12 Possible Uses for the Thunderbolt Port



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The best use for Thunderbolt is probably external graphics. Very fast external hard drives are great, but who needs 10 Gbps for that? Graphics are a much better use of that bandwidth.

Silverstone is working on a Thunderbolt graphics card enclosure, called the T004, which will probably be released in the first quarter of next year.

On the other hand, MSI was working on their Thunderbolt graphics card enclosure, the GUS II, but ran into a roadblock when Apple wouldn't get it to work on Macs.

Although, i emailed a Silverstone representative and he said that Apple is not hindering the T004, which will be 100% Mac compatible, but rather Intel doesn't want to support it.

It looks like, at least to me, Apple will be touting this functionality of Thunderbolt after Silverstone releases the T004 next year.



Pro audio and video will definitely get a boost out of Thunderbolt. It makes sense; 10Gbps makes transferring 1080p video quickly and being able to master them onto DVD's (or Blu-Ray) quickly is a major plus.

I just like the fact that it'll streamline all those ports. Two or three Thunderbolt ports will surely be more convenient than a Firewire-800 and two USB's. It will simplify my cable needs.

As for clustering, well, fiber-optic is better suited for the task, IMO.



As for #12 (clustered computing), what you're likely to see is a fiber optic network card hanging off each Thunderbolt port, and a fiber optic cable leading to a fiber optic switch (not cheap). As far as I know general networking isn't possible with Thunderbolt as it is with Firewire, and Thunderbolt is limited to 6 devices per chain.



I'm pretty sure ViDock is working on a Thunderbolt version of ViDock. It's like an external graphics card and notebook dock in one.



Sounds nice, but I'm still surprised by how slowly peripherals are being released for thunderbolt. It was months before there was even a cable available. I'd really like to see the thunderbolt audio equipment, but most of the audio manufacturers are still calling USB 2.0 new?! New for them maybe. Guys like Mackie are still charging hundreds of dollars for a FireWire 400 card.
Maybe at Macworld 2012 I'll be able to find some thunderbolt gear buried somewhere within the 1000 or so iPad case displays.


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