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Thunderbolt vs. SuperSpeed USB

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the battle-of-connectivity dept.

Hardware 327

Lucas123 writes "When it comes to performance, power and size, external I/O interconnect Thunderbolt handily beats SuperSpeed USB, but in the one critical category — ubiquity — it has an almost impossible uphill battle. Thunderbolt has a maximum 10Gbps signaling rate to SuperSpeed USB's 6Gbps and it offers more than twice the power to devices. To date, however, Apple is the only systems manufacturer to adopt Thunderbolt, and it has done so as an additional device connectivity port, keeping SuperSpeed USB on its computers. No other systems manufacturer has committed to Thunderbolt. In contrast, SuperSpeed USB has been installed on 10 billion pieces of hardware, with numbers continuing to grow."

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327 comments

TFA (-1, wrong) (5, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666570)

SuperSpeed USB has been installed on 10 billion pieces of hardware

No it hasn't. USB may have been installed on 10 billion pieces of hardware, but SuperSpeed USB is nowhere near as ubiquitous yet. SuperSpeed USB may be able to compatibly downgrade to full-speed USB communication, but that doesn't mean that anything you plug a SuperSpeed device into is magically SuperSpeed.

Anyway, I like the idea of Thunderbolt, especially the thought that it could become the holy grail of single cable interconnects. But just because I like a thing and it's technically better doesn't mean the world will adopt it. Unfortunately, I've learned that politics and money will drive the decision, not technology.

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37666676)

Additionally, Sony also has started releasing laptops with athunderbolt, even though with their own connector based off of the USB plug.

The article is simply wrong.

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667120)

Additionally, Sony also has started releasing laptops with athunderbolt, even though with their own connector based off of the USB plug.

The article is simply wrong.

I hope you were joking. Didn't they learn from Firewire?!

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (4, Funny)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667162)

I hope you were joking. Didn't they learn from Firewire?!

No. And they didn't learn from iLink either.

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (0)

Lucas123 (935744) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667328)

Sony has a Thunderbolt port on the expansion module, not the computer itself. So, that would be a "no". Sony does not have a Thunderbolt port on its computer. So, the article is correct. -1 on your comment.

TFA (-2, wrong) (3, Informative)

Quick Reply (688867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666680)

Also, Apple has not have SuperSpeed USB on any of it's computers.

Re:TFA (-2, wrong) (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666842)

They are holding out for LudicrousSpeed USB.

Re:TFA (-2, wrong) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37666980)

Apple would never do that because they would have to give their computers a plaid color scheme.

Re:TFA (-2, wrong) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37666846)

I can has cheezburger?

Re:TFA (-2, wrong) (3, Funny)

Lucas123 (935744) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667578)

Yeah, that was my fault in the Slashdot submission, which I always write up far too quickly. The article doesn't say Apple has Superspeed USB on its systems -- the Slashdot summary does. Doesn't anyone on Slashdot take time to actually read the article?

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37666794)

"USB may have been installed on 10 billion pieces of hardware"

That sounds like an awfully high number, even for normal USB... Maybe they meant that SuperSpeed USB has been installed in 10 million devices?

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666854)

Probably not, because I think even that might be a stretch.

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666882)

Depends on if they're talking about just the female port or the male jack too... I bet there's a billion USB keyboards and mice alone not to mention every laptop, desktop, netbook, some tablets, phones... the list goes on for USB (not just SuperSpeed)... even a lot of monitors these days have USB

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (2)

EvanED (569694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666994)

That sounds like an awfully high number, even for normal USB

If you're counting anything that has a normal USB port, no way, especially if you count every such device that has ever been manufactured instead of requiring it to be currently in use.

This CNET article [cnet.com] claims that there the number of cell phone subscribers hit 5 billion last year. Many of those have USB. Add in all the computers, mice, keyboards, cameras, flash drives, game consoles, controllers, etc. and 10 billion looks almost conservative.

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (1)

DigiTechGuy (1747636) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667178)

Define hardware? The head units in my truck and my boat have USB connectors to play audio files. Although I don't own a TV I've seen many newer TVs have USB ports, as do blue ray players and things of that nature. Do game consoles have USB these days? Point is, a lot more than just computers have USB anymore.

