Your favorite new thunderbolt device?

thundersteele

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Oct 19, 2011
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At CES finally a few more thunderbolt devices were announced - some of them even appear to be ready and might be available soon.

My current favorite is the seagate GoFlex adapter:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5345/seagates-goflex-thunderbolt-adapters

At $100 + $50 for the thunderbolt cable it's still expensive for essentially not doing anything, but at least it allows you to upgrade existing GoFlex external HDDs to new speed levels.
Finally, it will be available in a few weeks, which is nice. At least there will be some choice.


Then, a few Thunderbolt more SSDs are announced. OCZ claims transfer rates up to 750 MB/s, which would be faster than internal SATA 3 SSDs.
 

mulo

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Aug 22, 2010
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Then, a few Thunderbolt more SSDs are announced. OCZ claims transfer rates up to 750 MB/s, which would be faster than internal SATA 3 SSDs.
impossible, thunderbolt will use SATA III to connect the drives to your mac, and will thus still abide by the SATA III speed limits.
 

theSeb

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Aug 10, 2010
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impossible, thunderbolt will use SATA III to connect the drives to your mac, and will thus still abide by the SATA III speed limits.
750 MB/s is still below the SATA III limits.

6 gigabits per second = 768 MB/s

But what you said about abiding by SATA III speed limits is not correct

Promise Pegasus R6 as tested by Anandtech

Sequential Read in RAID 0 (using 7200 RPM HDD x 6): 782.2 MB/s

They then achieved 1002 MB/s using 4xSSDs in RAID 0

TB connects directly to the PCIe bus and is not limited in any way by SATA. The connection circumvents SATA.
 

theSeb

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Aug 10, 2010
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You are saying the harddrive* does not have SATA, but a direct thunderbolt port? Source?

*I mean the harddrive, not the enclosure
Sorry, not clear - no. The hard drive still connects via a SATA port in the enclosure, but the transmission of data between the enclosure and your computer is not limited to SATA III speeds. The thunderbolt connection in the pegasus is between the RAID controller and the PCIe bus.
 

kas23

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Oct 28, 2007
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TB still seems way too expensive. To really get any benefit, don't you have to pair it with a SSD? The best HDDs out there read/write at about 160 MB/s, which is going to be the limiting factor here. I guess you can get much higher transfer rates with a RAID array, but the average consumer won't be buying them. So, to get the true benefit of a TB-attached drive, you'll have to pay out for the cable, hub and an SSD. Am I right? I suppose using TB for other peripherals, like a display may be useful. But, in everyday use, connecting a display via traditional ports is good enough for most.
 
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calderone

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Aug 28, 2009
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Sorry, not clear - no. The hard drive still connects via a SATA port in the enclosure, but the transmission of data between the enclosure and your computer is not limited to SATA III speeds. The thunderbolt connection in the pegasus is between the RAID controller and the PCIe bus.
Well....

Sort of. If you have a single drive enclosure, running a single SATA III disk the maximum speed you can achieve is the theoretical maximum of SATA III.

It doesn't matter if TB is capable of more. The Pegasus is capable of higher than SATA speeds for the same reason RAID configurations can also outperform SATA. Combining multiple disks generally increases speed.

The Pegasus isn't performing magic, it is just doing what people have been doing with RAID for years with the advantage of an interconnect that can handle the amount of data it is capable of pushing.
 

nickos94

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Dec 2, 2011
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I'm really looking forward for Belkin's thunderbolt hub! It's kind of disappointing I'll have to wait until September though.
 

thundersteele

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Oct 19, 2011
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750 MB/s is still below the SATA III limits.

6 gigabits per second = 768 MB/s

But what you said about abiding by SATA III speed limits is not correct

Promise Pegasus R6 as tested by Anandtech

Sequential Read in RAID 0 (using 7200 RPM HDD x 6): 782.2 MB/s

They then achieved 1002 MB/s using 4xSSDs in RAID 0

TB connects directly to the PCIe bus and is not limited in any way by SATA. The connection circumvents SATA.
Thanks for filling in the details. Current SATA III SSDs seem to max out around 500-600 MB/s. There is usually a small difference between the theoretical maximal speed and the actual sustained transfer rates.

