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are there PCI thunderbolt cards for mac pro 3.1?

76705 Views 100 Replies Latest reply: Feb 18, 2014 3:05 PM by Kung-Foo-Kamel RSS
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,560 points)
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    Nov 11, 2012 3:25 PM (in response to Kurt Lang)

    I have never seen anything that looked remotely like "easy" to design and implement and "plug 'n play" and that they rely on motherboards and processor also being able to.

     

    Did I miss a link to such? Wiki or Anandtech or Ars? Intel preferrably.

  • Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,490 points)
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    Nov 11, 2012 7:04 PM (in response to The hatter)

    At its base, this would be an I/O card, the same as can be purchased as USB and/or Firewire expansion cards. For experienced companies such as Sonnet, Adaptec, IOGEAR and others, such a card should be simple.

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,560 points)
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    Nov 13, 2012 3:26 AM (in response to Kurt Lang)

    except that the spec design for thunderbolt is not just an add-on controller.

  • LordZedd Calculating status...
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    Nov 13, 2012 5:31 AM (in response to Kurt Lang)

    I explained quite clearly how easy it would be to create such a card.

    You only explained you don't know how TB works.

    At its base, this would be an I/O card, the same as can be purchased as USB and/or Firewire expansion cards. For experienced companies such as Sonnet, Adaptec, IOGEAR and others, such a card should be simple.

    Sorry, no. TB communicates directly with the CPU, GPU and PCI-E controller. There is no possible way to add it on to a system not designed for it.

     

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5935/asus-thunderbolt-ex-upgrade-card-for-7series- motherboards

    The Asus "card" is not an expansion card, its a feature enabling card.

    Remeber back in the day, next to the CPU there would often be an empty slot for a math co-processor? This was done to save costs for those that didn't need it yet made it available for those that did. It was a cost-cutting measure so only one board would be needed to fill two markets.

    Asus' "card" is exatly that, a feature enabling device. Their motherboard is designed for TB but is missing the parts for it to work.

  • Bad Dog NY Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 13, 2012 6:40 AM (in response to drfzzz)

    THanks to all. I now understand why no TB yet on MacPro...basically Xeon chips don't support...yet. And oddly from what I get the i7 CPU does not support dual chips. Really need intel and apple to have a pow wow.

  • Laserbeak Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Nov 14, 2012 9:48 AM (in response to drfzzz)

    Apple should never have turned over the technology to Intel. Now it requires on chip graphics or virtuallly so in order to be Thunderbolt-certified. You can never have a powerful card like Nvidia and see its graphics through a Thunderbolt-connected monitor. I expect when it gets faster, with light instead of copper for data transer it'll be used mostly for high speed data, if it survives that long.

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 points)
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    Nov 14, 2012 10:26 AM (in response to Laserbeak)

    You can never have a powerful card like Nvidia and see its graphics through a Thunderbolt-connected monitor.

    Excuse me? What do you call the 15" MacBook Pro Retina external graphics?

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers
  • Laserbeak Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Yes, I'm sure the current crop of Macs with built-in chipset graphics have great performance, but what about later?

     

    I have a Mac Pro (Early 2008) 2 x Quad 2.66 GHz and presently have an NVidia 560Ti card in it, looking to upgrade to NVidiia 680. Of course I could wait a generation and see they'll work (with the hackers' help) on the my Mac which is just as fast as most the computers Apple is selling today.  I have USB 3 on it too!

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 points)
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    Nov 14, 2012 11:11 AM (in response to Laserbeak)

    Macs with built-in chipset graphics

    15-inch: 2.3GHz
    with Retina display

    • 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
    • Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
    • 8GB 1600MHz memory
    • 256GB flash storage1
    • Intel HD Graphics 4000
    • NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory

     

     

    Its not just the built-in graphics that are offered out over Thunderbolt connection, its The NVIDIA/integrated combo.

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers
  • Martin Pace Level 5 Level 5 (5,075 points)
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    Nov 14, 2012 11:25 AM (in response to Laserbeak)

    As long as the PCI card has either DVI, Display Port or HDMI outputs does it really matter? Most monitors have multiple inputs that support one of these standards or you can get a cable that converts between these standards. The only one that I know of that doesn't is the Apple Thunderbolt display and my understanding (based on various articles I've read) is that it uses the same sceen as the Apple LED Cinema display which uses a Display Port connector.

     

    Otherwise Thunderbolt is just an extension of the PCIe bus and there are generally more than enough PCIe slots in the Mac Pro for the majority of users. Thunderbolt is really something that is only needed on small form factor computers that can't support a standard PCIe card.

  • Bad Dog NY Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 14, 2012 7:43 PM (in response to Martin Pace)

    Martin, you are misinformed. TB is not about monitors, it's about I/o. I do video professionally. The reason I posted this in the first place is because several companies make HD SDI io boxes for MacBooks, and a separate one for mac pros. I was hoping not to buy 2 of these. They run a few thousand each. Also, you can daisy chain super fast drive arrays, 10 GBs/sec bidirectional, that's 10 in and 10 out at the same time. Fastest around. Don't limit your thinking to monitors...I wish there was a separate monitor port, although it doesn't matter, I won't go into config, but it doesn't matter.

  • Martin Pace Level 5 Level 5 (5,075 points)
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    Nov 16, 2012 10:11 AM (in response to Bad Dog NY)

    The reason I posted this in the first place is...

    Here I thought drfzzz was the original poster, silly me. Either way I was responding to:

     

          Re: are there PCI thunderbolt cards for mac pro 3.1?

         Nov 14, 2012 9:48 AM (in response to drfzzz)

     

    Laserbeak was discussing video cards with respect to Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt combines the PCIe bus with Display Port video for transfer over a single cable so it is as much about monitors as just plain data transfer.

     

    By the way, Thunderbolt connects to the CPU through a PCIe x4 data path, there are PCIe x8 cards that can transfer more than 20 GB/s.

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,560 points)
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    Nov 16, 2012 12:08 PM (in response to Martin Pace)

    Nope.

     

    It might look like or appear, but it is not. And on Mac Pro the only use is probably distance and competing with high speed external storage.

     

    PCIe 3 and even 2.2 has more than enough and you just don't need all this new untested proprietary technology that does not further anything for non-notebooks.

     

    But you won't see anything from ATI / Nvidia that works on PCIe only that does not send TB signal - just like memory controller is now built into the processor chip pins on-board close to being SOC.

     

    Mac Pro is back in dual socket Xeon 1366 afterall still ain't gonna happen.

  • bleek Calculating status...
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    Nov 19, 2012 11:39 PM (in response to LordZedd)

    The original demo of Lightpeak(Codename for Thunderbolt) was done on a PCI card.

    It can be seen in the picture and video below:

     

    http://cdn-static.zdnet.com/i/story/30/40/089748/light_peak_620x400.jpg

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfGevFIVKw4&feature=relmfu

     

    http://www.zdnet.com/intel-light-peak-a-tech-guide-3040089748/

     

    The reason to not come out with PCI cards was a business decison,

    not a technical one. 

  • Warren Heaton Level 3 Level 3 (540 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 20, 2012 1:03 AM (in response to bleek)

    Well... the zdnet article states that "Light Peak will use familiar connections like HDMI or the USB plug". 

     

    So, clearly the specification changed, no?

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