How fast can a quartet of hard drives push data across Thunderbolt 2?
Like it or not, the shift to Thunderbolt is underway. The connection is extremely flexible, allowing for video and data to co-habitate on the fast-speed bus. The problem is that the introduction of new ports doesn't preclude the need to use old ports. Highpoint has a solution for those eSATA drive cases in the Thunderbolt 2 RocketStor 6324L host adapter for eSATA devices. Bridging devices for older connectors can be expensive, and sometimes its worth it to replace the enclosure instead -- does the value equation hold up for this speed-oriented adapter? Check our review to find out.
New version drives 25.9Gbps of uncompressed video
The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) announced the release of the DisplayPort 1.3 standard. An update to the widely-used DisplayPort 1.2a standard, this latest version increases the maximum link bandwidth to 32.4Gbps, with each of four lanes running at a link rate of 8.1Gbps per lane -- a 50 percent increase from the previous version of the DisplayPort standard. Allowing for transport overhead, DisplayPort's 32.4Gbps combined link rate delivers 25.9Gbps of uncompressed video data.
Bridgeboard on drive replaceable with PCIe SSD
Seagate's LaCie branch today announced the latest evolution of its d2 desktop storage line. The latest LaCie d2 features a new allâ€“aluminum unibody enclosure, dual Thunderbolt 2, and USB 3.0. In addition, LaCie designed the d2 Thunderbolt 2 to be upgradable with a SSD daughterboard, which boosts speeds up to 1,150MB per second when the SSD is accessed.
New dock features dual USB 3.0, eSATA, audio, pass-through Thunderbolt
HighPoint Technologies has launched the "world's first" Thunderbolt 2-powered connectivity dock, the RocketStor 6351A. Each of the dual five-gigabit-per-second USB 3.0 ports and 6Gb per second eSATA port is powered by dedicated controller, allowing for peak speed for connected peripherals. Audio and Gigabit Ethernet ports round out connectivity options, with a pass-through Thunderbolt 2 port to daisy chain up to five devices downstream of the dock.
ATX and E-ATX boards displayed at show, Brix machines doing better than expected
Gigabyte brought out the largest number of motherboards for Intel's Haswell Extreme Processors to Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle over the weekend, showing off six X99 boards for consumers. From high-end gaming boards to the affordable Ultra Durable line, Gigabyte wanted to project a leading position for consumers that want to jump into Intel's most recent technology.
New device features failover, wake-on-lan, driverless installation
Sonnet Technologies today announced the Twin 10G Thunderbolt 2 to Dual-Port Copper 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) Adapter, a near-plug-and-play solution for adding 10GbE network connectivity to any computer with Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt ports. Featuring 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 technology, the Twin 10G enables users to connect to high-speed infrastructure and storage systems using the 10GbE standard -- offering up to 10 times the performance of Gigabit Ethernet.
Does the KTU10 give USB 3.0 to 2011 Macs as well as Kanex claims?
Apple has never been shy about funky ports -- first it was Apple Desktop Bus, and its own DIN-8 serial port. Following that came FireWire and the first widespread implementation of USB. USB and FireWire still exist in faster versions that the original incarnations, but now Apple's got Thunderbolt -- yet another fast speed peripheral connection protocol. While eSATA isn't a wide-spread Mac connectivity protocol, inexpensive cases abound for the connector, which modern Macs without PCI-e slots can't handle. Connectivity specialists Kanex has a solution with the KTU10 Thunderbolt to eSATA and USB 3.0 adapter. Adapters can be problematic, as any computer user knows by now. How well does the small Kanex box suit the bill? Check our review to find out.
Thunderbolt added to listing of testing areas
Apple has begun distributing a new beta of OS X 10.9.5 to developers, available via the Mac App Store or the Mac Developer Center. The code is listed as build 13F12. In addition to Safari, graphics, and USB/USB smart card issues highlighted in the first beta, Apple is now also asking users to test out Thunderbolt connections.
New devices can receive up to 128 channels of audio across Thunderbolt
Audio device manufacturer MOTU has announced three new Thunderbolt audio interfaces with 48-channel mixing, DSP effects and AVB Ethernet audio networking for system expansion. Based on a new shared technology platform, the 1248, 8M and 16a use ESS Sabre32 Ultra converters, and provide low analog latency, with round-trip performance of only 32 samples (0.66 ms) at 48 kHz.
