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Intel Technology

Next-Gen Thunderbolt: Twice as Fast, But a Different Connector 178

Posted by Soulskill
from the bring-on-the-4k dept.
Details have leaked about the next iteration of Intel's Thunderbolt connector. The good news: bandwidth will double, going up to about 40Gbps from its current 20. Power usage will drop by half, and it'll support PCI-e 3.0. The bad news: it uses a redesigned connector, and will rely on adapters for backward compatibility. From the article: "Doubling the available bandwidth will enable next-generation Thunderbolt controllers to drive two 4K displays simultaneously, where current controllers can only drive one. The new controllers will allegedly be compatible with a variety of other protocols as well, including DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.0, and HDMI 2.0. Intel will offer two different versions of the controller—a version that uses four PCI Express lanes to drive two Thunderbolt ports and an "LP" (presumably "Low Power") version that uses two PCI Express lanes to drive one port."
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Next-Gen Thunderbolt: Twice as Fast, But a Different Connector

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  • In other news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ADRA (37398) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @05:37PM (#46818509)

    The 10 people affected by this bus imrovement went out to celebrate but were hit by a car going twice the speed limit.. Oh the humanity!

    Seriously though, I like to consider my needs a non-professional leading on the bleeding edge (2x 2560x1440's) But I don't even own a thunderbolt port, and unless some amazing peripherals come along to change my use case, I don't see that changing soon.

    All I want is:
          1. standard bus standard which can drive anything
          2. said connector/cabling comes in 3 sizes from really really tiny cell phone variety to honking large clicking in connector that can't break
          3. That is future expandible to whatever for the next 10 years minimum
          4. No IP which prevents competition in said space except for standards bodies who's potfolios are both fair and unbiased in licensing terms
          Addendum I. Monster cables is specifically banned from ever producing said cables for ever
    Nice to have's
          5. Fibre option
          6. Broadcast based networking support
          7. Bus QOS control
          8. Standard descriptive naming (NO BS marketing names like super-speed, hyper-active speed, high definition bandwidth, etc. )
          9. Support host wake/power-on
        10. Support at least bi-directional communications so I can plug in Bluetooth/IR/Wifi/etc.. message receivers and have if not chipset, at least OS support for pluggable and routable support for input methods without BS proprietary support all over the place

    • 11. Make breakfast automatically in the morning

      • by timeOday (582209)
        Hey, it's 2014 and USB 1.0 was standardized 19 years ago, this tech ought to be good by now. That said USB3 is pretty good. The only thing I connect via Thunderbolt on my Macbook is the external display, and I'm not even clear on whether that's actually Thunderbolt, or just a faux Thunderbolt DisplayPort connector.
        • by sjbe (173966)

          That said USB3 is pretty good.

          Pretty good? I could go with that. But it could be better:
          1) Should be able to carry more power
          2) The connectors still suck, especially the mini/micro versions - doubly so for the USB 3 micro [wikipedia.org].

    • Re:In other news (Score:4, Insightful)

      by newcastlejon (1483695) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @05:47PM (#46818593)

      All I want is: (snip)

      So... USB?

    • Addendum I. Monster cables is specifically banned from ever producing said cables for ever

      Where do I sign up?!

      Also, while you're asking for things, might want to ask for a decent plug shape too.

    • The 10 people affected by this bus imrovement went out to celebrate but were hit by a car going twice the speed limit.. Oh the humanity!

      Seriously though, I like to consider my needs a non-professional leading on the bleeding edge (2x 2560x1440's) But I don't even own a thunderbolt port, and unless some amazing peripherals come along to change my use case, I don't see that changing soon.

      All I want is:

      1. standard bus standard which can drive anything

      2. said connector/cabling comes in 3 sizes from really really tiny cell phone variety to honking large clicking in connector that can't break

      3. That is future expandible to whatever for the next 10 years minimum

      4. No IP which prevents competition in said space except for standards bodies who's potfolios are both fair and unbiased in licensing terms

      Addendum I. Monster cables is specifically banned from ever producing said cables for ever
      Nice to have's

      5. Fibre option

      6. Broadcast based networking support

      7. Bus QOS control

      8. Standard descriptive naming (NO BS marketing names like super-speed, hyper-active speed, high definition bandwidth, etc. )

      9. Support host wake/power-on

      10. Support at least bi-directional communications so I can plug in Bluetooth/IR/Wifi/etc.. message receivers and have if not chipset, at least OS support for pluggable and routable support for input methods without BS proprietary support all over the place

      Thunderbolt supports 7 or 8 of these bullet points. Which is pretty good, if I may say so. So I'm not sure what your problem is with Thunderbolt, besides the big one of the Thunderbolt standard being enforced by Intel.

