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  • KinslayersLegacy - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    "The lowest common capacity was 240GB so the resulting logical RAID-0 drive I built was just under 1GB in size."

    I assume you meant 1TB in size.

    Good article. Can't wait to build a new ASUS workstation & Ivy Bridge so I can use my Thunderbolt drives with my desktop and MacBook Pro interchangeably.
    Reply
  • tynopik - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    other typo:

    Apple even build -> built
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    Great - another proprietary standard that no one can get for a full year, and even after that, only on high end, and redundant anyway, what great innovators you are APPL

    Drooling Jobs fanatics can buy a thousand dollar hub to reduce cable clutter... ROFL

    It runs a monitor... ROFL

    It looks like the marketing managers made this one happen - soon they can force hundreds of millions of upgrades so you can plug one gargantuan "Thundar!" the warrior cable in... for... ahh... for you keyboard mouse drive monitor hub...
    Reply
  • KitsuneKnight - Tuesday, June 05, 2012 - link

    FYI: Thunderbolt was created by Intel. Apple's contribution was the physical port (mDP). Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Tuesday, June 05, 2012 - link

    Who the heck cares, I read about this crap years ago.

    What does matter is APPL has been a total freaking nazi, and the whole thing is now a year late at least and screwy.

    I'm sure you Jobs worshippers are smiling.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Tuesday, June 05, 2012 - link

    Also, this is like APPL's recent sole proprietary acquisition of their SDD anusbit tech.

    The rest of the computing world can go to heck and starve out, so long as Jobs fan boys corner the world market on anything they possibly can, including the entire manufacture base, or let's say a video card, or any thing, IPS panels, whatever...

    It's the same sick APPL that costs an arm and a leg as it destroys the world of competition.

    God they are sick.
    Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, June 06, 2012 - link

    u mad bro? Reply
  • S3anister - Friday, June 08, 2012 - link

    he mad, son. Reply
  • SamuraiArtGuy - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    Not like Professional Mac users don't have stuff to bitch about with Apple. The just unveiled "silent" Mac Pro Update was pretty weak.

    No Thrunderbolt, no USB 3, No eSATA, no Bluetooth 4... and for gods sake, no improved graphics cards? Dude's you're KILLIN' us...

    No, seriously. K I L L I N G us...

    Can totally grok mad, yo.
    Reply
  • DERSS - Sunday, June 10, 2012 - link

    Not quite; it is a collaboration: Apple was there in the project from very beginning, and even the name itself was Apple's (they transferred TM to Intel only later). Apple also made cable design (there are tens of elements, including like thirteen active ones), and all the mother board engineering, drivers, BIOS, and testing.

    Apple was probably the one who brought the idea to Intel. Jobs always wanted to get rid of as many cables and ports as possible and to have one superfast universal port for everything.

    The reason why Apple decided not to do it purely alone this time is because Intel's participation would ensure much bigger standard use in the future comparing to what Apple could do alone -- as FireWire interface showed.
    Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Thursday, June 14, 2012 - link

    "Great - another proprietary standard that no one can get for a full year..."

    WTF are you even doing on this site? Your knowledge is clearly far below that of the intended audience, so why don't you get back to your consumer-oriented sites and tout the virtues of USB to your fellow dolts?
    Reply
  • Pneumothorax - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    In it's intro, the great prophet Jobs bragged about how superior TB was going to be vs. USB 3.0. Apple's pathetic 1 year exclusivity agreement plus $50 cable and Intel's high priced TB controllers are sure to doom this standard. How many FW400 ports are sitting empty on thousands of motherboards as we speak? Reply
  • mavere - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    *shrugs*

    Firewire found its niche in high end A/V equipment. Guess what computers those professionals tend to buy?

    The fact that TB doubles as a mDP means that TB can coexist with USB just fine, and through Apple, manufacturers are also guaranteed a steady and growing base of affluent costumers. That assures at least some high-end devices for those who require that much throughput.

    If you or I need to consistently move files at almost 1 gigabyte/sec, we can now easily do so. The world is improved; progress is achieved; vitriol is unneeded.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Pneumothorax was being realistic. TB could've been managed better and morph into a great solution. Instead it is pushed into a niche because of the whims of 2 companies. He's not berating the tech but the handling of the interface. Reply
  • coder543 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    no, he's wrong. TB would have yielded an epic failure if it didn't have Apple pushing it along. What manufacturers would have worked so hard to get TB laptops and desktops on the market? Let alone devices like hard drives! No.. it would've been an eSATA. Reply
  • jleach1 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    No...you're wrong. Just look at the state of Displayport. Reply
  • Thefinaleofseem - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    You mean the Displayport that's on a ton of video cards now? The very connector that is the standard for many high-end displays? You mean the interconnect that will because a whole lot more useful when we see ultra high-resolution displays hit the market, most likely this year? The kind that may easily exceed the 4K x 2K max on HDMI? Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    DP has been around for years and it is still rarely used. I bet less than 5% of all PCs bought in the last year use it. I know of one, and it is just a nuisance because we dont have any monitors with displayport so it goes right into a dongle. DP was a waste of engineering. In 2012, it still is. It has surely cost the industry millions in lost productivity (WTH is this stupid thing, why dont I have video? Why doesnt my monitor have this port? How do I connect it? Do I NEED to connect it? etc. It is an utter debacle.) Reply
  • repoman27 - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    That's why Intel and AMD are both set to phase-out LVDS support from their product lines over the next couple years and transition to eDP? Because it was a waste of engineering? That's why NPD In-Stat predicts a 95% eDP attach rate in notebook PCs in 2015?

    Abut 90 million PCs shipped with DP support last year, or 25% of the global total, vs about 180 million with HDMI. Where DisplayPort needs to gain traction is in the external display market. Although the adoption rate grew by 160% last year, as long as people are happy with cheap 1920x1080 panels, the CE targeted HDMI standard is more than sufficient.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    Most people cannot stand as high as 1920X1080 on their desktop panels, and far more don't have close to that on their laptops.

    Most people need 1280X1024 to be able to see their icons and text, maximum.

    They might be down for 1366X768 no problem, but 1280X800 is much more desirable overall.

    You're going to have to upgrade people's eyeballs to get anywhere.
    Reply
  • S3anister - Friday, June 08, 2012 - link

    Most people have trouble making out text, yes. However, the problem does not lie with a high resolution. It's the fault of OS developers and website developers not coding for anything other than these low-res displays. Reply
  • S3anister - Friday, June 08, 2012 - link

    You're the kind of person that said "Oh we don't need SATA my IDE drives are perfectly fine."