RackMac Pro allows two Mac Pro computers in 4u of rack space
Upgrade component maker Sonnet is debuting a pair of new Thunderbolt devices at this year's IBC2014 industry conference. New this year are the RackMac Pro dual-Mac Pro rackmount solution for Apple's cylindrical computing powerhouse. Additionally, the company is also releasing the Thunderbolt Pro P2 Card Reader, commonly used in high-end digital video cameras.
New design also increases environmental protection
Storage maker LaCie has announced an update to its Rugged external hard drive, adding an integrated Thunderbolt cable. While on the surface the feature is just more convenient, it also improves protection against dust, water, and other contaminants, since the drive's cap can be left on unless a person needs a USB 3.0 connection. When not in use, the Thunderbolt cable wraps around a groove and tucks into the space sealed by the cap.
All-in-one unit expands external storage options through single Thunderbolt port
Accessory maker Firmtek announced that it has begun shipping its newest all-in-one Thunderbolt storage system, the Thundertek/PX2+2. Certified for use with Macs and PCs, the storage unit brings together two previous products from Firmtek, the Thundertek/PX PCI-e aluminum expansion chassis, and Seritek/6G2+2 storage adapter.
OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual with Thunderbolt now available in 10TB capacity
Other World Computing has announced a new 10TB capacity for its Mercury Elite Pro Dual storage line. Featuring high-speed Thunderbolt technology, Hardware RAID options, USB 3.0 speed and the capacity to handle 4K video content, the 10TB Mercury Elite Pro Dual storage hard drive includes sustained data rates up to 442MB per second read at 7200RPM. Priced at $950, the latest drive is now available for order.
Device supports 24/96 audio, four inputs, phantom power
Resident Audio, a new company dedicated to designing and creating audio tools, has introduced the T4, the first multi-channel Thunderbolt audio interface which requires no external power. The T4 supports 24-bit/96kHz audio with near-zero latency for virtually instantaneous recording and playback.
Dubbed 'Alpine Ridge,' technology could appear as early as next year
Continuing to keep one step ahead of reported improvements in next-generation USB technology, Intel is said to be working on a third-generation Thunderbolt system that would double throughput to 40 gigabits (Gb) per second and yet reduce power requirements by as much as 50 percent, though the new connector would support up to 100 watts of charging power. The revised plug, which is backward-compatible with an adapter, will be about three millimeters (0.12 inches) in width, down from the current 4.5mm height.
Capacities up to 8TB available in USB 3.0, Thunderbolt dual-interface case
Peripheral vendor Other World Computing today expanded its family of Thunderbolt interface storage products with the addition of the OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual external high-performance drive with hardware RAID capabilities. The new design is available in capacities up to 8TB.
Thunderbolt 2 G-Speed RAID delivers 4k-compatible speed with hard drives
Storage manufacturer G-Technology today announced the latest additions in its Evolution Series family -- the G-Drive EV SSD and the 500GB G-Drive EV external drive modules. Also released are the four-bay Thunderbolt 2 G-Speed Studio with hardware RAID, and the two-bay G-Speed RAID Studio.
Four- and eight-channel devices adapt older external storage enclosures
Storage and networking device maker Highpoint is adding a pair of new Thunderbolt devices to its product lineup. The storage connectivity vendor has debuted the eight-channel Rocketstor 6328L, along with the four-channel RocketStor 6324L eSATA and SAS Thunderbolt 2 adapters at this week's National Association of Broadcasters show.
RAID arrays can drive over 1GB per second
Seagate Technology's LaCie brand announced at the 2014 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show three new storage solutions featuring Thunderbolt 2 technology. The LaCie 8big Rack, 5big, and 2big now feature Thunderbolt 2, along with the latest technologies from Seagate, including new 6TB hard drives.
New HDX-SDI video interface with Thunderbolt offers capture and playback for variety of programs
Motu has announced the release of its new HDX-SDI video interface with Thunderbolt technology. Offering a HD/SD video production workstation for any Thunderbolt-equipped Mac (or PC), its I/O technology supports high-resolution displays and high-performance data services though a single port. Users can connect any video source to the HDX-SDI, with best image quality derived from uncompressed video capture.