Re:Slashdot (-1, wrong) (1)

mike260 (224212) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666848)

Dear Slashdot,
How about taking a little more pride in what you choose to show to the 8 bajillion people who hit your front-page every day?

Re:Slashdot (-1, wrong) (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667084)

Did you buy your UID from somebody else? Because otherwise, you would have to be hopelessly optimistic. Or unable to notice a pattern that has held true over a number of years...

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (2)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666874)

SuperSpeed USB may be able to compatibly downgrade to full-speed USB communication, but that doesn't mean that anything you plug a SuperSpeed device into is magically SuperSpeed.

true, but there is 1 crucial factor. When you plug a SuperSpeed device into an existing port, it still works. I'd rather have a fancy device that works on everything than a fancy device that doesn't.

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (1)

Sechr Nibw (1278786) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667474)

Pick your own analogy:

So, when the PS3 came out, there were how many hundreds of PS3 titles already available, because you could play PS2 games on the original PS3?

So, when the XBOX360 came out, there were how many hundreds of XBOX360 titles already available, because you could play XBOX games on it?

So, when the Wii came out, there were how many hundreds of Wii titles already available, because you could play GameCube games on it?

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37666888)

Yup. We have a USB 3.0 to SATA adaptor at work (complete with it's own little blue cable and ridiculous connectors). Which is nice and all, but even though I work for a hardware manufacturer, there aren't any USB 3.0 capable hosts to actually connect it to...

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (1)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667182)

While your points are all valid, I think the single biggest factor standing in the way of Thunderbolt is simply this: backwards compatibility. There's a huge number of USB devices of all speeds out there, and exactly zero of them will plug into a thunderbolt port. The advantages of Thunderbolt over USB3 aren't significant enough to overcome that obstacle. The number of people for whom 6Gbps is insufficient but 10Gbps is enough is a small slice indeed. The same goes for the 10W vs. 4.5W power availability.

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667316)

You're right, however (IF MY UNDERSTANDING IS CORRECT) USB has this little limitation that nobody (that I've seen) notice is that it is only as fast as the slowest device on the bus.

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37668170)

Note, multiple physical ports on a PC are usually on separate controller ports which means separate buses as far as signaling rate is concerned. You would only have multiple devices on a bus if you used a USB hub to expand it (including devices with built in hubs to allow daisy-chaining, like the keyboard, mouse, and LCD monitor arrangement on my desk).

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37668344)

No, that's never been true; otherwise your mouse (which are all Low-Speed devices) would slow down your USB hard drives to 1.5 Mb/s.

USB 2.0 had the issue where the 480 Mb/s max speed was shared by everything on the bus (so two USB hard drives would top out to 480 "total", not "each") but I believe USB 3.0 fixes this.

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (2)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 2 years ago | (#37668302)

Yes, but how long after TB comes out will there be a box that plugs into TB that accepts USB?

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (1)

dkuntz (220364) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667230)

Lets not forget, up until the recent IDC, Intel had stated that Apple was the exclusive system with Thunderbolt...so that does give a very narrow number of systems it could be on.

Also, the Maglock power input connector isnt that common.... because it's only on Apple systems... go figure

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667260)

Not only that, but numerous manufacturers have committed to Thunderbolt and will roll it out early next year. This article is riddled with BS. It's bad and the author should feel bad.

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667498)

Wasn't the situation with Firewire and the original USB eerily similar to the situation we're currently seeing?

If history's taught us anything, it should be not to drink the Thunderbolt koolaid...

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (2)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37668016)

Rumors of Firewire's death are a bit overstated. Sure, USB devices are far more numerous, but there is a lot of firewire stuff out there esp once you get away from consumer grade 'cheap as possible' devices. Just like dirty cheap IDE never managed to kill off SCSI, I doubt USB is going to completely crush Firewire any time soon. I think people tend to forget that 'most common use/case' != 'all use cases', and just because some standard captures the low end market does not mean it doesn't have a place outside that large but not universal domain.

