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Author Topic: Thunderbolt (Lightpeak) Unveiled  (Read 30552 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #100 on: September 05, 2011, 09:09:18 AM »
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The lack of USB3.0 support on Mac is simply inexcusable. That is plain common sense since it is totally obvious that USB3.0 is the next mainstream interface.

This doesn't have anything to do with Thunderbolt, nor with the respective value of these I/F.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #101 on: September 05, 2011, 01:52:44 PM »
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The lack of USB3.0 support on Mac is simply inexcusable. That is plain common sense since it is totally obvious that USB3.0 is the next mainstream interface.

This doesn't have anything to do with Thunderbolt, nor with the respective value of these I/F.

Cheers,
Bernard


1.  Agreed.

2.  It does if Apple intentionally deleted USB3.0 to promote Thunderpants.   I think Apple in its quest to promote itself as the high-tech company of the future decided to promote Thunderpants, but knew it wouldn't gain traction if their users had access to the far more mainstream USB3.0, so they decided to delete USB3.0 from their specs.

You and John have made the good and obvious point, there is room for both Thunderpants and USB3.0 in the PC and Mac market.  I do think the demographics are different though.  PC users who would value a feature such as Thunderpants tend to use desktops more than Mac users who tend to use the power MBP's for more power intensive applications when they can, because the Mac Pro's are both limited in choice and rather pricey.  So, we'll see Thunderpants as a motherboard option in the PC market, and perhaps on some of the higher end laptops such as the Lenovo W series and Dell Precision Mobile Workstations.  Apple will over them in both. 

I really do hope we see Thunderpants in the PC market, the sooner the better.  And I hope peripheral manufacturers market the higher end devices USB3.0 would struggle to support.  The more the better.  And the more, the less expensive the technology becomes to us all.  But I think Apple committed an egregious sin by deleting USB3.0 from their MBP's in favor of Thunderpants.
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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #102 on: September 05, 2011, 06:49:34 PM »
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It's going PC now...interesting choice of connector...

http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/17/sony-bringing-thunderbolt-to-notebooks-with-usb-style-connector/
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #103 on: September 05, 2011, 07:25:00 PM »
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Maybe.. loved this line of your link:

"Itís all speculation for now, unless of course a few other companies show off some USB-style Thunderbolt ports, in which case itís all confirmed and Apple is in the minority. A"

This wouldn't surprise me at all.  It takes Sony to make it practical and USB3.0 to prop it up.

John came up with a super expensive RAID as an example of a device that (barely) surpasses USB3.0 speeds and can benefit from Thunderpants.  What other devices are we looking at that you guys think will actually reach the market in the next five years?

Whatever happened to Apple's fiber optic storage devices that costs 20x more than their competition?  Anyone using one?  Now here's a device which has actually been available through Apple for a few years now (and isn't a 5 year down the road promise).. who has one?  I know they must have sold some, but even my most wealthy client who does things like buy a P45 system and sells it a few months later because it's too heavy, told me these devices weren't cost effective.
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John.Murray
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« Reply #104 on: September 06, 2011, 03:33:17 PM »
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Actually, if you look at capabilities of the Promise Pegasus - it's not really that bad.  The example I gave includes *2* arrays in a single cabinet, combined worst case total I/O (as measured in Anandtech's review) would come to around 13Gbs....

Another thing that hasn't been mentioned is TB is full duplex; supporting simultaneous Input/Output data transfer (ie: combined 40Gbs).  USB only supports single channel I/O  Correction, USB 3.0 is full duplex

Again, choices are good!
« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 03:58:43 PM by John.Murray » Logged

adammork
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« Reply #105 on: September 06, 2011, 03:53:19 PM »
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I have just installed a new system around the fastest MBP with 16gb. ram and a 480gb g6 ssd and a Promise Pegasus 6 bay thunderbolt raid - wow... it's fast - serious fast! it's not a step in storage evolution it's a leap....
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PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #106 on: September 06, 2011, 04:46:54 PM »
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Yeah, I was demoed one: amazing stuff. One always thinks "the end of local storage" in those cases. And I own USB3 devices. Well, it's definitely faster than USB2 ;-0 - but so is eSata for local backup purposes on a small enclosure. Still, I don't doubt it will become mainstream, if only because it's cheaper and compatible with what the general market expects.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #107 on: September 06, 2011, 08:08:26 PM »
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Actually, if you look at capabilities of the Promise Pegasus - it's not really that bad.  The example I gave includes *2* arrays in a single cabinet, combined worst case total I/O (as measured in Anandtech's review) would come to around 13Gbs....

