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Thunderbolt and Lightpeak ...

Discussion in 'Mac OS' started by Markdvc, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

  3. georgelegeriii

    georgelegeriii Senior member

    Time to start saving $$$... my old MBP got bashed pretty bad, and this looks like it will do the job very nicely ;-)
  4. Orren Merton

    Orren Merton Logic Samurai / Administrator Staff Member

    Lightpeak—err..."Thunderbolt" looks like a really great new protocol. Both very fast and multi-protocol. I was about to jump on a new desktop Mac, but at this point I think I'll wait until this becomes standard.

    Here's a pretty good test of the protocol from Intel, back before they gave it the über-dorky name "Thunderbolt."


  5. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    How much is that docking station thingy going to be that you will need to have in order to connect up the new format cable to a firewire audio interfaces and hard drives? And it'll be one more thing for laptop users to have to schlep around.
  6. Orren Merton

    Orren Merton Logic Samurai / Administrator Staff Member

    1) I'm sure the docking station thingy was an Intel prototype, not for sale. I'm sure that any future docking stations will run the gamut for pricing, based on who manufactures it and what it's features are.

    2) Why not connect a FireWire audio interface to the FireWire port on the MacBook Pro?

    3) Why not connect your FireWire hard drives to the FireWire port on the MacBook Pro?

    I'm guessing you didn't check the MacBook Pro page, and didn't realize that they still include a FireWire port.

  7. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Hi Orren,

    I did see that the new MBPs have a FW 800 port and two USB ports. I'm really not trying to be a luddite here but what do you see the real world uses for thunderbolt to be for audio users? Running big arrays of external drives?

    (That, coupled with the increased processors could really help out running large orchestral libraries.)
  8. Orren Merton

    Orren Merton Logic Samurai / Administrator Staff Member

    Well, if you checked out the Thunderbird page: http://www.apple.com/thunderbolt/

    And then follow the link on that page to Intel's page: http://www.intel.com/technology/io/thunderbolt/index.htm

    You'll find that three of the CEOs waxing ecstatic about Thunderbolt are from Apogee, Avid, and Universal Audio, specifically saying they'll integrate it into their products. So for audio users, I think at some point in the future, there will be Apogee interfaces, Avid interfaces (maybe even Pro Tools HD?), and UAD devices. When in the future? No idea. But I've been told from "inside sources" that select companies have had access to lightpeak for development since last year, so possibly not as late as one might imagine. We'll see.

    Other real world audio uses are hard drives as fast as Mac Pro built-in hard-drives or eSATA drives (and no Mac has ever had eSATA).

    Finally, I expect that in the longer run, Thunderbolt, since it includes both "consumer" and professional protocols and can handle power over cables, we'll start seeing dedicated controllers such as MIDI controllers, and possibly even synthesizers, with Thunderbolt.

    I think this will have another real word effect on audio—many users who had never thought they could make do with an iMac as a desktop because of lack of PCIe expandability, as soon as Thunderbolt is available on the iMac will be ready to make the jump, as Thunderbolt is true PCIe (protocol). So this means that audio users will be able to get a fully pro Mac for less money, leaving more for audio hardware and software.

    Please don't think I'm trying to sell you on a new MacBook Pro. :) I don't plan on buying one myself. But I think this technology is the "USB of the decade" and we're going to see this becoming ubiquitous. Will it be surpassed? Absolutely—I'm certain of it. But I think this was developed to be future proof and totally portable, so that it will have a significant lifespan, and be good for everyone, audio users included.

  9. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Dude, you've got me totally pumped :D Thanks for the insights. I had originally just skimmed through the Apple pages quickly, and my first reaction was "great, another new format to deal with". But I can see this is really the start of something new and big. My four year old Macbook is still a trusty old soldier; I'm not quite ready to trade up yet either. But I can see there will be exciting time ahead!

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