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USB3 vs Thunderbolt


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USB3 vs Thunderbolt
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Matsu
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2011-03-14, 08:56

Could this be USB2 vs FW400/800 all over again? While thunderbolt sounds impressive, and seems able to run other I/O connections - like USB3 - with the proper adaptors, USB3 seems to have a head start, and zero impact on cost. This weekend I dropped-in to my local discount computer shop and the nearby Costco. I noticed USB3 hard-drives everywhere, and at essentially the same price as their USB2 drives. Customers seemed aware that the USB3 drives were faster, backwards compatible, and "furure proof". FW was virtually gone. Just a couple of pricier cases at the discount shop (nothing at Costco) and nobody looking for/at it.

Thunderbolt offers unprecedented speed, I/O flexibility, and Intel support, but there are no devices, nor, at the moment, any really unique, headline grabbing, implementations. Video/Audio and imaging might jump on it for both its bandwidth and flexibility and the ability to connect some legacy equipment via adaptor. Uses that sound less ubiquitous and more specialized. Of course, USB3 can also be added via adaptor, but then there's no reason for the peripheral makers to adopt Thunderbolt

USB3 already seems solidly perched to become the convenience connector. Good enough for what most people want - fast storage on a ubiquitous connection. How long before Intel simply adds it to their motherboards and Apple soon after?

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zippy
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2011-03-14, 09:52

Are many computers shipping with USB3 though? I honestly don't know, but I was under the impression that Intel had delayed USB3 implementation on it's products. So anything running an Intel motherboard would seem unlikely to have USB3 - unless it was added by the OEM. In other words, did the peripheral manufacturers jump the gun on USB3?

I think the biggest difference between the USB/Firewire battle and the USB3/Thunderbolt battle is the Intel factor. What level that impact is remains to be seen, but I think it's safe to assume that just about any Intel motherboards from here out will have Thunderbolt on them. That's a much better playing field than Firewire had.

Do you know where children get all of their energy? - They suck it right out of their parents!
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Matsu
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2011-03-14, 11:49

Yeah, I should have included that bit too. I wasn't looking hard, but I didn't notice one single computer with USB3. Maybe the branding wasn't as prominent, or more likely, they just weren't there. These days Costco is more of a low-end, end-of-run, technological oddity stockist when it comes to certain electronics. I didn't walk throught he laptop section section of the shop, but I don't think that the Computer store was much differnt.

I think there are some HP and other branded lappies with USB3 though...

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Frank777
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2011-03-14, 12:21

Integrating the display data seems to have caused a problem with Thunderbolt.

USB3 can have 127 devices attached. T-bolt can have six, and you have to worry about device order.

I have no idea what Apple was thinking.
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Gargoyle
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2011-03-14, 12:33

Apple was probably thinking about the people with 3 or 4 devices... not crazy mofo's with 127 webcams!!
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Brave Ulysses
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2011-03-14, 12:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Integrating the display data seems to have caused a problem with Thunderbolt.

USB3 can have 127 devices attached. T-bolt can have six, and you have to worry about device order.

I have no idea what Apple was thinking.
clearly that will be the determining factor
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Banana
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Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2011-03-14, 12:40

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
USB3 can have 127 devices attached. T-bolt can have six, and you have to worry about device order.
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chucker
 
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2011-03-14, 12:50

Who actually attaches even just a dozen USB devices? I don't see that much. That said, six is fairly limited, but comparing it to USB is missing the point. Compare it to how many PCIe slots a tower has. That's what this essentially is: external PCIe (and DisplayPort). A RAID, an audio and video device each and an external graphics card, and you still haven't used up all six.
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Frank777
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2011-03-14, 12:54

I get that Chucker, but this thread is premised on a USB vs. Thunderbolt smackdown.

Device support is the only real area where USB handily beats TB. I think if one prevails over the other, that will be a factor.
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Matsu
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2011-03-14, 13:07

I think because we're not seeing many other uses right now, popular device support is a big deal, and like we saw with USB2 (and even 1.1 to some extent) even though USB may not be the ideal format for things like A/V, plenty of devices eventually came out for it, just 'cause it was so popular.

I see thunderbolt as a great way to finally separate the computer completely from the Display & I/O. Imagine an iMac-like doc. It has all your ports, card reader, webcam, even an optical drive. Your mac though, is just a completely sealed box. It only has two ports: a power plug, and a thunderbolt port. Pro versions might have two ports and a video card slot.
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Frank777
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2011-03-14, 13:11

I wouldn't worry too much about the dearth of TB device availability. The place to judge TB device support will be NAB in April.

That will showcase high-end video and storage applications, that TB will need to truly succeed.
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pscates2.0
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2011-03-14, 13:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
Who actually attaches even just a dozen USB devices? I don't see that much.
Off-topic (click to toggle):
Years ago, when USB started showing up in Macs and we were hearing about the 127-device limit), I doodled a little single-panel cartoon (wish I could find it) of a guy sitting in his room, staring at the viewer with a huge, self-satisfied grin, completely surrounded (basically buried) by multiple beige and Bondi-colored USB-based hubs, printers, scanners, Zip and floppy drives, keyboards, mice, hard drives, pencil sharpener, blender, a hair dryer, etc.

