Thunderbolt Pros? Cons?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by eljanitor, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. eljanitor, Apr 4, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012

    eljanitor macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2011
    Apple has decided to phase out Firewire all together on some models of its products like the Mac Book Air, in favor of USB 2.0, Not USB 3.0 and you don't get an Ethernet port either, or any kind of optical drive.

    About 12 years or so ago they had introduced Firewire 400, 800 & USB as standard ports on almost all of their machines. This was great then and kinda showed that Apple was ahead of the times at that point.

    Other great leaps ahead of the rest of once included Gigabit Ethernet on certain models. Looking at the newer Mac's I don't see any firewire 400 ports anymore. I see that some still have Firewire 800 so that's a plus, glad they haven't phased it out all together.

    Apple had many advancements over the competitors at one time.

    Whats so great about Thunderbolt?

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  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    It is obviously faster than any other current external interface and it is daisy-chain-able?

    Looked here yet?
  3. lc25 macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2009
    I actually really like it as an interface as it allows (think macbook air) the designers the ability in theory to include a very limited number of ports which can serve for storage access at really good speeds and video and possibly in the future a multitude of other applications.

    Ohh and you can daisy chain as you could with firewire.
  4. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    First of all, I am sure Apple will offer USB 3.0 on Ivy Bridge-based Macs in coming months. Since USB 3.0 is not a feature of Sandy Bridge, I don't think it's fair to assume Apple chose to intentionally exclude USB 3.0.

    Having said that, the main difference between Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 isn't the bandwidth but what their intentions are. USB 3.0 is the next evolution in USB, a de facto connectivity standard.

    Thunderbolt is much more low level than USB. In fact, it is PCI-Express. Due to current cable limitation, its theoretical bandwidth is lesser than PCI-Express, but it is capable of directly communicating to platform controller hub (which in turn communicates to CPU) and GPU.

    What does it mean? While Thunderbolt can be used as a high-speed connector for external storage, unless you are running RAID, it is overkill over USB 3.0 (which is cheaper to implement and offers speed comparable to SATA 3.0).

    Since Thunderbolt is an expansion bus, it is only limited by slower bandwidth (vs. internal PCI-Express) and latency from the cable. So in theory, it is capable of doing everything a traditional PCI-Express card can do.
  5. eljanitor thread starter macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2011
    Okay so I was talking to some people that I know that do audio/ video production, and that have been using Firewire as the interface for their various devices for some time now. Apprently there isn't a whole bunch of thunderbolt (lightpeak) options available to them for stuff like digital media editing, and other pre- production aspects in that industry.
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    That's usually the case with an emerging "standard." Give it time.
  7. Old Smuggler macrumors 6502a

    Old Smuggler

    Sep 8, 2006
    that exactly what i'm looking forward to
    i love my 11 inch, and an external video card option along with a thunderbolt display would be nirvana

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