Why no Thunderbolt 3?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 2ms, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. 2ms macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2002
    Anyone know why the new iMac doesn't include Thunderbolt 3? It is necessary for me to continue to hold off purchasing any new computers until they have Thunderbolt 3 (I need to be able to use external Nvidia GPU for ray tracing with Cuda cores).

    Intel announced Thunderbolt 3 months ago. In the past, Apple has been ahead of the curve with Thunderbolt. It's really surprising to me that they are releasing a new Mac without it.
  2. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    Are the necessary chipsets available from Intel yet? Does anything for sale actually have TB3?
  3. Pakaku macrumors 68020


    Aug 29, 2009
    I guess Apple doesn't think enough people would need it.
  4. byke macrumors 6502a


    Mar 29, 2007
    LDN. UK
    interesting to note that thunderbolt 3 + Skylake combined allow for eGPU.
    But it would seem that Apple is intent on seeing its OSX devices streamlined in a similar aspect to its iDevices, with soldered ram etc.
  5. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    Hey, can't speak for Apple, but I'll try. You have to look at the cost/value for each and every component in a computer. The value of Thunderbolt 3, to 99.999% of users is zero! If you need a desktop class GPU, then you need a Mac Pro. But in your case, since you need specifically Nvidia, you can choose a Hackintosh or a Windows machine.

    It's the same reason they didn't include USB C or DDR 4. It would increase costs for literally no gain in terms of market share. These also might have slowed delivery of the new machines as both USB C and DDR 4 require new tooling to their cases.

    You (and others) might think Apple is wrong in their thinking, but I don't. I think they got it just right with this release.

    And before anyone complains about the price, the value on the 27 iMac is INCREDIBLE. A 27" 5k monitor ALONE is upwards of 2K -- and don't even have the color range of the new iMac models. The flash storage is faster than any SSD, and the keyboards and trackpads are fantastic. I could go on.

    Yes, getting a spinning disk is not the right choice for the iMac, but the value of the computer is literally unbeatable.

    So, in sum, the new iMac is fantastic for many, many of us. But if you need NVidia, don't wait for the right Mac. Get a high end Windows 10 workstation that has the hardware you need to do the work you have to do. If you get a 4K monitor and a desktop computer, you'll save some money as well.

  6. apoenq macrumors member

    May 21, 2015
    How about target mode display? Does it means that target mode display is also not supported in late 2015 imac 27 5k retina? Or two thunderbolt2 ports can actually do it? Any have any idea? I am trying to find target mode display info on this new imac but cannot find any. Thanks!
  7. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    This has been answered many times. It is not supported on this version of the iMac. Likely 2016!
  8. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    ...are there any Thunderbolt 3 external GPUs on the market yet (I know they've been demo'd), how many kidneys do you have to sell to even afford the Thunderbolt PCIe chassis and are Apple ever going to support them? Wouldn't it be easier to get a PC with a Nvidia graphics card? Apple seem to have nailed their flag to OpenCL.

    Well, the recently launched Dell XPS laptops have TB3, but only 1 port (so they may only have the single port TB3 chip) and are all 'Ships in 16-20 days'.

    Also, only the 27" iMac has a Skylake processor (the Skylake CPU with Iris Pro graphics for the 21.5" isn't out yet) and AFAIK you need Skylake for TB3.

    (USB-C will come free with TB3 - they share the same port)

    One the one hand... there are no TB3 peripherals around yet, and not much in the way of USB-C stuff. I couldn't even quickly find any TB3-to-TB2 adapters. There are a few USB-C to DisplayPort cables out... but in the short term USB-C/TB3 are going to be a pain in the neck.

    On the other hand... it may not bother people buying the entry level models, but if I get an iMac I'll get a well tricked-out model and expect to get a good 4-5 years out of it, either USB-C, TB3 could go big and become the go-to connection for external drives and displays - including offering the possibility of running an external 5k display from a single port. I'd rather spend an extra $100 on dongles today than be stuck with no TB3 or USB-C in 18 months time...

    On the third hand... time will tell whether Dell have all their ducks in a line with their current implementation. As far as I can tell, there are two ways of driving 5k via a USB-C plug: either via DisplayPort 1.3 in USB-C 'alternate' mode (needs a DP1.3 GPU and a DP1.3 display) or DisplayPort 1.2 over Thunderbolt 3 (needs a Thunderbolt 3 controller in the display - works like 2 'virtual' DP1.2 cables multiplexed into a single Thunderbolt signal). Since the world is not well endowed with DP1.3 displays or Thunderbolt 3 displays, who knows whether this is actually going to work with the new Dells...
  9. 2ms thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2002
    You can say that the iMac doesn't need TB3 yet since there aren't any peripherals anyway, but in the past Apple was the leader in new interfaces and it served the purpose of advancing the rate of release of compatible devices. I'm disappointed that they have chosen to "lead from behind" on this one. It's the opposite of what they've done in the past.
  10. Jimmdean macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2007
    My guess is these motherboards have probably been waiting around 6 months or so for other components for the machines to get launched - CPUs in the case of the 27" and screens in the case of the 21". So they're really just old designs...
  11. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    That was when Jobs was alive. Tim Cook is in charge now, and he is alienating a small, but growing number of Apple users with his bean counter tactics.

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10 October 14, 2015