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (1)

had3z (1064548) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667616)

yes, but the underlying driving thing is the technology. politics and money push the "deploy" button, but when they do, it's because a newer better technology arrived. maybe we'll jump over tunderbold and move to the Next Big Thing directly

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (2)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667676)

Expensive wires are the problem.

How much are thunderbolt wires going to cost? Are they realistically going to become as inexpensive as USB wires in 5 -10 years?

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667886)

Not to mention that the tech industry as a whole now intentionally refuses to use standards that Apple endorses.

Like AAC a few years ago, with people calling it an Apple tech. FaceTime is not likely to get much support although it's better than a lot of other video chat tech by solving the firewall problems most consumers have with their video calls and auto adapting to bitrate changes. Thunderbolt is now labeled an Apple tech and to fight the 800lb gorilla I'm afraid much of the industry will avoid it in hopes they can make it fail.

Or maybe like firewire a few cents difference can make or break a chipset.

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#37668054)

You are correct. Also incase people have not noticed Intel is also pushing Thunderbolt. You are going to see Thunderbolt parts as standard on Intel chipsets soon.
Of course the scary thing is when we see them on mobile devices. How long before I can plug my phone into a monitor that has USB ports for my keyboard and mouse and a network connection?

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37668060)

SuperSpeed USB has been installed on 10 billion pieces of hardware

No it hasn't.

And how do you know that?

With all the USB 3 flash drives and HDD enclosures and PCs/media players... 10 Billion seems possible.

Re:TFA (-1, wrong) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37668298)

Frankly, I don't understand about the deal with "Thunderbolt". We have USB as a standard. What do I get with Thunderbolt?

USB - everywhere, and *cheap*. From $2 microcontroller to virtually all south bridge controllers for computers, can you beat that with Thunderbolt?

As to transfer speeds, why should I care? 6Gbps vs. 10Gbps, who cares? There already exist dedicated connectors that are not going away. These connectors are high bandwidth. They are, DVI/HDMI and then there is eSATA.

DVI/HDMI is not going away. Period.

eSATA - cheap controllers exist. No need to re-invent the wheel for most common drive interface.

To me, Thunderbolt is like SCSI. Expensive and hardly used. Apple also supported SCSI only disks while IDE was everywhere. Just as SCSI, Thunderbolt will die as it doesn't provide a solution to a problem, it just provides another solution to an already solved problem.

Ubiquity vs. Moving Forward (2)

Tufriast (824996) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666622)

When the Compact Disc first came out not many had any chance to play one. It was expensive, part of extravagant home theatre systems, and only the rich could afford it. Years later it was adopted by the masses once it was able to be cheaply reproduced. The same goes for this piece of technology. While truly innovative and new technology almost never starts out as being ubiquitous; it does move us forward. This is my point: it is better, faster, and eventually it will be cheaper too. That and I heard Apple had exclusivity on the hardware totally until 2012 with regards to it. http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/02/24/intel_details_thunderbolt_as_exclusive_to_apple_until_2012.html [appleinsider.com]

Re:Ubiquity vs. Moving Forward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37666904)

That's not quite true.
I bought a CD player in 1984 fro $200 on sale, not exactly for the rich.

Re:Ubiquity vs. Moving Forward (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667128)

That's the equivalent of nearly $450 with inflation factored in. And that's the sale price.

Re:Ubiquity vs. Moving Forward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667432)

Yes, but I was a high school student then, pumping gas for minimum wage. If I could afford it then, anyone who wanted one could afford it.

Re:Ubiquity vs. Moving Forward (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667948)

You had no fucking bills. Of course you could afford it.

Re:Ubiquity vs. Moving Forward (2)

Ja'Achan (827610) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667990)

You can't make something take over the market until all the people who don't want one can afford it.

Re:Ubiquity vs. Moving Forward (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37666910)


It was expensive, part of extravagant home theatre systems, and only the rich could afford it.

All true. It had one thing going for it, that thunderbolt doesn't. It was orders of magnitude better in features. When the CD first came out, it was MUCH higher quality than a record or tape. It was also random access, which no other music technology had. (Unless you want to count lifting a record player arm and trying to figure out where the track started). Those features made people WANT this technology, and there was no real competitor for the features CD offered. Nobody really liked skipping records, the huge format, tapes that break, or fast forwarding through a song you didn't like.

