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Matrox DS1 is 'world's first' Thunderbolt docking station - Page 2

post #41 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


My best understanding is that you can get it all as TB data if there isn't a DP device in the chain. But you do lose half once you have a DP device.

 

In my understanding, in current implementation on Apple laptops the TB is a dual 10Gbps per channel port, with one channel dedicated for video and the other for data. 

 

So even without any DP devices connected on the TB bus, it can't use the video channel for data.

 

Update:

My infos seams to be incorrect, according to Apple devs notes, uses of channels is dynamically assigned, but it can't bond both channels.

 

https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/HardwareDrivers/Conceptual/ThunderboltDevGuide/Introduction/Introduction.html


Edited by BigMac2 - 12/17/12 at 10:29am
post #42 of 82
No FireWire? That blows!

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post #43 of 82

So the DVI port on this thing isn't even dual link. So, if like me, you have an external 2560x1440 monitor attached to a MacBook Pro, without pass through, this product is useless.

 

It seems that Matrox has taken a limited target market and made it even smaller by not supporting dual link DVI or thunderbolt pass through. It is a shame, otherwise this product would be on my shopping list.

 

-kpluck

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post #44 of 82
Originally Posted by JBlongz View Post
No FireWire? That blows!

 

No SCSI? That blows!

 

The lack of Thunderbolt out is inexcusable, however.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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post #45 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

L
Low volume = high prices

Yeah, but not that high. FW800 hard disk enclosures are very low volume, but they're usually around $100, not $1000, and those actually have to include a bridge mechanism, unlike Thunderbolt which in theory should just be PCIe -> PCIe.

 

Heck, hardly anyone even knows what eSATA is, and eSATA enclosures (with no USB ports) go for about $40 on Newegg. That's low volume, but nowhere near a freakin' grand!

post #46 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Durandal1707 View Post

Yeah, but not that high. FW800 hard disk enclosures are very low volume, but they're usually around $100, not $1000, and those actually have to include a bridge mechanism, unlike Thunderbolt which in theory should just be PCIe -> PCIe.

 

Heck, hardly anyone even knows what eSATA is, and eSATA enclosures (with no USB ports) go for about $40 on Newegg. That's low volume, but nowhere near a freakin' grand!

 

External PCI chassis existed for years and because of their specifics application and needs for big power supply made those always expensive.

 

here is one PCI chassis for 2399$:

http://www.sonicstate.com/news/2008/06/27/external-pci-express-for-desktops-and-laptops/

 

Beside, eSATA enclosures doesn't have much electronics in it, they generally only are passthru to the disk with a 5 watts power supply.


Edited by BigMac2 - 12/17/12 at 11:42am
post #47 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post

In my understanding, in current implementation on Apple laptops the TB is a dual 10Gbps per channel port, with one channel dedicated for video and the other for data. 

So even without any DP devices connected on the TB bus, it can't use the video channel for data.

Update:
My infos seams to be incorrect, according to Apple devs notes, uses of channels is dynamically assigned, but it can't bond both channels.

https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/HardwareDrivers/Conceptual/ThunderboltDevGuide/Introduction/Introduction.html

Which is probably just as well. We might not want one component hogging both channels. Leaving something for other devices might be beneficial. The next revision of Thunderbolt might be available when there are devices that need more bandwidth.
post #48 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

The next revision of Thunderbolt might be available when there are devices that need more bandwidth.

 

There is already drafts in TB specs for over 100Gbps per channel.  Thunderbolt is there to stuck around for a while.


Edited by BigMac2 - 12/17/12 at 12:34pm
post #49 of 82

Sheesh.  This box isn't the end-all be-all of Thunderbolt devices, and its shortcomings are more than apparent.  It is designed for someone like me, who has a monitor, wired Ethernet network, and printer at home, that gets sick of plugging and unplugging things constantly from their MacBook Air.  This device gives you a few common ports and minimizes the amount of plugging and unplugging required.  It is not for power users who need Firewire or external GPUs.

 

If you need these power-user features, I seriously doubt that you bought a MacBook Air in the first place.

