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Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mac7, Nov 25, 2011.
Does the early 2011 Macbook pro support usb 3?
No Mac model supports USB 3.0.
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No, no Macs support USB 3 at this time.
USB 3.0 isn't supported by the Intel chipsets until Ivy Bridge in 2012.
Apple probably won't support USB 3.0, what with their backing of Thunderbolt.
Maybe someone will make a Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 adapter!
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I doubt that, since they'd have to go out of their way not to support it once they start using 2012 chipsets.
A simple and correct answer that doesn't start a discussion about TB vs USB 3.0.
It's not that farfetched to think about. They could support Blu-ray but they don't because they don't think that physical disc drives are necessary. Just as well, they probably won't support USB 3.0 even if they could because it makes Thunderbolt less viable and profitable for them. It's just common business.
Blu-Ray has serious issues in the OS as well - the blu-ray rules require that decode be done in ring zero, which means an error there can bring the entire system down fast. There's more to it than just getting the hardware.
My point is that, in the same way that if you want to add USB 3.0 at the moment you need to add a hardware controller for it, you would need to add a hardware controller to a 2012 Mac to disable USB 3.0 support.
Blu-ray is not a universal technology that Apple can choose whether or not to adopt, but starting with Ivy Bridge chipsets USB 3.0 becomes the industry standard, in the same way that SATA or 3.5mm audio connectors are.
The Blu-ray analogy is not applicable here. Besides, thunderbolt does not compete with USB. Thunderbolt is for daisy-chaining multiple displays and attaching raid banks etc. - the significantly more advanced (and therefore expensive) technology in thunderbolt means it will not come close to the ubiquity of USB for many years, or possibly ever. Simple devices like data sticks do not require the advanced technology of thunderbolt, so it is unlikely you will ever see a thunderbolt flash drive. I expect both technologies to exist simultaneously until both are superseded.