USB Finalizes 10Gbps SuperSpeed+ Standard as USB 3.1

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Earlier this year, the trade organization behind the USB 3.0 specification proposed a new version of USB 3 that supports 10Gbps of data transfer over a backwards compatible connector.

    The spec has now been finalized, and the first developer sessions will begin later this month.
    The first products with USB 3.1 should launch sometime in 2014.

    Thunderbolt, which moves data at up to 10Gbps in both directions, appears mostly on Apple devices currently, but devices tend to be more expensive than their USB 3.0-compatible counterparts. However, Thunderbolt does have a strong ally in Intel, with the company pushing the standard heavily.

    Thunderbolt 2, the next generation of the protocol, will support 20Gbps bi-directionally, but Thunderbolt 2 devices are also expected to be significantly more expensive than USB. The new mac pro, expected sometime this fall, will be the first mass market device to come with Thunderbolt 2, with the device equipped with 6 ports across two separate control boards.

    Article Link: USB Finalizes 10Gbps SuperSpeed+ Standard as USB 3.1
  2. Tankmaze macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2012
    I'm afraid this would make thunderbolt the "firewire part 2"
  3. Laco macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2008
    Now that's an understatement! Devices that use thunderbolt are MUCH MORE expensive and MUCH LESS readily available. For anyone other than the rare pro user thunderbolt is useless.
  4. baryon macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    So let me get this straight, USB 3.1 is much much cheaper, uses simple cables with no electronics inside, is fully backward compatible and is ubiquitous while Thunderbolt is expensive, exclusively high-end, rare and requires cables with fancy chips inside, without actually being faster?

    Sure, Thunderbolt 2 will be even faster, but then so will USB 3.2 and so on...
  5. Klae17 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2011
  6. ResPublica macrumors regular


    Jun 12, 2011
    There's a difference between theoretical and real life performance (with USB the difference tends to be the biggest). Furthermore, Thunderbolt actually offers a lot more possibilities and is much more advanced than USB 3.
    However I do agree that probably 95% of Mac users won't ever use Thunderbolt (except for Displayport adapters). It's even a lot less popular than FireWire used to be. It's a shame Apple pushed Thunderbolt in their 2011 Mac models before adopting USB 3, which people actually use.
  7. bb426 macrumors 6502


    Jun 7, 2011
    Why don't these guys just team the f**# up and make it one mother***#$% port.

    It's just the consumer that dies slowly in the end...
  8. DesterWallaboo macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2003
    Western USA
    USB and Thunderbolt are different technologies for different purposes. Yes, there is some crossover functionality between the two. But they are different technologies altogether. Like someone stated on here, only a small percentage of users will need/use Thunderbolt, at our studio it's pretty critical for our needs. USB 3.1 will also be a welcome tech here as well.
  9. genovelle macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2008
    I think there is still a difference since usb does not provide this thru put bidirectionally. Thunderbolt actually supports usb as well as video and other protocols all one one optical cable allowing for much longer runs. The specification actually plans for up to 100 Gigabits over optical as well as being the interconnect for chips on the motherboard when the speed of memory catches up.
  10. WhiteIphone5 macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2011
    Lima, Peru
  11. Pakaku macrumors 68000


    Aug 29, 2009
    I still can't tell, just by looking at the port, whether a USB port is 2.0 or 3.0... and they're adding 3.1 now?

    Oh well. Good thing I haven't picked up a USB 3 PCIe card yet.
  12. KindredMAC macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2003
    Will USB 3.1 be bale to handle video like ThunderBolt?

    Also, at what point will the cables have faster abilities than the devices themselves? All fine and dandy to have a cable that will do 10Gbps but if the mechanics are stalled at 6Gbps, then meh... Kind of like Ethernet with internet.

    Don't get me wrong it will be nice though.
  13. Tastic Bycrom macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    Competition is good for progress and the consumer. For most users, USB will probably win out, but Thunderbolt will continue to have a function as long as it keeps improving.
  14. chirpie macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2010

    That's what usually happens.
  15. milwaukeeJ macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2013
    I'll be honest. Most people commenting don't know about the underlying technologies and just go off the 'specs'.

    USB 3.1 is fine and dandy, it doesn't hold a candle to Thunderbolt, v1 or v2.

