What does Thunderbolt mean to the average user?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Gotjack, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Gotjack macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2011
    Im somewhat bemused as to what this thunderbolt thingy is?

    Ive ordered a new macbook pro, and was hoping it would come with a hdmi slot, as thats what i use to use on my old laptop to hook up to my HD tv.

    Will i be able to do this with the new pro? if so, how so? and will it involve this thunderbolt
  2. wct097 macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2010
    Pretty sure the HDMI adapter is available from Apple for $29.99. From what I gather, the existing mini display port HDMI adapter works with the Thunderbolt port, and thus there really is no difference for average users other than the fact that future Thunderbolt devices can be used with it as well.
  3. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    That you might one day only need 1 cable for any peripheral equipment you have to deal with.

    Be it keyboard, monitor, storage, TV or whatever you wish to connect to your computer.
  4. vettefanZR1 macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2011
    Chicago, IL
  5. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2011
    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    ^^ agrees.... remeniscent of the whole blu-ray vs HD-DVD

    where toshiba and NEC spearheaded HD-DVD

    seagate has announced they will release a thunderbolt adapter for their go flex drive..

    i have this drive, along with the FW800/USB3 adapters already..

    so this will be very interesting
  6. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    do you have a link for the seagate t-bolt story. I can't find it.
  7. amoergosum macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2008
  8. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    So far, the HDMI adaptor hasn't included sound with prior Macs using the Mini Display port. I have not heard if it supports sound on the 2011 MBPs.
  9. Tonepoet, Apr 3, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011

    Tonepoet macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2010
    This adapter says it's capable of transmitting audio in one cable, with surround sound support. Doesn't strike me as impossible since thunderbolt is supposed to be multi-protocol and the 6750m has an "HD audio controller" (whatever that means).

    Also, in theory one thunderbolt port is the functional equivalent of two full speed USB 3.0. ports and a displayport 1.1 connection put together. Nice deal for future-proofing, however it doesn't mean much for you right now. No products out. Lots of companies have already stated they'd support it but most haven't released product details.

    My hope is that Blackmagic comes out with a mac compatible external functional equivalent of the Intensity Pro video capture card. It'd make a great solution for capturing full high definition footage from video games via the component output cables of my Playstation 3 amongst other things.

    If not, oh well, I have a 17" with the expresscard slot. I could probably try my luck at jurry rigging the current Intensity Pro with a PE4L expresscard to PCIE adapter.
  10. TheUndertow macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2011
    In theory, it's a new connectivity means leading to faster data speeds AND flexibility.

    In real world today, it's so new that you'll likely need to wait for the rush of products and subsequent growing pains.

    I am pumped to hear about what Apogee has coming with their Music (analog/digital conversion, recording) hardware with Thunderbolt (less data lag the better).

    Speed should be faster with TB equipped Hard Drives for faster copy/transfer rates for files and back-ups.

    You will need to accept the Apple process of providing one port with many "interface/converter" accessories to work with other "standards" for the HDMI as mentioned above.
  11. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    I'm a bit in a quandary. I need a second external HD enclosure (I already have an firewire 800), but I don't want own 2 firewire 800 cases when a Thunderbolt would be better, and I don't want to spend bucks for osbsolete tech.

    Its odd really that these notebooks have both the Firewire 800 and Thunderbolt ports. One is temporary fix while your twiddling your thumbs waiting for the other. Geesh :rolleyes:

    Anyway, anyone have a sniff on ETAs? I hear like 'summer', 'soon', 'someday', in other words. nothing.
  12. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    Does the Thunderbolt socket on current Macs provide bus power to external devices or is it another eSATA port that requires the device to also connect to the USB port for power - i.e. two cables in place of one?
  13. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
  14. n8236 macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2006
  15. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    For now it means nothing and later it might be great for docking stations.
  16. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth

    Sounds like a name of a cartoon series...

    Also sounds more like a marketing hype than anything else.

    What i mean is, its the same mini display port, only faster (up to 10 Gig per second when connected to Thunderbolt compatible devices), something i have not seen, and not to mention, recognise. Apple will probably have a label on then to assure the user of this.

    But when it boils down to it.. its STILL a mini display port....... Why not just stick with the same name ? Maybe people will get all excited (or confused) over this "new* look a like port that existed on previous MBP's.

    Well... Apple.. its working........

    Reminds me of when Foxtel just rebrands an additional outlet in the house and calls it 'Multiroom' just because it sounds better. and new.

    Pure marketing hype.. .
  17. Macsavvytech macrumors 6502a


    May 25, 2010
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    When you get a new thunderbolt device try sticking it into your 2010 MBP it won't work, I can't it as a new port then? Why won't it work? It won't work because the old mini display port wasn't directly connected to the motherboard as well as the gpu.
    Thunderbolt is also said to work with optical light peak when it's released! So we have a 10Gb/s port now which will have plenty of devices for it in the coming months and when optical light peak is released it will support 100Gb/s.
    Market hype only? I don't think so.
  18. robanga macrumors 68000


    Aug 25, 2007
    We all are supporting more and more digital content. Cameras and video cameras are taking higher resolution files and they are larger.

    Backups and fast transfers - Bring on the Thunderbolt.
  19. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    From a technical standpoint... it probably is different yea,,, but on an "observing" look only.. its a mini display port.. there fore people need to ask the questions. or just go by what the tech specs say, not that it goes to the component level anyway.

    It too closely resembles the same mini display port is what i'm saying, when in fact, under the hood, its clearly more than that. Take USB 2.0 or any USB port..... they all look the same on first impression. (non technical point)
  20. Macsavvytech macrumors 6502a


    May 25, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Anyway not to change this threads topic, like had started happening.
    Dear OP just wait 3-4 Months and you will be killing yourself not having a thunderbolt port because of all the new gadgets for any user of any level of computer ability. I am sue there will be a thunderbolt to usb3 adapter or 2 .... Or 3 or 4
  21. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2011
    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
  22. altecXP, Apr 3, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011

    altecXP macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2009
    Its basically FireWire... again. So to simplify more than likely the avery home user won't really use it unless Apple drops all USB support.

    However at the moment it cant even display video right (Flicker issue), and there are no devices out for it, mean while the USB3 market is growing and Apple users have no way to use them to their fullest because SJ doesn't believe in it. Some how SJ not believe ing in a technology means all Apple users have to be stuck in a limbo of FW/USB2 and a technology no one supports yet, but he has already fully backed.

    How ever I really hope that if Apple DOES drop USB that LP can support my two 1148p displays, external RAID(which I'm planning to replace with 5x 240GB SSD's), keyboard, mouse and any portable storage I may use. If I can't do that all at once then that's when I'll be moving back to a PC. If my job needs me to still use a Mac at that point then I'll be making a hackintosh.
  23. altecXP macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2009
    What the point of a TB adapter? The drive can't move faster than USB2 anyway. it's rather pointless. An adapter for the sake of having an adapter?
  24. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    If the drive can't move data faster than USB2 when what's the point of the FW800 adaptor?

    Decent sized 7200rpm drives can pull data at 150MB/s easy. If my measly 500GB 7200 2.5" drive can still manage 90MB/s while half full, a 2TB+ drive can do 150MB/s no worries.

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