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no Thunderbolt on Mac Pros?

7416 Views 19 Replies Latest reply: Jul 27, 2013 6:18 AM by Electricidad RSS Branched to a new discussion.
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seanmcr6 Calculating status...
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Dec 9, 2011 4:37 PM

We just bought 4 new Mac Pro towers...like $20,000...and the 4TB external Thunderbolt RAID unit (for video editing work mostly)

 

Now we find out the Mac Pro's don't have thunderbolt? Really? There is no adaprter card or anything?

 

You simply CANNOT use thunderbolt on a Mac Pro?!

 

I guess Apple is saying Thunderbolt isn't for pros...just like FCPX

  • Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (39,420 points)
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    Dec 9, 2011 4:40 PM (in response to seanmcr6)

    Did you ever think to read specs prior to making purchases?

     

    Intel has not released the processors for the Mac Pro with ThunderBolt yet. They are planning to do that 1Q12. So Apple can't release a Mac Pro with TB until after that.

     

    Allan

  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,035 points)
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    Dec 9, 2011 4:53 PM (in response to seanmcr6)

    Stores have a 14-day return policy for any unit I buy there ... you can ask if you "just bought".

  • Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (39,420 points)
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    Dec 9, 2011 4:54 PM (in response to seanmcr6)

    Intel releases new features on the bottom of the line first. It only come to the server grade chips used in the Mac Pro later. This has always been their way of doing things.

     

    Sounds like you need someone who is a bit more technically competent in the purchasing department.

     

    Allan

  • Ralph Landry1 Level 7 Level 7 (28,815 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 9, 2011 4:56 PM (in response to seanmcr6)

    While the buyer is ultimately responsible for understanding what is being purchased, it is easy to understand small IT depts not always getting all of the facts.  An alternative that might work is to contact Apple or the source of your hardware, explain the situation, and try to come to agreement on resolution.  Afterall, if the equipment was purchased from one source, they should have also alerted you to the inconsistency in the purchase order.

     

    http://www.apple.com/contact

     

    See if there is someone on there who can help you, also.

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,580 points)
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    Dec 10, 2011 4:47 AM (in response to seanmcr6)

    There are plenty of PCIe SATA/SAS controllers that can handle your storage demands (without getting into Fibre).

     

    Intel won't have TB out for new PCs until 2012. And controller cards supporting TB storage are probably something that would be 3rd party until a new motherboard to support not just TB but PCIe 3.0 and new processor socket as well (and hopefully full support for SATA3 but that remains just what I want and the largest shortcoming, now).

     

    Does seem that they didn't look at the Build To Order options on the product page.

     

    Seems that swapping out for "standard" SATA interfaced enclosures and invest in a good SATA controller to make do.

  • Carl Eberling1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 12, 2012 8:16 AM (in response to seanmcr6)

    How about someone just answer the question, instead of being a Intel and Apple deflector, Allan.  No doubt they could have caught it sooner, but the question is why isnt Apple selling them yet, when all of their advertising and promotion sure seems to imply they have integrated solutions today.  Who in the heck needs 12TB of storage for their laptop, and with those transfer speeds.  Thunderbolt is designed for the heavy work load specialists, that would buy a tower.  Apple could be a lot more clear, that Thunderbolt is not everywhere in its line

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,580 points)
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    Mar 12, 2012 9:03 AM (in response to Carl Eberling1)

    Old thread... some vendors have invested in making your MacBook series run with the big dogs on storage.

    http://www.barefeats.com/hard147.html

     

    Sandy Bridge-EP is the first major overhaul for Intel servers since 2009, and nearly ever aspect has been enhanced (read "changed and redesigned")

     

    http://www.realworldtech.com/page.cfm?ArticleID=RWT030612034439

      - one of the better articles detailing the new Xeon

  • Martin Pace Level 5 Level 5 (5,075 points)
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    Mar 12, 2012 10:11 AM (in response to Carl Eberling1)

    Carl Eberling1 wrote:

     

    How about someone just answer the question,

    To answer the question, no you cannot use Thunderbolt with the current Mac Pros.

  • Ricks ricks@macgurus.com Level 6 Level 6 (11,515 points)
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    Mar 12, 2012 6:14 PM (in response to Carl Eberling1)

    Carl Eberling1 wrote:

     

    How about someone just answer the question, instead of being a Intel and Apple deflector, Allan.  No doubt they could have caught it sooner, but the question is why isnt Apple selling them yet,.........  Thunderbolt is designed for the heavy work load specialists, that would buy a tower.  Apple could be a lot more clear, that Thunderbolt is not everywhere in its line

     

    Thunderbolt is not going to make much difference to a MacPro tower. Thunderbolt is more expensive and less performance than a decent SAS or Fiber channel PCIe card. Adding a Tbolt card to a MacPro with Rev2 PCIe slots is making that slot have less performance capability. Tbolt is just PCIe (and Display Port - more on that later) over an external copper wire.

     

    Tbolt RAIDs are a great step forward for an iMac, Mini or MBP. On a MacPro you will get much better performance and even more important, maturity, which equals reliability, from an existing RAID card. And because they have been around a while, for PCs and Macs, they cost less to implement.