What's the hugely differentiating feature that thunderbolt has? Faster specs? Not gonna cut it against ubiquity.

Bad analogy... (0)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666936)

With CD, there wasn't a real good 'legacy' technology to transition from that had a strong competitor to CD.

This would be more like Intel releasing a new x86 processor that is *almost* as good as a hypothetical ARM chip that beats the x86 offering on price, performance, and electricity usage. The market may fail the ARM chips because x86 can at least run N-1 things. USB 3.0 is a single connector that services tons of 'legacy' usage, is technically worse than Thunderbolt *but* not so much so that anyone will notice. It's actually very reminiscent of USB v. Firewire.

Re:Bad analogy... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667102)

This would be more like Intel releasing a new x86 processor that is *almost* as good as a hypothetical ARM chip that beats the x86 offering on price, performance, and electricity usage.

Does this parable refer to the Atom CPU?

Re:Bad analogy... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667238)

Thunderbolt is more like an option that wants to displace DVD and BluRay.

Collectively DVD and BD have this massive legacy library. A newer player has legacy support for the older content.

An entirely new option has to completely ditch all of that and may have inferior selection. There may be things that are simply not available on the "hot shiny new" option despite the fact that it is "hot, shiny, and new".

Re:Ubiquity vs. Moving Forward (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667580)

But Thunderbolt is more like Laserdisc in that respect...

Apple doesn't offer USB 3.0 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37666750)

Huh? When did Apple start offering USB 3.0? AFAIK they're still shipping USB 2.0 only.

USB 3.0 (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666824)

At 6Gbps who needs any other peripheral ports like SATA. Just give me a motherboard with USB 3.0 and that's it.

Firewire (4, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666852)

Hmm, this sounds just like the Firewire vs. USB competition with Apple pushing Firewire. We saw how that turned out. We all know that being better doesn't mean anything in this industry.

It's not better though (3, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666978)

It is different, hence why Intel makes both (Thunderbolt is Intel's not Apple's). Thunderbolt is basically just an external PCIe bus. While that has a benefit of great speed and low latency, it has drawbacks. The client device has to be more complex (and thus expensive) since it needs a PCIe controller on it. Also a device can hose your system, being PCIe it has DMA and can write or read any memory.

USB is much simpler. Slave devices need little logic to handle it. Also it is handled through the CPU which, while slower, is safer meaning an errant device can't as easily trash your system.

Re:It's not better though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667176)

Most USB controllers use DMA, especially at 480Mbps speed. In fact lots of peripherals use DMA and it is not generally considered a security risk. If PCIe allows DMA slave devices to autonomously select the memory that they read and write to instead of being told where, then that is a failing of PCIe. If DMA slaves don't follow commands, then that's broken hardware.

Re:Firewire (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667118)

You are confusing "faster" with "better". Firewire was faster than USB, but the cause behind that speed advantage was also the reason it could not replace USB. Firewire has little overhead since it was made with only attaching storage in mind. It is more similar to e-sata. Yes,firewire and e-sata are fast for connecting external storage, but you still need USB for your input devices, for non-mass storage mode connections of other devices etc.

As for Apple... They suck. They suck bad. I paid 4500 euro (reimbursed by my employer of course) a year ago for a Mac Pro (job requirement), and its fastest port was a slow by today's standards, and not very popular, Firewire. No USB 3, no e-sata on a suspiciously expensive machine, a real drag for me since I use a lot of external storage. Thunderbold was not ready, so Apple decided you can't have anything else instead. My 1.5 year old (500 euro cost even back then) AMD PC has both e-sata and USB 3.0.

Re:Firewire (4, Informative)

chaim79 (898507) | more than 2 years ago | (#37668056)

Wow, how many points wrong can you get...

Actually I give up, you have so much wrong about firewire that it's pointless to correct you point for point...

