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Intel Networking Windows Hardware Technology

Thunderbolt On Windows: Hardware and Performance Explored 177

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-so-shocking dept.
MojoKid writes "Intel's Light Peak technology eventually matured into what now is known in the market as Thunderbolt, which debuted initially as an Apple I/O exclusive last year. Light Peak was being developed by Intel in collaboration with Apple. It wasn't a huge surprise that Apple got an early exclusivity agreement, but there were actually a number of other partners on board as well, including Aja, Apogee, Avid, Blackmagic, LaCie, Promise and Western Digital. On the Windows front, Thunderbolt is still in its infancy and though there are still a few bugs to work out of systems and solutions, Thunderbolt capable motherboards and devices for Windows are starting to come to market. Performance-wise in Windows, the Promise RAID DAS system tested here offers near 1GB/s of peak read throughput and 500MB/s for writes, which certainly does leave even USB 3.0 SuperSpeed throughput in the dust."
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Thunderbolt On Windows: Hardware and Performance Explored

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Surely an exclusive on something that is intended to be a *standard* defeats the purpose? That looks like a year of nearly dead time for non-Macs.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Certainly. Once they've spent a year making thunderbolt look like a proprietary Apple exclusive, Intel will have their work cut out for them. Intel's approach to supporting TB on PCs doesn't seem any better really.

      • by anyaristow (1448609) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @03:31PM (#40300475)

        OEMs are more pragmatic than that. If it's a salable tech that is already developed and offered by a major player like Intel, they'll use it, whether it smells of Apple seconds or not.

      • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @03:43PM (#40300577)
        No it's been a year of geeks like you claiming that Thunderbolt was somehow an Apple technology when it was not. It is an always has been Intel technology; Apple helped Intel develop it. Apple did not get an exclusionary deal for their efforts; they simply got a year head start on all the other computer manufacturers. In that year others have implemented it. OEMs have been slower no doubt because some have wondered if I was worth implementing.
        • by Tarlus (1000874)

          OEMs have been slower no doubt because some have wondered if I was worth implementing.

          Maybe so, but what about Thunderbolt?

      • by toriver (11308)

        Give it time: There was a point where USB looked like an "Apple exclusive" port as well. Windows got support as late as Win95 release 2.1 and Win98 wasn't it? Even with Microsoft on the spec team?

        • by jimicus (737525)

          IME, USB on 95 2.1 was a waste of energy. Windows 98, OTOH, was ok.

          Dammit, I thought I'd killed off all those brain cells.

        • Win95 OSR2.1, correct - but it wasn't a complete implimentation, just a bare-bones. It supported USB printers, but not much else. It wasn't until Windows 98 that 'real' USB support became available.
        • by jedidiah (1196)

          > Give it time: There was a point where USB looked like an "Apple exclusive" port as well.

          Not really. USB was being bundled with practically every PC motherboard in those days, especially the Intel ones.

          • by 6ULDV8 (226100) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:06PM (#40301719)

            Yeah, but back then it stood for Useless Serial Bus.

          • by Dynedain (141758)

            Sure, my Gateway shipped in 97 with USB ports... well before Win98 or Apple shipped the iMac.

            But it was useless until Win98 added support. And there were almost no USB devices available on the market until Apple shook things up with their candy designs.

        • by drsmithy (35869)

          Give it time: There was a point where USB looked like an "Apple exclusive" port as well.

          No, there wasn't.

          Windows got support as late as Win95 release 2.1 and Win98 wasn't it? Even with Microsoft on the spec team?

          Yes. That is to say, about a year before the first Mac to have builtin USB ports even shipped.

      • that needs to be a data only or loop back video ver of TB.

        At the very lest have a voodoo like loopback system where you can use any DP output and add it to the TB bus so you can use that X79 chipset or that add it video card as your main video out or even put a video card on the TB bus and make it the MAIN VIDEO CARD.

    • Not much different than Firewire. Sony didn't help things by branding it iLink on their computers. And others called it 1394. I think that crap really killed the interface on the PC platform because Joe User didn't understand that it was all the same thing. Firewire was far superior to USB with its lower protocol overhead and reserved bandwidth.

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      You realise that USB was an Intel standard that was pioneered exclusively on Macs, right?

