Will the MacBook get Thunderbolt?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by LarryC, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. LarryC macrumors 6502

    LarryC

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    North America
    #1
    I was just curious. When I get a new Mac, it will likely be one of Apples consumer models. Mac Book, IMac or even a Mac Mini. I wonder if Apple will even offer Thunderbolt in their less expensive line? I mean as it is right now the Mac Book doesn't even have Firewire. I was just curious what others thought. There are a lot of things I like about the Mac Book. I hope that the MB will get the i5 instead of the i3. The illuminated keyboard was pretty cool and I highly doubt that will ever be offered in a MB again :mad: Any thoughts as to what the specs of the refreshed Mac Book will look like?

    P.S. I think that if the Mac Book isn't going to get Firewire or Thunderbolt, it should at least get USB 3.0!
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
  3. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #3
    That's a tricky question.

    The physical port (Mini DisplayPort) is already there, so it would be odd to NOT have it, since it would have the same physical port being different things on the same generation of hardware.

    And Apple has been willing to put FireWire on the MacBook before the current generation.

    Not to mention it doesn't require much in the way of hardware support. It takes away lanes from a discrete GPU, but the MacBook wouldn't have one anyway (the 13" Pro doesn't, so I can't see *ANY* justification for the MacBook to have one.) It requires one add-on chip, that I can't imagine is too expensive, since Intel wants this to become ubiquitous.

    I'm going to vote "yes". This will be on *EVERY* Mac at each's next refresh. Yes, including the Air. That will take away 3/4 of Air-hater's complaints. (Unfortunately, the same refresh will bring back one presently-settled complaint - integrated graphics.)

    The tricky one will be the Mac Pro. Obviously the MP will get it. But there will be confusion because it's the same physical port as Mini DisplayPort - and the MP will have a graphics card that also has the same physical port.

    The only solutions I can see for the Mac Pro are:
    Go back to specially-made graphics cards (like in the ADC-days,) that route PCIe lanes to each mDP port on the video card, making the video card into the Thunderbolt carrier.
    Route at least the primary display signal through to motherboard-mounted mDP/Thunderbolt port.
    Have a port on the backplane that is just for the PCIe Thunderbolt signal, and the physically-identical ports on the video card for DisplayPort only. There will be confusion with this, but it's the least proprietary.

    Of course, another option would be that the Mac Pro wouldn't get it until the optical carrier is available, and the motherboard would get a new optical plug, while the display card would keep DisplayPort-only plugs. (Still open to confusion, since people wouldn't be able to plug their mDP-shaped Thunderbolt hard drive cable into their Mac Pro's mDP-shaped ports, but would need a cable adapter to go to the new optical ports.) And who knows, from some rumors I've read, the optical version will use the same mDP-shaped electric-only port, and do electric-to-optical conversion in the plug itself. (Which means bulkier plugs on more expensive cables for when you want optical.)
     
  4. LarryC thread starter macrumors 6502

    LarryC

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    North America

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