     

    And as has been stated - INtel has not yet released a CPU for the big machine that can handle Tbolt.

     

    Also, there are no Tbolt PCIe adapter cards because Intel licensed Thunderbolt exclusively to Apple for the first year - and through Apple to select members of Apple Developer. That license is up in April and we can start seeing development from other vendors. Even then we will not see a *real* Thunderbolt host bust adapter for PCIe - reason being there is no way, at least none I can fathom, to integrate Display Port and PCIe protocols at that level.  A Tbolt HBA would most likely just have the PCIe protocols.

     

    Lastly - Using Thunderbolt for display port on a MacPro would downgrade the graphics. An ATI 5870 graphics card has three times the bandwidth of an entire Tbolt bus.


    Rick

  • Martin Pace Level 5 Level 5 (5,075 points)
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    Mar 12, 2012 6:50 PM (in response to Ricks ricks@macgurus.com)

    Ricks ricks@macgurus.com wrote:

     

    Even then we will not see a *real* Thunderbolt host bust adapter for PCIe - reason being there is no way, at least none I can fathom, to integrate Display Port and PCIe protocols at that level.  A Tbolt HBA would most likely just have the PCIe protocols.

     

    Lastly - Using Thunderbolt for display port on a MacPro would downgrade the graphics. An ATI 5870 graphics card has three times the bandwidth of an entire Tbolt bus.


    Rick

     

    I've never really understood why someone couldn't (although I can imagine cost/profit margin might prohibit it) make a video card with a Thunderbolt output. A 16 lane PCIe slot (ver. 1.0) has a spec of 4 GB/sec each direction (well over the 10 Gb/sec each direction for Thunderbolt). Do you know of any links that I could further study on the subject?

     

    Your last statement about the ATI 5870 having 3x the bandwidth puzzles me because the maximum display resolution it supports and the fact that the displayport protocol can be transmitted over Thunderbolt. Are you saying that the current Thunderbolt bus can't handle a 2560 x 1600 pixel display signal?

  • SpeedsterCamaro Calculating status...
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    Apr 5, 2012 1:39 AM (in response to seanmcr6)

    It's comming soon!!!!!

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,580 points)
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    Apr 5, 2012 5:49 AM (in response to Martin Pace)

    About Thunderbolt

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Mac/10.7/en/mh35952.html

    https://www.apple.com/thunderbolt/

     

    Macs that can be used with the Thunderbolt Display

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4941

    Technical Specifications

    https://support.apple.com/kb/SP642

    Promise Pegasus R6 Thunderbolt Performance

    High-Speed I/O Performance Up to 800 megabytes per second :-(

    Anandtech (2/2011): Thunderbolt already faces competition from 4.8 Gbps USB 3.0

     

    How it works:

    http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/io/thunderbolt/thunderbolt-technology-dev eloper.html

     

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4194/intels-codename-lightpeak-launches-as-thunder bolt

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Thunderbolt

     

    10 Gbit/s Thunderbolt bandwidth per channel

     

    Products Affected

    Mac mini (Mid 2011), Mac mini Server (Mid 2011), MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2011), MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2011), MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011), MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011), MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2011), iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2011), iMac (27-inch, Mid 2011)

     

    The latest updates available are:

     

    The latest updates available are:

     

    Using Thunderbolt with Boot Camp and Windows 7

    https://support.apple.com/kb/HT4617

     

    Every other product has a support page (www.apple.com/support/product) except this.

    http://www.apple.com/support/thunderbolt

    - which would usually where I would look for all support links and articles.

    So just start: https://www.apple.com/thunderbolt/

     

    ThunderLink is an expansion adapter for the ThunderBolt computer bus interface, and adds support for the SAS, SATA, fibre optic and ethernet interfaces. The adapter can support throughput speeds of up to 10Gb/s[1].

    http://www.syntechsa.co.za/atto-thunderlink-adapters/

     

    PCI Express 4.0  On November 29, 2011, PCI-SIG has announced to proceed to PCI Express 4.0 featuring 16 GT/s, still on copper technology. Additionally, active and idle power optimizations are to be investigated. Final specifications are expected to be released in 2014/2015.[25]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express#External_PCIe_cards

     

    Apple Thunderbolt Displays, including the stand-alone display as well as the Thunderbolt iMacs, cut compatibilities with all previous standards, including VGA, DVI, and DisplayPort.[2] As such, they cannot be connected to computers lacking a Thunderbolt port, including pre-2011 Macs and the vast majority of Windows PCs.

    iPod touch, iOS 5, Windows 8 Preview x64 3.2GHz
  • cdorschel Calculating status...
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    Apr 30, 2012 12:58 PM (in response to The hatter)

    Thunderbolt could be beneficial with a Mac Pro update.

     

    Imagine a smaller form factor (think G4 cube) with RAM, maybe 2 internal SATA III HDD's, processor(s), USB 3.0, Thunderbolt and perhaps a graphics card or a graphics box. It can be placed in a closet or such, with one Thunderbolt cable running to your desk, connecting your HID's, displays, etc. That would make perfect sense for a Mac Pro system.

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