    Imagine how sweet it would be to rock a SSD on a retro IDE interface! Full-on 133, baby. Serious bandwidth.
    Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Thursday, June 14, 2012 - link

    HDMI was designed for raster-based displays. Yep, CRTs.

    WTF is the matter with people cheerleading AGAINST better technology?

    USB is wholly unsuited to the demands of high-throughput applications like external storage and video, but you still see noobs trying to pit it against Thunderbolt. It's like they learned nothing from Firewire.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    Apple "pushing" what? Apple didn't push anything, absolutely anything related to TB. Every other OEM would've have the TB interface built in from the start if Intel treated TB like USB, and that is in indiscriminate fashion. OEMs didn't built it in because they were NOT ALLOWED to do so not because it was an impediment. Apple having TB built in has nothing to do with propagating TB and has everything to do with Apple getting its marketing dollars' worth out of TB and bang the "exclusivity" factor of their macs.

    No sooner than you cross over the pond(if you're US) mac awareness plummets. What about TB awareness ? There is no such thing.
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    Apple pushed a pile of cash in Intel's direction. They agreed to buy 20 million Thunderbolt controllers in the first 12 months that Intel was shipping them in exchange for exclusivity. I'd wager that cost them more than a quarter billion dollars for the privilege.

    This also ensured that 5% of PCs shipped globally included Thunderbolt in its first year of existence. I doubt any other OEM would have made that kind of gamble on a nascent technology such as Thunderbolt. I also doubt that Intel could have produced substantially more Thunderbolt controllers than they already did in 2011.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    A bunch of head and pocketbook in the clouds nerds can have their neck beard tickled fancy while they do their elite e dance. It's wonderful. They can look toward the sky while they drool out how dreamy the new tech is. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Tuesday, June 05, 2012 - link

    APPL didn't push it along it hogged it for itself for a whole year so it's insane fanboy base could go goggle eyed and stupid with exclusive world wide only ME handling.

    Duh.
    Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Thursday, June 14, 2012 - link

    "Firewire found its niche in high end A/V equipment."

    And this kind of comment is bogus. High end? Firewire was REQUIRED on pretty much every CONSUMER video camera from the mid-90s well into the '00s. Firewire was the only way to get video off a DV camera.
    Reply
  • ggathagan - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    TB *IS* superior to USB3.
    If nothing else, compare USB3's bandwidth of 5 Gbps to TB's bandwidth of 20 Gbps in each direction.

    That said, I think many misunderstand ThunderBolt.

    It's not a device in-and-of-itself, it's a flexible I/O bus mechanism that's fairly protocol-independent.

    So you can use it for FW400/800, USB 3, DP, or Ethernet.

    Given that the one-year agreement just ended and PC motherboard are just now beginning to implement TB, your portent of doom is a little premature.

    As with any new technology, prices drop as the technology develops and is adopted.
    Intel started shipping the 2nd gen TB controllers in April and the design of the Cactus Ridge controller reduces the cost of implementing TB compared to the 1st gen.
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Yeah except it's an entirely proprietary interface, controlled solely by Intel, and they gave Apple an entire year of exclusivity. I'll be avoiding Thunderbolt like the plague. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    Too bad it wasn't nVidia doing it, you'd have a horde of raging, angry amd fans on your bandwagon 100%. It seems to me the APPL factor has reduced that quantity significantly, as in the I'm and mine is better than you and yours scenario, so "embracing" is in order. Reply
  • Exodite - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Beta was superior to VHS, as was Firewire to the original USB specs.

    Yet it's clear which are footnotes in history and which were actively used.

    The problem isn't TB's technical merits, those are solid enough, but rather the implementation.

    What use is it for the general consumer?

    And what possible point is there in being backwards compatible with mini-DP, which is at best a fringe standard in its own right?

    Maybe TB will take off but I fear it's going to be the next Firewire, mostly due to implementation issues.
    Reply
  • KPOM - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    The use of mDP was necessitated because the USB Foundation did not permit Intel to route Thunderbolt through a USB port (though Sony did it anyway). Apple then offered up the mDP.

    I see Thunderbolt having a better chance of becoming popular on notebooks. It can become a universal docking port for devices such as the Apple Thunderbolt Display and PC equivalents. Particularly since Intel is pushing Ultrabooks, we may see more people using an Ultrabook plus external monitor as their "desktop" and a tablet for travel. It's better than today's solution where every manufacturer has a proprietary dock that sometimes doesn't even work across notebook lines within the same manufacturer.

    TB will never be as popular as USB 3.0, but it doesn't need to be. With USB 3.0 and TB, no other ports are really necessary. USB 3.0 can handle all the peripherals and even external storage, while TB can handle the display, external GPUs, and high speed networking.
    Reply
  • jleach1 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    I see less of an advantage for TB in the workstation place. While its merits will bring it the most significant impact in this area, I see it truly earning it's chops and recognizability in the CE space....specifically, in docking solutions that will allow a new wave of innovation in the mobile market. Ubuntu is already coming to android. Imagine having the ability to drive a high-er Res display from your phone, while powering the device and providing peripheral support through a single cable. Think web top on steroids.

    An android phone with a quad core 2.0 ghz processor, popped into a docking station that provides bandwidth for an external gpu, to drive a display and sound, and more than enough networking bandwidth.
    Reply
  • derektrotter - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    The Thunderbolt chipsets are taking 5W (as mentioned in the articles)!

    Your phone would overheat and/or flatten its battery in no time.

    Thunderbolt is a poor match for handheld devices, at least right now.
    Reply
  • dagamer34 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    The BEST a regular consumer might hope for is a dock with USB 3.0, Firewire 800, eSATA, HDMI out, and a multi-card reader. Anything above that is purely professional stuff, meaning the chances of it being adopted on a broad level of consumer devices is almost nil. Reply
  • KPOM - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Thunderbolt has more than enough bandwidth to handle such an adapter with ease. That's almost what the Apple Thunderbolt Display is (except it has mDP instead of HDMI and USB 2.0 instead of 3.0 - I wouldn't be surprised if the 2012 version gets USB 3.0 ports). Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, July 06, 2012 - link

    Firewire is used with moveable devices, as the angry mobius stated, 90's vcams for instance.