 

For me, I just questioning whether $250 for the box plus another $50 for a Thunderbolt cable is really a good investment just to reduce some cable hassles.  I'm leaning towards "no."

post #50 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

As stated upthread, it is planned to be $400 and not out till 1Q2013

Thanks, I was getting confused about the price of the Belkin (which I was asking about) as 'up thread' I read: "Turns out that price (of the Matrox) will be $400, which is $100 over the current Belkin Thunderbolt dock, and doesn't include a Thunderbolt cable." which would seem to indicate Belkin is $300 and includes a TB cable, but I'm sure you're right as you took the time to post an answer to me.
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post #51 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlandd View Post

It's not just video.  There is a major part of the audio recording interface market that's between USB2 and PCI cards who live and die by FW.  USB3 maybe be great but it's generally been ignored by recording gear manufacturers, and FW is certainly gone from new computers but is still what these interfaces are being made with, even new ones showing at NAMM.    It's not a matter of getting new drives.  I'm not about to sell my two year old interfaces which work great and haven't even been replaced withThunderbolt or USB3, except for a few pieces from companies, which I personally have yet to see in anyone's studio yet, available though they may be.

Here's what I don't get: if a laptop HAS USB3, what's the big deal about having a Thunderbolt box to USB3 when you can just get a USB3 hub from the native port? There's only real value in a several hundred dollar Thunderbolt box if it provides ports that the laptop itself doesn't give you.  I personally have zero reason to pay for USB 2 or 3 to be coming out of such a box as long as I can still use a native port for it.

Agreed. Supporting FW would seem to me a brain donor type decision. Matrox must be crazy!
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post #52 of 82

This hub is an absolute fail.

 

No Firewire, but lots of USB2 (when all new macs already have a couple USB3 ports). And it's totally overpriced for what you get.

 

I'm not very optimistic that Thunderbolt will be around in a couple years - there are very few TB devices out there as it is, and the Pro Audio and Video industries have both basically chosen USB3 as the future for pros and semipros.

 

Unless Apple really kicks it into overdrive with their own peripheral and somehow locks out USB3's already dominant influence, I fear TB is a sinking ship.

 

Am I the only one who thinks Apple wasted a golden opportunity when they chose a new proprietary cable for iPhone/Pod instead of making them thunderbolt compatible? That would have but a Thunderbolt device (and cable) into every apple user's home kind of like how they got iTunes into everybody's home. That also would have given people hands on with TB and made syncing about 100x faster than it is now...

post #53 of 82

  I do get that this kind of box could be useful for the many people who would use only those ports.  But it seems like they're missing the niche.

 

 If you don't use your Mac as an entertainment center there's not much use for HDMI or audio out.  And as a home unit that gives you an ethernet port, well, I can't do without it at work (where there's no reason for HDMI) but don't use it at home.  On it's own merits it has too few USB2 and 3 ports for the money, and as a useful box to have it seems to be priced to high to be that impulse gift to oneself, like JCK75 said.

 

If you need HDMI and ethernet into a port starved Mac, why not?  People have thrown money at worse things in the name of video watching.  Otherwise, I dunno.  Seems like another not-home-run in the thunderbolt add-on world.

post #54 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

...

 

Am I the only one who thinks Apple wasted a golden opportunity when they chose a new proprietary cable for iPhone/Pod instead of making them thunderbolt compatible? That would have but a Thunderbolt device (and cable) into every apple user's home kind of like how they got iTunes into everybody's home. That also would have given people hands on with TB and made syncing about 100x faster than it is now...

 

I would have liked that too, but it was impossible: TB requires a number of things (Intel's blessing for one, PCI for another) that ARM currently lacks.

 

http://forums.appleinsider.com/forums/posts/add/threadId/155046/toquote/2248214

post #55 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I think I'll hold out for the next Thunderbolt display. The device variety for Thunderbolt (at 20 months and counting) is disappointing to say the least, and the fact that most of them don't have a second port for chaining is a huge cause for concern.


I'd have to agree here. I just bought a Retina MBP, and more USB2 is the last thing I need! I'd expect, though, that a new TBD would lose the FW800 port, particularly since there is the $29 TB-FW dongle from Apple. Dare we dream of 6 Gb/s eSATA on the new TBD? 1biggrin.gif

 

All of my drives that were connected over FW800 to my 2006 MBP are now on TB-eSATA (LaCie hub) or USB3-eSATA, and their throughput has tripled. I have the dongle for those devices that have only FW, but otherwise, USB3 or eSATA are where it's at! 1biggrin.gif

 

I think this Matrox will be a great addition for Macs that have TB but not USB3. But like Jeff, I'll be waiting for the new Thunderbolt Display from Apple...

post #56 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

 

I would have liked that too, but it was impossible: TB requires a number of things (Intel's blessing for one, PCI for another) that ARM currently lacks.