The reason Firewire is more expensive is that it's a system that requires some processing on both sides, any device that plugs into firewire has to have sufficient smarts to know what it needs in order to operate, USB on the other hand is a dumb protocol, all the processing is handled on the Host (PC) side, and all the devices plugged into it need very little smarts, this directly effects chip/design costs of peripherals. Firewire was actually designed with the concept that a scanner with a firewire port and a printer with a firewire port could be connected together and pictures printed without using computer resources.

USB also has the limitation of regimented and inflexible bandwidth (at least as of USBv2, v3 might change that). Which means while USB 2 may have 480mb of 'bandwidth' only a small chunk of that is usable by any one device, Firewire however is flexible, not only can it portion the bandwidth to the devices need but it can also use "Isochronous" (regular dedicated) bandwidth, allowing high-priority/bandwidth systems to transfer information, such as video/audio streams and critical systems (some internal aircraft systems use 1394 bus).

You want lots of high-speed external storage access, check some benchmarks, firewire will beat out USB for real-world performance, even though they are fairly matched just reading spec numbers.

Firewire is both faster and better than USB, however it's more expensive in both hardware and design/implementation, which is why USB has won that fight, the majority of people are all about cheep, not better.

Re:Firewire (0)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667322)

I still see laptops with Firewire but I can never find a device to plug into it! My Firewire ports must be rusted by now :)

Re:Firewire (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 2 years ago | (#37668062)

Apple always had USB _and_ Firewire. Firewire is the industry standard for non-PCI studio audio interfaces (pretty much all of the semi-pro and portable market) and until very recently also for digital video cameras. Firewire is pretty niche, but it's not been a failure, it's been a high-performance esoteric option, and I have no doubt Thunderbolt will be the same.

Re:Firewire (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#37668072)

Just because USB was everywhere and Firewire wasn't doesn't mean firewire was a failure. Just because you largely see SATA ship doesn't mean SAS was a failure, or worth it to invest in it.

Let's get over this mindset, please.

Thunderbolt = Speedy all-in-one PCI-E on a thin, ubiquitous cable(compared to other external PCI-E solutions).

USB 3 = Really frickin' fast USB(Also capable of being carried on Thunderbolt)

Re:Firewire (1)

boley1 (2001576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37668324)

Hmm, this sounds just like the USB vs PS/2 competition with Apple pushing USB. We saw how that turned out. We all know that being better doesn't mean anything in this industry... except keep at it and you may be come the most or (second most) valuable company in the world.

subby misquotes article (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37666880)

If you actually read TFA, it does't say that SuperSpeed USB has been installed in 10 million devices. It says that USB has been installed in 10 million devices.

Shaky ground (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37666886)

Far as I know, comparing apples to oranges does not work. Thunderbolt shares the security problems of firewire (as far as I know,) and even if thats faster, if my understanding is right, its not something you're going to want due to this.

Cheap fast and good enough beats state of the art (2)

voss (52565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666908)

10 gps vs 4.8 gps isnt enough to make me want to add an extra port.

Re:Cheap fast and good enough beats state of the a (1)

Mista2 (1093071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666988)

It is if transferring an hour of 1080p video.

Re:Cheap fast and good enough beats state of the a (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667132)

I'm still having a bit of trouble understanding the exact use case you're thinking of. Where are you getting the 1080p video and where are you putting it such that you need to transfer it far faster than real-time (0.05 Gbps or less)?

Re:Cheap fast and good enough beats state of the a (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667234)

10 GB/s vs 4.8 GBs? Those are theoretical. What really matters is practical, real life speeds, or failing that, benchmarks.

Re:Cheap fast and good enough beats state of the a (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667274)

That's like responding to someone saying they don't want a sports car with "You would if you were in a race!"

As much as a small segment of the population may want the faster transfer speeds of Thunderbolt, the majority will probably opt for the tried and true USB form factor and it's backward compatibility. Currently the few USB 3.0 devices I've seen have all worked with USB 2.0 as well, which is another big factor.

It's interesting to be sure, and I will probably opt for a thunderbolt compatible motherboard on future builds in the interests of future-proofing, but I'm not going to throw my dollars behind supporting Thunderbolt devices until it becomes more ubiquitous and a LOT more 3rd party hardware vendors start supporting it.

Re:Cheap fast and good enough beats state of the a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667548)

So what you're saying is that we should stop building race cars and trucks, because a Prius is good enough for everyone?

