Where are the 2-port Thunderbolt 2.5" enclosures?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by cube, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. cube macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    I see Thunderbolt with only one port. Useless.
  2. WestCoastPro macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2013
    Not enough power. Also, if you understood Thunderbolt, you'd understand that you put it at the end of the chain. I find my 2.5" enclosures immensely useful. Not sure what you're doing wrong.
  3. cube thread starter macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    I'm doing nothing wrong. My MBP has 1 TB port, and my monitors are not TB.

    Of course you should be able to put the drive in the middle, otherwise TB is total junk.
  4. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    In order to have pass-through, the device would need* external power. Most enclosures for 2.5" drives are intended to be portable, and bus-powered. I think that's why you're not finding that the 2.5" enclosures don't have pass-through.

    *For the pedants, I don't mean "need" in the sense that it's a technical requirement, just that it would be a bad idea for a manufacturer to put pass-through on a bus-powered device. It's asking for support headaches.
  5. cube thread starter macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    All quality 2.5" enclosures have a power input, even if they don't always come with an adapter.
  6. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Yes but they'll work without one - which makes it a support problem. As someone who handles tech support for a living, I would not want to deal with idiot callers trying to daisy-chain 3 or 4 bus-powered drives together off one Thunderbolt port - and believe me, they would.
  7. cube thread starter macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    I don't want to daisy chain 3 drives, I want 1 drive and 1 monitor, if an enclosure cannot do this bus-powered, Thunderbolt is FAIL.
  8. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    Bus powered Thunderbolt devices cannot have two ports, so consider a dual interface device that has both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connectors. If all you have is a computer with USB 2.0 ports and only one Thunderbolt port, you have to live with the lower USB 2.0 performance when you have your monitor and portable drive connected.

    You may be asking why a bus powered device can't have two ports...really simple, as the daisy chain port would need to provide 10 watts for the next device down the chain. Hard to do when the device alone may already be consuming that frist 10 watts from upstream.

    So...what about the possibility for a dual port device that can be bus powered when it is the only device, or wall powered when daisy-chain is active? An interesting prospect. Haven't seen anything like this offered or proposed.

    To get out of that pickle, there are Macbook Pro w/retina display laptops and iMacs with multiple Thunderbolt ports, and even the newer, smaller Macbook Pros and Mac mini have both USB 3.0 and a single Thunderbolt ports.

    So...you are looking for the wrong thing :)

    As for Thunderbolt being a failure...only for you :D

    Seems like it is doing OK for many others.
  9. cube, Sep 21, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013

    cube thread starter macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    The disk does not need to provide power to the monitor.

    Crippled Thunderbolt was created to combine a display interface with a general one. If it cannot do that in the most common cases, it is FAIL.

    There was never a problem having enclosures with 2 FireWire ports.


    What it would need to power is a video interface adapter, which is minimal.

    And the TB port provides more power than the FW port in a Mac.
  10. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    If it is minimal, perhaps you could design and make one. :D

    Alas, it is not.

    I understand your point, that there could be a single thunderbolt port, and then only a displayport or dvi or hdmi video connection. This is indeed possible, and in some sense a variation of the dock design. Unfortunately, the use case is rather small.
  11. cube thread starter macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    It is not a small use case, TB was designed to support display and general use at the same time.
  12. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    OK, in order to work, you would need to place the portable bus-powered drive between the computer and the display.

    You'll have two cables and three Thunderbolt connections to disconnect any time you want to move that portable drive elsewhere.

    So...why the obsession with bus-power? There are dual-port ac-powered Thunderbolt devices that will accommodate 2.5" and 3.5" drives. The disadvantage by your need is that a power supply and connection to AC power is required.

    Continue your quest...it may be a long, unfulfilled one.
  13. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    I'm confused. Why do you need a 2.5" drive enclosure specifically? You haven't given us a reason. If your you want it between your monitor and computer, then that implies you will be using it largely with a desktop. At that point you might as well buy a 3.5" enclosure and shove your 2.5" drive into it. I do this all the time. In general terms, a 2.5" drive is generally used for portability and taken on the road where it will be the only peripheral attached to your computer so not having a pass-thru makes sense (you wouldn't take your monitor on the road with your laptop would you?).

    My point is, you are looking for something that only a small segment would want, because most would just shove a 2.5" drive into a 3.5" enclosure and move on.

    What is the reason you need a 2.5" enclosure specifically?
  14. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I have a few TB devices in my chain... and I also have a 2.5" bus powered device at the end. It works great.

    iMac TB Port 1 -> ATD
    iMac TB Port 2 -> Pegasus R4 -> Seagate 3.5" 3TB -> Seagate 2.5" portable

    I could have run the entire chain on iMac Port 1, but I often switch the input to the ATD to my MBA (my corporate machine)... rather than use it for a dual display iMac.

  15. cube thread starter macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    Because I carry the drive but not the monitor.
  16. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Then just get a USB drive...

    Thunderbolt is really more suited for docking stations where you plug one cable in and it runs all of your peripherals. What you want requires you to plug the drive into your computer and then the monitor into the drive. That isn't any savings over plugging the drive into your computer and plugging the monitor into your computer is it?

    I think you are looking for a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. The only computers that would benefit from having a 2.5" drive enclosure with two thunderbolt ports are the 2011 Macs since they have USB 2.0 and have thunderbolt.
  17. cube thread starter macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    I don't have USB 3.0, and my eSATAs are sometimes all taken, that's why I'm looking at Thunderbolt for an SSD.

    It IS a problem.
  18. iamgalactic macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    LaCie Little Big Disk - two thunderbolt ports for daisy chaining. No problem.
  19. cube thread starter macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    I know about that. I want a single bay enclosure. Not an expensive 2-bay ready-made array.
  20. iamgalactic macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    CalDigit T1 coming soon


    sorry - that's a 3.5"! (although it will take 2.5s....)
  21. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    It's been coming soon for a while.

    The above link is an older link. New webpage for Thunderbolt has some changes.

    The Thunderbolt T1 has been taken off their Thunderbolt product page. The T2 RAID mentions compatibility with T1 and T2 modules. So now there is a T2 RAID instead of a T2. Coming Soon...

    The Thunderbolt T3 still there, shown at IBC last week, and promises of coming soon, Q4.
  22. d0nK macrumors 6502


    Nov 4, 2011
    The T2 has been shelved.
    The T3 is still coming out.

    I have a late 2011 MBP with 1 TB port and USB 2 and also use an external monitor when at home, connected to the Thunderbolt port.
    I also need a portable drive for storing audio files and projects, so USB 2.0 is a definite "no go". Soooo slow.
    Portable Thunderbolt drive needed with dual TB ports. If that means that it needs to be powered from the mains when using both TB ports then that's fine.

    Anyone found a portable TB drive with dual ports yet?
  23. LT243 macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2009
  24. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    I can understand your disappointment that the bus-powered portable drive doesn't have pass-thru thunderbolt ports, and the reasons given are correct.

    You should be disappointed that your powered computer and your powered display don't have dual thunderbolt or pass-through ports. There is no good reason for that other than perhaps cost savings.
  25. evesson macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2014

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28 September 20, 2013