 

http://forums.appleinsider.com/forums/posts/add/threadId/155046/toquote/2248214


And let us not forget that the one change that Apple made to the iPod that really blew the top off the market was including USB2. Back when all Macs came with FW, adding USB2 meant that it could be connected to PCs without a FW card, opening up the market to millions more consumers. Putting in Thunderbolt instead of Lightning would mean far, far, fewer consumers could use it, not to mention the TB connector itself is almost as tall as an iPhone is thin!

 

Now, they should have included USB3, though. One annoying "feature" of the rMBPs USB3 ports is how they get configured. If the first device plugged in is USB3, you have (until the next boot) a USB3 port that can handle USB2 or USB1 devices. If the first thing plugged in is a USB2 device, then you only get USB2 speed until you reboot and try again.

post #57 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post

 

External PCI chassis existed for years and because of their specifics application and needs for big power supply made those always expensive.

 

here is one PCI chassis for 2399$:

http://www.sonicstate.com/news/2008/06/27/external-pci-express-for-desktops-and-laptops/

 

Beside, eSATA enclosures doesn't have much electronics in it, they generally only are passthru to the disk with a 5 watts power supply.

That's kind of what I'm asking, though; shouldn't Thunderbolt -> PCIe be generally passthru to the card as well? Thunderbolt is PCIe. Why is it expensive to go from PCIe to PCIe? Yeah you'll need a power supply, but you can buy a whole computer with like 5 PCIe slots in it for $350 that will have to have at least as big of a power supply. You're telling me that when you take a $350 machine, strip out the motherboard, GPU, RAM, disk, video card, and everything else except for the PCI slots, and add a Thunderbolt interface, the price suddenly jumps to $1000?

post #58 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Durandal1707 View Post

That's kind of what I'm asking, though; shouldn't Thunderbolt -> PCIe be generally passthru to the card as well? Thunderbolt is PCIe. Why is it expensive to go from PCIe to PCIe? Yeah you'll need a power supply, but you can buy a whole computer with like 5 PCIe slots in it for $350 that will have to have at least as big of a power supply. You're telling me that when you take a $350 machine, strip out the motherboard, GPU, RAM, disk, video card, and everything else except for the PCI slots, and add a Thunderbolt interface, the price suddenly jumps to $1000?

Thunderbolt is to PCIe what Sata is to ATA, what I mean is Thunderbolt serialize the PCIe signal to pass it thru a serial daisy chained BUS, so you need the Intel dedicated Thunderbolt controller in each Thunderbolt devices and a PCIe controller to bridge between Serial and parallel PCI interface in a chassis

 

Even so, regular PCI chassis have been always expensive, at $1000 for a Thunderbolt to PCIe chassis is pretty much what you have to expect for. 

 

Here is a product list of plain old PCI chassis, starting at $1199 up to $12000

http://www.magma.com/catalog/classic-pci-expansion


Edited by BigMac2 - 12/18/12 at 1:31pm
post #59 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post

Thunderbolt is to PCIe what Sata is to ATA, what I mean is Thunderbolt serialize the PCIe signal to pass it thru a serial daisy chained BUS, so you need the Intel dedicated Thunderbolt controller in each Thunderbolt devices and a PCIe controller to bridge between Serial and parallel PCI interface in a chassis

 

Yes, but that's true of all Thunderbolt devices. Not all of them cost $1000.

 

Apple's Thunderbolt -> Ethernet adapter has to include the Thunderbolt controller and the logic to extract the PCIe signal from it, and it also includes a working Ethernet card. And that costs $30. Why does this one cost almost two orders of magnitude more than that?

 

Even so, regular PCI chassis have been always expensive, at $1000 for a Thunderbolt to PCIe chassis is pretty much what you have to expect for. 

 

Here is a product list of plain old PCI chassis, starting at $1199 up to $12000

http://www.magma.com/catalog/classic-pci-expansion

I kind of have the same question there. Why does a 5-slot PCI chassis plus all the other parts of a computer cost $350, but a 3-slot PCI chassis by itself costs $1000?

