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[Cnet] Thunderbolt cables prove expensive to make cheaply

post #1 of 21
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ElgatoThunderboltCable_270x179.jpg
credit: Elgato
Quote:
Originally Posted by c|net 
If you wanted to use Thunderbolt devices with your Mac, previously it was necessary to purchase one of Apple's Thunderbolt cables, which at nearly $50 each may seem outrageously expensive. Until now Apple's cables have been the only option, but accessory company Elgato has recently begun selling a Thunderbolt cable of its own. However, while third-party options often have the advantage of a lower price, Elgato's cable is currently no cheaper than Apple's...

...Part of the justification for such an expensive cable is that in order to maintain the high bandwidth in the cable, Apple has needed to implement active electronics to stabilize and condition the signal. While Thunderbolt could maintain connectivity using a cable without such electronics, interference and attenuation of the signal over the distance in the cable would result in degraded performance that would limit bandwidth...

Article: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57424353-37/thunderbolt-cables-prove-expensive-to-make-cheaply/?tag=postrtcol;posts

My Take: I like thunderbolt, and I really hope it becomes mainstream, I would really enjoy transferring ISOs and VM's at 10Gb/s.USB 2.0 is somewhat painful and e-SATA 6G doesn't even match that... Only problem is I'd be limited by my internal SATA 6G drives...

Should I consider running internal Thunderbolt Drives? biggrin.gif
Edited by MediaRocker - 5/1/12 at 2:17pm
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post #2 of 21
Just to note, 10 Gb/s is ~1280 MB/s or 1.28 GB/s, not 10 GB/s. 10 GB/s someday, maybe biggrin.gif

The current copper implementation is less interesting than the optical one which is supposed to be coming eventually. Plus, if I'm not mistaken, optical Thunderbolt wouldn't need those active circuits in the cables themselves thus making them much cheaper to produce.
post #3 of 21
What's the point of such a fast cable when the hard drives in most people's computers don't even hit 200 MB/s for sequential write? Until faster storage media becomes mainstream, I don't see the purpose of Thunderbolt. USB 3.0 and eSATA are totally fine for now.
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post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by 996gt2 View Post

What's the point of such a fast cable when the hard drives in most people's computers don't even hit 200 MB/s for sequential write? Until faster storage media becomes mainstream, I don't see the purpose of Thunderbolt. USB 3.0 and eSATA are totally fine for now.

Because it's 10Gb/s each way.
    
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post #5 of 21
Until Thunderbolt switches to optical, I don't foresee it will be cheaper.
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post #6 of 21
They should just use displayport wink.gif
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post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniflex View Post

They should just use displayport wink.gif

But the purpose of Thunderbolt is a high speed interface for storage and peripherals. DisplayPort by itself is basically just HDMI for monitors (with the added feature of daisy chaining.) Two different animals there.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by 996gt2 View Post

What's the point of such a fast cable when the hard drives in most people's computers don't even hit 200 MB/s for sequential write? Until faster storage media becomes mainstream, I don't see the purpose of Thunderbolt. USB 3.0 and eSATA are totally fine for now.

Intel's eventual goal with Thunderbolt is to replace all external interfaces with it. It will eventually be a bridge for any form of data even PCIe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm View Post

But the purpose of Thunderbolt is a high speed interface for storage and peripherals. DisplayPort by itself is basically just HDMI for monitors (with the added feature of daisy chaining.) Two different animals there.
DP is more like ThunderBolt than you may think. DP is packet-based so this means it is extensible.

DP could in theory carry any type of data.
Edited by DuckieHo - 5/1/12 at 11:13am
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post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by 996gt2 View Post

What's the point of such a fast cable when the hard drives in most people's computers don't even hit 200 MB/s for sequential write? Until faster storage media becomes mainstream, I don't see the purpose of Thunderbolt. USB 3.0 and eSATA are totally fine for now.

Unlike HDMI and DisplayPort where it can carry data stream on its own, Thunderbolt carries PCIe signal through DisplayPort.

Thunderbolt = External GPUs or external PCIe based peripheral.
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post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by 996gt2 View Post

What's the point of such a fast cable when the hard drives in most people's computers don't even hit 200 MB/s for sequential write? Until faster storage media becomes mainstream, I don't see the purpose of Thunderbolt. USB 3.0 and eSATA are totally fine for now.

i actually find thunderbolt useful
look up blacmagic cinema camera
uses SSD for raw video

that's not mainstream but there's a useful application for TB
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