Thunderbolt
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Thread: Thunderbolt

  1. #1
    Tech Guru botstein's Avatar
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    Default Thunderbolt

    I love my new MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

    However, I don't love that there are just 8 devices that are Thunderbolt-enabled (http://www.apple.com/thunderbolt/). I also really don't love that each cable costs $50.

    My backup drive, while very pretty, has horribly broken itself and needs to be replaced. I don't FireWire, don't want another USB3 drive (because I hate to connect to storage or audio I/O through a hub and need the USB ports for the latter), and would kick myself every time I had to wait for slower tech, so I feel that Thunderbolt, though expensive and lacking selection, is the way to go.

    While I would love a Promise Pegasus, the $2000 price tag is insane. I would rather invest that in a musical instrument.

    Now, the Little BigDisk, the cheapest of the Thunderbolt drives, (http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10549) is $549 for 2TB. It would be silly not to spend the extra $50 to get a 2big (http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10573#a3), which is actually a great product, and can be used in RAID 1 for security.

    But... $599 for a hard drive and another $50 for a cable? Have I lost my mind?

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    Tech Guru djproben's Avatar
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    I'd grab the $40 Firewire-to-Thunderbolt adapter from Apple and use a Firewire drive.
    "Art is what you can get away with." - Marshall McLuhan

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    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djproben View Post
    I'd grab the $40 Firewire-to-Thunderbolt adapter from Apple and use a Firewire drive.
    Dito.

    Thunderbolt is awesome. Well…it will be when people actually start using it. There's also a $250 docking station coming out later this year from Belkin that has USB 3 and FW800 ports.

    It's one of the tragedies of early adopters that peripherals end up expensive for a while……just one more reason I don't think the Retina MBP is ready for the prime time yet.

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    Does anyone know why thunderbolt is so expensive compared to USB 3? They're both relatively new and it's not like USB 3 has hit the mass market point where it's products can be cheap. It kind of sucks because I feel like thunderbolt is just going to be another Apple thing that gets phased out (like Firewire) based on it's high price point.

  5. #5

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    FW isn't phased out. Virtually every single professional audio interface runs over a dual FW400 I/O. Except for the newer "state of the art" racks that are TB enabled. You need a FW I/O if you plan on doing any kind of digital recording, from the low end up. Even that cheapo (and fucking awesome) Presonus hybrid desk has an integrated FW card. Just because FW drives aren't constantly on sale at your local Staples doesn't mean they aren't bring used.

  6. #6
    Tech Wizard frequencym's Avatar
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    Apple only has a subset of the thunderbolt devices. You can pick up one of these plus a go-flex drive, that will be way cheaper than $549:

    http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-GoFlex.../dp/B006P1QWOQ

    There is also this from Buffalo:

    http://www.amazon.com/Technology-Min...on+thunderbolt

    That said, I think you'll be fine running your midi devices & drive through a powered USB 3.0 hub (key word there is powered).

    And annoyingly the thunderbolt to firewire adapter isn't out yet. Some time this month supposedly.

    One of the reasons thunderbolt cables are so expensive is that they are active cables; there are chips in the plugs.

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    Tech Guru MyUsername's Avatar
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    Give it time, I think thunderbolt will become quite popular, it's just ahead of it's time.
    Files we use on day to day basis are okay with USB and for the people who want speed FW is still adequate.
    Thunderbolt is still something we don't need and a lot of companies have yet to jump on the band wagon.

    Just my 2 cents

  8. #8
    Tech Guru botstein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mostapha View Post
    Dito.

    Thunderbolt is awesome. Well…it will be when people actually start using it. There's also a $250 docking station coming out later this year from Belkin that has USB 3 and FW800 ports.

    It's one of the tragedies of early adopters that peripherals end up expensive for a while……just one more reason I don't think the Retina MBP is ready for the prime time yet.
    I love this computer! There certainly isn't anything wrong it.

    Depending on how many things I need USB for, I might pick up the Belkin (which incidentally will be $399 MSRP, not $250) or similar. I will probably need to connect to a lot of I/O, and I don't know if or how soon any audio interfaces will run Thunderbolt. I don't want multiple hubs and dongles on my desk.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru botstein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frequencym View Post
    Apple only has a subset of the thunderbolt devices. You can pick up one of these plus a go-flex drive, that will be way cheaper than $549:

    http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-GoFlex.../dp/B006P1QWOQ

    There is also this from Buffalo:

    http://www.amazon.com/Technology-Min...on+thunderbolt
    The first link is a $100 adapter. In any case, $549 is only $50 cheaper that $599, not 'way cheaper.'

    The Buffalo is cheaper, indeed, but 1TB isn't big enough for me to use for anything.


    And annoyingly the thunderbolt to firewire adapter isn't out yet. Some time this month supposedly.
    Annoying indeed.

    One of the reasons thunderbolt cables are so expensive is that they are active cables; there are chips in the plugs.
    I never knew about that, cool!
    Last edited by botstein; 07-10-2012 at 12:46 PM. Reason: math problemz

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    Tech Guru botstein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdej47 View Post
    Does anyone know why thunderbolt is so expensive compared to USB 3? They're both relatively new and it's not like USB 3 has hit the mass market point where it's products can be cheap. It kind of sucks because I feel like thunderbolt is just going to be another Apple thing that gets phased out (like Firewire) based on it's high price point.
    Apple doesn't really phase things out due to high price points. Look at any of their products: Their profit margins are INSANE and their products always in a higher price point than competitors.

    Using arithmetic, I'm deduced that LaCie marks up their drives around $100 for thunderbolt connectivity.

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