Where's the flood of Thunderbolt options?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sigmadog, May 12, 2015.

  1. sigmadog, May 12, 2015
    Last edited: May 12, 2015

    sigmadog macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2009
    near Spokane, WA
    The nMP has been out for a year and a half and, to my eyes, the flood of Thunderbolt accessories has yet to materialize.

    Sure, there's storage options out there, but not as much as I expected based on past tech advances. And I'm not seeing much in the way of other Thunderbolt-based accessories (monitors, pcie enclosures etc.)

    Additionally, in the past when a new technology was introduced and third party options started flooding in, competition tended to lower the prices. I'm not seeing that either.

    Maybe I haven't been looking in the right places, which is entirely possible (I'm not in the market for Thunderbolt stuff since I don't have a nMP) but it seems Thunderbolt does not seem to be living up to (my) expectations. In particular, the price drop was one aspect that I've been waiting for that would make the nMP more appealing.

    To me all of this argues against the long-term adoption of Thunderbolt and/or the new Mac Pro itself, and makes me reluctant to step on board.

    When it comes time in the next year or so to upgrade my 2008 model, I might instead look around for a used 2012 rather than the nMP, since TB options are few and prices are steep. That way, I can save money and keep my existing peripherals.

    With full acknowledgment that I'm probably terribly wrong, I'd like to know what others more knowledgeable than I think about this.
  2. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    Thunderbolt is the new FireWire as far as the industry is concerned. Just as FireWire was, Thunderbolt is obviously a far superior IO option, but without widespread adoption on PCs and other consumer devices, there is no reason to invest in including it on peripherals. When USB 3.0 has the bandwidth high enough for nearly everything people do, its hard to beat it out. My guess is there will never be a large number of Thunderbolt devices on the market that are anywhere near as affordable as their USB and eSATA counterparts.
  3. MacVidCards, May 12, 2015
    Last edited: May 12, 2015

    MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Emperor has no clothes (Shush !!!)

    Now you've done it, you'll have the lunatic fringe in here defending the "most upgradeable Mac ever".

    The complete lack of upgrades deters them not a bit.

    If you want a 6,1 nMP, just wait for 7,1 to be announced. The Fire Sale will begin. The "only 3 GPUs for life" aspect is going to make them boat anchors quickly. The vaunted "Mac Pros hold their value" paradigm will be in for a re-boot as well.

    With TB3 and USB-C on the horizon, who is going to want TB2?
  4. kwikdeth macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tempe, AZ

    ive already seen some people on forums whining about ETA on TB3. great, will it even be comparable to a single X16 slot? no? no thanks then.

    Thunderbolt wishes it had the adoption FW had. back in the early 00s tons of things had firewire. heck, the early Playstation IIs at the time had it. the only time i hear about thunderbolt accessories anymore is announcements on this site. nobody cares anymore.

    watch Apple ditch TB in a couple years and to exclusively with USB-C. then all the macs will be thin-mini-itx (albeit even more proprietary) with soldered everything. no thanks.
  5. RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
    someone give the 6.1 a cigarette and blindfold now that usb-c is working in the cmp.
  6. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Mar 1, 2010
    Last time i counted there were 178 Thunderbolt peripherals currently on the market. Your likely not going to see lower prices on Thunderbolt devices as they are usually targeted for the pro market.
  7. MMcCraryNJ macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    USB is good enough for the majority of consumer products, but it is inherently latent beyond belief. Firewire 800 actually outperforms USB 3.0 in this regard. TB does not share USB's latency problems, and therefore is preferred for professionals. USB Type-C, which is a connector and not some type of magical new protocol, will also share the same latency issues.

    Anyone actually comparing USB to Thunderbolt has no business calling themselves educated.
  8. WestonHarvey1 macrumors 68020

    Jan 9, 2007
    You're really hung up on this, but your reasoning from other threads is incoherent. How do you know the 6,1 will never get GPU upgrades?
  9. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    If you can't see it for yourself, I would be wasting my time typing the same stuff over again. I'll sum up the super obvious stuff for you anyhow.

    Prime piece of evidence is the machine boot rom containing the roms for all 3 types of GPUs. If you wanted to leave the possibility of using something different in the future you would use eeproms on each card. An eeprom like this costs me $.70 or so, so would increase cost of nMP about a dollar for Apple. ($1)

    So it is quite likely that to put new cards in you would need to update the firmware for the whole device. Nobody but Apple is going to do that.