Re:Cheap fast and good enough beats state of the a (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667304)

> It is if transferring an hour of 1080p video.

Even USB2 will do for that. Not a big deal. There are plenty of better options available assuming I tire of the relative slowness of USB2.

I move files around by the terabyte. In that use case, the slowness of other options becomes annoying. However, there's only so much I am willing to spend on a better solution. Also, if I blow a big wad of cash for it I will have very high expectations and be very easily disappointed.

My non-cheap machines all have USB3. My cheap machines all have eSATA.

Re:Cheap fast and good enough beats state of the a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667500)

Uncompressed you mean? Why?

Re:Cheap fast and good enough beats state of the a (1)

bobjr94 (1120555) | more than 2 years ago | (#37668358)

Since either are faster than ssd or hdd speeds, it does not really matter, your bottleneck is your drive and sata connecters. I dont see paying extra for something that will not work with any devices I have, or will have to pay an extra premium for later.

Re:Cheap fast and good enough beats state of the a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667294)

It is when you add the networking features and the power control features and the ability to run two external displays off of a laptop. As usual, the product is more than its specs. I know that's lost on most people around here.

Where are the data only pci-e Thunerbolt cards? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666914)

As you can find usb 3.0 pci-e cards and having Thunerbolt on the main system board is slowing down roll out.

yuo Fail I7F!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37666920)

profi7s without

Acer and Asus signed up for Thunderbolt (3, Interesting)

jmcbain (1233044) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666924)

Acer and Asus have signed up for Thunderbolt [pcworld.com] and are expected to deliver PCs with Thunderbolt next year. Except more motherboards to have Thunderbolt as well, and once that occurs, Dell and other has-beens will do the same.

How Will Thurberbolt work with pci-e video cards (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666954)

How Will Thurberbolt work with pci-e video cards?

As you need a way to link the display port bus to the MB based TB data bus and I don't see any plans any where saying how they plan to pull that off.

Re:How Will Thurberbolt work with pci-e video card (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667800)

You can watch "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" on them?

USB 3 controller recommendations? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#37666976)

I'm looking to increase my backup times to an external USB3 drive. My PC only supports USB2, but I'm looking to drop in a card to support USB3. Last I checked, all the on-board USB controllers on new motherboards are still somewhat dicey (crap). Does anyone here have a good recommendation as to what USB3 controller based card I should get (2 to 4 port is ok)? The goal is for direct drop-in (no fancy drivers) for Server 2008 and Win7, and the least hardware bug prone. Cost is not an issue.

Re:USB 3 controller recommendations? (1)

vanDrunen (1075573) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667216)

I would recommend this one with a NEC chipset (2-port version): http://www.dealextreme.com/p/2-port-usb-3-0-superspeed-pci-e-controller-card-35681 [dealextreme.com] There's also a 4-port version with a VIA chipset, but I haven't tried it yet: http://www.dealextreme.com/p/high-speed-usb-3-0-4-port-pci-e-express-card-5gbps-100865 [dealextreme.com]

Maximum cable length (5, Interesting)

thue (121682) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667000)

Thunderbolt is interesting because of the potential maximum cable length. The current cupper cables are limited to 3 meters, but once optical cables are available, "10s of meters [tuaw.com] " will be possible.

Since you can run both display, keyboard and mouse over one cable natively, this means that you can put your computer with its noisy fans into the basement, use a single thunderbolt cable, and just have an extremely thin client at your workstation.

Re:Maximum cable length (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667358)

> Since you can run both display, keyboard and mouse over
> one cable natively, this means that you can put your
> computer with its noisy fans into the basement, use a single
> thunderbolt cable, and just have an extremely thin client at
> your workstation.

Sounds like an Xterminal from 1988.

I do that sort of thing with my Linux boxes all the time. I even do that sort of thing with Windows boxes already.

I don't need a proprietary cable run. I don't need an relatively obscure bit of technology that isn't even available on an expansion card.

I bet you there is a strong inverse relationship between those excited about Thunderbolt and those that actually have the wiring to take advantage of it.