    The firewire plug pulls out like butter compared to usb - and I'd wager that's 3/4ths of firewire's failure. Using it - it freakin unplugs - like.. ALWAYS.

    Most usb's are very snug, easier to connect correctly, large enough that you can feel for it blindly... and it's not usually going to come flyig out even when you use the device and move it about a lot.

    Firewire - P L U G epic fail.
    Reply
  • taltamir - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    There is a difference between FASTER and SUPERIOR.
    USB:
    +Cheap
    +Just works
    -Slower

    TB:
    -Very expensive
    -Compatibility and certification issues
    +Much faster

    These all put together guarantee that TB is going to fail.
    Reply
  • coder543 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Birth pains. Every interface has them. They don't tell anything about the interface's future once it grows up, if it survives that long. Reply
  • Jaybus - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    It was initially designed for use with an optical PHY. Intel's Silicon Photonics lab simply hasn't yet got all of the pieces together. The goal is to have all of the optical components, laser, detector, lenses, and waveguides, on chip. TB is the result of replacing the optical PHY, which is not yet ready, with an electrical PHY. If Intel ever manages the on-chip optics, then it will drastically increase bandwidth while lowering power requirements and heat. Replace TB's electrical PHY with Intel's original intent, and it will drastically outperform USB, or any other electrical interface, without using more power. Also, the on-chip optics would make the optical interface much cheaper to manufacture and the optical cable should be cheaper too, since it wouldn't require the active circuitry. Reply
  • rahvin - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    You're still going to have an electrical circuit and copper in TB when it goes optical. Otherwise you lose the 10W of bus power it provides. Intel has been very clear that it when it goes optical it is still going to be providing the 10W bus power the spec calls for meaning the copper and electrical will still be there. Reply
  • Jaybus - Wednesday, June 06, 2012 - link

    Yes, but just for DC power through the cable. The TB chip doesn't source or regulate the power. The power dissipation for TB chips, electronic or optical, does not include the peripheral power supply, which is the same either way, and also the same for USB 3. Reply
  • derektrotter - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    I'm with you.

    I can buy a USB 3.0 SATA dock for much less than the price of a TB cable. And I've been able to do so for a year. And people think somehow the cables will become cheap, but given that there are two CPUs in each one, I don't find that likely.

    TB may be better, but USB 3.0 is going to cream it. Really it already has.

    It's kinda too bad, I'd love to have one of those TB displays to go with my MacBook Air, but given it won't work with any other device in my house (including my other Mac), that's not going to happen.

    Also, that display really should have a USB 3.0 hub in it, not a 2.0 one.
    Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Empty Firewire ports are the fault of ignorant users. To this day it is so much better than USB 2.0. If users ignore TB once the technical kinks are hashed out and prices have stabilized, well, I don't know what to say Reply
  • vectorm12 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Honestly I was gonna reply about this particular post but once I had finished writing the reply I realized you're either a troll of just incredibly ignorant of other usage-scenarios than your own.

    In any case I'm not going to dignify that with a detailed reply.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    "Empty Firewire ports are the fault of ignorant users." What a stupid generalizing statement. Reply
  • Thefinaleofseem - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    There never was a 1 year exclusivity arrangement. Sony implemented TB on a laptop last summer. Manufacturers largely weren't interested until it came built into the chipset. Reply
  • repoman27 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Sony implemented a proprietary interface based on Intel's Light Peak technology. They never called it Thunderbolt because it wasn't. And it still is not built into any chipset. But thanks for playing.

    Why does every post about Thunderbolt invite a mega troll-a-thon?
    Reply
  • ananduser - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    Why does every TB related post invite Apple users willing to defend the adoption scenarios of the interface. I am skeptical and at the same time honest about TB. I believe that it won't take off and will remain a niche. It is not me who is mega-trolling, but rather some of the macusers commenting here. They feel that it's their duty to defend TB since it was Apple pushed and not because of the technical merits(which I don't dispute). Reply
  • Pneumothorax - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    I'm a heavy mac user with 2011 MBA, MBP, and 27 imac. AND I currently hate the implementation of TB. As of now you still can't get a TB hard drive for <$300 without gerry-rigging the seagate adapter with a 2.5" HDD as it also has problems with many SSD's. Very bitter as I drank the Apple kool-aid expecting wide-spread adoption after waiting over a year. Reply
  • repoman27 - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    Skepticism about Thunderbolt is perfectly fine. Debating its merits versus the alternatives also fine.

    In the middle of an already polarized thread, posting statements devoid of a single valid premise could be considered trolling. The same goes for stereotyping and attacking a particular group, e.g. all Mac users.

    I probably spend too much time "defending" Thunderbolt, but it has little to do with Apple pushing it. I primarily use laptops, and often wish for higher bandwidth I/O solutions than ExpressCard can provide, so I've been following the technology closely.
    Reply
  • SamuraiArtGuy - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    Apple is very conspicuously positioning Thunderbolt as the new "everything" high-speed port...

    Was interesting to note on the new (very Pro-class priced) retina Macbook Pro... no more Fire Wire, no Ethernet, no optical drive. Apple figures we're DONE with all that. (we'll see.. I've a stack of FW devices ) But they DO include USB 3 (which they get essentially for free with Ivy Bridge ) and rather interestingly, an HDMI port.
    Reply
  • B3an - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Does Win 8 natively support Thunderbolt? Like it now does with USB 3.0. As in, it no longer needs 3rd party drivers so will just immediately work on a clean install. Reply
  • ananduser - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    No, Windows does not support TB and MS has claimed that it will never support TB natively(for the time being) because it is plagued with security issues. Of course a hypothetical massive adoption of the interface might lead to native support. So it's safe to say that if things don't improve in the driver sector TB will remain a niche as FW. Reply
  • Penti - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Why are you trolling? TB is just PCIe, the only issue is hotplug. Windows support hotplug just fine. Prior drivers or BIOS/Firmware might not. It's no more of a security risk then a Expresscard slot which lots of business PC's has. Or for that matter any internal Mini PCI Express slots. Or firewire. Or for that matter USB which is also exploitable to some degree. It's not up to Microsoft or Apple to decide which Thunderbolt appliance they support. Your fully capable to install the drivers yourself. For professional users with notebooks FW or Expresscard definitively isn't an option they need the extra bandwidth it provides for their tools/hardware to work. Without it they need to go to desktop/workstation towers. So there will be strong support. Most hardware won't be supported natively in Windows. If standard drivers works with your device it will work fine no matter OS, those might be shipped with the OS and some might not.

