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New MBA - Page 2

post #41 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Thunderbolt is 20Gbps via 1 port - despite half being for display output. You're not getting 160Gbps out the Mac Pro either as the double-wide x16 slot is used by the GPU so you get 96Gbps left.

Now of course one 10Gbps data port doesn't immediately match 96Gbps but there are ways round it and they will develop over time.
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You asked which it was and Intel said it was cost. There are enough partners but they don't want to be out of pocket.
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I don't see the point you're trying to make here. Wouldn't 16 PCI 3.0 lanes be fast enough (128Gbps)? They're coming with Ivy Bridge:

http://semiaccurate.com/2011/03/28/l...or-ivy-bridge/
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Why couldn't Apple ditch FW800 and ethernet and put on two or three extra TB ports, which are smaller?
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If you add a display to the chain, it doesn't matter because it's on a separate 10Gbps channel and as I said, you're not going to run all these completely different expansion devices at once nor will they all saturate the port.

Apogee have a 32-channel ExpressCard device:

http://www.gak.co.uk/en/apogee-symph...book-pro/22482

32 channels over a 2.5Gbps port. It may be possible to saturate an audio card on a 10Gbps port but probably not that likely.

'easily' would suggest common usage scenarios. I don't think there are too many common scenarios that will saturate even a single TB port.
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Like this type of thing you mean?
http://www.sonnettech.com/product/fw...esscard34.html
TB is essentially the next ExpressCard but 4x the speed and much more compact.

If 20Gb/s was that easily achieved on a TBolt port, don't you think Apple/Intel would have mentionned it in the litterature? Both speak about TBolt as a 10Gb/s technology, that's what it is. So it's ok to calculate TBolt bandwidth including the video, but not on the MP? Wow. In any case, what prevents me from using a GPU card in one 4x slot and use 36x lanes for data? Even if you can achieve 20 or even 40Gb/s total with multiple devices on a single TB port, you can do more than that with what's left of PCIe slots in a Mac Pro. If you already know a way around, maybe you should tell Intel/Apple, they will certainly appreciate it. Honestly, I don't see the point in comparing what TBolt may offer in the future vs the current capabilities of a MP. Because the development on the MP (or other computers with slots) will not stop while TBolt evolves.
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I don't think that 10 partners on TBolt is enough.
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If you use the 16x PCIe 3.0 lanes on the future Ivy Bridge cpus for TBolt, where do you connect dedicated graphics? In any case TBolt being a dual channel technology, if you want two channels at 100Gb/s, you would need almost twice the number of PCIe 3.0 lanes. The fact that Intel's TBolt controller works with 2 channels at 10Gb/s doesn't mean it will magically work at 100Gb/s, Intel hopes to achieve this within 10 years. Not all Ivy Bridge cpus will get PCIe 3.0 at launch, I think that Intel/Apple will wait for PCIe 3.0 to be standard before thinking about offering a faster version of TBolt (probably at 20Gb/s per channel).
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I am certainly not against multiple TBolt ports on certain models (the Mac mini server would be a prime example, I already stated this), but you have to understand that multiple ports would use more PCIe lanes and need at least a displayport output each to be fully compliant. So 16x PCIe 3.0 lanes would offer 8x PCIe 3.0 lanes for a dedicated gpu and 8x PCIe 3.0 lanes for TBolt ports that could translate to up to 4 TBolt 1.0 ports (if enough displayport outputs are available, that depends on the gpus). In most (Apple) designs that would probably translate into 2 TBolt ports (FW removed). That same configuration would also work for TBolt 2.0 (20Gb/s per channel) when Intel will have a controller chip supporting 20Gb/s per channel).
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Saturation. I'm talking about 1 TBolt port at 10Gb/s.
1- if video uses one channel, then you only have one channel for data.
2- pure audio interfaces are not devices that use lots of bandwidth, there are FW interfaces that can handle 32 I/O, but in a pro audio environment 32 I/O is not much (remember that it is only 16 inputs and 16 outputs).
3- DSP processing does, RAID systems do, probably some video interfaces/converters too...
4- You don't seem to understand that in a typical PRO audio setup (I'm not talking about home recording, even by a pro) you will have one or multiple audio interface(s), DSP processing, and storage, (and eventually multiple displays) working all together at the same time. Currently this is done on separate cards (Apogee symphony for I/O, UAD-2 cards for DSP, for example, or combo cards (I/O+DSP) from AVID), and multiple internal/external drives on a MP, translate this to a MBP, and everything has to be external including the storage. So If you use a display, one channel would be used for video, and one channel for data, so minimum 1 audio interface + a RAID storage device + some DSP processing devices will share one channel, I can assure you that 3 to 4 UAD-2 QUAD cards will saturate that channel.
5- Consumers may never get there, I agree, but pro users will. Hell, Magma doesn't make PCIe extension racks for fun, it's for people that need to put more cards connected to a MP (or other computers, they use ONE 4x or 8x slot to offer 4 to 8 additional PCIe slots.
6- If a pro user moves from a MP environment to a MBP environment using similar equipment, he could easily saturate a single TBolt port. Put it simply, TBolt offers up to 4x PCIe performance, four 1x devices working at the same time + a display will saturate a TBolt port. There are not too many common scenarios in the consumer realm, because TBolt is not a consumer technology, nor will most of the upcoming TBolt devices. If you had seen some of the Pro Tools setups that I've seen, you'd be asking for 100Gb/s and multiple independant ports, right now.
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Oh no, not at all, there will be hubs and I hope really good/useful ones! Just not single port adaptors: one miniDP on one side, one FW on the other. That's what I meant by adaptors.
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Other than that TBolt is great. Before the end of the year we may see all Macs (non MP) with one TB port, the MMS hopefully with two. And next year, we could see 2 independant TBolt ports on the MBP and iMac too, replacing the FW port. And the year after that: TBolt may offer 20Gb/s per channel. Great potential.