    USB is for consumers, Thunderbolt is for the Pro's.

    I will never trade Thunderbolt for USB.
  16. GSPice macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2008

    I'll never say that thunderbolt and associated products are cheap, but the ignorance I'm seeing in these comments is a little discouraging.

    No mention of the type of data being transmitted, source and destination, etc, to say nothing of the whole power and daisy-chaining thing, um yeah. Oh and that's if the average user is actually saturating the USB 3.x channel with a raid of HDDs? SSDs?
  17. rmwebs macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2007
    To be honest, I'm happy for thunderbolt to die, or end up like Firewire - there if I need it, but at a cost.

    10gbps is plenty for the next 5-10 years. Sure eventually 20gbps will be wanted, however right now we need something like thunderbolt, that is widely adopted and actually something people can afford to buy devices for.

    Glad that there are some sane people on the USB panel as the idiots running Thunderbolt don't seem to have a clue...again!


    Completely correct. But unless someone is editing video all day long, USB 3.1 will be more than capable. People like graphic designers and web developers wont have any issue on USB 3.1 speeds. Even app developers won't.

    You're right though. Thunderbolt is pretty much only for the pro market. The sad thing is the Mac doesn't support any of the pro features that thunderbolt was crated for (i.e using it as PCI-E expansion for graphics cards and such).


    More than capable. On current Thunderbolt you can theoretically daisychain at least 10 - and thats 10gbps speeds. However USB 3.1 'real' spreads will be slightly lower. Either way you could comfortably run yourself 3 screens and a whole bunch of other stuff .

    Your logic here only works if you connect just 1 device. If you have 2 screens, 3x external drives, an ethernet adaptor and maybe a HD webcam hooked up, normal usb would choke. With 10gpbs bandwidth all of those things will work fine at the same time.
  18. sofila macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2006
    Ramtop Mountains
    I'm a poor normal user, not a fantastic super mega PRO wizard.
    I just wonder how many years we (poor users) will have to wait to see Apple implement those new USB ports on our normal, poor desktop computers.
  19. milo macrumors 604

    Sep 23, 2003
    Shame it won't be out early enough for the next Mac Pro to include it. TB and TB2 are great but expensive, and USB 3.1 would be nice to have on there as well.

    10Gbps is gigabits, not bytes, so if the current USB3 can do about 400 MB per seconds, that's about 800 for the new standard. That's faster than SATA ssds but the technology exists for ones faster than 800 (such as the pcie based ones).

    Ports have been faster than conventional hard drives for a while but SSD speeds have the potential to improve at least as fast as the new ports do. And the format isn't just for drives. Video formats are going to higher resolution as well, and that's a ton of bandwidth for 4k and beyond.
  20. rmwebs macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2007
    There are two options.

    Option A is that we wait "Steve time" which is where it took Apple 4 years after USB 3.0 was released to start adopting it.

    Option B is that Tim sees sense and gets this added in 2014. I really don't see anything happening until at least Q2 2014 though.
  21. macs4nw macrumors 68040


    Not so fast! Niche perhaps, but not dead by a long shot. The most promising Pro solution out there!
  22. 11thIndian macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2007
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Or the 3rd option, which is the one [just like with USB3] where Apple includes it on their machines as soon as Intel releases a processor chip-set that support it natively.
  23. carestudio macrumors 6502

    Aug 6, 2008
    USB3.1 ... oh no.... i am wondering if I should hold off the new MacPro and wait for the newer MacPro next year which may have USB 3.1 instead of 3.0 :(
  24. 11thIndian macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2007
    Hamilton, Ontario
    This is ridiculous.

    USB3 and Thunderbolt is not an either/or equation. Is TB more expensive? Yes. Is it faster? Yes. Not every faster, better technology gets to be immediately commoditized so that every layperson can/should use it.

    Some will say USB3.1 is fast enough. For those people, great! But for those that need the extra bandwidth, however large that group is; Thunderbolt is the faster [better] option, and I've never thought twice about the price premium, because it enables me to get my work done faster, and do more.

    This is like saying the new MacPro should be cheaper, and that iMacs will replace them all. If you need that power, it comes at a cost. And just because you don't need it or can't afford it- doesn't make it any less necessary to those who do.

    This strikes me as a bizarre kind of tech entitlement.


    Please do- then mine won't be backordered as long.

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