    The 2nd piece of evidence is THAT THEY AREN"T HERE. Have you seen any GPU upgrades? Has Apple even made it easy to get D700s for their loyal customers? The machine is going on 2 years old. TB3 uses more bandwidth and so does DP 1.3 and so does HDMI 2.0, all of which can reasonably be expected in 7,1. No easy way to plumb all the lines in 7,1 to increase bandwidth but still work in old 6,1 connections. Pretty sure it will actually be impossible.

    So will Apple design everything in 7,1 GPUs to be backwards compatible with all of the old tech or will they dump the old tech like last week's sushi and move forward with DP 1.3, TB3, and HDMI 2.0?

    Which sounds more like them? "Keep old stuff around so old computers can be easily upgraded" or "cleanse the old junk out and pretend it never happened"?

    I am amazed that some are having such a difficult time seeing what is as obvious to me as death & taxes.
  10. DonMega macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2007
    He's simply hung up on it for economic reasons. The economic gain he is now realizing from hacking cMPs is finite and at some point will dry up. With the MP 6,1 he won't be able to do the same unless there is some obstacle busting that can be done.

    So of course, he will poo-poo Apple and the 6,1 so that his minions continue to purchase cMPs and continue to purchase his hacked cards to put into them.

    It's marketing 101 these days. Don't make something better than the competition, belittle the competition and make your target audience believe you have the better solution.

    And of course, if he figures out a way to expand the 6,1, then the rallying cry will be to purchase a 6,1 and use his expansion solution...
  11. sigmadog thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2009
    near Spokane, WA
    You talk like a video game character.

    Everyone has opinions. We all know MacVidCards is in a particular business, but your argument is essentially an ad hominem and disregards the actual facts MVC presents.

    MacVidCards offers evidence that appears true, and draws conclusions from that evidence. You may not like his* conclusions, but you can't really argue with his evidence.

    Or can you? That's what I'm interested in, not ad hominems.

    * assuming MacVidCards is a guy.
  12. DonMega, May 13, 2015
    Last edited: May 13, 2015

    DonMega macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2007
    And calling me a video game character isn't the same?

    I have no argument. I, in fact, own a Mac Pro 5,1 that I have modified. I have no interest in purchasing a MP 6,1 at this time. I am definitely interested in the next iteration of Mac Pro if there is to be such a machine. I'm simply tired of the infomercials. Maybe, it's my own fault and I should stop reading this board. But I'm here reading to gain knowledge and insight. More signal and less noise please.
  13. fuchsdh macrumors 65816


    Jun 19, 2014
    The problem from your perspective is that Thunderbolt was never going to out-USB USB. That means that like FireWire, Thunderbolt exists as a high-performance option, and the people who need that performance are going to pay the premium.

    We’ve got tons of Thunderbolt storage and streaming options at work, and most of them would be overkill for any casual use.

    (Also, it seems like Intel holds pretty tight to TB licensing, which probably impacts the adoption on PCs a bit.)

    I'm not sure what you were expecting from Thunderbolt that you're disappointed about, besides USB-like pricing and proliferation.

    Amazing how every thread turns into a "let me complain about the new Mac Pro" opportunity for you.
  14. td2243 macrumors 6502

    Mar 14, 2013
    Santa Fe, NM
    There's nothing wrong with talking like a video game character. #@&%!
  15. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    I see a lot of pro-level Thunderbolt peripherals.

    Whoever thought this was going to be the "kiddy" connector is entirely wrong. It is simply too expensive for that.
  16. H2SO4 macrumors 68040

    Nov 4, 2008
    Well maybe. If it was more reasonably priced not only might the professionals buy even more of them but consumers might start too. This surely would mean more income from the TB licensers?
    If something is really good and affordable people will buy it in droves.
  17. sigmadog thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2009
    near Spokane, WA
    It was meant as an amusing side comment. That was my mistake.

    By the way, the wife and I visited your town a couple years ago and loved it! Stayed at La Fonda downtown - the softest hotel bed ever! Wish I could afford to live in Santa Fe. We've talked about retiring to NM someday.

    But enough of the side comments, let's get back to our usual crankiness.
  18. fuchsdh macrumors 65816


    Jun 19, 2014
    Maybe, maybe not.I think you might be looking at it the wrong way—pro equipment is expensive and highly targeted. Pro equipment uses the best tech it has available, and for many solutions that’s Thunderbolt. Those solutions cost a lot, and need Thunderbolt. There's no "advantage" to using TB in terms of sales, necessarily, it just needs it to do its job.

