Looks like another case of multiple port/connectors confusion.
Certainly since it is early days for these devices even the tech folks are trying to get a handle on it.
My point is that if we are trying to figure out what it all means in the big tech picture, heaven help the hapless non-technical consumer who tries to figure out what kinds of things can plug into these new connector ports.
Originally Posted by Marvin
...This design allows you to connect data ports and items like Blu-Ray directly to the USB 3 port while passing full TB bandwidth to a GPU. With the design that Intel/Apple went with, that other channel is reserved for a display, which you might not even have connected and to be perfectly honest, I don't like the idea of having a display daisy chained off something like a Blu-Ray drive anyway.
If I have a portable drive, I don't want to have to disconnect my screen to plug it in (the screen has to be the last in the chain). To put this into an example:
Sony's laptop has HDMI output even without the dock so if I plug it into a display, I still have the option to fully utilise both the USB 3 and the Thunderbolt.
Apple's Macbook Pro has a single port so if I plug in a monitor and I have a Thunderbolt portable drive, then I have to unplug the monitor before I can use it and even then, I'm a port down vs Sony.
I think this raises a valid question.
It does feel somewhat weird to be trying to put a data port -which normally gets multiple data devices plugged in and out- together with a video port -which normally gets one or at most two devices plugged in and rarely unplugged.
At least, in my world and those I work with, data device are regularly plugged in and chained and unplugged (external HDs), while the monitor situation is relatively stable.
This factor may not be as significant in a MacBook or iMac situation where the Mac already has a display monitor built-in.
But might become a royal pain for Mac Mini's which have no display and so must have a display plugged in -- presumably through the new Thunderbolt/video socket.
Something to consider anyway.
Thunderbolt is looking less like a future 'replace everything' data connector and more like a high-tech side trip...
Of course, it does create a whole new market for Thunderbolt powered hubs! (And we all know how successful the FireWire hub market has been
Just my current thoughts.