"For about a year, Macs have been shipping with a fancy new port on the side called Thunderbolt. We're just on the cusp of seeing this new port on Windows-based PCs, too. What exactly is Thunderbolt, and should you make sure your next computer has it?"
Got about 3 minutes to spare? Then read this article and get the down and dirty about Thunderbolt.
"A Software Update for Thunderbolt was just one of many Apple releases that went public yesterday, but unlike the rest, you should be in no hurry to pick this one up. Many users who have installed the update are reporting that it is causing boot failures and more on their Mac."
Well, if you haven't downloaded it, you might want to hold off until they fix this problem.
"From most angles, Apple's new 27-inch Thunderbolt Display looks just like the 27-inch LED Cinema Display released last year. However, if you take a closer look at what the Thunderbolt Display has to offer, you'll find a display that's ideal for owners of the Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Air."
This isn't the only review of the new display, as AnandTech also has a pretty in-depth one available here. As I've said before on these pages, this is definitely on my want list and once I get a new MacBook Air with Thunderbolt it will be my next purchase. 4 out of 5 mice with this review from MacWorld, which is brief and to the point, but I kind of like that.
"The Thunderbolt-compatible displays Apple announced back in July have reportedly started shipping out to stores and retailers. MacRumors reported that the displays shipped this week, and should hit shelves very soon. Electronista has heard that shipping to customers will start up on September 15, which is a little later than the original "60 days" we were promised. But late is better than never, right?"
One of these bad boys is on my Christmas list, keeping my fingers crossed. If you have ordered one, you should be getting notification soon about shipping date.
"Apple has leaked an upcoming LED Cinema Display on its website that boasts a Thunderbolt connection. The new display looks exactly like the current model, but features Thunderbolt I/O technology on the back."
If you have a need for speed, this is going to tickle your fancy.
"The folks over at Macworld got one of the new Pegasus R6 RAID systems in for testing and put it through its paces. The testing proved to be a huge win for Thunderbolt, which showed a massive improvement over FireWire 800 and just decimated USB 2.0."
That is a crazy jump in improvement over FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 doesn't even come close. You can see the full results at Macworld but from the chart above, there doesn't seem to be any question that Thunderbolt is the clear winner.
"Apple’s refresh of the MacBook Air last fall did much to improve the fortunes of the company’s ultra-slim notebook. With its next iteration, it could be getting ready to step into the spotlight as the quintessential Mac computer. That update is on the way soon, according to a new report, and I’d be surprised if we didn’t see it arrive right alongside the operating system that seems tailor-made for it: OS X Lion."
According to unconfirmed reports, Apple has ordered at least 400,000 new MacBook Air models, with Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors inside. Sounds like Apple is not content to let a handful of Windows manufacturers offers a MBA-like footprint, far superior capacity and performance, and comparable prices. The new platform will offer Sandy Bridge processors, potentially thunderbolt port(s), upgraded storage capacity, and faster (and larger?) SSDs. Expectations are that the Air will be the platform to highlight the capabilities of the Lion OS. I've also heard other unconfirmed rumors that the new generation will be announced sometime this week. Now we wait and see ...
"You can read a thousand articles about the new Thunderbolt input/output technology in Apple's latest revision to MacBook Pro laptops, and the new revelations from Apple about Mac OS X Lion."
But what sets this article apart is that he has gleaned news from a variety of sources to give as complete a rundown as is possible on Thunderbolt and Lion, without having "official" news. Interesting article and great summary of both.
Simply put, Thunderbolt's a familiar-looking port, a brand-new chip, and a cord, which allows devices to pipe two data streams simultaneously -- in both directions -- over a single cable at up to 10 gigabits per second to start, primarily using PCI Express x4 for data and DisplayPort for video.
The announcement of Thunderbolt instantly reminded me about the old Firewire vs. USB battle. If you have read the comments or even the press release about Thunderbolt, you have probably seen how people are comparing Thunderbolt to Firewire, and the battle is now between USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. There are certainly a lot of parallels but I do not know if there is a clear winner, or even if there will be one that dominates the other.
Thunderbolt definitely has more impressive specifications but will that be enough? USB has a far larger install base and is likely to remain much cheaper to implement for various peripherals. Does my mouse really need a 10Gbps lane? Will a Thunderbolt based keyboard cost more than a USB one? I personally suspect that the two will live together, with USB remaining the dominant connection type, with Thunderbolt serving the more demanding uses like external video cards, displays and hard drives. What do you think? Is Thunderbolt the future? Or do we all live in a USB world?
"As was expected for today, Apple has just pushed the button to launch a new range of MacBook Pros on its Store (although the store itself is still down). The new models come complete Thunderbolt - the official name for Intel's ‘Lightpeak' high-speed connection technology, along with upgraded processors and graphics chips."
As was expected, a revamp today of the MacBook Pro line, to include the much anticipated Lightpeak aka Thunderbolt technology. But that isn't all they have done. Facetime HD Cameras also debut in the MacBook Pros, and now you have support for 720p video recording when using the new OSX Facetime app. Baseline models run from $1,199.00 USD for the 13-inch to $2,499.00 USD for the 17-inch version. The 15-inch and 17-inch versions offer the quad-core i7 processors for that high-end graphics need fulfillment. You can find out more about the versions here. So, any of you going to make the plunge and pickup one of these?
"Intel Corporation today announced the availability of ThunderboltTM technology, a new high-speed PC connection technology that brings together high-speed data transfer and high-definition (HD) display on to a single cable. Running at 10Gbps, Thunderbolt technology can transfer a full-length HD movie in less than 30 seconds. This Intel-developed technology is coming to market through a technical collaboration with Apple, and is available first on Apple's new line of MacBook Pro laptop computers."
One of the key technologies revealed today in Apple's line of refreshed Macbook Pros is Thunderbolt. I knew it was based on Lightpeak, but when I saw Apple calling it Thunderbolt I was concerned it was going to be an Apple-only term, and we were about to enter into an era where every laptop OEM would have their own term for the technology: "No, no, this isn't Thunderbolt, it's ULTRABOLT!" Turns out that's not the case: Thunderbolt is the new name for Lightpeak, and it will be used by all the OEMs. That's good news. What do you think about the name? It's an unusual name for a technology when compared to the likes of USB 3.0 and SATA; it's more in line with Firewire. Regardless, Thunderbolt is here to stay and offers some compelling features (more on that later).