Also include HDMI, USB 3.0, Ethernet ports
Elgato has released the Thunderbolt Dock, its own entry for MacBook owners looking to expand connection options. The peripheral includes two Thunderbolt ports, the second enabling passthroughs to other Thunderbolt devices. Also present are three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and Ethernet connections, and headphone and microphone jacks.
Successful crowd-funded projects a fresh source of innovation
Macworld/iWorld 2014, currently going on at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, handed out its Best of Show awards on Friday, including a mix of hardware devices and software apps, many of which started life as successful Kickstarter or similar crowd-funded ideas, both from established companies and novice entrepreneurs. Winners included a portable RAID drive, a thermal camera for the iPhone, an app to get kids to do their chores, and new Thunderbolt adapters, among other useful apps and gadgets.
Drive features integrated Thunderbolt cable
Drive manufacturer WD today introduced My Passport Pro, the first portable and Thunderbolt-powered dual-drive. The peripheral is available in 2TB and 4TB capacities, and sports a Thunderbolt cable built into the case itself, which also powers the drive. A user-selectable RAID function lets users choose data striping (RAID 0) for high performance or mirroring (RAID 1) for data redundancy.
New Thunderbolt accessory provides eSATA, USB3
Akitio has expanded its line of Thunderbolt accessories with its new Thunder dock. With eSATA, FireWire 800, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt pass-through, the new accessory aims to provide a sensible set of additional ports for most MacBooks manufactured in the past three years. Check out our full review to see if the Thunder is a must-have desk accessory.
828x audio interface with Thunderbolt technology provides comprehensive I/O
MOTU has released its newest audio interface of the 828 series, the 828x with Thunderbolt connectivity. Though still possessing USB 2.0 connections, the 828x provides low-latency performance thanks to Thunderbolt, due to the latter's ability to maintain speed in high-bandwidth applications.
Elgato adds USB3.0 to Thunderbolt SSD
Elgato recently introduced its Thunderbolt Drive+ portable SSD, building upon the company's existing Thunderbolt SSD that we tried out last year. The new offering ads USB 3.0 connectivity for cross-platform convenience, while transfer speeds are claimed to get a boost up to 420MBps. Check out our full review to see how the Drive+ performs against its predecessor.
New dock gives three USB 3.0 UASP ports, audio in/out
Connectivity specialist StarTech has announced the availability of its new Thunderbolt Docking Station which enables users to add a variety of connectivity options to a Thunderbolt-equipped computer. The new docking station can be positioned vertically or horizontally to best suit the desk space, and includes a one-meter Thunderbolt cable to provide a ready-to-connect docking solution right out of the box.
Promise RAID arrays, Sharp 4K display among earliest accessories
Now that the redesigned Mac Pro is finally out, buyers lucky enough to get one of the early ones will also be shopping for accessories. While a number of third-party manufacturers have already begun ramping up to support the new tower, offerings specifically targeting Mac Pro buyers are still thin on the ground. The online Apple Store, however, has an UltraHD (4K) display monitor, new black Thunderbolt cables and existing storage expansion solutions on offer.
USB 3.0 upgrade for older Macs
Several companies currently offer Thunderbolt docks to expand the interface options for recent MacBooks. CalDigit's Thunderbolt Station is one of the latest, providing a wide range of connections including USB 3.0, HDMI and Ethernet ports, among others. Check out our full review for a closer look at the new docking station.
Units support three PCI-e cards, one model embeds a Mac mini internally
Magma has announced pricing and availability for three new Thunderbolt to PCIe expansion products. The product family is called Roben-3 and is designed to be the expansion solution for creative professionals who have adopted the Thunderbolt interface as the main high-speed input-output option, such as users of the upcoming Mac Pro.
Also supports USB 3.0 systems
Elgato has launched a new portable storage drive, the Thunderbolt Drive+. The unit is based on an SSD, and capable of speeds up to 420MBps. Despite its name, it includes both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports, which also double as power sources. For durabilty's sake the drive uses an IP64-certified metal enclosure that protects against dust and water as well as impacts.
