Why isn't a Thunderbolt > USB 3.0 Adapter available en masse?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Hustler1337, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. Hustler1337 macrumors 68000


    Dec 23, 2010
    London, UK
    Hi guys,

    So i've been trying to find a Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 converter so that I can hook up my external 3.0 hard drive to my 2011 MBP, as transferring over USB 2.0 is painfully slow.

    I thought it would be available easily on the mass market and probably I could pick one up on-the-cheap on eBay, as with many other I/O converters that are available. However, I could only really find about 2 manufacturers offering a converter and the cheapest I could find was around £80, so not cheap.

    Why is a Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 so expensive and not-so-freely available? Is it difficult to manufacturer because of the technological differences between Thunderbolt and USB 3.0?

  2. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Thunderbolt is Intel stuff, what do you expect?
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    also, think of the market,

    computers with thunderbolt, and without USB3
    so only about a 2-3 year run of macs, that are now at least a year or so old.
    a "small" number and one that is shrinking every year.

    The docks with multiple ports have a wider appeal.
    as people with both thunderbolt and USB3 would be likely to purchase for their desks to get the other ports.
  4. bennibeef macrumors 6502

    May 22, 2013
    I think you are right on there. its not just a 2-3 year run its almost only a 1 year run. Just 2011 Macbooks have a Thunderbolt port and no USB 3.0. Even the "classic" mid 2012 Macbook Pro has USB 3.0

    And yeah thats really the market. No one wants to serve a market of computers of 1 year. Its sad yes but as a business owner I would do the same. And if I have USB 3 ports on my mac, I wouldnt bother to buy a Thunderbolt to USB 3 adapters because well I will just buy a hub.

    Its bad I know and I feel you I also have a 2011 Macbook with no USB 3.0 and back then I thought yeah man doesnt mather I will just buy an adapter. And yeah that didnt work out. And meh I dont really need it right now anyway all my file transfers and backups are over the network and I would throttle at 1Gb anyway for the network. Even if I had USB 3.0 I wouldnt change that my files are in the network so what. I learned to live with it :D
  5. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Seen this?

  6. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    The problem with the kanex stuff is that the chipset on which it is based does not support Thunderbolt passthrough, otherwise I might have bought one.
  7. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    It would have probably doubled the price... that's a factor why docks are so expensive...
  8. rboy505 macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2012
    Blame Intel. They set the prices on the chips. As I mention in the other thread, the only chip low power enough for an adapter and inexpensive enough for an $80 product is the Port Ridge Thunderbolt chip, which is what Kanex uses. It doesn't allow for passthrough. That's that : ) I have one and it rocks for USB3 (and I commute with it and use it on several MBPs so it's pretty cost effective) but I don't yearn for passthrough on the Macs I use it on.

    This basic scenario won't change with newer coming Intel chips, as far as I know, hence there won't be a sub $80 adapter with passthrough any time soon if ever.

    A dock, with a power supply, is currently the only way to get passthrough. Just get one.
  9. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Dock prices seem to be slipping. You can get a nice TBDOCKHDPBC Startech dock with 3 USB3 ports that rock and pass through TB, GB ethernet, USB audio, and a bunch of cables for less then $180 now. Caltech is around $200 without cables... perhaps because they want to clear inventory for TB2 products?

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