Originally Posted by Marvin
Some PCI cards have managed to top this like the OCZ drive around 1GB/s:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRj3EUn9hmo
but 70-80% of all computers shipping can't use them (less than 5% of Apple's shipping machines can use them). Plus, you can see from the following video, the machine will fly along with just 300-400MB/s reads/writes:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EDCvKnJlg0
Faster is always better but when you start talking about launching an app in 0.5 seconds vs 0.25 seconds or saving a 90 minute 1080p ProRes 4444 file in 5 minutes vs 2.5 minutes, it doesn't matter any more.
You are too focused transfer rates, which while important are only part of the equation. For example if the engineer can eliminate SATA logic from the chip set it effectively frees up space and reduces a level of logic between the CPU and the storage device. In the end the system becomes more efficient.
This is especially important as designers will eventually get to a SoC i86 implementation much like Apples "A" series chips. It is far easier to look forward to what is required in future hardware, design minimal chips to support those needs and reap the benefits of new process tech.
For enterprise applications where you want to clone terabytes of data regularly, it makes sense but this is mainly in a server environment, which is not built from standard desktop boxes any more.
Falling back to the enterprise server market makes no sense in this discussion as Apple has zero influence here. There is plenty of reasons to buy high performance systems outside of the enterprise server market, in these markets software grows to exploit all of the hardwares performance. Again it is a question of looking towards the future.
A Thunderbolt port can support a PCI slot so it can support all of the current PCIe devices, just not at maximum throughput in the current iteration.
You are understating just how being a port that does not support maximum through put impacts devices. The fact is TB can't support anything that needs more than 4x bandwidth. It gets worst than that though due to the nature of the serial interface and the potential for multiple devices to be on that bus. TB is a great port but it isn't the last word in performance.
The sales numbers are going up but the mobile numbers are going up faster so the share is overwhelmingly in favour of mobile solutions. Also, the desktop sales include the Mini and iMac, which use mobile GPUs and Thunderbolt - no PCI slots. Given the price hike, I'd assume Mac Pro numbers are falling.
Apple desktop sales are doing much better than the overall market, that is significant right there. Further I'm willing to bet we have yet to see the impact of tablet computing on desktop sales.
The problem with the Pro is it is simply to expensive for people that need some capability beyond theMini or iMac.
In some ways yes but you can't run a GPU off a USB port nor can you implement a protocol like firewire over USB.
I'm still not convinced that there will be much of a market for external GPUs. FireWire for all intents is dead. Again it is about looking towards the future.
Thunderbolt is entirely functionally different. Consumers wouldn't regard ExpressCard as a faster USB port. It has more similarities now that it can be implemented on devices like external hard drives but when people see high-end audio devices, GPU and PCI solutions, they will be able to see the extra functionality.
All that extra functionality really amounts to faster speeds. In the end most users won't know much more than that. All you really end up with is a new generation of devices.