Thursday, March 12, 2015

Is the End of Thunderbolt in Sight?

It is, if you believe The Verge:
Co-developed by Intel and Apple and introduced in the 2011 MacBook Pro, Thunderbolt promised to be the thing that made us leave USB behind. In simple terms, Thunderbolt is a much fatter and faster pipe for data transfers than USB, and it makes it possible to connect big storage arrays and high-resolution displays to your MacBook. Some four years after its introduction, however, Thunderbolt is still narrowly focused on high-end applications and hasn't been adopted or aggressively promoted by many PC makers beyond Apple.
The announcement of the USB Type C in the latest Macbook could well mean that Apple has no long-term plans for Thunderbolt
USB 3.1 with the smaller, reversible USB Type-C usurps the entire purpose of Thunderbolt cables for regular consumers. It lets you plug in your external hard drives — which make up the vast majority of the 50 Thunderbolt products on Apple's online store — and pushes video out to external displays. Type-C is easier to use than Thunderbolt and appears to be cheaper to implement, making it a no-brainer upgrade. Simple, less expensive, and still fast.
Oh, and did I say that my external SSD drive connected to the Mac Mini by USB 3 is a bit slower than it was on Thunderbolt, but it has presented no problems so far. And it is still a lot faster than the hard drive in the Mac Mini


P said...

Adding my soon-to-be-obsolete external Thunderbolt drive to the obsolte exernal Firewire drives and the TBs of material stored on both that will soon be inaccessible. A good reminder to never rely on Apple for hardware standards decisions.

MK said...

There are some who say that Apple will continue to support Thunderbolt (just like Firewire). But there does not seem to be much support right now.

I don't even know whether the problem is just due to the Thunderbolt Monitor or whether connecting a drive to the Mac Mini' directly Thunderbolt port also presents a problem.