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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Thunderbolt replaces firewire
N. Scott Trimble, Photographer
Lake Oswego | OR | USA | Posted: 1:38 PM on 02.23.11
->> Details tomorrow, but it looks as though lightpeak (thunderbolt for Mac) is a go!
http://mobile.macrumors.com/?sid=20110223091024
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Jack Howard, Photographer, Photo Editor
Central Jersey | NJ | USA | Posted: 1:47 PM on 02.23.11
->> Great. Awesome. Can't wait! Everyone's life will be so much the better for it. But can you tell me if it will help fill Facebook up with bad iPhone pictures even quicker? That's what I need to know before I go get in line for this.







~~~~~

But seriously, anyone know where to get a SCSI>Thunderbolt converter on the cheap?
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Michael Schwarz, Photographer
Decatur | GA | USA | Posted: 2:06 PM on 02.23.11
->> Thunderbolt is not replacing Firewire (yet). Early photos show both Thunderbolt and Firewire present. Looks like Apple is skipping USB-3 and going with Thunderbolt instead.
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N. Scott Trimble, Photographer
Lake Oswego | OR | USA | Posted: 3:22 PM on 02.23.11
->> It would be ludicrous to assume Apple would just disappear firewire from a new device since Apple users tend to have firewire devices Michael. It IS replacing firewire though as a new interface since firewire products have been discontinued. These computers announcing tomorrow will simply have a transition with both ports. I expect the generation after or after that to discontinue firewire.

No more firewire card readers–which is the point of my posting this in the first place. And while I don't expect downloads to be drastically different from current firewire connections because of the limitations of the cards themselves, its worth noting what it is if you are a Mac user and therefore shouldn't expect USB 3.0 to show up for them.

Basically, I just wanted to inform people what to look for when new card readers come out (hopefully soon!)
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 4:57 PM on 02.23.11
->> Had to answer some of my own 'WTF?' questions about this.

An overview:

http://techresearch.intel.com/ProjectDetails.aspx?Id=143

An interesting article:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20034900-64.html

The second article appears to note that the initial implementation will not be optically-based but use copper wire. Which kind of makes me wonder why they made it optically-based to begin with when you have Intel saying the use of copper won't affect speeds.

Beware of spin...

Meanwhile, USB 3.0 is here now and I'm liking it very much.
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N. Scott Trimble, Photographer
Lake Oswego | OR | USA | Posted: 5:26 PM on 02.23.11
->> It is here...but not for mac computers...if you are PC based, enjoy.

Intel had problems with the interface from the cable to the processor it attached to, so the copper wire is the quick-get-ti-out-there-fast fix until they get the optical sorted out, according to an Intel marketing manager I talked to on New Years.
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Andrew Fielding, Photographer, Student/Intern
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 6:33 PM on 02.23.11
->> Damnit...seems like my plans to buy a new laptop are dashed as I thought it would be the optical lightpeak and that that if it wasn't the firewire 800 port would still be there for my card readers.
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 6:41 PM on 02.23.11
->> Andrew ... looks like the best of all worlds ... thunderbolt, FW800, USB2 and ethernet too ...

http://tinyurl.com/4t5w25n

While lightpeak may have a copper backbone today ... the future looks great ... hopefully we will reach a point where they won't have to re-invent the entire wheel each time we want to increase the speed of peripherals ...
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 8:06 PM on 02.23.11
->> It was originally designed to use an optical connection because they couldn't get around some kind of impedance-related issue in the copper. Somewhere down the line someone figured it out so they switched back to using copper since it's more flexible/durable/reliable for the moment.

Hopefully the ties to Intel will help it gain some broader acceptance in the PC world... Either way, I'm happy being able to daisy chain and get 20Gb/s total throughput :)
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Andrew Fielding, Photographer, Student/Intern
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 9:13 PM on 02.23.11
->> That "thunderbolt" connector looks to be a mini-displayport I would not be surprised if that is a fake...but we'll all find out tomorrow...plus it is widely thought that lightpeak will be implemented as a USB shaped connector if they can get the standards body to approve it.
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Darren Whitley, Photographer
Northwest Missouri | MO | USA | Posted: 12:28 AM on 02.24.11
->> Firewire has been dead for quite a long time already. We've run into systemic problems with it for the past three years or more. And at a video tradeshow all the vendors are saying it's dead. I believe them. It's not on the new video cameras. Video was probably the most vital reason to have it.