Another thing that hasn't been mentioned is TB is full duplex; supporting simultaneous Input/Output data transfer (ie: combined 40Gbs).  USB only supports single channel I/O  Correction, USB 3.0 is full duplex

Again, choices are good!
Populated with platters it's actually not a bad price at all.  And I'll keep my issues with the longevity and support with Promise RAID cards out of this.  But where it really reaches it's performance peak which makes it significantly faster than USB3.0 is when populated with SSD's.. and then it gets very pricey.  It's a storage solution, so I'll assume the lowest capacity SSD you'd put in there is a 1tb, maybe a 480gb?  With current prices you're looking at >$18,000 for SSD's and $999 for the enclosure, for 4tb of RAIDed (10, I find 5 way too risky) storage.  So.. $19,000.   Will anybody but high end govt and corp supported workstations do this?  I doubt many, and at the govt/corp level they wouldn't be doing it with a laptop.. they'd be doing it with a desktop.  Build a XL-ATX station with 6 PCIe ports, add 6 Revodrives.. and now you'll have far superior performance.  What I'm saying, is by the time we spend for the performance, other options at this price point become more practical.

I'm currently wrestling with the purchase of a Synology 2411+  But not until they equip it with at least USB3, esata, or even thunderbolt.  After paying $1800 for 12 3tb platters and $1600 for the case, I'm now at 36tb, or 30tb in RAID 10?  And it's not sitting 2 meters away from me shackled by a TB cable.  It's tucked back in my office and provides 200mbps (give or take depending on file type) where anyone on my LAN can get at it.. Expensive for an individual user, but actually cheap for a small business with multiple users who needs fast storage.  Sure, I could populate it via LAN.. but it now comes with 4 USB2.0 ports you can plug in to.  I'd like to see those be four USB3.0 ports, I can imagine it in the middle of a big table at some group workshops being very useful, though I doubt I'd bother.  This is very fast storage, much more economical, and any of the current speedy interfaces will work great.

I guess I'm not quite getting the point of using your laptop as a workstation.. where you're plugged into external monitors, storage arrays, etc.  Add a small fast desktop stuffed in a Lian-li PC354 case and you've got a more capable solution.  Equip it with a Revo3 x2 and 24tb of platters and you have a box marginally larger than this Pegasus storage solution, with more storage, faster performance, but now it's an entire system without the laptop.

All off subject to a degree so I apologize for that, but it illustrates that the PC platform with it's nearly infinite choice of build components continues to provide more economical and ultimately practical solutions.  Sure, if I must live with a MBP then a high end storage solution becomes necessary.. but I'm not locked into a MBP.

There's no doubt Thunderbolt is a technically superior interface.  But USB3.0 is here now and coming on-line very fast, and it provides all the performance the vast majority of us require.  I hope to see TB as an option on future motherboard products and built into storage solutions, but without major intervention from the PC manufacturers I see it going the way of FW800, Mac fiber optic arrays, Expressport, the dodo bird, and every other technically superior interface which wasn't embraced by the PC manufacturers and subsequently the market.  Isn't it ironic, that the success of your high end Mac products is so closely (near totally) linked to the success of PC products?  Mac needs PC to survive and flourish, but PC would do just fine without Mac..

The last few paragraphs of the AndN review on the Pegasus:

"I also have concerns about cable costs and widespread adoption. For Thunderbolt to really take off we need to see tons of products that support it. Intel's Thunderbolt controller IC can't be cheap, so I am curious to find out if more companies will give Thunderbolt a try. I believe cable costs can be prohibitive, but today device costs are the bigger concern.

