Why no low-cost Thunderbolt enclosures?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by dgalvan123, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. dgalvan123 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2008
    I can get a USB 3 single HDD or SSD enclosure for less than $20
    (here, for example).

    Yet I can't for the life of me find a Thunderbolt single HDD or SSD enclosure for less than $100.

    What gives?

    (I know Thunderbolt are not usually much faster than USB 3, except for SSDs. . . but I have two unused thunderbolt 2 ports on the back of my iMac, the desire to free up some USB3 ports, and the need for more storage in the future that I would like to swap into a thunderbolt enclosure.)
  2. ssgbryan macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    Intel tax, for starters. There is also the lower demand, which causes the R&D to be spread over fewer units. There is also the fact that fewer computers use the Thunderbolt connection.

    There is also the fact that Thunderbolt is a solution in search of a problem.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Right now, its mostly an Apple only technology. I think Dell may have a TB equipped computer but I may be wrong. Either way, he customer base for such products is very small compared to other external hard drives.
  4. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Great statement of the catch-22 cycle there.

    I agree. Though it's a wonder that so many got their shorts in a wad over the 2016 drop of the retina Macbook not including TB3.

    dgalvan123 -- I'd suggest consolidating your low bandwidth/low power USB devices onto a hub as a means of freeing up ports on your imac. For a storage array I'd look towards USB3.1 over TB personally on the basis of probability of wider adoption in the market. Other more knowledgable folks might suggest otherwise in which case pay me no mind.
  5. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    With USB-C coming to market now, it seems Thunderbolt accessories might just become even more hard to find.
  6. leo.andres.21 macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2008
    Centre of the Attention
    I know this thread is weeks old, but there are a lot of USB C ports that are Thunderbolt compatible. Thunderbolt as a technology is not going to be dead, but I think they will start moving the port towards USB-C instead of the old mini display port.
  7. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    And USB 3.0 with UASP support + USB 3.1 Gen. 2 make Thunderbolt enclosures unnecessary for 99 % of all possible applications.
  8. BeatCrazy macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2011
  9. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    On paper, perhaps. I use several USB 3.0 and 3.1 devices with the supplied high quality cables and have no WiFi, Bluetooth or whatever RF interference problems. Besides that, do you expect that everyone switches to Thunderbolt!?
  10. BeatCrazy macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2011
    On paper, and in real life. Happens to me daily. Some people may not even realize that USB 3.0 is the root cause of interference issues. Switch to Thunderbolt is one of several options for people to consider. But USB 3.0 is no panacea.
  11. MRxROBOT macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2016
    Yea USB 3.0 causes a lot of issues with the 2.4 band on my router. I suppose proper shielding would have alleviated this issue, nonetheless it's there.
  12. acadiel macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2007
    Can confirm. Have a 2011 Mac Mini (no USB 3.0), and have one of those Kanex TB to USB 3.0 adapters. When hooking up an Anker 3.0 hub and using a USB 3.0 2.5" hard drive, by Apple Bluetooth mouse acts up significantly upon drive access.

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