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 11:59 AM on 02.24.11
->> OK, maybe I used to understand tech, but this is beyond me. As a Mac user who has USB 2.0 and Firewire 800, basically I am stuck, correct? I will have to get whatever incarnation of a new Mac they come up with to be able to get these speeds? Basically, there is no bridge to faster speeds for older MBP users?
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George Bridges, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 12:08 PM on 02.24.11
->> Scott,

Depends on your model of MBP.

If your model has the express card slot you can get adapters that use it to hook to USB3.0 as well as eSATA and other technologies. I would guess that soon we will see a Thunderbolt adapter for the express slot.

If you want to upgrade you computer entirely, then, yes, you are stuck with what option is available and may need to update your peripherals. But this is not the first time computer users (not just Mac) have had to do that. When is the last time you saw a computer with a SCSI interface, a 3.5" floppy drive or serial port? (OK, some windows machines may still have a serial port for some reason)
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Richard Favinger Jr, Photographer
Pottstown | PA | USA | Posted: 1:08 PM on 02.24.11
->> So, did I miss something or what?
If you use Thunderbolt as a Display Port, to connect an external Apple Monitor... How are you suppose to use it as a device connection for that new multi-terabyte hard drive array and blistering 10GB/s speeds?
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Kirby Yau, Photographer, Assistant
San Diego | CA | USA | Posted: 1:25 PM on 02.24.11
->> @Richard: Some third party is probably developing a HUB as well speak.

@Scott: Yup, you'll have to upgrade to a more current mac to take advantage of Thunderbolt.

Thunderbolt is directly tied into the I/O architecture of the SANDY BRIDGE processor, so I'm not even sure my few month old MacPro can even make use of a Thunderbolt PCIe upgrade without being crippled.
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 1:33 PM on 02.24.11
->> Apple says you can daisy chain up to 6 devices to that Thunderbolt/DisplayPort
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer, Assistant
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 2:59 PM on 02.24.11
->> Scott, there is very rarely a bridge to new high speed ports for old computers from any manufacturer. When Firewire 800 was introduced, users with older Firewire 400 computers didn't get a magic speed upgrade.

Richard, you'll just plug the hard drive array directly into the laptop and then plug the display into the array.

I actually thinks this looks like a very slick implementation.

http://www.apple.com/thunderbolt

This also provides a path for faster CF card readers. Even FW800 readers top out at around 60 MB/s with the newest, fastest cards on the market like the Sandisk Extreme Pro line. You need an ExpressCard reader (that uses a larger slot not available on most computers) to hit the card's maximum speed of around 97 MB/s. The speeds provided by Thunderbolt should guarantee we won't have to worry about the interface limiting our download speeds, we'll be back to the speed of the card itself as the limiting factor, which is the better place to be.

Here are some additional details:

"That's 12 times faster than FireWire 800, and 20 times faster than USB 2.0. It's even twice as fast as Intel's USB 3.0 specification, which Apple hasn't adopted yet. Unlike just an upgrade to USB, however, Thunderbolt delivers the ability to daisy-chain multiple devices without using a hub."

"Apple's Thunderbolt pairs the PCI Express standard for a high speed interconnect with the existing Mini DisplayPort, using the same physical connection, adding a very high speed path for data without adding yet another port. DisplayPort itself continues to support existing DisplayPort monitors as well as DVI/HDMI and VGA video output. But when connected to new Thunderbolt devices, it can support very high speed data transfers to devices such as RAID arrays."

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/02/24/first_look_inside_apples_fast...

"The technology essentially combines PCI Express and DisplayPort into one protocol, allowing displays and other peripherals to be driven off of the same bus."

http://www.macrumors.com/2011/02/24/thunderbolt-details-emerge-bus-power-mi.../
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 4:00 PM on 02.24.11
->> It's quite likely that we may see a stop-gap solutions that could allow a Thunderbolt connection to legacy computers ... much as we see with express card eSATA options ... though like previous iterations of bridge-gapping ... the throughput will be slower ...

Remember FW to SCSI adaptors when FW was just in it's infancy? ... My last FW800 CF card reader came with a second cable that was FW800 on one end and FW400 on the other ... though it would only transfer at FW400 speed ... I was able to use the reader on legacy computers that did not offer FW800 ...

Many third party hardware manufacturers keep themselves busy offering such options ... if there is a market, we could see some options. It's quite likely that everyone won't be running out in the near future to purchase a new Macbook Pro, just to get Thunderbolt capability and will continue to use the laptop they currently own ... but may choose to adopt newer peripherals with the light peak capability in the interim ...
