USB 3.0 speed being increased to 10gbps. Set to make thunderbolt next to obsolete?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by rmwebs, Jan 6, 2013.

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  1. rmwebs macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2007
    An interesting, and somewhat disturbing development if you're a fan of Thunderbolt.

    So by the end of 2014, we'll be seeing 10gbps USB 3.0 compatible hardware.

    We all know that USB is a much more open and widely adopted standard than thunderbolt, and obviously WAY cheaper to make hardware for. With that in mind, Thunderbolt is highly likely now going to remain a very niche standard, with use mainly only within the media industry.

    Even then, the only time Thunderbolt would be a benefit is when you need direct pci-e connections (e.g for external graphics) or need to go over the USB 3.0 cable length limit.

    It got me thinking: What real use is thunderbolt on a home computer/laptop? The only benefit I could think of was the docking option (although so far only 1 dock exists and its priced way too high), and for the Apple thunderbolt display (which is basically just a dock + display).

    Thunderbolt has little use for your average attached storage as it is, and once USB 3.0 goes up to 10gbps there will be very, VERY little use for thunderbolt for most people.
  2. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    I think thunderbolt was always destined to be a niche product. Kind of like FireWire really (although as time progressed, FireWire became more and more mainstream).

    I do like the idea of thunderbolt, and the fact that I have a unifying connector for everything from a display, to hard drives to an ethernet adapter is very appealing. And I also love the idea that I may be able to add a PCI-e card to my iMac if I ever need one. I just think they've priced it out of the market.

    If they licensed it at $5 per device, I think it would have seen a massive uptake, but right now, unless you're transferring data between SSD raid arrays, there's very little advantage to thunderbolt. Take a look at the Lacie Rugged drives - there's a £70 premium on a thunderbolt model. Which is crazy, when you have to buy the cable separately too!
  3. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
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