I'm not sure if the SSD has to connect to the thunderbolt controller via SATA. After all, there are also PCIe SSDs on the (server) market - and thunderbolt connects directly to the PCIe bus. Still it is likely that the OCZ SSD connects through a single SATA III port, and the 750 MB/s might just be a marketing number... if it does 600 MB/s, it would still be awesome.
 

Hellhammer

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Dec 10, 2008
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impossible, thunderbolt will use SATA III to connect the drives to your mac, and will thus still abide by the SATA III speed limits.
Not necessarily. OCZ Lightfoot uses OCZ/Marvell PCIe SSD controller so there is no SATA bottlenecking it. Hence it can achieve speeds of up to 750MB/s.

Yes that's the point. However, the other point is that 750 MB/s is possible with SATA III.
No, it's not.

6Gbit/s = 750MB/s (8 bits per byte)

However, SATA uses 8b/10b encoding so there is 20% overhead:

750MB/s * (8b/10b) = 750MB/s * 0.80 = 600MB/s

Plus there are additional overheads such as latency so we are most likely looking at a maximum of 570MB/s.
 

theSeb

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Aug 10, 2010
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*Theoretically.
Of course.

----------

Not necessarily. OCZ Lightfoot uses OCZ/Marvell PCIe SSD controller so there is no SATA bottlenecking it. Hence it can achieve speeds of up to 750MB/s.



No, it's not.

6Gbit/s = 750MB/s (8 bits per byte)

However, SATA uses 8b/10b encoding so there is 20% overhead:

750MB/s * (8b/10b) = 750MB/s * 0.80 = 600MB/s

Plus there are additional overheads such as latency so we are most likely looking at a maximum of 570MB/s.
I just felt like being pedantic and silly this morning. If this thing reaches anywhere near 650, then I'll eat my hat.
 

416049

macrumors 68000
Mar 14, 2010
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I'm really looking forward for Belkin's thunderbolt hub! It's kind of disappointing I'll have to wait until September though.
same but i will most likely wait til christmas when the prices tend to get reduced a bit.
 

bdodds1985

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Jul 18, 2011
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thats all well and good, and i own two seagte 1.5tb externals, but arent they only 5400rpm drives? and is there a way to connect an external display through hdmi and have my goflex connected as well... like a splitter.
 

convergent

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May 6, 2008
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Getting back on topic... these companies are I think full of crap regarding their prices being tied to the controller price. Case in point, my favorite device that I really want to get is this new Black Magic Design's intensity Thunderbolt. Its price is only $40 more than the USB version at $239... very reasonable.

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/intensity/models/

They also have the Intensity Extreme for recording HDMI directly, also Thunderbolt.

The video production market is embracing Thunderbolt big time because they need the throughput, and its a heavy Mac environment.
 

theSeb

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Aug 10, 2010
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I was reading that the controller costs about $30 right now. Prices should drop a we see more adoption across the pc world in 2012.
 

Hellhammer

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I was reading that the controller costs about $30 right now. Prices should drop a we see more adoption across the pc world in 2012.
$20-$30 according to AnandTech. However, there's more than just the controller costs, as said in the article. Cactus Ridge should bring down the overall cost of Thunderbolt, but it will still cost a good premium over USB 3.0.
 

thundersteele

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Oct 19, 2011
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Getting back on topic... these companies are I think full of crap regarding their prices being tied to the controller price. Case in point, my favorite device that I really want to get is this new Black Magic Design's intensity Thunderbolt. Its price is only $40 more than the USB version at $239... very reasonable.

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/intensity/models/
It only has one thunderbolt port though, so it kills daisy chaining...

If the controller really costs around $30, then it's understandable why even simple thunderbolt to SATA connectors start at $99. A $50 premium over a comparable USB 3.0 device sounds realistic for other devices.

Now, the other problem of course is that the stupid cable adds another $50 to the price tag.
 
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