 

To me it just seems more like this Magma stuff is morbidly overpriced than anything else.

post #60 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Durandal1707 View Post

I kind of have the same question there. Why does a 5-slot PCI chassis plus all the other parts of a computer cost $350, but a 3-slot PCI chassis by itself costs $1000?

 

To me it just seems more like this Magma stuff is morbidly overpriced than anything else.

 

I do agree with you, those stuff seams to be overpriced, but an external PCI chassis have always been over $1000.

post #61 of 82

It makes absolutely no sense that you would have USB 2.0 ports instead of all USB 3.0 since they would be backwards compatible and the best solution while waiting for TB storage devices to come down significantly in price. Absolutely stupid move... IMHO

post #62 of 82
I thing I wish Apple has done differently with Thunderbolt is the connector. It is too loose, if you move your laptop 1 or 2 inches, the mere weight of a cable is enough to pull it out.

It should have had a clip to hold it in, or if that is not minimalist enough, they could at least have made it tight.
post #63 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Glad to see more TB products out there, but how about a TB external GPU—or slot in which to install one? Whatever card the drivers can handle! (Meaning, I suppose, whatever OS X expects a Mac Pro to handle.)

 

I can’t give up Air portability, but TB has held out the promise of greater GPU power when I’m at home at my desk. All promise... no reality, so far. A GPU made for Mac Pro would be FAR better than you’d expect an ultrathin laptop to be able to offer. Come on, TB, let me have my cake and eat it too! Plus then I could choose to keep the same (home-base-only) GPU when getting a new Air.


I found a nice reference for you. It's basically what I've been telling people. There are some individuals who get these things working on a case by case basis, but standard parts won't meet intel's certification due to drivers or possibly firmware. If we see eGPU support, I expect it to be driven by something like Windows gaming as a likely scenario. I'd also expect that if these companies do certify gpu cards for thunderbolt use, they'll make them in the form of breakout boxes. I don't expect to see anything like this until bandwidth increases to something closer to a normal card allocation. The minimum would be something like 8 lanes, as that is what is typically allocated on mobile cards. This is just speculation, but it should help explain why it wont happen today.

 

http://www.sonnettech.com/support/kb/kb.php?cat=451&expand=_a1_b664_a2&action=b663

 

Quote:
No, the NVIDIA Quadro 4000 is not Thunderbolt-compatible. Apple and Intel have prescribed specific connectivity standards for products with Thunderbolt technology interfaces. These include drivers that are recognized by Thunderbolt and allow the product to connect and disconnect while the computer is running (hot plug/unplug). Products with Thunderbolt interfaces are tested by Intel and Apple and certified as compatible with these standards.

For PCIe expansion chassis to function correctly in this Thunderbolt-connectivity paradigm, the drivers for PCIe cards used in the chassis must also be updated to support these requirements. In most cases, each card manufacturer is responsible for updating the drivers for their cards. For the Quadro, it is Apple that controls the driver in OS X.

Intel has required all PCIe chassis manufacturers to agree to list only compatible cards that have been tested to support these standards. Apple has determined that for now, there are several technical reasons why it is not a good idea for a GPU card--including the Quadro--to connect over Thunderbolt. Therefore, GPU cards do not have Thunderbolt-compatible drivers. Until Thunderbolt-compatible drivers are released for GPU cards, they will not work over Thunderbolt.
post #64 of 82
I only buy games from Steam and then only in Windows. So for me, Windows GPU/Thunderbolt drivers would suffice. Would those be easier to obtain than Mac OS X GPU/Thunderbolt drivers, you think?

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post #65 of 82
Originally Posted by Bengt77 View Post
I only buy games from Steam and then only in Windows. So for me, Windows GPU/Thunderbolt drivers would suffice. Would those be easier to obtain than Mac OS X GPU/Thunderbolt drivers, you think?

 

You'd think no, given that no PCs have Thunderbolt, but the only working external Thunderbolt graphics cards can only be used in Windows (Boot Camp) right now. 

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #66 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bengt77 View Post

I only buy games from Steam and then only in Windows. So for me, Windows GPU/Thunderbolt drivers would suffice. Would those be easier to obtain than Mac OS X GPU/Thunderbolt drivers, you think?