    They have no reason to differentiate drivers supporting hotplug with TB and not/old ways of doing things. When support is rolled in it's there. No different to what it has always been. Then again it's not about support for TB but the actual hardware you connect so the question is kinda wrong. There are Thunderbolt devices which don't work natively without 3rd party drivers for OS X too. So I don't see the fuss. External drives won't really move between OS's any way because Windows won't read HFS+ volumes and wise versa with NTFS pretty much. As long as the sata controller receives support your fine though.
    Reply
  • B3an - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    I obviously only asked if Win 8 will natively support the Thunderbolt chipset controller. I don't care bout anything else. Win 8 now works with the USB 3.0 controller on my motherboard, so I dont have to install 3rd party drivers for it to function and be recognised in Device Manager. It would be convenient to have the same native support with Thunderbolt is all. So it just works.

    And a lot the time you don't have to install drivers for USB hardware, for instance most types of USB storage, printers and wifi cards do not need any 3rd party driver to function on Win 8 RP. If MS natively supported Thunderbolt I'd expect the same for many TB devices as well, especially storage.

    Besides, Win 8 has drivers for tens of thousands of devices. It correctly installed display drivers for my CrossFire 6870's, webcam, USB devices, and even everything for my high-end motherboard.
    Reply
  • Penti - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    The Thunderbolt chip and protocol is fully transparent, it's just a PCIe bridge/switch and transport solution. The OS never sees it as some odd device. In practice it no different then that Expresscard adapters need to support hot plug when it comes to consumer stuff. Some hardware always requires third party drivers, it does on Mac too. There is no difference here between Macs support and OEM PC vendors support.

    OEM-drivers and so on won't be shipped by Microsoft with Windows and lot of the drivers are lite versions not containing the full functionality.

    USB-hardware normally don't need any drivers because they conform to HID, Mass-storage or MTP standards. Those standards are built into the USB-stack and the USB device only speaks the USB protocol and standards. It's kinda like supporting TCP/IP. Other devices often need drivers for full functionality but limited functionality drivers are usually already there. It was in Windows 7 and so on too. Network drivers and so on has been included in some form for decades in Windows.

    In a short answer it already has support for the Thunderbolt chipset. It might not have support for the Thunderbolt device, but that is fully up to the developer / vendor as usual. Thunderbolt isn't a storage interface, Microsoft might support the SATA controller used just as they might support a Expresscard adapter for storage usage, might support your on-board PCIe controllers, or they might use a chip that has no Windows support yet to speak of or is newer then anything Microsoft has packaged with their software. We have supported hot plug of PCI devices all the time pretty much. There has always been issues when the hardware added to those don't support it properly or the drivers don't, or BIOS/firmware issues nothing new here. It's exactly the same thing as an internal PCIe card, or an Expresscard adapter or any integrated PCIe solution. As long as there is driver support (and no BIOS/firmware issues) it works fine. There is no controller for the OS to speak with here, it's not like USB or Firewire, the OS speaks directly to the hardware. It already knows how to speak over the PCIe bus.

    Plenty of stuff will never get Windows 8 drivers for that matter. Mostly older stuff however.

    If Lacie or Promise had used old SATA2-controllers they might already had worked on Windows. TB don't complicate it any more then an ExpressCard to eSATA adapter. In fact there is even ExpresCard-cabinettes for Thunderbolt. It's mainly a feature of PCIe which Windows already has native support for when it comes to the actual Thunderbolt solution. I obviously answered the troll, and also said that your question was the wrong one. The hardware will show up as native hardware. When that native hardware is supported you will have support. It just works if you have the PMC-Sierra/Promise drivers just as the article says. There is nothing more to it when it comes to the OS at least.

    Apple probably will provide support for their stuff at some point because they support bootcamp. So look for any drivers there at whatever point they decide to do this.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    Why are you so passionate about TB? I recall a specific statement by MS that they won't natively support TB. They do support USB natively. The article itself claims that there are some driver/firmware issues needing ironing out.

    Stop calling people names next time.
    Reply
  • Penti - Friday, June 08, 2012 - link

    Please provide information and a reference instead of your baseless FUD. Microsoft does support hot plug on PCIe and PCI bridge devices. There is nothing exotic about PCIe. Or extending it externally. They won't stop Thunderbolt working natively, I'm sure some of the drivers included works with it just fine. It's just the same thing as custom USB-devices will need their own drivers when it comes to the actual devices, there is no Thunderbolt driver to be had. The drivers will be the same as if it was a expresscard adapter or some such. If the PCIe controller drivers (which might be there, might not) support it, and supports hotplug it will work with no effort. The difference here is there needs to be a USB-driver supporting the USB-chipset/controller. That drivers happens to be universal against the USB spec, nothing strange. I haven't called anyone names, you where committing an act it should be described as such.

    Intel validates and certifies Thunderbolt for Windows PC's so how do you think it would not work or wouldn't be supported and what do you get out of suggesting it won't support it. Or that it would be for any security issue which also plagues Expresscard, Firewire, accessible Mini PCIe slots and to some degree buggy USB-drivers. There is no stance against the PCI bridge that TB is here. PCI-bridges are used inside platform chipsets and so on and Windows wouldn't work without supporting them.

    So BIOS/UEFI problems with hot plugging and lacking drivers for peripherals under the Intel Thunderbolt certification program will solve those issues on any hardware with official support made for Windows. Those hasn't officially released yet and unsupported stuff will of course work less better. Apple eventually has to be on the game too but they will lag behind when it comes to compatibility (ACPI issues mainly) under Bootcamp / Compatibility Mode. You don't need to change the OS or to support any "controller" to fix those issues. After all they managed to do it with PCMCIA, CardBus, ExpressCard and so on. Technically it is the same and supported by the same standard as hotplugging other PCIe devices like Expresscard which BIOS/UEFI (standards need to be implemented, but they largely are already) and Windows does support. It's no new technology there to be seen by the OS or Firmware. Thunderbolt are transparent and invisible in that sense, just as it's the network drivers that talks Ethernetframes and not the OS TCP/IP stack. The thunderbolt transport isn't visible and there is no controller for the hardware that needs any drivers/tunneling it's just PCIe bridges and switches. It just falls under the PCIe root complex of the cpu. No nothing stranger.
    Reply
  • risa2000 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Can you provide a reference to this statement?
    Or did you mean security in the sense of "stability"?
    Reply
  • coder543 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    I don't have a link, but he's right. They claim it would lead to security issues because it's a PCI interface. You would have hardware level access to virtually anything. Reply
  • derektrotter - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    These security issues you speak of are solved with an IOMMU.