I'll even go further and say that TBolt would be great on the MP too. Why? Because each TBolt port will be able to handle 6/7 devices that don't require more than 1x PCIe 2.0 performance, leaving the (few) internal PCIe slots available for the faster devices (GPU, RAID, DSP,...). That alone would do more for the TBolt ecosystem, than offering 2 TBolt ports on mainstream computers.
post #42 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

So it's ok to calculate TBolt bandwidth including the video, but not on the MP? Wow.

You said 10Gbps vs 160Gbps where it's actually 10Gbps vs 96Gbps. You can include video if you like in which case it's 20Gbps vs 160Gbps but you don't get any video out from the Mac Pro in that case, which wouldn't be a fair comparison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

Even if you can achieve 20 or even 40Gb/s total with multiple devices on a single TB port, you can do more than that with what's left of PCIe slots in a Mac Pro.

Over separate slots. The bandwidth available over 1 TB port is comparable to one of those slots. A Macbook Air with TB would offer more expansion flexibility than a MP as you aren't limited to 3 devices. You can have as many as you like and just switch plugs when you need another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

In most (Apple) designs that would probably translate into 2 TBolt ports (FW removed). That same configuration would also work for TBolt 2.0 (20Gb/s per channel) when Intel will have a controller chip supporting 20Gb/s per channel).

That's what I'd expect to happen - 2 TB ports. Dual display + 2 free x4-equivalent slots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

pure audio interfaces are not devices that use lots of bandwidth, there are FW interfaces that can handle 32 I/O, but in a pro audio environment 32 I/O is not much (remember that it is only 16 inputs and 16 outputs).

DSP processing does, RAID systems do, probably some video interfaces/converters too...

If you already know this won't work out, maybe you should tell the marketing director at Apogee:

http://www.musicradar.com/news/tech/...erfaces-388984

"Simply stated, Intel's Thunderbolt technology on the Mac marks the end of difficult choices and the beginning of unlimited performance.

