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Author Topic: Any idea who will offer Thunderbolt drives this year ?  (Read 3681 times)
K.C.
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« on: July 30, 2011, 02:25:14 AM »
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Can we expect to see OWC and others offer price competitive Thunderbolt drives soon ?

I haven't read anything to suggest they're coming. Anyone know different ?
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tomrock
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2011, 08:26:47 AM »
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I asked OWC and they said early next year. I don't know why it's taking so long.
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K.C.
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2011, 12:00:21 AM »
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Interesting. I'd have thought they'd be one of the first to get Thunderbolt drives out.

Pretty much anything I've ever bought from LaCie the power supply dies so I'm not going with them and the Promise Pegasus raids are over priced.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2011, 07:20:44 PM »
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Can we expect to see OWC and others offer price competitive Thunderbolt drives soon ?

I haven't read anything to suggest they're coming. Anyone know different ?
Promise  has been selling the Pegasus RAID systems for at least a month, both directly and through the Apple storefront: http://www.promise.com/storage/raid_series.aspx?m=192&region=en-global&rsn1=40&rsn3=47 & http://store.apple.com/us/search?find=Pegasus&mco=MTA4NDg5MzE
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Ellis Vener
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Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
K.C.
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2011, 09:54:38 PM »
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Thanks Ellis but if you read my post directly above yours I noted that I feel they are over priced.

I'm just trying not to invest in anymore Firewire drives and wish there were more Thunderbolt drives out now.
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josh_m
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2011, 07:31:24 PM »
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Thunderbolt is quite complex to implement both software- and hardware-wise so I imagine that's why it's taking a while.

Me, I'd settle for a Thunderbolt <-> eSATA adapter as a first step, even if it's $200! Although it better have multiple eSATA ports for that price.
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qamera
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2011, 09:57:29 PM »
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The issue is part interface, part bus.  Most hard drives out there simply can't read/write data as fast as the thunderbolts can throughput it, unless they are SSD's or are in a Raid 0/5 configuration.  So it's no surprise that the only two drives "on the market" are the Promise Pegasus R4/R6 and the Lacie which is a two-drive Raid 0 setup.  It also costs tens of millions of dollars to adapt a new connector to an existing drive, so the up-front investment is fairly substantial for the vendors, and there just isn't the user base yet.

Personally, I think $150~200 per 1TB is not a bad price to pay for performance that's 10x faster than FW800, and that is what Promise Pegasus is charging.  As a photographer, however, I still need a portable drive and I don't mind if it is slower than optimum speed; anything greater than FW800 would do for holding and editing large amounts of data while traveling (my MacBook Air only has a 256 GB SSD drive and half of that is already 'taken')...

Don't worry. I predict that within a year, some of the high-end cameras will have TB interfaces built in so you can jet your 64GB card over to your MBA in just 30 seconds...

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K.C.
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2011, 11:29:28 PM »
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It also costs tens of millions of dollars to adapt a new connector to an existing drive, so the up-front investment is fairly substantial for the vendors, and there just isn't the user base yet.

I think 'tens of millions' is quite an exaggeration. I agree that the user base isn't there but the lack of products is more due to development time and retooling. The market will be limited for some time because eSata and FW800 fulfill the needs of a large percentage of the market.

Oh and your prediction about the camera interface, well that's not too likely any time soon because TB is limited to a 3' cable right now.
http://tinyurl.com/4yzdcy4
« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 11:31:03 PM by K.C. » Logged
qamera
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2011, 08:20:31 AM »
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You are wrong on both accounts.  http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC913ZM/A?mco=MTY3ODQ5OTY
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K.C.
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« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2011, 04:41:39 PM »
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Yes I made a typo it's 3 meters, not feet. From the article I linked, "The rub is that the current Thunderbolt technology - which debuted today on Apple MacBook Pros only works across a 3 metre cable."

And welcome to the board. Your warm and gracious attitude will be well received I'm sure.
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qamera
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« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2011, 06:14:41 PM »
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Thanks, Ken!  Glad to be here. I've been a lurker for a long time and finally decided sign up. I'm still learning about photography; don't pretend to know much about it but my cousin George does; he helped design LightRoom. So yea, he's my mentor.  But I do know a bit about computers and hard drives. Some of the comments in my earlier post in this thread come directly from a friend who is fairly highly placed at one of the drive manufacturers, and that's about all I could or should be saying at this point Smiley

« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 06:16:27 PM by qamera » Logged
Ellis Vener
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« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2011, 08:28:29 PM »
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Putting on my tech editor's cap I  have been doing some research into why there aren't more Thunderbolt equipped externals on the market yet. From speaking with various PR types at different companies the problem seem to be somewhere, possibly with a sub-assembly supplier, in the Thunderbolt manufacturing chain. I also heard that there may be some as yet unannounced Thunderbolt products that are likely to  show up before some the already announced ones.

I would like  one of these will be a multi port FW800 to Thunderbolt adapter but if it is no one would say boo about it.


Oen of the companies I did not speak with was Data Robotics.  I am really hoping they pull a Thunderbolt equipped rabbit (i.e. an enclosure that i can simply put my existing Drobo formatted drives in) out of their corporate hat. I know not everyone loves Drobo  and I'm not interested in taking part in that argument.

I wish I had better news to share.
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Ellis Vener
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Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
John.Murray
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« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2011, 10:27:16 PM »
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Single drives supporting a TB interface really don't make sense, as the drives themselves are largely SATA.  If you want to connect a SATA drive it makes the most sense to use the drive's native interface.   

The Promise cabinet's performance comes from a *great* RAID controller implementation (these guys really know what they are doing).  Although the cost is high - so is the performance; however compared to a Dual Channel SAS or Fiber Channel setup - it's a steal!

TB cables are currently only available from Apple at $50/each - these cables are *active*, hence the price (although SAS cables cost about the same, and anyone remember SCSI?).

Black Magic design has also brought out an interesting video I/O device supporting ST/HDMI via TB.

I'm really looking forward to the introduction of Intel's Z79 (Socket 2011) Mainboards, I'll not be suprised to see the next Mac Pro to be the first implementation.  All major mainboard vendors have shown prototypes - I'm hopefull at least some will have a TB interface.
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qamera
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« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2011, 09:44:43 AM »
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Agree with John. Here's an article that puts it into layman's terms http://tinyurl.com/3hvm8hj and the bottom line is this:

"There's no point in making a Thunderbolt storage device that's made of just one internal drive. In this case its speed would be just the same as that of the internal drive, which is again (much) slower. Even in the case of the Pegasus R6, when connected to a Thunderbolt-enabled MacBook Pro, the transfer speed is basically that of the laptop's internal drive--much slower than what the external drive can do."

But now I wonder, would my MacBook Air (with a speedy SSD drive) actually be able to take better advantage of a TB Raid drive compared to a Macbook Pro, iMac or Mac Pro with a standard HDD?
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2011, 01:11:25 PM »
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Thanks for finding and posting that John. My real need for speed comes when stitching and working with large very high resolution layer panoramas where a file size can be several gigabytes.
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Ellis Vener
http://www.ellisvener.com
Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
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