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Apple releases $49 Thunderbolt cable, offers external RAID systems

post #1 of 81
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Apple on Tuesday added a new $49 Thunderbolt high-speed data cable to its online store, as well as a handful of external RAID storage options starting at $999.

The new Thunderbolt cable measures 2 meters and supports the next-generation data port found on Apple's latest iMacs and MacBook Pros. Thunderbolt offers two independent channels of 10Gbit/s each.

The official Apple Thunderbolt cable allows users to connect Thunderbolt peripherals, but it can also be used for Target Disk Mode between two Macs. The cable can also be used to make a Thunderbolt-equipped iMac serve as a display for a new MacBook Pro.

Also available in Apple's online store are a handful of external RAID systems, all of which ship within 24 hours:
The least expensive option is the Promise Pegasus R4 with 4TB of data. It features four 1TB 7200-rpm drives delivering over 500MB/s of disk performance.
For $1,499, the Pegasus R4 can be doubled to 8TB, operating at the same 500MB/s.
For more speed, Apple offers the Promise Pegasus R6. It includes six 1TB 7200-rpm hard drives that deliver over 800MB/s of disk performance for $1,499.
Finally, the R6 can also have twice the storage with the 12TB offering, priced at $1,999.
Thunderbolt was launched in March, when Apple's new MacBook Pros went on sale. The technology, co-developed by Intel and Apple, utilizes the standard mini DisplayPort connector, but offers high-speed data transfers in addition to external monitor support.

Thunderbolt also appeared on the new iMacs launched in May, and is expected to rapidly appear on the rest of the company's hardware lineup. Tuesday's additions to the Apple online store mark some of the first Thunderbolt-capable accessories available for purchase.



Just last week, LaCie showed off a new Thunderbolt solid-state drive that it will release this summer. The system has two SSDs paired in a RAID 0 configuration offering read speeds of up to 870MB/s.

Though Apple cooperated with Intel on Thunderbolt, the technology is not exclusive to the Mac maker. This week, rival Sony showed off its own proprietary implementation of Thunderbolt, which will arrive on a new laptop in Europe this summer, dubbed the VAIO Z.
post #2 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Finally, the R6 can also have twice the storage with the 12TB offering, priced at $1,9999.

post #3 of 81
Apple, please make a Mac that is about the size of that RAID system. Perfect size for a Mac between the Mini and the Pro.
post #4 of 81
Not in the market for Thunderbolt yet...but I am glad so many are cause the early adopters that will spend $50 on a cable pay the R and D costs for guys like me who cant quite afford to be on the cutting edge...that said, even for cutting edge tech that cable should be no more than $25...Apple must model their cable business after monster...not a bad plan for stock holders
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post #5 of 81
I get the feeling Apple have their decimal point in the wrong place. Mind you, this is Apple where they try to give the best bang for the buck with Macs and devices, then gouge you on accessories or upgrades such as memory.
post #6 of 81
We need a breakout box that has FW and USB ports. Stash all the peripherals in a corner and and just have a single cable going back to my Mac. Is anyone working on such a device?
post #7 of 81
Can anyone point me to any of the thunderbolt equipped raid drives. I AM in the market for raid backup at another location, an Apple sku number i can find?
post #8 of 81
Now we just need the monoprice.com versions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post

Can anyone point me to any of the thunderbolt equipped raid drives. I AM in the market for raid backup at another location, an Apple sku number i can find?

They are still being developed. Soon...

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post #9 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Now we just need the monoprice.com versions.



They are still being developed. Soon...

Thanks=!
mention of the new raid systems are bracketed in the article by Thunderbolt paragraphs, I inferred the raids were thunderbolt -
guess i will stick with separate usb time machine drives for each mbp for now
post #10 of 81
This is cool. I was planning on a new iMac this summer and almost decided to go with both SSD and physical disk option, but with Thunderbolt peripherals starting to appear, I may just go with the smallest SSD internal and a Thunderbolt external.
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post #11 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperorsNewClothes View Post

I get the feeling Apple have their decimal point in the wrong place. ...

Your feeling is wrong. The Apple Store clearly lists the PROMISE VTrak x30 Series (16x 2TB SATA) 3U RAID Subsystem at $19,999.00. The mistake in the placement of the decimal point was made by AppleInsider, not Apple.
post #12 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

Not in the market for Thunderbolt yet...but I am glad so many are cause the early adopters that will spend $50 on a cable pay the R and D costs for guys like me who cant quite afford to be on the cutting edge...that said, even for cutting edge tech that cable should be no more than $25...Apple must model their cable business after monster...not a bad plan for stock holders

If it weren't for Promise leaving out the cable, this wouldn't be necessary. Most external drives include the data cable. These Promise devices are the first I've seen to leave out the data cable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post

Can anyone point me to any of the thunderbolt equipped raid drives. I AM in the market for raid backup at another location, an Apple sku number i can find?

