We’ll iFixit managed to get ahold of a new Thunderbolt cable that Apple is now selling for 50 dollars a pop. Looks like the reason is that there are some logic chips inside the cable to allow the thunderbolt signal to traverse the cable itself. Remember recently Displayport standard was updated to support active mode which is a boon to home theater users. Still we are stuck with prosumer and professional Thunderbolt uses, what people would really like is a hard drive enclosure so you could have faster external SSD’s on some machines or in the case of the Mac Mini and the MacBook Air, there’s always the possibility of an external graphics set, and of course Thunderbolt could enable some really cool docks for all of Apple’s Laptop products.
Apple has posted an update to macs that carry Thunderbolt chipsets. It only mentions stability & performance fixes, nothing specific.
There’s a lot of talk about how fast Thunderbolt is and what it can do, but if you look, there are virtually no devices for consumers to purchase. LaCie has one product due this summer, and Promise has another, both targeted towards professionals. There are as of yet no announced Thunderbolt drive enclosures out there, and apparently Apple has an exclusive until 2012. That has to be the dumbest idea out there when it comes to launching a new technology. Sure thunderbolt would enable external graphics cards or even possibly extra processors for mobile devices, but all the exclusive did is prevent device makers from even trying, and while they’re waiting, they are putting out a ton of USB 3.0 devices. It’s possible Apple just made Thunderbolt another Firewire where support is hit or miss, and anything with firewire usually has a 30 dollar premium on it vs something that has USB 3.0
I’m in the market for a consumer price drive enclosure without any fancy raid junk to house some spare SSD’s and I want to use them to hosts some vmware images as I need them. Unfortunately nobody’s making them, LaCie would of been great if they would just leave out the hard drive as an option, but you’re forced to buy either a SSD version or a hard drive version. I guess in the meantime I’ll just have to use my ExpressCard 34 port and do USB 3.0 or eSata. If you know of one that surface mounts, and in the case of eSata does multiport use the tips page to let me know.