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        > You realise that USB was an Intel standard that was pioneered exclusively on Macs, right?

        and included for free on all of Intel's motherboards at the time so that by the time Microsoft finally got on board there were plenty of systems out there already that supported it.

        The current situation with TB is the INVERSE of that.

        • by iluvcapra (782887) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @04:53PM (#40301555)

          I remember USB being very rare in the Bondi iMac days... Intel might have put the controllers on their boards but a lot of manufacturers don't use Intel motherboards, and even if they used the chipsets. Nobody (for large values of n) who owned a PC in 1998 was ready for USB when MS "got on board," they got USB when they bought their first Windows 2000 or XP system in the subsequent three years.

          The question is, will Microsoft getting on board even a factor this time? Thunderbolt doesn't require drivers, it's just serialized PCI Express -- manufacturers can put these ports on their motherboards and they work out of the box.

      • by romiz (757548)

        You realise that USB was an Intel standard that was pioneered exclusively on Macs, right?

        To be precise, it was a Intel, Microsoft, Compaq, and NEC standard, as you can see in the USB 1 specification. You already had Compaq PCs under Windows 95 with USB installed.

        Apple probably adopted it in 1998 because its proprietary ADB was completely outdated, Firewire was too expensive for cheap peripherals, and Macs did not have the market share to impose a new competing standard.

      • by drsmithy (35869)

        You realise that USB was an Intel standard that was pioneered exclusively on Macs, right?

        If by "pioneered exclusively" you mean "available a year or two after it appeared on PCs", yes.

        The only thing Apple "pioneered" with regards to USB - thanks to The Steve - was their (now standard procedure) no-legacy-support-suckaz! attitude by flipping straight from ADB to USB with no transition period.

        • USB may have existed on PC's at that time, but there was little or nothing which used it. I remember buying (and still own) converters for serial-to-USB, parallel-to-USB etc for my Windows devices so they would work with my first iMac. PC's were still very much in the USB dark age at that time, and obtaining a device that worked without issues was difficult. Not impossible, but wow was USB a wasted port on PC's in those days. Even a Logitech QuickCam I bought around that time was parallel, not USB. Zip driv
  • For current devices, USB/SATA really don't tend to be the biggest bottlenecks. It's nice that they're developing technology to improve this. But I have a feeling adoption of this is going to be slow going, since there's no immediate benefit and it increases the expense. I could see this quickly going the way of FireWire.
    • by Alarash (746254) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @03:24PM (#40300391)
      What I expect from Thunderbolt is not to use it as a link to a storage device, but to a graphic card. This way you could have a CPU and memory heavy laptop to carry around, but then you could dock it at home and connect it to the external graphic card and play some video games.

      Apparently this interface can do 10 Gbps, and that sounds like a good start.
      • less then pci-e X4 is poor for video cards and useing one maxes out the BUS. Why not just use External PCI Express and get full pci-e speed.

        http://www.molex.com/molex/products/family?key=external_pci_express_pcie&channel=products&chanName=family&pageTitle=Introduction [molex.com]

        • by willy_me (212994)

          The maximum speed of the connectors from your link is 5Gbps. No indication if this is at the physical or data layers. Actual speed (from Wikipedia) is 250MBps per channel. But getting multiple channels on a small connector is difficult. From the site, one of the must suitable 4x connecors still has a width of 21mm and depth of 28mm. This won't work in modern ultrabook computers.

          Thunderbolt offers bidirectional 10Gbps at the data layer. Currently, up to two channels are supported on most computers (

          • by Guspaz (556486)

            There's also something to be said for a universal port, one that can be used to connect anything. You get audio and video via the DisplayPort aspect, and generic connectivity via the PCIe aspect. The question is, will the cost of implementation (expensive chipsets and cables) make it useless for cheap peripherals (like a mouse, keyboard, microphone, etc). Perhaps the cost of those will eventually come down enough that it won't matter, or perhaps we'll always see a mix of USB and Thunderbolt on computers, or

            • limit of 7 devices and Daisy chains kills it for lot's of USB tasks like mouse and keyboards.

              low-bandwidth devices will migrate to wireless so now you have deal with battery in more then one device.