The Promise units in the story are linked to Apple's web store, the ones I checked are Thunderbolt enabled.
post #13 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

If it weren't for Promise leaving out the cable, this wouldn't be necessary. Most external drives include the data cable. These Promise devices are the first I've seen to leave out the data cable.



The Promise units in the story are linked to Apple's web store, the ones I checked are Thunderbolt enabled.

Yes! Thanks for pointing that out. Searching the apple store with keyword thunderbolt, only the cable showed up
post #14 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Apple, please make a Mac that is about the size of that RAID system. Perfect size for a Mac between the Mini and the Pro.

Why would they do that? Only a handful of geeks want that.
post #15 of 81
Just let me sneak in this pic one last time:

post #16 of 81
$50.00 for a 6ft cable? And I thought Monster had a monopoly on such things.
post #17 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBillyGoatGruff View Post


Extra nine. Its $1999.00. For price comparison, the Thunderbolt equipped pegasus series has $200 premium over the firewire800 equipped smartstor series in the same configuration.

Also coming down the pipes is a thunderbolt to dual 4GB fibre channel adapter.
http://www.promise.com/storage/raid_...sn1=40&rsn3=49
post #18 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post

Yes! Thanks for pointing that out. Searching the apple store with keyword thunderbolt, only the cable showed up

Promise Pegasus R4 4TB
http://store.apple.com/us/product/H5...g&s=topSellers

They're all under:
Home > Shop Mac > Mac Accessories > Storage
post #19 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post

Yes! Thanks for pointing that out. Searching the apple store with keyword thunderbolt, only the cable showed up

Wow, that is sad.
post #20 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

Not in the market for Thunderbolt yet...but I am glad so many are cause the early adopters that will spend $50 on a cable pay the R and D costs for guys like me who cant quite afford to be on the cutting edge...that said, even for cutting edge tech that cable should be no more than $25...Apple must model their cable business after monster...not a bad plan for stock holders

If you remember when HDMI first came along the cables were taking the piss expensive like this. Prices soon drop and in practice, this is an area where buying the Apple option will cost you dear, when compared with a generic.
post #21 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Now we just need the monoprice.com versions.



They are still being developed. Soon...

No kidding!
post #22 of 81
Call me when there is a Thumb Drive / iPhone / Digital Camera that can use thunderbolt and a cable is $2. Until then it is still a proof of concept.
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post #23 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Wow, that is sad.

I have to assume a touch of sarcasm, I don't think its sad, or regrettable, merely inconvenient
post #24 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Just let me sneak in this pic one last time:


I was just going ask if anyone knew which drives Promise uses in these RAIDs. Is that it?

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post #25 of 81
1) Not a bad price at $999 for the four bay system with 4TB total. Though I will have to know about the quality, peer usage and fan noise before buying one.

2) I wonder if this means Apple won't be coming out with their own home server.
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post #26 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) Not a bad price at $999 for the four bay system with 4TB total. Though I will have to know about the quality, peer usage and fan noise before buying one.

2) I wonder if this means Apple won't be coming out with their own home server.

I just read the press release at:

http://www.promise.com/news_room/new...global&rsn=847

Sporting a new enclosure design, an 80Plus power supply and an active fan management, system noise is never an issue making Pegasus ideal for desktop, small office environments or any room in the home

"Ultra Quiet and Eco-Smart"

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post #27 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I just read the press release at:

http://www.promise.com/news_room/new...global&rsn=847

Sporting a new enclosure design, an 80Plus power supply and an active fan management, system noise is never an issue making Pegasus ideal for desktop, small office environments or any room in the home

"Ultra Quiet and Eco-Smart"

Thanks for allowing me to be lazy. I may just get one of these once I get a Mac with TB.
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post #28 of 81


It'll take a while before TB becomes useful for consumers, it seems.
post #29 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I was just going ask if anyone knew which drives Promise uses in these RAIDs. Is that it?

Ive searched the websites and spec sheet.
One place I read (and now cant find) indicated they are SATA II.
This must be wrong.
post #30 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgginc View Post

Ive searched the websites and spec sheet.
One place I read (and now cant find) indicated they are SATA II.
This must be wrong.

SATA II makes sense. Why do you think it's wrong? Don't forget that it's only been recently that even NAND-based drives (SSDs) have been able to take advantage of SATA III.
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post #31 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgginc View Post

I’ve searched the websites and spec sheet.
One place I read (and now can’t find) indicated they are SATA II.
This must be wrong.

The specs sheet on Promise's web site says the R4 and R6 are good for SATA II and SATA III although the manual only mentions SATA I and II. Calling Promise should get that little issue resolved.

What's interesting about the R4 and R6 is that they are Thunderbolt ONLY solutions...no USB,
Firewire or eSATA. The only other port is a serial connection used for UPS monitoring. I just read the manual and it looks like it's mostly based on the features of Promise's earlier products (RAID 0-10), predictive monitoring for bad drives, etc. I'm an old Drobo customer so something like this won't have the flexibility of those products in increasing the array size without having to rebuild the whole thing, but the data throughput for this compared to what I'm using now is obscene....more like a factor of 10-15 compared to my old unit. That will get the attention of a lot of professionals. Even better, the thing is shipping now...if you have $1400-$2000 burning in your pocket, you can have one tomorrow. Of course, neither drive actually comes with a Thunderbolt cable...make sure you order that from Apple at the same time.