Intel already announced that we'd see Thunderbolt support in Ivy Bridge designs next year so it may be at least one more year before we see just how much market potential Thunderbolt has. While I'm happy that Apple is championing the standard, Thunderbolt really needs widespread industry support to make an impact."
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #108 on: September 10, 2011, 02:21:14 AM »
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I have just installed a new system around the fastest MBP with 16gb. ram and a 480gb g6 ssd and a Promise Pegasus 6 bay thunderbolt raid - wow... it's fast - serious fast! it's not a step in storage evolution it's a leap....

I have been using a Raid5 SCSI320 unit as my main storage for more than 3 years.

Thunderbolt is still faster, but I wouldn't describe it as a revolution from a performance standpoint. It is however a lot more convenient to have this level of performance without having to install a costly SCSI card that often has driver problems when Apple upgrade the OS.

So thunderbolt is making high performance easy to access/maintain, that's its main value in my book.

Cheers,
Bernard
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K.C.
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« Reply #109 on: September 10, 2011, 11:40:34 PM »
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Other brands are starting to enter the TB market.

http://tinyurl.com/3uprkhh
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mediumcool
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« Reply #110 on: September 11, 2011, 01:37:47 AM »
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I have been using a Raid5 SCSI320 unit as my main storage for more than 3 years.
Thunderbolt is still faster, but I wouldn't describe it as a revolution from a performance standpoint. It is however a lot more convenient to have this level of performance without having to install a costly SCSI card that often has driver problems when Apple upgrade the OS.
Cheers,
Bernard

Bernard, the OP was/is using a MacBook Pro. No SCSI. You are commenting from a desktop viewpoint and adammork is using a laptop. Apples and oranges.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #111 on: September 14, 2011, 06:48:32 PM »
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More thunderbolt adoption momemtum news, this time on the Windows PC front: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/240013/acer_asus_to_bring_intels_thunderbolt_speed_technology_to_windows_pcs.html

"A Windows PC with Thunderbolt technology was demonstrated onstage during a keynote address by Mooly Eden, Intel's general manager of the PC client group, at the Intel Developer Forum being held in San Francisco. Solid-state drives from Intel were connected to the PC and transferred four uncompressed videos at 700 megabytes per second.

Thunderbolt has been viewed as an alternative to USB 3.0, but as the technology was exclusively on Macs, only a few peripherals such as storage drives supported the interconnect. The adoption of Thunderbolt by device makers could grow when Acer and Asus adopt the technology in PCs. "


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John.Murray
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« Reply #112 on: September 15, 2011, 08:49:03 PM »
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I have been using a Raid5 SCSI320 unit as my main storage for more than 3 years.

Thunderbolt is still faster, but I wouldn't describe it as a revolution from a performance standpoint. It is however a lot more convenient to have this level of performance without having to install a costly SCSI card that often has driver problems when Apple upgrade the OS.

So thunderbolt is making high performance easy to access/maintain, that's its main value in my book.

Cheers,
Bernard


It's important to distinguish between the technologies:

USBx:  Requires an O/S level device driver, optimized for synchronous I/O (USB 3 - full duplex), works great with block devices (disks).
eSata:  Also requires O/S driver - most implementations are backward compatible with IDE.  It's important to note that unlike SCSI, SAS or Fiber Channel - the controller is actually on the drive itself - thats why you only get 2 devices / channel.
SCSI/SAS/FC:  Uses a dedicated controller supporting multiple devices per channel - Bus Mastering allows for traffic management / priority.
Thunderbolt:  PCIe bus - plain and simple - no O/S driver (OK, brutally oversimplified*).  Why is the Promise Cabinet mentioned a bit pricey?  Because it contains the equivalent of a SAS RAID controller within the device.

* You can plug pretty much any device into a PCIe bus - a video card would, of course, require it's own driver to be usefull, as well as a SAS controller, but the distinction here is that the bus itself is transparent.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 09:01:19 PM by John.Murray » Logged

mediumcool
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« Reply #113 on: September 18, 2011, 11:36:05 PM »
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If you think about it, this is not a good move; Sony has form in this area (iLink).
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