Time Capsule Upgrade?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bernardwill, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. bernardwill macrumors newbie

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    Apr 13, 2010
    #1
    I want to buy a Time Capsule, but I'm afraid of a possible upgrade (Thunderbolt tecnology). What should I do? Buy now or wait a little longer?
    :confused:
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    I think you're a little confused about what a Time Capsule is for (wireless backup). If you want a Thunderbolt hard drive, why bother spending the money for a network storage device?
     
  3. bernardwill thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 13, 2010
    #3
    But the TimeCapsule also works as a network storage, or am I wrong?
    For example, I have pictures and videos i'd like to share in my network can access from my MacBook Pro and iMac. Putting movies on a partition and share with my Boxee.
    In another partition functions as wireless backup.
    Can I do this?
    By the way, it comes with a USB port, right?
    A thunderbolt port in TimeCapsule would be niceee. ;)
    Sorry about my poor english. :p
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #4
    What you are missing is that the TC's USB port allows you to connect hard drives and printers to the TC, not connect the TC to your Mac.

    You can't connect the current TC to your Mac by any other means than a wired or wireless network.

    B
     
  5. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000

    johnnyturbouk

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    #5
    i've been watching TC on the net like a hawk - i noticed thay were last refreshed in '09 so really hope they do get refreshed soon with TB.. but as a wireless network option would TB defeat the purpose?

    I have heard anecdotal accounts from people on these forums, and others that you can remove the hdd, install a larger hdd with a fat32 partition - which things like the ps3 should be able to recognize!

    i deally i would like a TC for my daily back-up and also to be able to stream my movies directly yo my ps3, without needing to fire up my mac
     
  6. bernardwill thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 13, 2010
    #6
    Sorry, my English is making a mess here. Maybe I was not very clear.
    I know the usb port is not there to connect to my computer.
    My question is whether Apple plans to adopt a Thunderbolt port in the TC, to connect a hard drive or other devices supported thunderbolt.
    Some rumor about a possible update?
     
  7. Silverbird0000 macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    There would be no point. Even if you were to connect a harddrive to a TC over Thunderbolt, once you factor in accessing the harddrive over a wireless connection it would defeat the purpose of a speedy Thunderbolt connection. You would only achieve N speeds at accessing your drive, and that is only if the device connecting is capable of N.
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #8
    Why?

    If you connect a Thunderbolt device to the TC and then share it over the network, you are still limited by the network's performance not the Thunderbolt port's performance.

    Also, as many have already pointed out when Thunderbolt didn't make the iPad 2. Thunderbolt is basically an extension of the PCI bus. So you basically need a processor that uses one in the device to enable Thunderbolt. This means more power hungry and expensive devices.

    Doesn't seem like a winner.

    B
     
  9. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #9
    Yeah, in addition the TC has never had a Firewire port. Presumably Apple felt even that upgrade in speed wouldn't do much (although the USB port seems more intended for printers rather than external drives).

    I would buy now if you need it. I think the likely upgrades are in the form of a larger drive for the same price or a price reduction. There's really not much they could add to it at this point that's not capable of a SW/FW upgrade--it already has N, dual networks, etc.
     
  10. bernardwill thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 13, 2010
    #10
    Got it!
    Even with the thunderbolt port, the performance would not be better.
    Transfer TC X External would be irrelevant, right?
    What about wireless technologies? as johnnyturbouk said, the last update was in 2009. Is there anything new about wifi?
    Nothing about SSD? Components? Even design?
    Tks guys!
     
  11. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #11
    Your better bet may be to buy an Airport Extreme Base Station and an external HD of your choice. You can always upgrade that to SSD at a later point if you want (although given that SSDs are somewhat more limited in read/write cycles, they may not be the best for automated backups, as well as that they are more expensive).
     
  12. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Not everyone uses wireless here.
    Gbit (which is supported by the TC) will push data faster than most harddrives can handle, and definitely faster than FW800 and USB2 will supply. I've seen 115MB/s over my LAN.
     
  13. bernardwill thread starter macrumors newbie

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  14. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #14
    To get that level of performance you basically need a TC that is as power hungry as a full blown computer and provides the same high speed buses to bridge between the Hard Drive interface(s) and the NIC(s).

    I don't believe even a Mac Mini can come close to saturating a GbE link, nor have I seen a consumer grade NAS that outperforms a directly connected USB 2.0 drive.

