Originally Posted by drblank
When it comes to DAC converters for 2 channel stereo, there isn't any Firewire based solutions.
What? There are plenty of FireWire-based DAC solutions out there. I used to work with one of them way back in my undergraduate days, when I worked in my university's AV lab. Given that that was about a decade ago, the model we were using surely isn't available anymore, but a simple Google search will still turn up plenty of FireWire DAC units. For example: http://thewelltemperedcomputer.com/HW/Firewire.htm
For the Professional Audio recording industry, there are, but as you can plainly see, that's one of the many reasons why Apple wanted what we now call Thunderbolt. Apple was working on a faster and better implementation of Firewire as they were working on Firewire 1600 and beyond, but decided to forgo Firewire and have Intel create Thunderbolt.
They sure did!
MADI was created for the higher track count A/D and D/A for the Professional Audio recording industry, but they are moving away from that and over to Thunderbolt. I think right now, there are three or four major players in the A/D and D/A industry that are moving away from Firewire, MADI, over to Thunderbolt. But for DACs for our home stereo, they usually connect via USB, some will connect with other means, but USB 2.0 is by tar the most popular. For 2 channel you don't really need much more than USB 2.0, but the issue is sharing with a disk drive, it's just going to cause problems.
And that's a legit reason to not use USB storage, just like if you were using a FW-based DAC, it'd be a legit reason not to use FW storage. Busses aren't magic, and even with the modern 5/10 Gbps busses, modern SSDs are fast enough to use a decent chunk of that.
like I said, if there was a Thunderbolt DAC, then I would certain do that, but there isn't. So, whatever is going on with USB storage, I'm not interested and I should have to see if something is UASP or not, if it's part of the standard, then everything should be complaint if it's got a USB 3.0 port.
Case closed. Thunderbolt is vastly superior for large data transfer in both directions, daisy chain able, etc. and that's why more of the high track count A/D and D/A are moving towards Thunderbolt.
Mostly because FireWire isn't being developed anymore and there's no real replacement for it.
What's part of the issue is there are already high end customers that have a tremendous amount of investment in their existing equipment whether it's Firewire based, MADI based, Fibre Channel, etc, and as time goes on, these customers will be changing over to Thunderbolt whenever they can because it's the next wave in I/O, that's why there was a lot of pressure to get the new MacPros out because that was Apple's first implementation of Thunderbolt (and TB2) for the MacPro. So, anyone that looks at sales as an indicator, should realize that some have been implementing Thunderbolt based products mostly on laptops and iMacs and since the MacPros just came out within the last couple of months, that has gained momentum until they start replacing their computers with the MacPro, or other PC based Thunderbolt 1/2 motherboards. Plus, the mfg of Thunderbolt products are still coming out with more and more products to serve mostly the audio recording industry, video production industry and mass storage that's directly connected. So for connecting directly to the computer, Thunderbolt is the emerging standard. USB 3.1 is almost as good as Thunderbolt 1, but Thunderbolt 1 is moving towards Thunderbolt 2, so I guess the best thing to say is Thunderbolt is WAY ahead of USB and will most likely continue to be that way in terms of serving the higher end needs of data transfer and other specialized products. And as we speak there is no USB 3.1 anything on the market so that spec is premature and nothing is available.
The trouble is, the "higher end needs of data transfer and other specialized products" is a tiny niche. When TB was announced, they were promising so much more than that. Look at all those docks available for TB. It clearly wants
to be a consumer product, but it will never make it there, because the way it's designed makes it inherently expensive (like the chips in the cables). And without consumer support, it becomes very difficult for computer manufacturers to justify the added cost to put TB on the motherboard, because it just doesn't generate the sales to make it worthwhile. So while I'm sure it'll stay on the Mac Pro for some time, for the majority of Apple's lineup, I wouldn't get too attached to always having the Thunderbolt port there, when 99.99% of users have no idea what it even is.
I STILL don't know why people want to hang on to the notion of USB for data storage for anything other than maybe USB sticks when there's Thunderbolt.
This isn't hard to figure out. You can get a USB enclosure, with UASP and everything, for under 20 bucks, whereas with Thunderbolt you'll be spending $200-$300 just for the enclosure. That's a whole order of magnitude of difference in price. And at the same time, USB 3.0 is faster than most storage devices you'd put into the enclosure, so the difference is minimal enough that unless you're making Avatar or something, you're unlikely to even notice the difference. So those extra hundreds of dollars are, most of the time, just wasted money. Which is why USB enclosures are as numerous as sands on the beach, whereas TB enclosures are such a niche that no one's even gotten around to making a single-bay one with two ports on it yet.
I think it's ridiculous to compare the two and to even think that Thunderbolt is going away because it isn't. It's got a lot more growth as Intel said that it will eventually go to 100GB in either direction, which will take some time, but I don't see USB ever moving that far.
Be careful; you may eat those words someday. People probably thought USB would never hit 5 Gbps (and soon, 10 Gbps) too. Way back in the day, there were people claiming USB 2.0 was never going to work.
I think as Apple moves all of their products to Thunderbolt 2, we'll see more products on the market serving the lower end needs to the higher end needs, it's just a matter of getting the computers on the market and then people having these needs as the size of their data grows.
Not with the costs that are built into the technology. I have severe doubts that TB can ever grow beyond the extremely high-end. I'd be delighted if I turn out to be wrong, but so far, we're three years in, and it still doesn't look that way.
Also, what's you involvement in USB? Do you work for an organization that promotes USB? Do you have a vested interest in USB? I'm trying to figure out why someone wants to compare USB to Thunderbolt. I don't have any vested interest in either. I just hate USB for storage based on past experience. :-)
Oh, come on, and you were being pretty civil up to this point. Don't tell me you're going to degenerate into ad hominems too. No, I don't have any "vested interest" in USB. I was actually a FireWire guy for a really long time... but then they stopped updating it. I'm in the process of replacing all my FW stuff with UASP, since its performance is surprisingly good and not at all lousy in the way that USB 2.0 was. Thunderbolt is not sufficiently better to justify the expense, particularly since there's no way of knowing if my next Mac will even still have TB ports on it. Apple giveth, and Apple taketh away. USB is here to stay, though.