      Thunderbolt is just PCIe, so it can drive anything. That makes it future expendable. As far as I know, monster doesn't make cables. There is a fibre option. It has network support, including at least on my Mac, broadcast based networking. It supports host wake/power-on. And it's bidirectional

      • by narcc (412956)

        So I'm not sure what your problem is with Thunderbolt

        Read the headline.

        I almost feel bad for those early adopters.

  • by Guspaz (556486) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @05:39PM (#46818531)

    Is Intel *TRYING* to kill off Thunderbolt? They can't make up their mind if they want USB 3.X or Thunderbolt to be their next-gen connection, and now (despite extremely low Thunderbolt adoption), they're going to change the connector?

    USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt are redundant. At this point, they even both support uncompressed video. Pick one, drop (or deprecate) support for the other, and the industry will migrate.

    • They're pushing a new connector for USB too.

    • I guess they thought it would be really handy for a single connector to provide 100W of power as well as enough bandwidth for pretty much everything you could attach to a laptop.

    • Maybe their goal is changing the connector before it gets more adoption?

      As for USB 3.1, didn't I heard about a new, non-backward-compatible reversible connector a hwile back?

    • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @05:51PM (#46818635)

      USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt are redundant. At this point, they even both support uncompressed video. Pick one, drop (or deprecate) support for the other, and the industry will migrate.

      No they are not. They overlap in functionality but they are not the same. If you want to transfer files sometimes from one medium to another, both can accomplish the task. However if you want low latency, low overhead data transfers (like real-time HD video edits on a NAS device), you want Thunderbolt. Also you can run USB, Ethernet, and video over TB and not the other way around. Even for all of their updates to the spec, USB 3.1 still has large overhead [wikipedia.org]: "Though, some initial tests demonstrated usable transfer speeds of only 7.2 Gbit/s, leading to a 30% encoding overhead". Yes it does support uncompressed video but how well it does so far does not seem as though it is as good as TB.

      For most consumers, USB 3.1 will be fine for most applications. For professionals, they are likely to get TB devices for their needs.

      • by TheSunborn (68004)

        No, I would use 10/40/100 (Depending on how fast I really need it) gigabit ethernet.

        It seems like people can't find a good reason to use Thunderbolt. Yes you can connect a monitor, but I already have hdmi and dvi, so no need to make an new standard for that. And for anything else, either ethernet or usb is the thing to use.

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          However it's also one connector for both video and ethernet, plus other stuff. Why reserve wasted space for ethernet when most of the macbook users are wifi only in a coffee shop? Keeps the laptops thin and fashionable as the expense of an assortment of adapters (which is also revenue to Apple).

        • by BitZtream (692029) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @09:53PM (#46819823)

          I plugin 2 cables to dock my laptop. One power, one Thunderbolt.

          The result is that when I plugin those two cables, my laptop suddenly sees 3 SSDs (the work at full speed), the Apple Thunderbolt monitor, 3 USB3 ports, external audio, and 2 additional monitors via display port, and a gigabit ethernet connection.

          1 connection via thunderbolt hooks up literally 9 devices, and I've not used it yet but it also hooks up to a PCIe enclosure.

          This allows my laptop to be pretty sparse on ports and light when I'm on the move, but full of devices when its sitting on my desk at home or the office.

          And the thunderbolt connection blows the shitty USB protocol away, even for USB3 ... and I'm using TB1, not 2.

          Thunderbolt is external PCIe. Don't knock it until you realize how useful it can be.

          • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

            It's a shame they didn't think about security when setting up all that stuff. Just like Firewire and PC-Card the ports are vulnerable to DMA attacks, meaning an attached device can read the computer's memory and modify it at will. There are already tools to exploit this, both open source [breaknenter.org] and proprietary.

            Law enforcement, government agencies and criminals alike love this attack. Maybe that's why they left it in. The only mitigation is to disable the port, preferably physically.

          • Because my brand new ethernet connector is gone until I reboot.

