What to do with the 2 Thunderbolt 1 ports on 2011 iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by SnarkyBear, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. SnarkyBear macrumors regular


    Apr 24, 2014
    I have two Thunderbolt 1 ports sitting on my 2011 iMac that are doing nothing for me. I want to make them useful.

    I could stick a Thunderbolt to Firewire dongle on there, but I already have a Firewire port and daisy chain the two external drives through it.

    I could use more USB ports, but the few adapters I've seen are (1) for Thunderbolt 2 or 3, and (2) Bloody Expensive ($76 for a thunderbolt to a single USB3 connector).

    Any suggestions where I can find reasonably priced thunderbolt -> USB devices? Any ideas on what I can do with those Thunderbolt ports?

  2. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    What I did when I had that model was purchase a Silicon Power 240GB TB external drive and ran that as the boot drive.

    Streets faster than the old 7200rpm 1TB drive which was used for backups. Speed was incredible.
  3. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
  4. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    @SnarkyBear I thought of getting a thunderbolt to USB 3 adaptor and linking it to a powered USB 3 hub. But I blanched when I saw the price of one of those adaptors.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    The -BEST USE- for the thunderbolt port is to buy an SSD in a thunderbolt enclosure, and make it your boot drive.

    Far, FAR faster than a built in platter-based HDD (assuming that's what you have now).
  6. mhafeez macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2013
    One TB port for external display and the other one for TB storage in RAID setup (daisy chain). Love it!

    Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 11.53.42 PM.png Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 11.53.51 PM.png
  7. Richdmoore macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    Troutdale, OR
    I have the 21.5" 2011 iMac. I have two thunderbolt devices, both of which I think were a good value to keep the computer more current as it has aged.

    1. Caldiget thunderbolt dock. I used this to get USB 3.0 on my otherwise USB 2 computer. I was able to dump my FireWire drives (as they broke) and use cheaper more modern USB 3 devices. Note that the only restriction is that USB 3 drives cannot be boot devices.

    I could have used a cheaper thunderbolt to USB, but not only were they not available at the time, but I also needed pass thru thunderbolt for my next device (as the smaller 21.5" iMac has only 1 thunderbolt port.)

    2. Delock Thunderbolt enclosure with a ssd inside. This allows me to boot from an external ssd drive, so I was able to upgrade without opening up the iMac, and the new drive really increased the speed over the older spinning hard drive.

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