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Thunderbolt on old macpro

1921 Views 30 Replies Latest reply: Feb 21, 2014 10:19 AM by mess3mess RSS Branched to a new discussion.
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elcarlio Calculating status...
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Jan 22, 2014 9:28 AM

Is there a way to add thunderbolt to a Macpro?

Mac Pro, OS X Mavericks (10.9.1)
  • RatVega™ Level 4 Level 4 (1,855 points)
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    Jan 22, 2014 9:35 AM (in response to elcarlio)

    no.

  • DieselFuelForLife Level 2 Level 2 (370 points)
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    Jan 22, 2014 3:42 PM (in response to elcarlio)

    Physically impossible.

  • Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (39,370 points)
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    Jan 22, 2014 3:44 PM (in response to elcarlio)

    Why?

  • RatVega™ Level 4 Level 4 (1,855 points)
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    Jan 22, 2014 5:07 PM (in response to Allan Eckert)

    It is not "physically impossible" as a matter of size or whatever, it's impossible because Thunderbolt is a new bus architecture that requires a new and different chipset. It is faster than PCI, so making a PCI card is pointless. What you'd need is a new "mother board" that incorporated the T-bolt capabilities as part of the fundamental design.

    Apple makes such a board, but unfortunately it is very expensive, not currently available, and only fits in the new (Late 2013) Mac Pro case...

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 points)
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    Jan 22, 2014 8:34 PM (in response to RatVega™)

    We have historically also had display protocols that had a 60-100 times a second screen re-draw, whether the data had changed or not. DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort changes that, so the screen-redraw bandwidth is used only when the screen actually changes. When the screen stops changing, DisplayPort goes quiet.

     

    That wildly-variable screen data was originally combined onto the other side of a ThunderBolt cable. To get a "true" ThunderBolt port, you would have to pick up that display data from the graphics card, re-route it onto another PCIe card, and combine it with the basic ThunderBolt data to get "true" ThunderBolt.

     

    Intel has told us this is too messy and they won't make the chips for an add-on card of ANY description, not even a Data-only ThunderBolt card.

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers
  • Ricks ricks@macgurus.com Level 6 Level 6 (11,515 points)
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    Jan 24, 2014 8:29 PM (in response to elcarlio)

    Several developers had propositioned Intel on making a PCI/data only upgrade card. Intel wasn't impressed. They didn't even hesitate before rejection.

     

    Not talked much about, there are developers outside of Intel's developer process. Their products don't get a Thunderbolt label and don't have approval. No idea how they buy their chips. So far I have never seen one that worked as well as one that made it through what I would consider the excessive, overly expensive and very long approval process.

  • DieselFuelForLife Level 2 Level 2 (370 points)
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    Jan 24, 2014 8:37 PM (in response to RatVega™)

    RatVega™ wrote:


    it's impossible because Thunderbolt is a new bus architecture that requires a new and different chipset.

    That is the definiton of "Physically impossible".

     

    RatVega™ wrote:


    It is faster than PCI, so making a PCI card is pointless.

    Incorrect.

    Thunderbolt occupies 4 pci-e lanes, there are 8,16 and (in some computers) 32 lane slots available.

     

    Several developers had propositioned Intel on making a PCI/data only upgrade card.

    Intel wasn't impressed. They didn't even hesitate before rejection.

    References please.

  • Ricks ricks@macgurus.com Level 6 Level 6 (11,515 points)
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    Jan 24, 2014 8:44 PM (in response to DieselFuelForLife)

     

    References please.

    Some of the money was mine. Not in a place where I can name my relationships. Sorry.

  • DieselFuelForLife Level 2 Level 2 (370 points)
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    Jan 24, 2014 10:12 PM (in response to Ricks ricks@macgurus.com)

    No references? Thats okay, we can take your word on it

     

    I was just asking since nobody can seem to provide ANY proof that thunderbolt could be added to any computer not desgned for it. Every fact points to what Intel has already confirmed; Thunderbolt cannot be added to any computer not designed to accommodate it from the start. People keep referencing Asus' (never released) motherboard as an example, yet fail to recognize that it was designed for thunderbolt and the card is just a feature enabler.

     

    The same can be said about PowerPC. PPC cards were made to work with 68K Macs (two completely different architectures), so why hasn't anyone made an Intel upgrade card for PPC Macs?