Adds USB 3.0, HDMI, other connections
CalDigit has announced that a new peripheral, the Thunderbolt Station, will be shipping on November 4. The unit is meant to expand the number of ports on a Mac, particularly MacBooks, which often have very few native connections. It adds three USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI connection, a gigabit Ethernet jack, and audio in/out ports. A second Thunderbolt port is meant for daisy-chaining the Station to other Thunderbolt-ready devices.
Sonnet shipping original model, replacing with Thunderbolt 2 when available
Sonnet has announced the Echo Express SE II, the replacement for the Echo Express II Thunderbolt-to-PCIe expansion chassis. The new model adds enhanced capabilities and sells at a lower price, and also includes a coupon for a free upgrade to exchange it for a Thunderbolt 2 version when it becomes available this fall. Accommodating cards up to 7.75 inches long, the Echo Express SE II supports nearly every Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe card on the market, including double-width cards consisting of a PCIe card plus daughter card.
Lengths of up to 100 meters tested, 10x longer than copper
Making good on promises from January to release an optical Thunderbolt cable, Corning has announced at the IFA tradeshow that Intel has certified its all-fiber optic Thunderbolt cable for release. The technology uses Corning's ClearCurve technology to allow for high data speeds with significantly less data loss than copper cables, allowing for longer cabling.
Upgrades bring up to 24 cores to Z Desktops, quadcore to laptops
HP today announced the expansion of its Z portfolio of professional workstation products, including the company's first workstation-class ultrabook, the HP ZBook 14. Also released are the company's first line of workstations to offer Intel’s Thunderbolt 2 technology for high-speed data transfer. The newly-announced products include three new HP ZBook mobile workstations, including the previously-mentioned ZBook 14, and processor and graphics enhancements to the HP Z desktop workstations.
Thunderbolt Displays and Mac Pros
This week at Apple's online store, save on refurbished Apple displays, Mac Pros and more. The refurbished 27-inch Thunderbolt Display has been reduced by $200 from $999 down to $799. Also priced at $799 is the refurbished Apple LED Cinema Display. Pair either display with a refurbished Mac Pro with a 2.8GHz Intel quad-core Xeon processor, 3GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, now $1,819 after a $680 discount.
Black cannister shape, 12-core configuration, Thunderbolt 2, more
[Updated with real-world photo of the Mac Pro] Apple on Monday gave developers and the public a "sneak preview" of the next Mac Pro coming later this year -- a radical new "cannister" form factor in black that is 1/8th (by volume) the size of the previous model. It features a 12-core configuration based on all-new (E5) Intel Xeon processors, dual AMD-provided FirePro workstation graphics, new PCIe flash storage, new faster RAM, PCI Express gen 3 support, the ability to use up to three 4K-quality displays, and external outputs dominated by Thunderbolt 2.
Doubles throughput of original TB while retaining cable compatibility
Intel, who originally developed Thunderbolt networking technology with the help of Apple (which made it a standard feature on most current Mac products) has revealed that the name of the improved version of Thunderbolt -- originally known by its codename, Falcon Ridge -- is to be simply "Thunderbolt 2." The improved version, which offers roughly a doubling of existing (and still under-utilized) Thunderbolt speeds, will enter the market early next year and offers both sufficient bandwidth for raw 4K video transfer as well as backward compatibility with existing cables and connectors.
Apple issues minor patch
Apple has posted a new support download for Macs, Thunderbolt Firmware Update 1.2. The patch appears to deal solely with stability problems related to Target Disk Mode. The file is 1.22MB, and requires OS X 10.8.3 or later.
New model supplements dual PCI-E slot model
Sonnet today introduced a significant upgrade of its popular xMac mini Server, a Thunderbolt-to-PCI Express expansion system and 1U rackmount enclosure for a Thunderbolt-equipped Mac mini with a Thunderbolt port. The updated xMac mini Server now supports a double-width PCIe card's daughter card and includes BNC connector mounting holes on the enclosure's rear panel. In addition, the length of the xMac mini Server is now just 15.8 inches, optimizing it for a wider range of popular mobile racks, carts, and rack bags.