    This is (partially) why high performance server farms use server grade hardware and not NAS hardware. If you want that kind of performance, wait until the next Mac Pro refresh and use one of them as your server.

    B
     
  15. RedReplicant, Apr 5, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011

    RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    There are many consumer NAS that will almost or more than double the 50MB/s (being very generous) transfer rate of a 2.0 drive. A Mac Mini is capable of saturating a 1000mbit connection if you toss a SSD in it (as an example of a drive, since you can't have a RAID array with one). If the TC had a thunderbolt link then it would be very easy connect drives that would be able to saturate gbit.
    http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/nas/nas-charts/view

    I can see this post getting responses like it has gotten if the guy is asking "Why don't the time machines update to 10GigE?", but not this question.
     
  16. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #16
    I should have been clearer.

    All of the systems in that chart that do significantly better than a USB 2.0 drive are multi-drive systems and are generally not consumer grade, they are aimed primarily at SMBs. (You can note this from the "Pro" or "+" in most of their names). They achieve that level of performance by using striping or RAID across the drives. And, in fact, many of them are built around PC-like architecture using Intel or AMD processors. Large, noisy and power hungry as it is compared to the alternatives.

    Note also that the Thunderbolt enclosures that were used to demonstrate the port when the MBPs were released also tend to be 4+ drive enclosures for similar reasons.

    This is not the market that the Time Capsule is aimed at, so don't expect Apple to bring these features around the next revision.

    The fastest single drive NAS on there I could find quickly was the WD My Book Live which tops out at 43 MB/s. Other reviews I have seen of those devices put them more in the 30s like most other single drive consumer NAS devices. Looking at the detailed review I see why, this is a newer model than others I have seen and, at least for some operations, it performs particularly well for a single drive unit.

    EDIT: The situation is summarized by the chart WD uses to sell the current My Book Live. The typical throughput of a single drive consumer NAS is ~ 25 MB/s. http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=280

    B
     
  17. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I wouldn't call them noisy or power hungry, but I know what you are getting at. I do agree that this isn't what the TC is aimed at, but the replies to this thread about it being pointless to have TB are for the wrong reason. Network performance is not the issue, the drive speed and interface between drive and network is the limitation.
     
  18. Penn Jennings macrumors 6502

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    #18
    I agree with your assessments. However, he is asking about a $300 TC, you are suggesting a $3000+ Mac Pro instead..... You see anything wrong there? :)
     
  19. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #19
    Agreed.

    The mass market is a wireless one. Most Macs are notebooks and are used wirelessly. So for most TC users, the fact that it supports GbE is a nice, but they would never see it in practice.

    There was a thread not long ago where someone was wondering why their TC backups were so slow. They had both their client Mac and TC connected via wireless to another router so the available wireless bandwidth was instantly cut in half. (half from the Mac to the router, half from the router to the TC).

    The only point was that you are unlikely to get the performance you want at the TC price range. You need to pay more. Like one of the $500+ drive-less boxes that perform well in RedReplicant's very useful link. Fully populated it would still be closer to $1000 than $300. Heck, even a 2011 Mac Mini with a ThunderBolt external enclosure would be > $1000. The Mac Pro would still smoke it. :p

    B
     
  20. Penn Jennings macrumors 6502

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    #20
    What "Consumer" grade NAS out performs a directly connected USB 2.0 drive? Anything over $200-$300 is getting out of the "Consumer" price range in my mind. "Consumers" don't buy $600 quad-bay NAS units.

    The only one that I can think of that might is the new WD unit.


    On the Mac Mini point.
    Lets be honest, who in their right mind is going to use a mac mini with SSD as a file server. You could get a 4 TB NAS unit with about the same performance for less than you would pay for the mac mini alone.

    I agree with you that the Mac Mini "could" do what you but not in a practical way. I just got my daughter an iMac last month and it doesn't sustain more than 600 MB to another Mac across GigE either.
     
  21. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    No one would, but when the Mac Minis get TB and an external array becomes feasible then some will. ;) Waste of money when compared to building a small Atom with FreeBSD (for ZFS), but that isn't important to a few people.
     
  22. Penn Jennings macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Hell, when it gets TB.. I might... I'll tell one of the kids that it's for them. LOL
     
  23. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

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