              • by Guspaz (556486)

                7 devices per port? The 7 device limit is a daisy-chaining limit, as far as I can tell, not a maximum number of devices. How many devices currently hooked up to a typical computer are daisy-chained? The number of ports would likely be far more important than the maximum number of daisy-chain hops. Let's assume audio will always remain on 3.5mm jacks for headphone compatibility and assume that any thunderbolt monitor is going to have a daisy chain thunderbolt port at the very least.

                On a desktop computer, the

              • by tibman (623933)

                I'd be hard pressed to use 7 usb ports. Mouse, Keyboard, phone(data connection), 1-2 usb drives. Printer?

      • I have one of these already. I call it a "docking station."

      • by rsborg (111459)

        Apparently this interface can do 10 Gbps, and that sounds like a good start.

        That's bidirectional 10Gbps per channel or 20Gbps each way. Apple's implementation on their MBPs are effectively pushing 4 PCIe lanes over the wire (their MB Air implementation only pushes 2).

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbolt_(interface) [wikipedia.org]

      • So it can do that, but the bandwidth is a little low. Real internal PCIe is 500MB/sec per lane for 2.0, 1GB/sec per lane for 3.0. So a 16x slot is 8 or 16GB/sec. At just 1.25GB/sec, TB is slightly better than 2x PCIe 2.0, or slightly better than 1x PCIe 3.0.

        Now, while even high end GPUs don't need the full 16x of bandwidth, they generally need at least 4x to perform well, and can even need more than that to utilize themselves fully.

        So TB can do it, but there may be a limit to how well. It'll work for lower

        • by Guspaz (556486)

          At this point, most assumptions of graphics card performance are likely in terms of PCIe 2.0. So if you need a 4x 2.0 slot for optimal performance, you're probably still going to get pretty decent performance out of an effectively 2x slot.

          ViDock has been doing this stuff over ExpressCard, which is 1x PCIe 1.0... That works OK with low-end cards, and with thunderbolt pushing four times the bandwidth, there should be a rather big difference there.

          I also wonder if somebody will come up with a solution that tak

      • by Tarlus (1000874)

        The ability to "dock" a laptop with your USB devices, LAN and monitor using just one little Thunderbolt connector is also an attractive option.

    • by v1 (525388)

      there's no immediate benefit and it increases the expense. I could see this quickly going the way of FireWire.

      "go the way of firewire"? firewire (particularly 800) has been the fast-and-easy solution for years. Though for some reason it never caught on with PCs. (I'll assume you're speaking from a windows point of view on FW?) 79MB/sec is sweet compared to USB "high speed" that tops out at 39MB/sec. USB3 is the tech that seems to be stumbling out the gate as far as adoption goes. It had a head start on

      • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @04:39PM (#40301375)

        (I'll assume you're speaking from a windows point of view on FW?)

        As does the vast, vast majority of computer users out there. I don't think anyone would argue that fact, right?

        That's why USB 3.0 is going to ultimately be the standard...it's backward compatible and everyone is still using mostly USB peripherals. Until that changes (which it probably won't, regardless of capability, look at how long VGA has been hanging on, and that standard is 30 years old), USB x.0 will likely be the dominant standard for peripherals based on that fact alone.

        Geeks like going out and buying new peripherals to take advantage of the new capabilities of new standards. Most people, though, just want something that's going to work with the shit they've already got.

    • by dacut (243842) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @03:33PM (#40300493)

      I don't think that's the target. Look what Apple has done with Thunderbolt: it's their primary docking adapter for their laptops and they've made their new monitors the equivalent of docking stations. Basically, it has just enough bandwidth to carry a DisplayPort signal plus USB.

      I have a 2009 MacBook Pro which commutes with me to and from the office. It's a tad annoying to have to plug in six different cables every time I get to my desk and unplug them when I leave (which is a few times a day due to meetings). I've wished for a decent docking station; Apple seems to be averse to including a connector for this purpose, and the third-party solutions I've tried are as kludgy as one might expect. The addition of Thunderbolt doesn't have me rushing out to replace my laptop (obviously), but I'll be happy to have it when the time comes to retire this machine.

      (As for why I have a MacBook vs. a Windows laptop... well, it's rather well built (and has survived a few drops to date), is Unix-y enough to allow me to develop on it and still deploy the results to our Linux servers, and has built-in grep and zsh.)