    It would be odd for MS to say they won't support an I/O technology. It's just not something they usually do.

    Perhaps the poster was referring to MS' crummy license scheme for Office Mac reacting poorly to Thunderbolt and eSATA drives?

    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/mac/forum/macof...
    Reply
  • rahvin - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    IOMMU doesn't solve the DMA threat the Thunderbird provides. These ports will be epoxied shut on every government computer because of that threat. Because Thunderbird is raw PCIe it has direct memory access (DMA) through the device, that means in theory a portable Thunderbird harddrive could directly read and write to the memory of any computer it's plugged into without regulation by the OS or computer. You could in theory create a device that auto exploits every computer it's plugged into. These and other reasons are why the USB association and others have said TB is a major security risk (USB abstracts access and was designed from the ground up to be be secure, TB took all that security and threw it out the window). Reply
  • repoman27 - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    In what ways does IOMMU not provide a viable solution to the threat of DMA attacks?

    Has every "government" computer had its available PCIe slots, ExpressCard slots and 1394 ports filled with glue?

    It's a good thing USB is so secure that thumb drives have never been used to propagate malware or ever exploited as a threat vector. Oh, wait... That's actually quite common.

    A Thunderbolt hardware based attack will never be as cheap and easy to build as those based on other technologies. Besides, unless your hardware device can pass Windows certification, it'll probably just cause a BSOD instead of compromising the target system. :P

    Can anyone provide a reference to any statement by Microsoft or the USB-IF regarding security issues with Thunderbolt, other than perhaps mentioning that they are the same as other I/O solutions that allow DMA? The USB-IF was founded by Intel and is also responsible for the stewardship of ExpressCard, so it would seem dubious that they were casting any stones.
    Reply
  • ka_ - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    IOMMU does indeed look to resolve my initial reservation against Thunderbolt! However, it is only resolved in machines coming with Intel VT-d or AMD HyperTransport, and if the function is activated in BIOS.

    Activating IOMMU does however degrade DMA performance and use more physical memory for the added I/O page translation tables.

    Anand:
    What is the performance of Thunderbolt with VT-d / HyperTransport enabled compared with when IOMMU is disabled?
    Reply
  • kevith - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    I have asked this question so many times, and the silence has been ROARING.

    But, I'l try once more:

    WHY do You keep on setting up RAID 0 in different reviews, this one as well, when every single article YOU WROTE YOURSELF points to the - very clear - conclusion, that RAID 0 HAS NO BENEFITS AT ALL IN REAL LIFE?

    Maybe I'l get an explanation this time.

    Have a nice sunday.
    Reply
  • Tormeh - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    RAID0 does have performance benefits, which you have to weigh against stability penalties. In any case, it's good for I/O-testing.

    As I've understood it, SSD RAID0 has no performance benefits over a similar size single SSD. That is, two 128GB SSDs in RAID0 has similar performance to a single 256GB SSD. In SSDs a big volume (256GB) is faster than a smaller volume (128GB) regardless of how that volume is achieved, given that controller and NAND quality is the same. Not true for HDDs though. Maybe that's where your confusion comes from.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    RAID0 is for getting maximum sustained throughput, at the cost of reliability (e.g. if one drive fails, you lose the RAID0 set). Since there are no SSDs capable of pushing anywhere near the theoretical throughput of ThunderBolt, it's important to set up something that can potentially saturate the interface.

    You'll notice that the article never advocates using RAID0; instead Anand states, "In our earlier look at Thunderbolt under Windows I didn't have a working Pegasus driver to really push the limits of the interface's bandwidth. With that now changed, I went to work. I started by pulling out all of the hard drives from the Pegasus R6 and installed four SSDs." I'd think that is all the explanation you need.
    Reply
  • 3930K - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Anand, I'm sure a few of us would be grateful if you could pull the Mac TB display drivers and put them in a zip for us Windows users. Reply
  • coder543 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    how would those be useful? they're designed for a unix kernel, not a windows kernel, and even if they were useful... it would still be of dubious legality. Reply
  • 3930K - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    They worked for An and, so why not us? Reply
  • coder543 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    oh.. I thought you meant literally the Mac drivers. I assume you mean the bootcamp drivers. They wouldn't work for you because they aren't his drivers to distribute. Legally, it can't be done. Reply
  • repoman27 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    All you have to do is find any Mac running an up to date version of Mac OS X and run Boot Camp Assistant. Burn the drivers to a CD or USB flash drive, and away you go. There's no need for anyone to distribute Apple's drivers in a manner inconsistent with their license agreement. Reply
  • Senti - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    They still continue the same pseudo SATA 6 ports with Marvell controllers on single PCI-E 2.0 lane? Disgusting. Reply
  • watersb - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Yes, Firewire (IEEE 1394) required DMA to support all modes, posing a relatively obscure but serious security risk. But I can't recall a Firewire hot-plug event triggering a Windows BSOD.

    Hot-plug PCI Express. In a consumer-friendly external plug format. I'll be keeping this away from the parental units until 2014.

    (but somehow the show must go on.)
    Reply
  • Pazz - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    "At the bare minimum, it can simplify external cable management with only a single cable carrying Ethernet, audio, USB, DisplayPort, etc... from your PC to your Thunderbolt hub and/or display. "

    Cable management can't be considered a feature or advantage of thunderbolt over USB when you consider the current pricing of the interface. It's understandably useful, but not practical given the outlay.
    Reply
  • philipma1957 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    I have a lot of apple gear including a pegasus r6 I boot windows with bootcamp on one ssd and mac osx on a second ssd both in my pegasus r6. I would like to be able to use the same pegasus r6 with the pc's.

    Can you hook up a mac with 2 drives one labeled bootcamp with windows and one label lion with lion to the pegasus. Also have a pc with a t-bolt mobo hooked up, use the same bootcamp ssd for either machine as the boot drive?

    I realize the I can't run the mac while running the pc.