          • I do the same thing with a USB 3 cable. I drive two monitors, an external hard drive, keyboard, trackball, a USB 3 hub and gig-ethernet. Could do a printer too. All by plugging in one USB 3 cable. My laptop has USB 3 and doesn't have Thunderbolt.

            Thunderbolt is external PCIe. Don't knock it until you realize how useful it can be.

            Technologically Thunderbolt is great. Problem is that only Apple supports it in any meaningful way and USB 3+ is generally good enough for most people.

            • Apple supports it because it fulfills their needs: they don't have a docking station. I suspect this was for mostly aesthetic reasons. Other companies have docking stations. They don't fully support TB stations as it may cut into a revenue stream. Customers have to buy their stations from them. With TB stations, they no longer have this lock in.
        • With Thunderbolt, since it can carry two DP signals, you can plug in one cable to drive two monitors. Since it also carries PCIe, you can drive a USB hub and SATA controller and NIC in one display and also connect the keyboard and mouse and an external disk and network at the same time. Having the same connector able to deliver power would mean that you'd be able to drop a phone in a dock and have it gain access to all of those things and charge, which sounds pretty compelling to me.

          We're also finding it

        • It seems like people can't find a good reason to use Thunderbolt. Yes you can connect a monitor, but I already have hdmi and dvi, so no need to make an new standard for that. And for anything else, either ethernet or usb is the thing to use.

          What about a universal laptop connector? Otherwise you have to get a manufacturer specific (and sometimes model specific) one that can't be used if you change laptops.

      • No they are not. They overlap in functionality but they are not the same.

        Same argument was made for USB vs Firewire and we know how that turned out. Firewire was objectively better in a lot of ways but USB won because it was cheaper and good enough. Nobody except Apple supports Thunderbolt really so even if USB 3/3.1 is flawed I think it is going to win that standards battle.

        Yes it does support uncompressed video but how well it does so far does not seem as though it is as good as TB.

        Doesn't have to be "as good as" it just needs to be good enough. USB is a great example of a "good enough" technology. It's not perfect but it generally gets the job done and everyone has it.

        For most consumers, USB 3.1 will be fine for most applications. For professionals, they are likely to get TB devices for their needs.

        In the short

        • Same argument was made for USB vs Firewire and we know how that turned out. Firewire was objectively better in a lot of ways but USB won because it was cheaper and good enough.

          The problem is that even many slashdotters think they were for the same purpose when they were not. For many years both existed because FW was the better technology for Pros. Digital Video transfers were done mostly with FW. Now as time went on, USB became good enough for occasional transfers.

          Nobody except Apple supports Thunderbolt really so even if USB 3/3.1 is flawed I think it is going to win that standards battle.

          Again they don't have the same purpose and this isn't a standards battle. As for support, Apple got a huge headstart because they worked with Intel. The day Intel announced it, Apple had products for it. HP and Len

          • by sjbe (173966)

            The problem is that even many slashdotters think they were for the same purpose when they were not. For many years both existed because FW was the better technology for Pros

            They were for transporting data and/or power ergo both USB and Firewire were for the same purpose. The use cases for each overlap heavily - so much so that there is effectively little difference for all but a few users. Firewire was used for some niche purposes (video and ipods mostly) because USB initially wasn't fast enough. Once USB 2.0 came around 99% of the use cases where Firewire held a meaningful advantage evaporated. It only continued to be used because it has enough of an installed base in vid

            • They were for transporting data and/or power ergo both USB and Firewire were for the same purpose.

              Um no. By that logic, FibreChannel and Ethernet also were for the same purpose as USB and FireWire. FireWire was designed to be low latency, low overhead, high bandwidth transfers. In the aspect of low latency and low overhead, USB still fails. 30% overhead is way too high. USB got faster rates over the years so that for most transfers you can use it. I would not use USB if I needed high bandwidth transfers all the time. Like if I was editing HD Video on a NAS device for example. That's why eSATA/TB

    • I'm not sure USB and Thunderbolt are redundant. They may occupy different spaces, but Intel/Apple have not done a good job making the distinction clear with their marketing.

      For example, I believe that you can have a USB hub, but the Thunderbolt design pushes you in the direction of daisy-chaining. Thunderbolt is treated as an extension of the bus, providing very fast two-way communication, while USB is much more limited. The end result is that USB is more fit for simple peripherals-- e.g. mice, keyboard

      • by raymorris (2726007) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @07:01PM (#46819007)

        > I'm not sure there's anything that USB does that Thunderbolt can't do

        Thunderbolt does PCIe and USB, so there is nothing USB can do that Thunderbolt can't. If there were, Thunderbolt would do it via USB.
        Thunderbolt is basically PCIe + USB + HDMI + power, all on the same cable.

