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  #1  
Old 09-09-2012, 09:20 AM
relaxo relaxo is offline
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Default Until Someone Makes a Thunderbolt Hub, Thunderbolt is a (1/2 Useless) Dead End Street

Ok, I'll be the bad guy this time...someone is going to mention this imminently anyway... There is ONLY ONE serious design flaw in this incredibly useful Thunderbolt interface and no one is mentioning it amongst all of these insignificant complaints being put forth. It doesn't support daisy chaining of devices.

For those of us who have started using Thunderbolt devices, many many of us are simply stuck already. I'm stuck, even before this Avid TBolt interface came out. MacBooks have only one Thunderbolt port, so any TBolt device that has only one TBolt port DEAD-ENDS our TBolt daisy chain. And there are no TBolt hubs in sight to revive the viability of Thunderbolt technology on Earth. And even when someone does finally manufacture a TBolt hub, it will be an extra significant cost.

Reality...right now, I, and many other PT users have a problem. If we buy the Avid TBolt interface, we'll have to ditch our existing one port Thunderbolt devices or displays!!! Ouch.

There are dual port TBolt devices, but they're limited in functionality. For instance, there are no dual port portable 2.5" (or SSD) drives. Lacie Makes the "Little" 2.5" raid drive with two ports, but's it's large, heavy and requires a wall wort.

What if you use an external monitor with your MacBook?
>no single port TBolt devices possible at all.

What if you have a Tbolt drive with one port?
>no further single port TBolt devices possible. No external monitor possible.

What if you use the Avid Thunderbolt interface?
>no further single port TBolt devices possible. No external monitor possible.

Avid, thank you for making this TBolt interface. It's the most important and liberating product that you have made in many years. But you now make the most expensive TBolt device in the world possibly. Why no SIMPLE second TBolt port?!? Arrrgh. This is certainly not a showstopper, but it was an avoidable hassle.

This major problem in Thunderbolt technology is certainly not Avid's fault and it will get eliminated when someone finally makes a hub and/or manufacturer's start putting multiple ports on all their TBolt devices.
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  #2  
Old 09-09-2012, 09:46 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relaxo View Post
There is only one serious problem with this Thunderbolt interface and no one is mentioning it amongst all of these insignificant complaints being put forth.

For those of us who have started using Thunderbolt, many many of us are simply stuck already. MacBooks have only one Thunderbolt port, so any TBolt device that has only one TBolt port DEAD-ENDS our TBolt daisy chain. And there are no TBolt hubs in sight to revive the viability of Thunderbolt technology. And even when someone does finally manufacture a TBolt hub, it will be an extra significant cost.

There are dual port TBolt devices, but they're limited in functionality.

What if you use an external monitor with your MacBook?
>no single port TBolt devices possible at all.

What if you have a Tbolt drive with one port, like most?
>no further single port TBolt devices possible. No external monitor possible.

What if you use the Avid Thunderbolt interface?
>no further single port TBolt devices possible. No external monitor possible.

Avid, you now make the most expensive tbolt device in the world possibly. Why no simple second port?!? Arrrgh.
This does seem a hassle, and good you pointed this out.

But If you use an Apple Thunderbolt display you should be able to connect the HD Native Thunderbolt box to the displays outgoing Thunderbolt port. Now wether that works in practice who knows.

Several high end Thunderbolt storage boxes do offer multiple ports. Many smaller storage boxes, especially the portable drives often have one port, I suspect that is largely cost driven, with vendors just using the relative low-cost Intel "Port Ridge" single port Thunderbolt controller chip.

This might be a deliberate decision on Avid's part to avoid bus contention, or hassles with users connecting multiple bus powered boxes, or might just be cheapness. I hope it's the earlier, and Avid explains why.

Darryl
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:08 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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This certainly makes you stop and think about just using a HD Native PCIe card in an expansion chassis. Especially with the Sonnet LE low-end chassis retailing for just $350 and offering two Thunderbolt ports. But you have to live with a power brick and cooling fan. OTOH that does not trap you with a Thunderbolt only box and you can always put the card back inside a computer.