    If I could run either one with a few power on power off buttons it would be really nice. seems like it can be done. next question would it be legal? next question if I have a family 3 pack would that make it legal.
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    The lack of hardware profiles in Windows 7 might make switching back and forth less than smooth as Windows will have to recognize and then activate/deactivate the appropriate devices for each hardware configuration every time you switch.

    The other sticky wicket would be Windows activation, which may get triggered each time you switch unless you can make it happy somehow. Folks do seem to be able to get this working for single installations that are bootable via either Boot Camp or Parallels.
    Reply
  • CSMR - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    I think for most users looking to simplify cables, thunderbolt is a bad thing.
    It adds extra circuitry that is not needed. All that is needed is a passive hub or connector combining usb, ethernet and displayport.
    For the typical distance from a laptop to the workstation, a passive connector is appropriate.
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Stop for a moment and consider how many conductors would be required for a cable that simply combined USB 3.0, 1000BASE-T Ethernet and DisplayPort. Now think about the size of the connector it would require. Now ponder the insane amount of issues you would have wrapping all of those conductors in a single jacket, with pairs operating at wildly different signaling rates and voltages.

    The point of Thunderbolt is to equip a PC with one tiny connector that can provide an insane amount of bandwidth for connecting displays or external expansion devices. While passive cables that can handle Thunderbolt scale frequencies certainly exist, most of these cables don't include bus power and out-of-band signaling pairs. I think that if Apple could have gotten the job done without resorting to an active cable, they would have.
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    "Finally, all Thunderbolt traces are on the same PCB layer and don't feature any sharp angles in their route"

    For the one path that's right, but look at the other trace right next to it. It has a series of sharper turns than 45 degrees. Especially at the beginning and the ending of the path - at one point it makes a "U"!
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    But it is a U and not a squared off |_| shape. I think that's an ASUS-specific implementation as well, but I could be wrong. As for why the U/zigzags are necessary (not that you asked), I guess both TB channels have to have the same trace length, which seems sort of odd to me. AFAIK, you can't actually talk to one device (e.g. a RAID controller in something like the Promise R6) on both channels; one channel is for DisplayPort passthrough, and the other is for the devices to share, right? I'm not sure...but I do think ThunderBolt is 10Gbps bidirectional, so that would make Anand's ~938MB/s results more sensible. Reply
  • repoman27 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    I think you're only looking at a single channel in that pic, so the trace lengths probably need to be the same for both the send and receive pairs for each channel to maintain timings. The other channel is most likely on the other side of the board (despite the "no vias" bit) seeing as only 10 of 20 pads for the connector are visible on the side shown.

    According to Intel, each direction in each channel can be used for display and/or PCIe data. Each channel is 10 Gbps full-duplex, however, thus far we have only seen Thunderbolt controllers with a single PCIe to Thunderbolt protocol adapter, which limits total PCIe throughput to 10 Gbps.

    The Thunderbolt switches built into the controllers, and the Thunderbolt channels that connect them, only transact in Thunderbolt packets—they don't concern themselves with which protocol the upper layers are using.
    Reply
  • coder543 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Show me the Linux.
    Show me the Linux.
    Show me the Linux.
    Show me the Linux.
    Show me the Linux.
    Show me the Linux.
    Show me the Linux.

    Why is it so hard? I thought this was a technically proficient blog but time and time again I'm met with their absolute avoidance of Linux. I don't care one iota how Windows does on Thunderbolt. All I ask is a simple summary -- even a paragraph, about how Linux does on Thunderbolt, especially in regard to hot plugging. I hate to be annoying, but it bothers me tremendously.. Windows is inferior in every intrinsic technical capacity -- the only thing that makes it better for some people is the application compatibility.
    Reply
  • coder543 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Also, it hasn't come to Windows PCs. It has come to non-Apple computers. I honestly wonder if Anand has ever used a serious Linux distro for more than ten minutes.. he talks as if there is only one player. Thunderbolt has serious implications in the server market, they just haven't been defined yet. Think about what can be done with it. There's no shortage of possibilities. Reply
  • coder543 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Looking historically, there hasn't been a Linux post here since January, and no Linux posts on this blog have ever been written by Anand. I smell MSCE. Time to branch out. Reply
  • CSMR - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Thunderbolt is not for servers. The year of the linux desktop is next year, as usual. Thunderbolt seems to be mainly for laptops, and the year of the linux laptop has not even been announced. Reply
  • coder543 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    I dislike responding to trolls, but I had little better to do at the moment, so for anyone who looks back they will have little doubt as to what went down here.

    I never said anything about the year of the Linux desktop. Linux doesn't need to win the desktop, as the desktop is rapidly becoming historical for most of the population. Everyone already uses Linux on a daily basis -- namely the web, their not-iPhone smartphones, their Kindles and Nooks, their Smart TVs, blu-ray players... everything. Even though Android is the major Linux smartphone/tablet OS for now, Boot2Gecko promises another Linux smartphone OS, and WebOS going open source is also more Linux. When people lose their desktops (and laptops), what's left? Linux. We don't care if you put it on your desktops, we've already won the battles that matter. End users don't want desktops or laptops these days. They want Kindle Fires and iPads -- things that aren't Windows. Apple is good stuff. Microsoft Windows is not. (WP7 on the other hand is actually respectable)

    Thunderbolt does have uses in a server environment, a high speed interface which provides direct access to the PCI subsystem with daisy chaining support. If you can't see the potential there, then I don't know what to tell you. There are few uses for it *right now*, but in the future there will be, though it may not be for a few years, and the entrepreneur which utilizes it to his advantage will be a marked success.

    Linux doesn't need to win the desktop share as I said, but it's currently far better than Windows, and if it's installed by someone technical, then anyone can use it, most of them with less frustration. What do most users do that isn't inside of a browser, word processor, email client, or music manager? Linux has every major browser that isn't called IE, and even then it can have IE in an interesting way, and LibreOffice does everything the average user need from an Office suite -- or they could run MS Office through wine where it is as deeply integrated as a native application. Thunderbird and Evolution are both great email clients, but Geary/Postler is redefining the end user email client. Music managers are a dime a dozen, any flavor you like. Banshee, Rhythmbox, Amarok, Noise, the list goes on, and all of them work very well.

    This is all with the consideration that the computer doesn't reboot once every five minutes, consumes less RAM, is easier on the processor, and doesn't need antivirus, while supporting more file formats out of the box. Also, you don't need to install a driver for everything (or anything I've ever encountered for that matter) you plug in, and especially not flash drives. (Windows says installing driver when you plug flash drives in..) Let's not even mention saving the cost of Windows license -- everyone likes saving money.