Lastly, the Thunderbolt breakout box for Fibre-channel that they announced solves a big problem with video shops that have large fiber channel arrays but can't directly connect them with anything less than a Mac Pro. Now you can buy a quad-core i7 27" iMac or MacBook Pro and hook it up to the fibre channel array without any additional software. Pretty cool. Hopefully it will be priced right so that's it's a no-brainer for those customers.
post #32 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

SATA II makes sense. Why do you think it's wrong? Don't forget that it's only been recently that even NAND-based drives (SSDs) have been able to take advantage of SATA III.

If you want to put 6G SSDs in there will it support SATA III?
I guess as long as it supports SATA III its OK for SATA II drives.
post #33 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

Not in the market for Thunderbolt yet...but I am glad so many are cause the early adopters that will spend $50 on a cable pay the R and D costs for guys like me who cant quite afford to be on the cutting edge...that said, even for cutting edge tech that cable should be no more than $25...Apple must model their cable business after monster...not a bad plan for stock holders

OK ... help me out here. You like cutting edge "stuff" .... but can't/ don't want to spend $50.00 on a product ..... but have "the plan" for Apple on how to price their products ??? You know, it MAY be time to realize you might not be their "desired demographic" ... just sayin' ....
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post #34 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgginc View Post

Ive searched the websites and spec sheet.
One place I read (and now cant find) indicated they are SATA II.
This must be wrong.

I'm in the market for a new rack mounted external RAID but it is for a Linux server so I'm thinking it might be awhile before Thunderbolt is available for Linux. I like the OWC rack enclosure but like every one else they don't want to publish which drives go into the systems. They are listed as 'high quality' or 'enterprise quality'.

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post #35 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

We need a breakout box that has FW and USB ports. Stash all the peripherals in a corner and and just have a single cable going back to my Mac. Is anyone working on such a device?

This. Not to mention USB 3.0 already won, so we need this kind of box so we can start using the low prices USB 3.0 external drives. Thunderbolt is nice but its going to be another firewire. I bought upgradable seagate USB drives just in case they come up with a thunderbold adapter like before I died of old age or USB 4.0 is out. In the meantime i can used firewire.
post #36 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

Thunderbolt is nice but its going to be another firewire.

Define and defense your position.
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post #37 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I'm in the market for a new rack mounted external RAID but it is for a Linux server so I'm thinking it might be awhile before Thunderbolt is available for Linux. I like the OWC rack enclosure but like every one else they don't want to publish which drives go into the systems. They are listed as 'high quality' or 'enterprise quality'.

The reason is pretty simple. It's too much trouble to bother certifying every specific drive that you could use out there with a market that quickly changes like hard drives. These things are commodities anyway. Only in the biggest data center applications do vendors care which drives go into these things. Yes, there are some issues occasionally...the earliest 1.5 TB drives were problematic in RAIDs and not every older RAID supports advanced formatting (4K blocks). But most of the time, if they mean "enterprise quality", it means find you a 7200 RPM drive from a major vendor that you like and proceed.
post #38 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Define and defense your position.

You say that as though you expect people who say this to have a legitimate, coherent reason for saying it.

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post #39 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

This. Not to mention USB 3.0 already won, so we need this kind of box so we can start using the low prices USB 3.0 external drives. Thunderbolt is nice but its going to be another firewire. I bought upgradable seagate USB drives just in case they come up with a thunderbold adapter like before I died of old age or USB 4.0 is out. In the meantime i can used firewire.

I'm sure somebody is working on a TB->USB 3.0 solution as we speak. Somehow I doubt the first generations of such a product will have Firewire since Firewire ports are still found on every shipping Mac (save the MacBook Airs and the white Macbook). A Firewire version would be invaluable the day that Apple stops providing the port on mainstream Macs (iMacs, Macbook Pros, Mac Pros). There are still a lot of people with Firewire external storage and Firewire-based Pro devices so it may be a while before that happens. But this is Apple we're talking about as any Final Cut Pro user would remind me of.
post #40 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Call me when there is a Thumb Drive / iPhone / Digital Camera that can use thunderbolt and a cable is $2. Until then it is still a proof of concept.

So with your definition, FW and eSATA are also proof-of-concept.

I'll consider Thunerbolt mainstream once there are single-machanism drives that have the connection. Sure, a single drive mechanism doesn't need the bandwidth, but once you can daisy-chain drives together on Thunerbolt, Firewire takes a big step closer to obsolescence.

Then a Thunerbolt-FW adaptor takes care of the other, less common uses of FW (scanners, audio gear, etc), and Apple starts shipping computers with only Tunderbolt and USB. USB will likely always have a price advantage for things like keyboards, mice, and even the smaller thumb drives. So I don't see USB being dropped anytime soon.
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