The caption was something like "William, being the type who always has to see things for himself, just successfully added item #127 to his home office." I was kinda going for a Far Side vibe.

Got passed around some likeminded buddies for an iChuckle.

I guess you had to see it...all the stuff stacked and piled everywhere, to the ceiling, and the cables spaghetti'd all over the place, with just one smiling face barely poking out of it all in the lower middle.
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
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2011-03-14, 16:49

Thundersteak wins by virtue of having a way better name.
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Eugene
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2011-03-14, 17:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
I get that Chucker, but this thread is premised on a USB vs. Thunderbolt smackdown.

Device support is the only real area where USB handily beats TB. I think if one prevails over the other, that will be a factor.
This thread is pointless. USB 3.0 will replace USB 2.0 where applicable. Thunderbolt will replace USB 2.0 where applicable. One is extremely cheap to implement and provides direct/convenient backward compatibility. The other has massive potential throughput.

The only thing that will kill USB 3.0 is time. We're not going to see Thunderbolt mice, keyboards, consumer audio devices, dongles, monitor calibration tools, etc. any time soon. Those devices are still going to need some sort of USB port, and we know that USB 3.0 is being incorporated very cheaply on system boards thanks to NEC/Renesas. Intel (Panther Point) and AMD (900 series) both have USB 3.0 built-in.
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joveblue
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2011-03-14, 18:15

I don't see why they can't coexist very happily.

Mini-display ports aren't completely absent from Apple's competitors and there you have the same advantages of backwards compatibility as USB3: take a port you already have on your computer, keep it backwards compatible but add powerful new capabilities to it.
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Frank777
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2011-03-14, 18:18

Yeah, but in order to "co-exist" Apple has to put at least one USB3 port on a computer.
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Kickaha
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2011-03-14, 18:42

TB -> USB3 adapter.

Only $19 at the Apple Store!
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Xaqtly
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2011-03-14, 18:45

I like Thunderpork and I wish to subscribe to its newsletter.
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Banana
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2011-03-14, 18:55

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaqtly View Post
I like Thunderpork and I wish to subscribe to its newsletter.
So, it's kind of pork that sends you to the porcelain throne in matter of seconds after eating it? Why on good earth would you want to subscribe to such thing?
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joveblue
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2011-03-14, 19:06

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Yeah, but in order to "co-exist" Apple has to put at least one USB3 port on a computer.
Oh sure, once Intel and Apple are content with Thunderburp's presence in the market
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Matsu
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2011-03-14, 19:12

I hope the main use for Thunderbolt doesn't end being as a port for USB3 dongles.
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drewprops
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2011-03-14, 21:23

USB has humping doggies.
What amazing useless gizmos could they make for Thunderbong?


...
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Kickaha
Likes his boobies blue.
 
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2011-03-14, 21:50

Humping WOLVES man!

WOLVES!!!
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joveblue
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2011-03-14, 23:25

Daisy-chained, of course.
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Eugene
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2011-03-14, 23:59

Quote:
Originally Posted by joveblue View Post
Oh sure, once Intel and Apple are content with Thunderburp's presence in the market
Panther Point will be released at the end of the year with USB 3.0 support or maybe early 2012. The Thunderbolt controller is far too large and exotic to be incorporated at the chipset level.
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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
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2012-01-07, 02:36

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!!!

Thunderbolt is coming to PCs, finally, and for real.

Quote:
Expreview has leaked a slide from Intel’s motherboard roadmap that shows Thunderbolt support in the highest-end motherboard, the DZ77RE. Aside from Thunderbolt, the motherboard features two x16 PCIe slots (x8 if both are in use) with support for CrossFire and SLI, dual LAN interfaces, and it has overclocking capabilities. USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s support are absent on the slide, but that may simply be a lack of space in the roadmap box. The motherboard is based on the upcoming Z77 chipset that supports four USB 3.0 and two SATA 6Gb/s ports, so we expect to see these in DZ77RE as well.

Pricing is unavailable but according to the roadmap, the DZ77RE is positioned at the same level as the currently shipping DZ68BC and DX79SI, which are priced $220 and $280 respectively. Thus, we would estimate the retail price of DZ77RE to be around $250. Over $200 is definitely a premium price for a motherboard and it’s clear that DZ77RE is aimed at enthusiasts. Thunderbolt is also a high-end feature right now, so it might take a while to migrate into mainstream products.
Lenovo already has one for you to see!

and it might even be coming to iPhones and iPads as was pondered previously.



...

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
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Eugene
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2012-01-07, 04:15

The Lenovo and other laptops are going to be more important for Thunderbolt adoption than the Intel retail motherboard. I'm wondering it it's just a separate controller bundled with the rest of the chipset or they really incorporated Thundebolt into one version of the 7-Series chipset.
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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2012-01-07, 10:06

It's been awesome being an early adopter of Thunderfart, and I hope to actually plug something into that port within the next 18 months!!! So excited!!!!!


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Matsu
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2012-01-07, 10:09

Somebody get drew a peripheral, he's risking electrocution...
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AWR
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2012-01-07, 11:35

Seems to be Cap'n Drew at the helm.

Tangential perhaps (not relevant, forgive), but shouldn't there be a vs. FW800 in the title?
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