“Thunderbolt, ho!” That’s the cry of low-frame-rate animated big cats when they found out just how much the new Akitio Thunder Dock can do when hooked up to a Mac. And “Snarrrfff” is what their rat-like friend said when he saw the $269 price tag.
Even as it stands, Thunderbolt is blisteringly fast, allowing up to 10 Gbps per lane, for a maximum throughput of 40 Gbps. Intel, though, has already upgraded Thunderbolt with the new Thunderbolt 2 spec, which not only doubles the possible transfer speed on a single lane to 20 Gbps (although not increasing total maximum throughout), but enabling 4K video file transfer and display simultaneously.
Since Thunderbolt debuted on the Mac, you’d probably expect Thunderbolt 2 to show up first in an Apple product, right? Maybe an updated Retina MacBook Pro? Alas, it’s not to be: the PC motherboard you see above is the first Thunderbolt 2 compatible product.
There was a time when everyone complained that Apple wasn’t putting USB 3 ports in Macs. Then Apple not only put USB 3.0 in all of their Macs, they introduced Thunderbolt — an incredible new hardware interface that can sustain lightning-fast speeds of up to 10 Gbit per second across four devices simultaneously.
Once Thunderbolt came out, a lot of us forgot about USB 3, and let the USB 3 ports we’d once clamored for get crusty. Thunderbolt was the new hotness. It looks like the group behind the USB 3.0 spec isn’t going to let that stand, though: They’re supercharging USB 3.0 by 400%.
During the WWDC 2013 keynote, Apple made sure to note on several occasions, that the new Mac Pro will support multiple 4k displays. As the current Thunderbolt display is due for an update, many have wondered whether Apple will update the Thunderbolt Display to 4k to go along with the new Mac Pro when it comes out in late 2013.
Shortages at third-party retailers can occasionally indicate whether Apple has a new product in the pipeline, so Glenn Künzler at MacTrast researched the current supply of Thunderbolt displays at third party retailers and found that supplies are beginning to dwindle. One retailer even confirmed that Apple is no longer allowing them to order the Thunderbolt displays.
Thunderbolt really hasn’t taken off yet, even though Apple’s included the the tech in Macs since 2011. Intel is still plowing through with new updates for Thunderbolt though, and the company revealed some new details about the next generation of Thunderbolt.
Intel has officially named its next-gen high-speed data port ‘Thunderbolt 2’ and it will double the speed of first-gen Thunderbolt by supporting 20Gbps directionally on one connection. On a company blog post, Intel posted the following info on Thunderbolt 2:
Even though Apple has included Thunderbolt ports on its Mac line since 2011, the technology hasn’t really taken off yet as a go-to connection for accessory makers. Despite that, Intel is making Thunderbolt even better by doubling its data-transfer rate.
While Apple’s newer notebooks like the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro are certainly aesthetically pleasing, some trade offs had to be made in order to achieve such thin machines. Apple has been slowly paring down the number of ports it includes on its notebooks, most notable with the MacBook Air.
Even though these machines are becoming more and more capable all the time, the lack of connections on them puts a serious strain on their functionality. That’s where the Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock comes in. This little attachment for your laptop gives you eight additional ports to work with right on your desk.
Believe it or not, Black Friday has already come and gone. Pretty soon the Christmas season will begin, and we’ll mark this midwinter festival by getting together with friends and family and continuing to drink and eat far too much.
Meanwhile, we also buy gifts for those same friends and family members, whether they want them or not. Luckily, we’re here to help, and if you follow our festive advice, your gifts just might make it into the “wanted” category.
From now until Christmas, Cult of Mac will be putting together holiday gift guys full of ideas for the special ones in your life, no matter what their interests or your budget. Today, we’re looking at gifts for Mac lovers (not Mac fighters).
LaCie, the fantastic data storage company that was recently acquired by Seagate, has updated its d2 external hard drive with USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. It comes in a sleek, minimal, fan-free, aluminum shell that looks great next to any Mac.
With speeds of up to 180MB/s, the only real downside to this drive is that it’s not solid state. LaCie is selling both 3TB and 4TB models.