Re:Maximum cable length (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667722)

The major thing everyone seems to forget in this USB/Thunderbolt debate is how the interconnects work. Thunderbolt (at the core) is really a direct access channel to the CPU/Memory bus in the same way as PCI-E and it's kin. So what you really have is a dedicated external link directly to the CPU and RAM - USB has to go through all sorts of signalling changes and chipsets on it's way in and out. What I'd be interested to hear is if anyone has managed to make the interconnects work into a mesh - ie, connect all these machines directly at the bus level instead of via Ethernet, etc. Wonder if the performance of a cluster would be greatly improved or not.

You wouldnt want to even consider trying that using USB.

Re:Maximum cable length (1)

Andor666 (659649) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667992)

No you cannot.

You cannot plug any usb/firewire device you have on your desktop and work with it.
You cannot i.e. send high quality video or audio propoperly in real time.
You cannot do it on OSes that aren't running over X.

Think , i.e. in sound or video recording studios, where the computers have to be as powerful as possible, but the place should be as silent as possible. There you have a use.

Or, i.e., as the new displays from Apple are doing: a thunderbolt docking station:

You just connect the thunderbolt port and you have your external monitor, external hard disks, usb devices, ethernet network... all connected in one cable. And you still have another thunderbolt port in the display for chaining another high res display.

I'm fucked, as I have a MacBook Pro 6/9 months older than the thunderbolt technology, and I'm tired of buying apple, but the technology and the bus is here, and there are proper uses for it.

usb 3.0 cables are under $5 Thunderbolt $40+ (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667020)

And apple seems to be the only place to get a Thunderbolt cable right now.

Re:usb 3.0 cables are under $5 Thunderbolt $40+ (1)

bobjr94 (1120555) | more than 2 years ago | (#37668096)

Apple loves to use cables and connectors that no one else does. As the years go by Im sure a few more devices will support TB, but it will never really get off the ground. My guess is maybe 5% of the usb market share one day.

No complaints from me, either way: Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667094)

Because stuff's getting even FASTER than what I own now & that's good news - because next time I buy (typically once every 3-5 yrs. on new system parts)? I will get my usual 'huge speed boost', like 2-3x the former machine (per benchmarks, & yes, by "feel" in games + completion times of programs I write even)...

APK

P.S.=> Simply because of waiting that long between buys of computing equipment is like that, & I personally love it, lol, & it's good news to see newer/better/faster is coming along in this field, as-per-its-usual! Gotta love it...

... apk

Re:No complaints from me, either way: Why? (2)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#37668180)

Oh god I agree with APK.

I'm looking at my laptop, I see no less than 4 different ports for bidirectional data. USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt, ExpressCard/32... Ethernet if that counts would make it 5.

There's space on motherboards everywhere for thunderbolt. Especially considering that the mini DP is free to license and use as a port, and it plays nice with DisplayPort devices... I don't see how this is a bad situation.

How about giving Thunderbolt a few months first (3, Insightful)

SensitiveMale (155605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667112)

Thunderbolt was just released a few months ago. USB3 has been out for almost 2 years and it is finally starting to get a little traction in the marketplace. Something else to keep in mind is that Thunderbolt is Intel tech, not Apple. Intel is pushing Thunderbolt so Thunderbolt will be on 95% of mobos in a couple years. Since Thunderbolt is Intel tech, Microsoft will support it as well. Don't discount how much damage was done to FW by shitty MS firewire drivers that barely worked. Intel, Microsoft, and Apple will all be pushing Thunderbolt to succeed.

One last thing, look for video card manufacturers to be pushing TB as well to get rid of DL DVI,DVI, and VGA cables.

Thunderbolt will succeed.

Re:How about giving Thunderbolt a few months first (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667416)

Yeah, this story is silly. First, USB 3.0 is hardly used at all yet. It's not exactly obscure, but nor is it used daily by people.

Second, Thunderbolt hasn't made its way into the chipsets yet, so of course it's not available from anyone but a custom impl (Apple).

Thunderbolt is to limmted to replace USB anyways (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667180)

The lack of hubs, only being able Daisy chain up to 7 devices, tied to a display port are down sides next to usb.