     

    Its the same answer for Thunderbolt; Computers were far more simple back then, modern computers are far too complex to add technology 3-8 years newer than them.

     

    Then there is the fact you have a MacPro, which means you have "internal thunderbolt", AKA PCI-express slots. They are also much faster! Thunderbolt is limited to 4x PCI-e lanes, while Mac Pros have several 4x and/or 8x slots open.

     

    All other Macs (Laptops, iMacs, Minis) have no expansion slots, which means adding thunderbolt would be physically impossible even if there were a thunderbolt card!

     

    PC users don't want anything to do with thunderbolt since its very expensive, entirely focused on Apple products and most PCs have internal PCI-e slots (see the above paragraph).

     

    Thus the entire argument about "why won't anyone make a Thunderbolt card" is completely pointless and needs to stop.

  • Ricks ricks@macgurus.com Level 6 Level 6 (11,515 points)
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    Jan 25, 2014 8:21 AM (in response to DieselFuelForLife)

    No, it does not answer the question of whether it can be done or not.

     

    Rick

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,545 points)
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    Jan 25, 2014 8:38 AM (in response to DieselFuelForLife)

    there have been slme processor daughter cards using PDS slot and had x86, adding a NuBus processor card too. But yes  only mitherbiards with TB from the start.  A lot of $$ was lost in supplying and engineering G4 upgrades that oroved difficult to achieve in widely supported manner.  PCIE 3.0+ looks promising, the problems with USB3 chips and integration withHaswell, with nMP, has me wanting to sit on sidelines for next refreshes.

  • Ricks ricks@macgurus.com Level 6 Level 6 (11,515 points)
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    Jan 25, 2014 8:50 AM (in response to The hatter)

    hatter,

     

    I, for one, sure wish Apple had done a better job on USB 3.0 on MBP, iMacs and Minis. So many problems this last year and a half. Not sure if Apple tried to do it better than anyone else, 'the Apple Way' or just because they botched it, but Apple USB 3 has left a lot to be desired.

     

    That said, I am running my User Directory on a USB 3 multidrive set up that has in the past had issues with other Mac USB 3 buses. So far, it has been fast and flawless. USB 3 on this nMP seems a lot better than other model's USB 3. Long way from knowing where the problems are in the first gen nMP. But sure having fun testing it.

     

    (now if only I could figure out how to put a Bootcamp Win7 install on it.....)

     

    Rick

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,545 points)
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    Jan 25, 2014 9:09 AM (in response to Ricks ricks@macgurus.com)

    there are a limited number of lanes devoted to and shared by all USB3. I think ut is a case of Intel having partial blame but yes, scared me off of those modeks, and wifi as well.

    thereare problems with Win 8.1 and you would have to trick BCA. Seems some bcd issues on restart abd boot camp or  windiws doesn't like the internal ssd device, and apple drivers are probably not up to snuff yet. a couple threads in mac pro forum on macrumors on installing windows.  also a link tl how to run and test various maverick VM builds and configurations using VMware Fusion. Sounds like fun!!   Is yours personal and us there a queue for businesses? for vendors? for dev? I worry  v

    vendorsare not getting product out there to do testing etc fast enough or even holding back to get over first production run units.  Maybe tey are catching up on bavklog of orders and pentup European demand.  *sorry for poor typing and "no paragrahs" seems this rabket cannot do a 《cr》or 《lf》

  • Ricks ricks@macgurus.com Level 6 Level 6 (11,515 points)
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    Jan 25, 2014 7:38 PM (in response to The hatter)

    hatter,

     

    I tried for several hours to spoof BCA into letting me install Windows 7. No luck, never got to where I had a Bootcamp partition or I'd be running Win 7 and testing AMD Crossfire GPU drivers. Now have to wait for, of course, the 8.1 disk I ordered, which now that I started reading here, I find out is causing BCA to have the heebie geebies. Can't win. (however, it appears I can't read through posts on Apple Forums without posting... go figure)

     

    This is my  'work' and play nMP. For now, I get sole use out of it. Best way to learn a machine is play on it. And I will be doing that, seeing how I can tweak performance on Photoshop,FCP and figuring out storage during the day and hammering it with a game here and there at night. Can't wait to see what it takes to get those GPUs hot. Both of em.

     

    I can read your typing jes fine....  :^)

     

    Rick

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