      • by csumpi (2258986)

        I can't speak for a macbook, but on my sony laptop the only hard wired connection needed is the power cable. Everything else is wireless (mouse, keyboard, audio, display, network). I usually don't even plug in the power during the day either, as it runs 12-15 hours on a charge.

        Are you sure you couldn't cut down on the number of cables with the hardware you already have?

        • I can see keyboard/mouse and maybe audio going wireless. When you're pushing a high resolution monitor (24-30") wireless display isn't all that great. Also, even with dual-chanel 5GHz wifi a gigabit ethernet cable is still substantially faster.

          Personally I have a Dell with a docking station connector on the bottom. Docking bay has all the ports you need: power/usb/ethernet/audio/DVI/displayport/VGA/eSATA.

        • by temcat (873475)

          Wait, your Sony laptop runs 12-15 hours on a charge with every peripheral connected wirelessly? Which model would that be?

          • by csumpi (2258986)

            The model number is VPCSB190X with the internal and sheet battery. It only ever sees the charger overnight.

            • by temcat (873475)

              Cool, I will consider it.

              • by csumpi (2258986)

                My laptop is about a year old now, they probably have a newer model. I'm very happy with it, other than the awesome battery life it has the best keyboard (including backlight) I've ever had.

                The quoted battery life is when running win7, with linux it drops to about 10 hours.

                It wasn't the cheapest (paid about $1k), but was well worth it.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @04:45PM (#40301453)

        I don't think that's the target. Look what Apple has done with Thunderbolt: it's their primary docking adapter for their laptops and they've made their new monitors the equivalent of docking stations. Basically, it has just enough bandwidth to carry a DisplayPort signal plus USB.

        I realize you're not trashing it and it was probably a verbal slipup, but I have to say, you seem to have an odd definition of "just enough". ;)

        One Thunderbolt connector carries two full-duplex 10 Gb/s links, or 20 Gb/s total (bidirectional). 60Hz refresh of a 2560x1440 27" display with 8 bits per channel needs 2560*1440*3*8*60 = 5.3 Gb/s. One lane of PCIe 2.0 is equivalent to 4 Gb/s (5 nominal, but 8b10b line coding means it's 4 actual, while Thunderbolt has a much-closer-to-100% efficient line coding). So Thunderbolt can refresh Apple's Thunderbolt Display with enough bandwidth left over for >3 PCIe 2.0 lanes.

        The Thunderbolt Display doesn't just have USB, by the way. It also has a gigabit ethernet port and FW800. Those, and the USB, are all local PCI Express host controllers which communicate to the computer by tunneling PCIe through Thunderbolt. That's how Thunderbolt works: it tunnels PCIe and DisplayPort packets. All other protocols require a PCI Express host controller at the far end.

    • Thunderbolt isn't meant to replace USB and SATA for mere performance reasons. Thunderbolt is meant to replace them and Ethernet cables at the same time. It is the most direct connection to bus as you can get. FireWire when it was released was THE best in wired transfer. It has been superseded by better technologies. Unlike FireWire, this is an Intel technology and not by Apple. Just like USB replaced serial, parallel, joystick ports, this tech replaces many different cables.
      • by rev0lt (1950662)

        It is the most direct connection to bus as you can get.

        It isn't. Google for external PCIe. And theoretically, you can use external PCIe to interconnect multiple nodes (think grid computing) at native PCIe lane speed. A 4 lane E-PCIe adapter can give you 20Gb/s of troughput.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by bobcat7677 (561727)
      Not quite right. The current generation of SSDs (Intel 520 and others) are already pushing the bandwidth limits of SATA 3.0 (600MB/s including overhead) and are already leaving USB3 (400MB/s including overhead) in the dust now. And that is just a single disk. If you want to attach a DAS RAID for high bandwidth media editing or whatever, you better be using SAS for dedicated bandwidth to each disk or you are wasting your time. USB3.0 is worlds better then 2.0 was for storage, but it's already been outpac
    • This will wipe the floor with any USB 'docking station' on the market.. I'm kind of excited for it.