In the near future, Thunderbolt will take the confusion out of choosing a professional connectivity standard for audio production. Too often we have seen our customers frustrated by the options: Should I go with USB 3, FireWire 800, PCI cards and when is that LightPeak [Intel's development name for Thunderbolt] thing coming? Now we know, as manufacturers and customers, where we are headed."

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

Hell, Magma doesn't make PCIe extension racks for fun, it's for people that need to put more cards connected to a MP (or other computers, they use ONE 4x or 8x slot to offer 4 to 8 additional PCIe slots.

For server applications:

http://www.magma.com/clustering.asp
http://www.magma.com/displayclustering.asp
http://www.magma.com/virtualization.asp
http://www.magma.com/storageclustering.asp

This is exactly where TB has its strength though as you aren't stuck with 3 devices max.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

If you had seen some of the Pro Tools setups that I've seen, you'd be asking for 100Gb/s and multiple independant ports, right now.

These would be setups that require full 100Gbps of bandwidth all at one time? If you've come across setups that require it then that's fair enough but I don't expect PCI to co-exist with TB forever.

TB is being groomed as a PCI replacement (as in a replacement for internal expansion).
post #43 of 43
Marvin,

You're the one talking about 20Gb/s not me. It was just an example. The fact is Tbolt works over 4x PCIe lanes total. The current MP as one 16x slot and two 4x slots free, it can use more powerful devices than TBold can, that's all, and using expansion racks like Magma (audio/video and storage solutions, not only server applications, see their Case studies), AVID, you can add more PCIe cards to a MP, even if the total bandwidth stay the same.

How can you possibly say that having a 4x port that allows up to 7 devices, can be better than having 3 slots with 6 times the bandwidth (24x)? If you don't use 4x, 8x or 16x devices, maybe, but that's just in some cases, they are plenty of other cases where it's just not true. If you can't imagine what cases, then you have no clue about what people do with their computers, especially with MPs.

If you expect 2 TBolt ports, then why don't you say so, instead of saying multiple, 3 or 4, configurations that are not realistic right now, nor with what we know about future desktop/mobile cpus.

I'm not saying it doesn't work, I'm saying that pro users will eventually end up saturating the one TBolt port in the MBP (or future iMac) with certain types of devices, especially when a display is also connected:
- displayport: up to 8.64Gb/s
- Pegasus RAID: up to 800MB/s = 6.4Gb/s
Just with that you have to use both channels.
- Now add anything that can go at up to 4Gb/s (it just a 1x device), let's say DSP processing (UAD-2, for example) and one of the channels will be saturated.
That doesn't mean it won't work, that means that some of the devices won't work at full speed all the time.
That's just 3 devices on the TBolt port. And yes, all three have to work at the same time, if you want to see what you're doing when your recording let's say a band in a studio.

I don't think Intel/Apple intend TBolt to be a replacement for Internal expansion, but THE solution for computers designs that don't have PCIe slots to use similar devices as computers with slots, devices of the same quality, sustained rate and low latency, things that nor USB (all flavors) eSATA (all flavors), Expresscard (all flavors), Enet nor FW (all flavors) can't offer. Like I said, PCIe and TBolt will grow together hand in hand for a long time.

And now you believe all the marketing bla, bla, bla,... It was never a choice about the protocol standard (USB, FW, PCIe,...) in audio production, PCIe devices have always been better (faster, more powerful, lower latency), FW was in the middle, some good things, but usually not enough to be a realistic pro alternative, and USB was a joke except for a very few stereo interfaces with pro converters. No real pro user would ever wonder: "Should I go with USB 3, FireWire 800, PCI cards and when is that LightPeak..." That's hilarious! There are no audio interfaces, no DSP processing in USB3 format, how can that even be in the minds of pro users?

In any case, TBolt has to offer much more than a dozen of devices to be a threat to computers with PCIe slots.

"I don't expect PCI to co-exist with TB forever"
Between "the SB iMac+TBolt will kill the MP" and "forever", there's plenty of time for both architectures to evolve in ways we can't imagine.
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