I think you might be better off with a dedicated gaming PC. Thunderbolt can give you a max of about two PCIe lanes per device, and by many reports, a PCIe cage is going to be expensive too.
post #67 of 82
Why not just use the Apple display? http://www.apple.com/displays/
post #68 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

Why not just use the Apple display? http://www.apple.com/displays/

I think it's a viable option. Some of us mentioned it early in the thread. I'm holding out for an update to USB 3.
Edited by JeffDM - 12/28/12 at 5:21am
post #69 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I think it's a viable option. Some of us mentioned it early in the thread. I'm holding out for an update to USB 3.

I would wager it will updated alongside the next Mac Pro and will follow the new iMac's tapered look.

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post #70 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I would wager it will updated alongside the next Mac Pro and will follow the new iMac's tapered look.

Sounds about right to me.
post #71 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Sounds about right to me.

The only wrench in that hypothesis is Apple's history of letting their display languish. Still, with the thinning of the iMacs and need to get USB 3.0 in them I can't imagine that they'd ignore it for too long. Plus, back when they had the 27" ACD I think the 24" iMac was the largest size.

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post #72 of 82
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
The only wrench in that hypothesis is Apple's history of letting their display languish.

 

I think that's in the past. The speed of the Thunderbolt update and the 27" update before it sort of tell me they'll be moving faster.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #73 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The only wrench in that hypothesis is Apple's history of letting their display languish. Still, with the thinning of the iMacs and need to get USB 3.0 in them I can't imagine that they'd ignore it for too long. Plus, back when they had the 27" ACD I think the 24" iMac was the largest size.

I think it stands to reason they need to keep it reasonably aligned with the iMac designs once they made their designs similar as they have. It looks silly to have a thick display next to a computer with built in display that's even thinner. If there's a Mac Pro update, then a new TB display can really make it stand out. A Mac Pro + two or three TB displays and you have pixels and I/O out the wazoo.
post #74 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

 

I'm not very optimistic that Thunderbolt will be around in a couple years - there are very few TB devices out there as it is, and the Pro Audio and Video industries have both basically chosen USB3 as the future for pros and semipros.

 

Really?  Is that why Aja, BlackMagic, Motu, etc are releasing thunderbolt pro video products?  

 

Or Avid releasing Pro Tools with a thunderbolt adapter?  Universal Audio now has a TB daughtercard for the Apollo and Apogee has a TB bridge for their Symphony line. 

post #75 of 82

"Nevertheless, if you're looking at the difference between integrated graphics in an Ultrabook or a slightly-degraded GeForce GTX 460 on the same machine, the minor performance loss is pretty inconsequential."

 

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pci-express-graphics-thunderbolt,3263-7.html

 

Going over a x4 lane TB link with a mid-grade GPU works fine...if we only had the drivers for it.

 

A TB dock with a GPU, ethernet, FW, USB3 out would sell if it were $400 IF Apple supported it in OSX.  But they don't so all the eGPU products (GUS II, etc) have been limbo waiting for more TB based ultrabooks.

 

If Apple released a 27" TB display with a built in 650M that would actually make the display worth $999 for a lot more MBA buyers.

post #76 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

If Apple released a 27" TB display with a built in 650M that would actually make the display worth $999 for a lot more MBA buyers.

Possible, but I think they'll increase the price with the added component, don't you think? I can see this happening for a TV set: 3 components:

screen with video card
a box with the CPU, connectors, I/O
speaker set

Although I doubt Apple will create a TV set. It could come alive, but at least not as we know it.
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post #77 of 82
The part that will sadly never come out is a thunderbolt PCI card that fits in commodity Intel motherboards (like the one collecting dust in your closet) and puts the machine in "target disk/ethernet/usb/sound/video mode" by taking over the boot process like a PXE boot chip does.

Imagine, that boat anchor with a Q6600 in it could fire up those four drives of yesteryear as an external direct-attach RAID, but for the price of a single PCI board.

Yah, that would be too cool.
post #78 of 82
Waiting for the Belkin unit. It's now Q1 2013....what's the deal.
post #79 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post


Apple's display will be never be worth $999
post #80 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Apple's display will be never be worth $999

Well, they charge $999 for it, they sell it for $999 and with a built in hub, it's worth $999 What's not to like? Ah, perhaps glossy, I don't like that myself and always buy matte. Supposedly the new screens are way less glossy, but I haven't seen them yet.
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