    • Oh, Thunderbolt is totally the new Firewire. Better in terms of specs, sure, but the average joe already has a bajillion USB peripherals, and USB 3.0 is backwards compatible. I used to sell computers at CompUSA, and speaking as someone that actually dealt with the real "average computer user" (not just the least knowledgeable programmer at the office), believe me...they're going to go into the store, look at all those rectangle ports that look like all the rectangle ports on their beige Compaq tower at ho

  • Promise RAID (Score:4, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @03:21PM (#40300343)

    If that is a Promise RAID box, I Promise the numbers are totally imaginary. Maybe they got that performance for about a second, on a full moon, in the dark, with no one watching.

    I don't doubt thunderbolt can do it, but I doubt anything Promise says.

    TLDR: Promise sucks.

    • Na the numbers might be real in jbod mode with a pile of SSD's. I do assure you that the raid will crash and need to be rebooted at least once a week and it will completely eat itself once a year. That is a feature that helps you test your backups.

  • The article really provides nothing worth reading. It spends a page on "what is Thunderbolt", another page on the motherboards, then a page running a *single* I/O benchmark on a *single* external RAID box, which they compare to an SSD in a USB 3.0 external enclosure (I don't even have to explain why that's stupid), before going straight to "summary and conclusions".

    It's a stupid article with a single, astoundingly stupid "test", no insightful remarks or even technical detail. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  • by vlm (69642)

    Get out the hot glue gun... Any device with thunderbolt has the full PCI bus exposed. Plug in the right gadget, which cops and crooks WILL have, and you completely and utterly own the system down to the lowest level, memory and drive contents. Best of all its hot pluggable, no reset required, heck maybe not even detectable if you do it right by splicing into a users "video" cable, etc.

    The spec even allows 7 devices in a daisy chain so you can get owned by an industrial competitor, and the local cops, and

    • by Dahan (130247) <khym@azeotrope.org> on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @03:36PM (#40300515)

      Any device with thunderbolt has the full PCI bus exposed.

      With an IOMMU [wikipedia.org] in between, which the OS can use to protect sensitive memory.

    • by Chemisor (97276) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @03:44PM (#40300591)

      That's all true of the PCI-E slots you already have on your motherboard. Do you hot glue those too?

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        It takes a lot more effort to expose a PCI slot.

        Any idiot can casually plug something into a TB port.

        This is an actual real problem with USB ports already.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        That's what case locks and intrusion alarms are for.

      • by kandresen (712861)

        It seem like you live in dinasaur times beliving everyone only use desktops... I have not had any PCI-E card exposed at all on any of my recent laptops! Now I do not know if hot-plugging a card to PCI-E in fact can be done without a system crash, but you would need to open the case for this in a way that for sure would take some more serious action.

        Now compare that with simply plugging a Thunderbolt cable to a machine - laptop or desktop...

    • by slimjim8094 (941042) <slashdot3@justco ... et minus painter> on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @03:46PM (#40300631)

      If only they could have just multiplexed a USB over the displayport, or firewire, but no, they had to provide a root access connector that is now standardized across many devices.

      You don't have even the slightest idea what you're talking about. You grabbed hold of a few concepts that you apparently don't fully comprehend and then used them to rant about surveillance. A sibling of mine posted the IOMMU thing already, but that wasn't the only howler in your post. Firewire also allows DMA [wikipedia.org] so your purported solution wouldn't work for exactly the wrong reasons you were complaining about Thunderbolt. And even if they were legitimate objections, you're screwed if an attacker has physical access anyway.

    • by silas_moeckel (234313) <silas AT dsminc-corp DOT com> on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @03:48PM (#40300655) Homepage

      It is not much different than firewire with DMA access and hotplug? IOMMU's plugged that hole years ago.

      • by kandresen (712861)

        IOMMU seems like a good solution for the Thunderbolt DMA problem!

        Thanks to your post I am now aware Intel come with IOMMU when the hardware has VT-d support and that support is activated (in bios?). The same is true with AMD machines with HyperTransport. I assume HyperTransport just like VT-d must be activated in BIOS for protection to be active since a disadvantage of activating IOMMU is degradation of the DMA performance.

        I must say I had eliminated any laptop with Thunderbolt from buying consideration up

    • On the other hand, it's a dream for debuggers, driver-writers, kernel-programmers and DRM-breakers.
    • by alexo (9335)

      So much for the bad guys using it. The good guys can use it to bypass any DRM scheme. A little magic box plugs in, and watches memory as the decrypted file appears and is rendered. All that HDCP stuff is irrelevant, bypassed. Or, on the fly, keys are sniffed out.