    In comparison, your usual desktop hard drive doesn’t need 700 or 1000MB/s read speeds. The cost of a Thunderbolt port instead of or in addition to a USB3 port is an additional cost that potentially means you are selling *fewer* units. So many don’t add it on.

    It’s possible if Intel had made a bigger push with Thunderbolt, they could have negotiated it as more widespread than a pro feature, but considering how PCs still often come with PS/2 ports, I think any attempt to dislodge USB would have been pointless. Macs are massively ahead of the curve of most PCs when it comes to a lot of tech; it’s a much better market and that’s where people market their peripherals to more “casual” users. The fact that we’ve usually got more coin to throw down probably is a factor as well.
  19. td2243 macrumors 6502

    Mar 14, 2013
    Santa Fe, NM
    No, no. I knew you were kidding. No harm done.

    I was quoting Q-bert. :) Probably a little too obscure or something. LOL
  20. poematik13 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2014
    Just ignore him, his living depends on a business that sells parts for obsolete computer. The entire anti-nMP sentiment on this board is because a lot of these people depended on and made a living off of the old tower, and now it's no longer supported (and aging fast with its old school IO), they are looking for every oppurtunity to bash the new machine and feel better about themselves.
  21. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Mar 1, 2010
    Affordability / price is largely irrelevant when the type of job used to pay for it is on a much higher scale then the occasional use in consumer market. USB 3 should be enough and lower cost then Thunderbolt on that end.
  22. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Great theory.

    You seem unaware that we are actively working on nMP cards. I spent 2 hours last night playing Far Cry 4 on a entry level 2014 Mini using a Titan-X. Full 4K 60hz with options cranked.

    Does CUDA pretty well too.

    Looks likely that we will be only source of nMP GPU upgrades since none have appeared otherwise.

    I bash the nMP because Apple sold everyone down the river to create a machine that goes obsolete even faster then before. Had TB just been a fast Data port all would have been fine.

    The insistence on wrapping video output into it ruined it. The difficult licensing process was the nail in the coffin.

    Impugning the messenger's motives doesn't change the fact the message itself is true.
  23. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    The only thing where really TB has made much inroad at the cheaper level is in the TB Docks. In much the same way that the Apple TB Display works. You basically have your Dock sat there with the periperhals connected and just attach the TB to your machine, wether it be an nMP or mini or MBA/MBPr.

    Has allowed FW800, additional USB etc to be added to machines, like the MBA etc that lost them from the machine.

    It makes sense for Apple to sell TB Displays as they will be used with Mac. However are Dell/Asus going to pay the TB License on a display that will likely be used with a PC that doesn't have TB installed.

    Also requires that drivers are rewritten for TB aware under OS X and not everyone done that. Areca and ATTO who already provide good OS X support have done so, however LSI, Adaptec who didn't have not.

    Matrox have provided TB aware drivers for there MojitoMAX card but the CompressHD was not

    For a single HDD or SSD then USB3 is fast enough so why would you spend the extra money on a TB single disk enclosure.

    Keyboard and Mice makes no sense at all to use TB, rather then USB.
  24. Zorn macrumors 6502a


    Feb 14, 2006
    Sorry, but no. I make no living on anything to do with the cMP, but it's simply a better designed computer because it can be upgraded and its life extended. I don't want to be relegated to GPUs of 2011 (7970 D700) forever.

    I think the only people around here that actually like this new machine are working for companies that pay for it, and will also pay to replace it after 2-3 years, and for them since the money is meaningless, it's nice to have a quiet little computer that will just be recycled and replaced quickly.

    The sad part is that none of this really matters. Apple couldn't care less about making an upgradeable computer, that's just profits in the toilet. They want you to throw it away and buy the new model every few years - this has worked like gangbusters for them with iMacs and iPads. Years ago they actually had to care about the Pro market, now this is just a drop in the iPhone/iPad/Apple Watch filled bucket to them.
  25. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    You're right. MVC has a threatened business and is motivated by it--but that doesn't make his points somehow wrong. I've noticed that when people don't have valid counter points, they resort to demonizing the other side.

    At the same time you accuse MVC of belittling people, you are belittling me...people who want to upgrade GPUs are "minions"? Really? Do insults make you feel better? Because they don't add to the debate.

    Perhaps you could provide some counter points to the facts presented here? I'd love for someone to explain why not being able to upgrade GPUs is a good thing. The only tangible benefit I've seen so far is "it's small and pretty on my desk". I get that some people will prefer that, but so much was lost for it.

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