    How is that not a victory? Getting a faster, more intelligent, and less vulnerable computer. Just because the majority are ignorant or obstinate means little about the value of the product. Just because the majority decide it's ok to do a heinous crimes against their own population doesn't make it right. Linux five years ago was a steamy pile of crap, but things aren't now how they were then. Yet it doesn't matter. Linux was used in a bait-and-switch victory, and Microsoft is afraid. Their fear is the reasoning behind everything in Windows 8, and they have sealed their fate.
    Reply
  • Iketh - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    My goodness, I have never seen such a huge post say absolutely nothing... Reply
  • mikbe - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    So it's a non-standard standard that even one of the creators refuses to follow. Sounds really useful.

    I'll wait till they figure it all out; as I imagine most people will. Which of course means it won't ever get popular enough to drop in price so it will be expensive and flacky which will keep people away so it won't ever get popular enough to drop in price so it will be expensive and flacky which will keep people away so it won't ever get popular enough to drop in price so it will be expensive and flacky which will keep people away so it...
    Reply
  • coder543 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    what do you mean one of the creators refuses to follow? Reply
  • Impulses - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Frankly I don't see wide spread adoption of TB on the desktop ever taking root... The cable management argument is debatable (i wouldn't want most cables hanging off my displays), and other applications simply cater to usage cases that are already a niche.

    TB does hold a ton of promise as a docking solution for laptops tho, I certainly hope Intel stands by it and doesn't grind progress to a halt with the cert program. You'd think this would be the prefect complement to their ultrabook push, they should practically be giving the controllers away to ultrabook manufacturers.
    Reply
  • chaoflux - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Could you by chance test whether two thunderbolt displays daisy chained works w/ the Intel or Asus motherboard? I have two displays which work fine daisy chained on my mbp w/ os x, but not bootcamp (only 1 display works in bootcamp) - though hot plugging doesn't work either w/ bootcamp on the mbp, so I'm moderately curious if one of these Intel certified boards resolves the dual display in Windows issue as well. Reply
  • repoman27 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Curious about this as well, but there's also a good possibility that these boards only use the 2C Cactus Ridge controller or only have a single DP source connected anyway. Reply
  • counter03 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    for asus p8z77-v premium, is it support three independent displays using Ivy bridge? i mean just connect three monitors to hdmi and dp and thunderbolt on board. Reply
  • repoman27 - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    I'm not sure if I just missed it, but it was not clear to me which board you were using for the performance figures that were in the article. Was it the Asus or Intel board that was used for the benchmarks?

    Also, a much more plausible explanation for the modest performance decrease experienced during your Windows tests is that the 15-inch MacBook Pro you originally tested with had the Thunderbolt controller connected to the PCIe lanes coming directly off of the CPU, not the PCH. On that test you were very close to the theoretical maximum throughput of 1028 MB/s (figuring a 128 byte max TLP payload size and bare minimum of overhead.) Trying to get higher aggregate throughput with multiple Thunderbolt devices only works to a point, and then the additional overhead created by multiple devices starts to diminish the bandwidth available for payload data. If you're trying to bury the needle, I think the Pegasus on its own loaded with 4 matched high performance SSDs is the way to go for now.

    I chuckled when I read this bit: "Interfaces like USB are great because you can generally count on anything that physically fits in the port just working." I'm guessing you don't plug printers into your USB ports very often, do you?
    Reply
  • ypsylon - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    Thunderbolt will die virtually over night when external PCI-Express will be introduced. It will be MUCH cheaper, it won't involve patent rights and license buyouts gibberish, it will offer the same bandwidth, and most important ALL desktops are equipped with PCI-Ex lanes already. Need only a simple card with a connector without some proprietary idiocies. In short couldn't care less about Thnunderbolt, leave it for Apple - to use euphemism - followers. It will end like Firewire. The End. Reply
  • bottlething - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    Anand, in your Thunderbolt Display review, you mentioned the possibility of combining the ethernet-port on the display with the Mac's ethernet-port (IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation).

    This link explains how:
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Serve...

    - What is to be expected of this scenario? (given a local network with a IEEE 802.3ad-compliant switch)

    A similar question on Apple Communities have yet to be replied upon..
    https://discussions.apple.com/message/17450524#174...

    - Any thoughts/experiences/results on this "feature" would be appreciated :)

    Thanks in advance
    Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    My CAD program would choke and die if it tried to make a curved trace.

    Leaving external GPUs aside, what purpose is there to having thunderbolt? You guys dont ever seem to review any docking solutions, but it seems like the new Toshiba Dynadock USB 3.0 can drive two 1080p display and run ethernet and sound and mouse/kb. Right now I would still have to pay more money to use a thunderbolt one-cable dock solution.
    Reply
  • ka_ - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    The one thing that will keep me away from TB is the major problem that any device can access the DMA of any connected devices essentially removing all security of any system with TB - except if by disabling DMA while using the plug. I have come to notice that Apple have a undocumented method to disable DMA on TB <http://matt.ucc.asn.au/apple/>, though it indicates this method only apply to the Firewire over TB exploit, and it likely is not much time until someone have a better method. But if it is possible do disable DMA/restrict DMA access on the machines, then TB might even eventually get accepted by the security focused audience too?

    If possible do disable DMA under Windows/Linux how much would this degrade the TB performance?
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    Disabling DMA for Thunderbolt is akin to disabling DMA for PCIe, i.e. not practical. IOMMU will hopefully provide security for these types of scenarios, but the driver implementation just isn't there yet.

    Does the fear of DMA attacks prevent you from using PC's with available PCIe slots, ExpressCard or IEEE 1394 ports? Hardware DMA attacks require physical access to the machine or some sort of social engineering ploy. If an attacker has physical access to your machine, they would most likely try many other vectors before resorting to a DMA attack. DMA attacks generally involve custom hardware which is time consuming and expensive to develop. Do you really see someone buying or creating a custom piece of Thunderbolt hardware just to attempt to compromise PCs under your control?

    While these types of security vulnerabilities are real, exploitation of them is rather uncommon, and for the foreseeable future, far more likely to come in the form of FireWire or ExpressCard than Thunderbolt.