Darryl
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:08 PM
BohoProAudio BohoProAudio is offline
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Default Re: Until Someone Makes a Thunderbolt Hub, Thunderbolt is a (1/2 Useless) Dead End St

I wonder how much tech is crammed into one Thunderbolt port, and into these TB cables that are going for $50 a pop. I do hope the price for these comes down quickly, and we start seeing more options. I'm using a displayport adapter for my mbp, and I'm just glad that I do have the firewire 800 port. Of course, I have to plug my interface through my tracking drive. Here's hoping that Thunderbolt gains USB's popularity. Would be nice if it comes around this year.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:26 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Until Someone Makes a Thunderbolt Hub, Thunderbolt is a (1/2 Useless) Dead End St

Quote:
Originally Posted by BohoProAudio View Post
I wonder how much tech is crammed into one Thunderbolt port, and into these TB cables that are going for $50 a pop. I do hope the price for these comes down quickly, and we start seeing more options. I'm using a displayport adapter for my mbp, and I'm just glad that I do have the firewire 800 port. Of course, I have to plug my interface through my tracking drive. Here's hoping that Thunderbolt gains USB's popularity. Would be nice if it comes around this year.
Part of the issue with these cables price is that they are "intelligent" with chipsets built into the connects. Its a double edged sword, that both justifies higher price above dumb cables, and prevents easy duplication/competition lowering the price. Hopefully as Thunderbolt starts being adopted more by the PC ecosystem we'll see non-Apple cables at lower price points. We'll see.

FYI see http://arstechnica.com/apple/2011/06...a-whopping-50/

BTW I have no expectation thunderbolt will gain broad popularity like USB has, or that companies should try to do that. USB 3 is more than enough bandwidth for many applications and will be widely implemented on all PCs, Laptops, Mac and other devices (including tablets, phones etc.). Thunderbolt is better differentiated for higher end applications, and I think would be a marketing mistake for companies to chase broad/consumer like uses for Thunderbolt.


Darryl
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  #6  
Old 09-09-2012, 08:18 PM
BohoProAudio BohoProAudio is offline
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Default Re: Until Someone Makes a Thunderbolt Hub, Thunderbolt is a (1/2 Useless) Dead End St

...bleagh...

If there's one thing I hate to spend a lot of money on, it's digital cables.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:09 AM
KMcK KMcK is offline
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Default Re: Until Someone Makes a Thunderbolt Hub, Thunderbolt is a (1/2 Useless) Dead End St

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
This certainly makes you stop and think about just using a HD Native PCIe card in an expansion chassis. Especially with the Sonnet LE low-end chassis retailing for just $350 and offering two Thunderbolt ports. But you have to live with a power brick and cooling fan. OTOH that does not trap you with a Thunderbolt only box and you can always put the card back inside a computer.

Darryl
This is what I've been doing using the OWC Helios and it works great. The Avid box is not an options for me, as my chain is this:

Macbook Pro -> Thunderbolt Display -> OWC Helios -> HDMI TV monitor

The only issue is the fan noise on the Helios. While it's quieter than the Sonnet I tried briefly, it's still noticeable. However at 1/4th the cost of the Avid box it's certainly acceptable, especially since it has 2 TB ports on it.

Would a Thunderbolt "hub" make the Avid box useable? Yes, but then we're talking about needing a breakout box (hub) for your breakout box (Avid TB) which is really only there to connect to your I/O box (OMNI I/O in my case).

Here's to hoping Avid learns from this and will get it right with future TB devices. They've really become the King of false-positives lately.
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  #8  
Old 11-12-2012, 12:43 PM
agershon agershon is offline
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Default Re: Until Someone Makes a Thunderbolt Hub, Thunderbolt is a (1/2 Useless) Dead End St

I have a TB HD and Omni on the way to use with my MBP. I bought a USB-to-DVI adaptor in order to keep my second display.

Avid might be keen on keeping the TB hub away from other devices that might cause conflicts.
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