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Old 12-27-2011, 02:30 PM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default Intel to Make Thunderbolt Available for the PC in April

When Intel launched its Thunderbolt connector this past spring with the help of Apple and its MacBook Pro refresh, it was difficult to tell what sort of future the technology had. Part of the reason for this was its exclusivity to Apple hardware, with no definitive release date for PCs running Windows, Linux or other OSes. According to industry-reporting site DigiTimes, the drought that PC users have been experiencing should soon be over.


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Old 12-27-2011, 03:52 PM   #2
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I honestly can't see what kind of USB devices we plug in to our computers can benefit from the extra speed over USB 3.0 or even 2.0.

I certainly am not looking forward to yet another useless variable when choosing the device I want to buy. A thunderbolt mouse is not better than a USB mouse. But if I'm offered both we will be yet again on that marketing swamp of utter nonsense that computer technology has been sinking into for the past years; where consumer ignorance, coupled with bind greed for the valueless "Moar!" dominates over common sense.

Thunderbolt may become very valuable in the server markets and other specialized PC environments. But as a consumer-grade technology is pretty much useless. If the idea is to go for either USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt, than I'm all hears. But if the idea is to start supplying both technologies, I find that irritatingly stupid.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marfig View Post
But if the idea is to start supplying both technologies, I find that irritatingly stupid.
This is why I feel Thunderbolt will be exclusive to higher-end products, motherboards and notebooks, for quite some time. For the regular consumer, Thunderbolt offers no benefit whatsoever over USB 3.0, but it costs a lot more to invest in.

Thunderbolt won't be for standard peripherals like mice or keyboards, because there's just no purpose to it. Most peripherals could be used on a USB 1.0 bus still, because the data and latency needs are minimal. For things like standard thumb drives, even USB 2.0 is still suitable, because it's rare when someone copies over GBs to one.

Then we have USB 3.0, which is about 2x as fast as the fastest thumb drive out there. I am in the process of reviewing Kingston's HyperX thumb drive, and it can achieve speeds of 250MB/s. That's about 2.5x the speed of a hard drive, but less than 50% what the USB 3.0 bus is capable of. And for a lot of people, even that sort of speed is just not needed.

As such, I don't see the regular consumer buying into Thunderbolt right off the bat, if ever. The products that can take advantage of Thunderbolt are expensive and mission-specific. If I am running a business that has huge data transfer requirements, then I'd consider Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt is theoretically 4x faster than USB 3.0, but most people aren't likely to take advantage of 1/4th of USB 3.0 (an external HDD would be about 1/4th).

We'll see how things play out. Hard to speculate at this point.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:47 PM   #4
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Thunderbolt was NEVER designed to replace low level devices such as mice, etc. It was designed for moving large amounts of data faster than ever before, like backing up hard drives, movies, large Photo Shope images, etc. In that regard, Thunderbolt is like a race car compared to a Chevy.
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Old 12-28-2011, 03:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Thunderbolt was NEVER designed to replace low level devices such as mice, etc.
See Marfig that was my thought when I saw your post. Do you really think of a mouse when thunderbolt is brought up for discussion?

USB 2.0 is tapped out for some things people actually use it for. Unfortunately alot of the more common devices we wish would make use of its maximum bandwidth don't. I spend alot of time transferring files off portable devices but most of these either have storage that's too slow or reader implementations that are too slow.

When I think of Thunderbolt I think of external PCI-e 2.0 16x Box. Maybe I am just a little weird. Other things might include monitors. USB 3.0 brings up storage, any external hard drive I have is considerably slowed by usb 2.0. But hell that's what eSATA is for I guess. I have dual SATA docks in the top of my case so i don't even bother with enclosures for my old tiny 1TB hard drives anymore.

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because it's rare when someone copies over GBs to one.
For you maybe . I use thumb drives to copy files to machines when I cant get the silly network to work. Thats usually in the GB category. Im not everyone but I didnt buy an 8GB drive oh 3 years ago now to copy 1mb files. I rarely use thumb drives these days though.

Yeah I am not buying into it but if it comes available on my next motherboard or laptop and I find a use for it why not.

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Old 12-28-2011, 04:21 PM   #6
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See Marfig that was my thought when I saw your post. Do you really think of a mouse when thunderbolt is brought up for discussion?
My point was exactly how ridiculous that can be.
Thunderbolt has its uses. What I don't want to see is technology fads outside the common sense. Like companies trying to capitalize on the increased speeds to sell thunderbolt devices to gullible consumers.

In a world where gamers discuss gold tipped keyboard connectors to decrease latency, swear that 100 FPS looks better than 80 FPS, or sound cables go for sale at ridiculous prices, I'm ready for anything.
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:01 PM   #7
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In a world where gamers discuss gold tipped keyboard connectors to decrease latency, swear that 100 FPS looks better than 80 FPS, or sound cables go for sale at ridiculous prices, I'm ready for anything.
What shall we call this warrior? Hehe
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:15 AM   #8
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Eh, I gotta say it's needed.

Hard drives max out USB 2.0, even THUMB drives max out USB 2.0 these days. Any time I make a thumb drive bootable and copy a DVD-sized install package onto it, I do wish I had a USB 3.0 thumb drive... Or every time I back up the 16GB thumb drive itself...

Then there are SSDs, plug one into a USB 3.0 or thunderbolt port and it'll have all the bandwidth and power it needs.

In particular, switching from a DVD to a high speed USB 2.0 thumb drive can cut the installation times for Windows from ~10 to ~6 minutes on a high-end desktop, so I'm still itching to try a USB 3.0 drive just to see how far I can compress the installation times...
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:24 PM   #9
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Eh, I gotta say it's needed.
What's needed? Thunderbolt? You didn't give an example of why ;-)
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