      If that was so easy, the "good guys" would have already have "regular" PCIe cards that can "bypass any DRM scheme", including "all that HDCP stuff".
      Where can I get one?

    • by Chirs (87576) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:05PM (#40301707)

      Get out the hot glue gun... Any device with thunderbolt has the full PCI bus exposed. Plug in the right gadget, which cops and crooks WILL have, and you completely and utterly own the system down to the lowest level, memory and drive contents.

      Sorry, no. I'm a professional linux kernel developer. Unless you have something cooperating within the OS to set up a mapping any DMA request from the thunderbolt device is going to get dumped on the floor by the IOMMU. (See the IOMMU wikipedia article if you're unsure how this works.)

  • I don't think "matured" into Thunderbolt is the right way to put it, at all.

    Thunderbolt itself is just an interim solution on the way to Light Peak.

    In addition, I don't think it will be fully "mature", Light Peak or no, unless and until they can start making cheaper cables. In general, I would say an active cable is not a good idea. It really raises the price.

    A way should be found to put the "active" components inside the devices at either end, with the (now much cheaper) cable running between them
    • by willy_me (212994)

      A way should be found to put the "active" components inside the devices at either end, with the (now much cheaper) cable running between them.

      The reason why Thunderbolt is so fast is that it doesn't have to worry about cable length. What you're talking about has already been done, it's called USB and is well suited for many applications. But the throughput on USB will never reach that of Thunderbolt. Add the availability of optical cables and Thunderbolt becomes even more impressive.

  • The real problem is getting new adoption for a new standard, especially when USB3 is just coming out of the gate. And for most people USB2/3 works just fine. Thunderbolt though, it won't have any place for another 5-6 years if that. And to be honest, I see devices in the near future shifting from Firewire to USB3 as well, USB is cheaper.

    • TB (made by Intel) is not a direct competitor to USB3 (started by Intel). While you can use USB3 for some file transfers it's not good for sustained usage. TB if meant to replace ethernet, video, eSATA and USB3 all in one cable. If you have a laptop, you can get a dock which only works for your manufacturer (and sometimes model) or you can use TB to hook all of those up. That is the promise of TB.
  • What is the plan for AMD and non on board video systems?

    Like LGA 2011? will that get Thunderbolt or will HIGH end desktops and workstations get locked out of TB while lower end system have it?

    Will severs get it? I don't see Intel on board video in servers any time soon and Ivy Bridge-E will use LGA 2011.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Speaking of high end workstations being locked out of TB...

      Thunderbolt was conspicously missing from the recent Mac Pro refresh.

  • by bored (40072) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @04:18PM (#40301033)

    Its a nice docking bay standard for laptops. Outside of that there are much better choices for desktop PCs.

    For one SAS makes a much better disk attachment interface, as the x4 links normally used for external connections are already 24Gbit, and they can be ganged together. Plus, there are dozens if not hundreds of vendors selling external SAS arrays. Many of which can do significantly more than 1GB/sec read/write.

    Thirdly, I can't see anyone actually using an external PCIe enclosure with a graphics card connected over 20Gbit of PCIe. A big part of graphics performance is moving things over the bus. Its the graphics card vendors shipping x16 boards and pushing for faster standards. I can see people connecting a bunch of monitors using the display port connections in thunderbolt. I can also see an assortment of proprietary pcie devices sitting in an enclosure like that, but I doubt the market is large enough to really justify inexpensive pcie enclosures. Hence the current prices, which seem to indicate the enclosure is going to cost more than a complete PC.

    I can see people using TB instead of firewire to transfer data from prosumer cameras, but I suspect that most home camcorders will be limited to USB3.

    Frankly, its a docking bay standard for people who bought laptops without expresscard slots. Its also peace of mind for people buying >$2.2k laptops that they won't get stranded with USB3 and giant hubs.

  • great, when is linux getting it? What's that, Intel doesn't care? After multiple speeches from multiple Intel executives at several conferences they don't move at all on publishing a software spec for it. We're not asking for a diagram of how it works, (there are enough of those) give us a bus, a frequency, something!
  • This is almost $30. Terrible...

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD463 [apple.com]

    Things will come down as the port becomes more wide spread.

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