9 Replies Latest reply: Jul 1, 2013 2:32 PM by MacMiniPro
Steven Shmerler Level 1 (75 points)

I have a 2012 Mac Pro connected to my network with Ethernet cable: MP > router > cable modem. Cable and modem are 10/100/1000.


Apple makes a Thunderbolt / Gigabit Ethernet adapter (http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD463ZM/A/thunderbolt-to-gigabit-ethernet-adap ter).


Anyone know if I might see any noticeable speed increase to the Internet switching from my Ethernet port out, to Thunderbolt port out using this adapter?


My broadband is 30 Mbps down, 5 Mbps Up, btw.



Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.5), 4-Core Mid 2012, 30" & 22" Display
  • mende1 Level 10 (92,231 points)

    That adapter requires that your computer has got a Thunderbolt port. Unfortunately, the Mac Pro hasn't got a Thunderbolt port. The first Mac Pro with Thunderbolt will be launched this fall.


    In this case, that adapter won't work. Also, it shouldn't improve your performance

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,679 points)

    Your current Ethernet port is capable of running as fast as the device acting as the Ethernet Switch on your network. In most cases, this is an Internet Router. 100BaseT is a typical speed for these devices. This is three times faster than the bandwidth of the Internet connection your ISP is providing, so it will not be a bottleneck to performance. Raising that to a faster speed will also not be a bottleneck to Internet performance.


    You can check the actual connected speed in Network Utility, in the Info pane. (Network Utility is in the /Applications/Utilities folder.)


    If you use an Ethernet Switch capable of Gigabit Ethernet speeds, as I do, it will allow faster File Sharing for files that are strictly local. The Internet Router does not intervene in local transfers, so they move very quickly between my Home Server and each of the computers. When data is addressed to the Internet, it goes down the comparatively-slower 100Base-T cable to the Router, and then on to the Internet.

  • Steven Shmerler Level 1 (75 points)

    [blush] I have no idea why I thought I had TB on this MP. Unless I mistook the FW800 ports which I was unfamiliar with since my last Mac had FW400.


    Still that was dumb of me. Good thing I never bought the TB External drive I had my eye on.


    Boy the new MP looks amazing, doesn't it!


    But there's good info on IPS broadband accounts and LAN realities except for file sharing as you say. So still good to have the Gigabit capability betwen wired computers here since my router is 10/100/1000 Base-T Gigabit.


    Sorry for this post, but the sliver lining is you both got more points

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,679 points)

    Note that if you do choose to go Gigabit Ethernet, the most common implementation requires high-quality cables with all 8 conductors present with all 8 contacts in the connectors. Cable length is limited to 100 meters in length (an American Football field) which is almost never an issue.

  • Steven Shmerler Level 1 (75 points)



    Help me out here. I didn't realize I had to choose to go Gigabit Ethernet. I "assumed" it was based on your hardware and wires.


    My modem, router Ethernet ports are both Gigabit capable and I'm using the best wire I could get Cat 6.


    So while I get that with a 30Mbps internet account, I have more capacity than I need, but on internal use, computer to computer going thru my D-LINK Dir 655 Gigabit Router, do I not have a Gigabit Ethernet connection?


    Or does Gigabit Ethernet mean something else requiring a different set up and configuration?


    The longest cable is 50 feet.




  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,679 points)

    Most devices that are serving as the Ethernet Switches are only 100BaseT capable. That is why I said "choose" to go up to that speed. (Some folks, like me, have to go out and buy Gigabit-capable switches.) Apple Routers (they don't make Just a Switch, but you can configure a Base Station as a Switch) are Gigabit-capable.

    My modem, router Ethernet ports are both Gigabit capable and I'm using the best wire I could get Cat 6.


    The longest cable is 50 feet.


    If all 8 conductors are crimped into the connectors with all 8 wires in use, you are all set. Cables that use only two pairs of wires instead of four pairs will not work.


    Check by using Network Utility.app to see if you are already using Gigabit Ethernet speeds. If you ARE, then you should also configure Jumbo frames. If not, you can manually configure it to Gigabit speeds, Full duplex with flow Control, but if it cannot, for same reason, connect at that speed it will not fall back, it will fail to connect.

  • Steven Shmerler Level 1 (75 points)

    Yup I'm in Gigabit mode and per my understanding the Dir 655 is set to Jumbo Frames by default, which I will confirm after I get back from lunch..


    Re the 8 conductors. That's also new to me. Can I do this by eye balling the connector, or something I need to test with software or hardware?


  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,679 points)

    Can I do this by eye balling the connector

    yes, exactly.


    Cables that use only four are rare, but if you cannot make the jump to Gigabit speed, that may be the reason why.

  • MacMiniPro Level 1 (10 points)

    First, you do not have a thunderbolt port on your computer.

    Second, it would actually be slower since you are adding data conversion steps to the process. Data speed will be roughly the same, but latency will be increased.