now, there are reasons why it is needed but unless I personally had one of those reasons the presence or absence of Express Card wouldn't really influence my buying choice.
  6. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    Hard to believe now but I lived it too.
  7. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2008
    I'm right now using expresscard to gain the functionality that the laptop was missing, my USB 3.0 card is not working but that's another story. Yea, I do think TB will replace expresscard.
  8. YsoSerious macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2008
  9. ScholarsInk macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2010
    Thunderbolt GPUs would make the MBP 13" 2011 model a viable buy for many, including myself.

    Make it happen!

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