    If someone ships you a shiny new Pegasus R6 with a note saying, "You're the lucky winner!" just sell it on eBay and move on.
    Reply
  • ka_ - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    "While these types of security vulnerabilities are real, exploitation of them is rather uncommon, and for the foreseeable future, far more likely to come in the form of FireWire or ExpressCard than Thunderbolt."

    Completely wrong - The firewire exploit is possible to do on any TB and the exploit is already in the wild: <http://www.breaknenter.org/2012/02/adventures-with...
    Even script kiddies can apparently do this attack against TB and firewire already...

    So yes - I would indeed sell the machine coming with this port unless there is a way to prevent DMA access for units connected through the TB port.

    I think Asus UX32VD-DB71 or one of the UX31A's which does not have TB, Firewire, ExpressCard or any of the other easily exploitable ports.
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    Did ya read the article you linked to? Did ya understand any of it? Because I had already done so, and came away with a very different assessment of the severity of the threat in question.

    The exploit as described is a FireWire DMA attack requiring physical access to the PC along with several bulky hardware devices costing many hundreds of dollars. The pointlessness of this exercise is especially extreme, because at the time it was written, the only PC with Thunderbolt but lacking FireWire was the 2011 MacBook Air.

    I don't generally let script kiddies hang out in my house, but I'd probably notice if they left an Apple Thunderbolt Display or a Sonnet Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter, ExpressCard FireWire adapter, 2.0 m Apple Thunderbolt cable, FireWire cable and "attack" PC running Linux lying about attached to my MacBook Air. Just sayin'.
    Reply
  • ka_ - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    The article specify "or equivelent" - ebay got a thunderbird to firewire adaptor from USD 4.25

    And no - you dont need daisy chain except to test some of the more advanced hacks there...

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/6-pin-Firewire-to-Thunderb...
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, June 05, 2012 - link

    That's a 6-pin to 8-pin FireWire adapter you moron.

    I guess if you can fall for eBay listings like that, you need to protect yourself pretty darn well against potential social engineering attacks. Good luck with that.
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, June 05, 2012 - link

    Sorry, I didn't really mean to call you a moron. I wish this site allowed editing of posts. Reply
  • ka_ - Tuesday, June 05, 2012 - link

    No problem - I might have been to hasty including the first search result I found for "Thunderbolt to Firewire" converter/adapter. There are others too such as
    <http://istore.techtools.com.au/index.php?route=pro...

    The real point I am trying to make is that you most certainly wont need expensive hubs or daisy chains to perform this attack - any adapter/converter will do.

    In fact - Firewire was only used to demonstrate that the problem still persist with Thunderbolt. That particular exploit can be prevented by simply blacklisting Firewire / 1394 devices, however that is only keeping the currently known exploit from happening.

    Since Thunderbolt have DMA access on its own, it is only a matter of time before an exploit can be made with no conversion at all!

    I know there are USB2/3 to Firewire converters too, which might make USB3 vulnerable to the same exploit even though USB3 in itself does not have DMA access. So all firewire is indeed on my blacklist even though I don't have any firewire ports on my laptop.
    Reply
  • jontech - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    enthusiasts would have been tripping over themselves calling it the second coming.

    The fact is, Intel can ramp up TB to 100GB in the next couple of years. USB can't keep up.

    The footprint is much smaller, mDP vs USB so it's perfect for Notebooks and allows for breakout and dock solutions that include many other technologies

    It is here to stay, and the fact that Apple pushed it and has every one of their computers with it means that those companies who have made TB devices have been rewarded with sales.
    Reply
  • rs2 - Tuesday, June 05, 2012 - link

    You killed my interest in Thunderbolt when you said:

    "Interfaces like USB are great because you can generally count on anything that physically fits in the port just working. With Thunderbolt on Windows we now have a situation where you can't assume the same."

    That is *not* the way to introduce a new connectivity standard. If I can't plug any Thunderbolt device into any Thunderbolt connector and *know* for a fact that it will work without issue, then something is very seriously wrong.
    Reply
  • BigBoss88 - Wednesday, June 06, 2012 - link

    I am using a thunderbolt display with my P8Z77 Premium motherboard. Everything works fine without issue, sound, USB hub, firewire. I even have Lucid MVP Virtu running my HD7970 in "headless mode". It runs my games flawlessly. My machine is a beast with a high quality expensive display. Let all the hate posts flood in! C'mon NAAAHHHHHHH! * in my Trey Parker Tinasaurus voice* Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, July 06, 2012 - link

    So yourmum would be proud ? Maybe yourmum is glad the big fat bug got worked out after the who knows how long frustrations...

    yourmum aka bb88 : " I feel people should know this already BUT just incase, if you do plan on using an Apple thunderbolt or ANY thunderbolt enabled display- Make sure you leave the discrete graphics card OUT of your system until you set the BIOS/UEFI for the computer to have integrated graphics ENABLED before you install your beefy GPU for Virtu support. Do not set it to AUTO either. And on that note I will end my review. "

    Gee, sorry to hear the setup was such a hassle. Was that hateful enough ? Do you feel better now that you got some attention ?
    Reply
  • twotwotwo - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    You have to wonder if Apple shot themselves in the foot with the exclusive deal. Making it widely available would have meant more compatible devices "for free," and only(?) cost Apple bragging rights for a year. If, instead, it had been available in different speeds and only Apple had the right to deploy the fastest one, or something like that, it could have wound up an advantage for them.

    But temporary exclusivity on a standard, when you've still got just a fraction of the desktop/laptop market (quite unlike the mobile world), seems like a prize you don't want.
    Reply
  • Asterix007 - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Do you guess a MB with Thunderbolt should work on a Imac27 (avril2011) with Thunderbolt port and TB cable also ?
    With the CMD+F2, we could commute iMac as a display...

    I tried with the Z77A-GD80 but no success for the moment...

    Thx for help !
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, July 06, 2012 - link

    I wonder how long it took for the "engineers" to figure that out... or...

    " We've been doing it this way for 5 decades, now you want to change things?!"

    http://www.anandtech.com/Gallery/Album/2007#4

    Slalom and curve instead of highest g near right angle turns - with 3%+ to 7%+ improvements.

    We are progressing... slowly, very slowly, as so many facts are ignored too often.
    Reply
  • nanofunk - Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - link

    i am wondering if linux support for thunderbolt will ever be ready. there are currently a lot of troubles with the implementation, when you check the linux kernel mailinglist. if there is not at least (hotplugged) networking up and running, i don't see why we should invest in thunderbolt at all. Reply

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