Express Dock now available for purchase
After months of delays Belkin has finally made its Thunderbolt Express Dock available for purchase through its online store. First announced at CES 2011, the Express Dock was originally expected to be launched in September 2012. However, various setbacks and revisions continually pushed this date back until Belkin finally began accepting pre-orders this past February. The final revision is being sold for $300 and features eight ports, one FireWire 800, one Gigabit Ethernet, three USB 3.0, one 3.5mm audio-in, one 3.5mm audio out, and one Thunderbolt port, that can simultaneously be connected to a computer through a single Thunderbolt cable.
New model supplements original with 128GB
Storage solutions manufacturer Akitio today announced the release of the company’s new 256GB one-bay, bus-powered "Neutrino" Thunderbolt storage solution. Akitio’s new larger-capacity device is a follow-up to the company’s successful 120GB SSD solution, which was previously launched in 2012.
Removable cartridge drive capable of RAID 0, 1 or JBOD
Storage technology provider G-Technology announced the premiere device in its Evolution series -- the G-Dock ev with Thunderbolt, coupled with the G-Drive ev and G-Drive ev Plus external hard drive modules. The G-DOCK ev with Thunderbolt is the only two-bay solution with interchangeable storage modules, allowing them to be taken into the field and used as true standalone external drives on a USB 3.0 interface.
Pair of new models allow for one 16x, two 8x card installations
Sonnet today announced the Echo Express III-D desktop and Echo Express III-R rackmount Thunderbolt-to-PCI Express Expansion Chassis, the newest members of the company's Echo family of Thunderbolt expansion chassis for PCI-E cards. Featuring three PCI-E slots, a 300W power supply, and 75W auxiliary power connector, both new devices enable the use of a wide variety of high-performance PCI Express cards originally designed for use in desktop computers, now available to use with any OS X computer with a Thunderbolt port.
Falcon Ridge products slated for 2014
Intel has introduced an improved version of its Thunderbolt interface, doubling the transfer speeds to 20 Gbps upstream and downstream. With a booth at the National Association of Broadcasters expo this week, Intel notes that its next-generation Thunderbolt controller, codenamed Falcon Ridge, has the bandwidth to support 4K video file transfers while simultaneously driving a 4K display.
Coming this summer, features almost every kind of modern port
Accessory maker Sonnet Technologies has introduced a catch-all Thunderbolt dock that offers users just about any kind of connection they might want. The Echo 15 Thunderbolt Dock, compatible with both Mac and Windows machines, offers a total of 15 ports and includes options for an optical DVD or Blu-ray DVD drive as well as a 2TB hard drive (or smaller SSD). The deluxe dock is expected to arrive by summer, but can be pre-ordered now for North American customers. The unit's drive bay can also be used for Time Machine backups.
New chassis design allows for two half-length, full height PCIe cards
Sonnet today introduced the xMac mini Server 2H, a second model of the company's xMac mini Server Thunderbolt to PCIe expansion system and 1U rackmount enclosure for a Mac mini with a Thunderbolt port. The new xMac mini Server 2H enables the use of two half-length, full-height PCIe cards -- allowing users to select from and install the majority of Thunderbolt-compatible cards into either slot. Additionally, the new model features design improvements such as shortening the chassis' length to 16 inches, which allows it to be deployed in a wider range of popular mobile racks, carts, and rack-bags.
Update likely last in the line for the HTC handset
One of the first Verizon LTE phones is being updated to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), nearly two years after the phone's release. The HTC Thunderbolt is finally seeing an update to a nearly year-old version of Android, albeit newer than Android 2.3 Gingerbread which most of the Thunderbolt phones shipped with.
Intel claims limited resources for approving accessories
Licensing issues at Intel are keeping the number of Thunderbolt accessories low, says ArsTechnica. Although more accessories should be en route soon, several vendors claim that Intel has been picking a relative handful of companies to work with in order to ensure products meet certification demands. Intel is denying the suggestion that it might be "cherry-picking" vendors, but acknowledges it has a limited amount of resources for approving new products.
Could signal refresh mirroring MacBook, iMac advances
Third-party retailers are beginning to run out of Apple's 27-inch Thunderbolt Display, notes AppleInsider. Amazon, MacMall, and J&R are all indicating that they're completely out of the monitor. Such stock-outs are typically a sign that Apple is about to update a product, which may be a necessity in the case of the Thunderbolt Display.