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 4:04 PM on 02.24.11
->> I am not opposed to buying a new MBP, heck I need one, I am just trying to figure out the best path for this. I have a Macbook Pro that has the PCMCIA Express Card slot.

I found this card adapter -
http://us.startech.com/product/ECUSB3S2-2-Port-ExpressCard-SuperSpeed-USB-3... So THIS CARD will handle USB 3.0. It says it is backwards compatible with USB 2.0. So, if I have a 2.0 reader, will it now read at 3.0 speeds?

How does this translate into Thunderbolt? Is there a card reader out there to read CF cards that will talk to Thunderbolt?

I am just trying to save myself processing time. If I can retrofit my MBP with the one reader, at least that is a bridge until Mac has the kinks with Thunderbolt figured out. If that will not work, then what exactly will I need with the new MBP I am destined to buy.

I am not criticizing anything, but for some reason this all just isnt sinking into my thick skull. Just looking for some insight.

Thanks...
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George Bridges, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 4:21 PM on 02.24.11
->> ---So, if I have a 2.0 reader, will it now read at 3.0 speeds?---

No, you will run at the slowest denominator in the sequence so a USB 2.0 device will always run at that speed -- unless plugged into a USB1.0 port which will drop the speed to 1.0 standards. It will not go faster than the slowest standard in the connections.

Same with FW. If you have a FW 800 device and plug it into a FW400 port you get 400 speed and a FW400 device plugged into a FW800 port wiht the proper cable still runs only at the 400 speed.
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer, Assistant
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 7:34 PM on 02.24.11
->> Scott, since you have an MacBook Pro with an ExpressCard slot there very well may be EC34 adapters forthcoming that will allow you to add a Thunderbolt port to your existing computer as others have said.

However if you're simply looking to speed up your card downloads (and not worried about connecting hard drives, etc.), at this point skip any of the EC to USB adapters and go straight to an ExpressCard CF card reader. These are currently the fastest available readers on the market and will make a USB reader seem unbearable.

Of course this is all assuming your have fast enough CF cards to make a difference. A faster reader won't do much to speed up the reading of an old, slow card.

For example, using Rob Galbriath's testing results, the SanDisk Extreme Pro 16GB card will download at around 33 MB/s over USB2, 63 MB/s over Firewire 800 and 97 MB/s with an ExpressCard reader. A fairly significant speed difference.

There is some nice information on readers with a primer on the different types of ExpressCard readers on his site here:
http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/reader_report_multi_page.asp?cid=6007-9392

Hopefully he has also tested your specific CF cards so you can see just how much faster the different readers will be.
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Jim Colburn, Photo Editor, Photographer
McAllen | TX | USA | Posted: 9:21 AM on 02.25.11
->> "If you have a FW 800 device and plug it into a FW400 port you get 400 speed and a FW400 device plugged into a FW800 port wiht the proper cable still runs only at the 400 speed."

Also, if you have a FW400 device and a FW 800 device plugged into a Mac at the same time, even into different ports, the system (including both FW units) will run at FW400 speeds.
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Kirby Yau, Photographer, Assistant
San Diego | CA | USA | Posted: 10:19 AM on 02.25.11
->> Ouch.. Just read this on Mac Rumors, looks like MacPro users are SOL when it comes to this new technology.

CNet's live coverage reveals that there are no plans to offer Thunderbolt PCIe cards. In fact, Intel says that you will need a new computer/motherboard to get Thunderbolt. That means Mac Pro owners won't be able to add it on to their systems.

Long live FireWire 800? USB 3.0?
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N. Scott Trimble, Photographer
Lake Oswego | OR | USA | Posted: 12:54 PM on 02.25.11
->> Kirby,
That is to be expected, and certainly not a surprise. When new technology debuts in computers, it tends to change the architecture inside. That happened between G3s and G4,s and even the Intel inclusion.

As the tech machine moves on, you have to roll with it or get rolled over by it.

I've seen bits and pieces of what is to come down the road for both cameras and computers...trust me, these are baby steps compared to 10 years from now...
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 2:42 PM on 02.25.11
->> It's not like peripheral manufacturers are going to just abandon USB and Firewire instantly. You just have to use the USB/FW port instead of the thunderbolt port.

Did anyone else notice that they used the same name as an HTC phone? Seems like that's begging for an IP suit.
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Thread Title: Thunderbolt replaces firewire
Thread Started By: N. Scott Trimble
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