Usb is good for mouses, keyboards, and other low speed input devices even printers and scanners will not get that much for faster then usb 2.0 speeds and alot of them are going network based as well.

Now with Thunderbolt do you really want to have unplug your display to mount and unmount an ext hdd?

Re:Thunderbolt is to limmted to replace USB anyway (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667342)

Now with Thunderbolt do you really want to have unplug your display to mount and unmount an ext hdd?

Why not chain the HDD off the display instead?

Re:Thunderbolt is to limmted to replace USB anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37668178)

Why not chain the HDD off the display instead?

Because then you have to unmount you HDD to unplug your external display.

And if you can't think of any reason why you would want to turn off your display, just imagine plugging two external HDDs, one will always be immobilized.

the display needs to be thunderboth for that to wo (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37668484)

the display needs to be thunderbolt for that to work but a Display port display can be at the end of chain.

Re:Thunderbolt is to limmted to replace USB anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37668078)

USB can also run over thunderbolt. Just plug those USB devices into your thunderbolt monitor. Now your daisy chaining 7 thunderbolt devices, plus a usb hub with 200+ devices on a single cable to your laptop.

The future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667212)

Thunderbolt is a really amazing technology. With today's consumerization of computers, it becomes very dificult to upgrade devices like a macbook air. With thunderbolt, you could theoretically expand the device lifespan, with external ram upgrades, videocards and hi-speed mass-storage.

Firewire Vs USB (1)

MrSmith0011000100110 (1344879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667314)

This is exactly like when Firewire came out and USB was it's inferior little cousin. Apple adopted it and it was relegated to the realm of more expensive devices. I have the feeling this will happen again. SSUSB will prosper while Thunderbolt will be used almost exclusively by the people fond of a particular red fruit.. Here's the interesting part. Will the iPad/2 support Thunderbolt backward compatibility? Considering there isn't and "backward" for Thunderbolt to go, I doubt it. The industry is going to go to the easiest connection to support and if SSUSB/USB3 is fully backward compatible to USB1.0 then this is probably the last you hear of Thunderbolt if it doesn't come from an iFanboi telling you how inferior SSUSB is.

release the spec (1)

jfenwick (961674) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667460)

One thing that is really holding Thunderbolt back (in my opinion) is the holding back of a Thunderbolt spec. The claim at NAB was that the SDK would come out this year, but apparently they only meant it would come out to a select group of companies making high end equipment directed at graphics specialists. I have lots of ideas for what I'd do with PCIe over displayport, but there's no way for me as an individual to get the SDK, and there's no contact person at Intel to email to even ASK how I'd get it. If it's anyone's fault the technology doesn't get adopted, it's Intel's.

Same old story (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#37667536)

USB 2.0 vs Firewire - USB 2.0 WINS, Fiber Channel vs SAS - SAS WINS, USB 3.0 vs Thunderbolt - USB 3.0 is Winning! Can anyone see a pattern here?

FANTASTIC! When can I get an USB dongle for this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37667732)

:)

Ugh. More of this... (1)

binary paladin (684759) | more than 2 years ago | (#37668042)

Thunderbolt and SuperSpeed USB aren't even competing for the same market and don't have the same purpose. You will probably never have Thunderbolt mouse, keyboard, headset, printer, etc. There's no reason to use such expensive cabling and ridiculous bandwidth for devices like that.

Docking stations, breakout boxes, external PCIe cards, displays and high speed RAID arrays are what Thunderbolt is for. A box with say... 4 ethernet adapters is good for Thunderbolt. Your webcam though? Uhhhhh, no.

Drivers... (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37668140)

I imagine much of this will be decided by how difficult it is to program for. One of the things that ended up keeping USB back from some of the higher end uses (like external video cards) was how huge of a pain it was to program for... at my previous company I always heard grumbling from the USB programmers.... if Thunderbolt is layed out better for these types of devices then, even if it *gasp* costs a whole $1 per port then it might have a place.

I dont want to buy new devices... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37668370)

For the difference in speed, I would rather keep the backward compatibility with older USB devices rather than buying all new devices to accommodate a new port... Especially if the other port is favorited by apple...

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