        • Thunderbolt doesn't do USB, however the fact that it does PCIe means that you can run a USB controller on the other end. You wouldn't want a Thunderbolt mouse, because it would require sticking a USB controller in the mouse as well as a Thunderbolt interface and a load of PCIe bus logic. USB is nice because the client component is relatively simple and can be made very cheap. It's also nice because there are a number of standard higher-level protocols built on top of it (e.g. HID for keyboards, mice and
          • You should explain all that to the people who wrote the VESA standard, because they think they used 4 lanes of PCIe-capable pairs AND a lower bandwidth aux channel on pin 15 and pin 17 that can speak USB. The display part of Thunderbolt is DisplayPort. DisplayPort has always had the USB channel. Technically, that channel COULD be used for something other than USB, but on all implementations I've ever seen it's broken out into USB plug.

            VESA publishes a very nice document called "Overview of DisplayPort" tha

        • by citizenr (871508)

          Thunderbolt does PCIe and USB, so there is nothing USB can do that Thunderbolt can't.

          It cant do CHEAP = will fail like FW.

    • USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt are not mutually exclusive.

      Thunderbolt is lower level. If I want low latency high quality audio card, I'm not plugging it into USB. If I want a mouse or a thumb drive, i'm not plugging it into Thunderbolt.

      They're two different use cases.

      • by Guspaz (556486)

        And yet they're adding support for running USB 3.0 over Thunderbolt with the new standard; this new standard was the perfect opportunity to unify the two standards, but they stopped short of supporting the latest version of USB or using a compatible connector.

        • by BitZtream (692029)

          ... I already have USB3 running over thunderbolt 1. You just hook a USB3 host controller up to the PCIe bus ... which is what Thunderbolt provides.

        • by sg_oneill (159032)

          You can run USB over thunderbolt, but not the other way around.

          Thunderbolt is a lot lower level, if we where talking network stacks, they'd be different OSI layers, although thats not particularly fidelious (since both are ALSO hardware specs too).

          I run studio gear thats often driving up to 40 channels of high fidelity audio to ADAT gear with very low latencies (10-15ms). The interface I use does have a USB interface and the latency is just unuseable.

          My thinking here is that thunderbolt is designed to repla

          • by Guspaz (556486)

            There are low-latency USB audio interfaces that do better than 10-15ms, and it has more than enough throughput for 40 audio channels, although obviously the latency is still not as low as a PCIe device over thunderbolt can go.

            While I agree that thunderbolt is primarily being adopted by the professional or pro-sumer market (the only thunderbolt devices that I've ever used apart from some of Apple's very affordable gigabit ethernet adapter is pro video gear), I think that's primarily because Intel is charging

        • Adding? It's already there. It's PCI express lanes exposed to the world. Belkin sells a doodad that has usb 3.0 and other goodies in a thunderbolt breakout box.

          Interoperability between thunderbolt and usb was the plan, actually. Until the USB IF nixed that plan. Apple saved the day with mini display port, which is free because VESA demands it to be so.

          • by Guspaz (556486)

            Belkin's "doodad" costs $200, which is insanely expensive if you want a USB 3 adapter.

            • by gnoshi (314933)

              Could be worse. You could be using the more expensive Matrox 'doodad' which is like the Belkin one but doesn't have a chaining port.
              "Oh, you wanted to be able to connect in another device... that's too bad"

      • If I want low latency high quality audio card, I'm not plugging it into USB.

        You and the 5 other people that care about that.

        They're two different use cases.

        Yeah see, they really aren't. You're not thinking of the problem in the abstract. They both transport some amount of data and/or power from point A to point B. How mechanically it gets there is something that the user generally doesn't care about and shouldn't have to. Yes there are some advantages to each one for certain use cases but most of the functionality overlaps heavily. Most people are eventually going to go with the more widely accepted standard

        • You and the 5 other people that care about that.

          You mean like audio engineers, DJs, musicians, et al?

          It's not like anyone wants to do HDMI video capture or connecting stupid fast RAID disks, or connecting blah blah blah.

          In the abstract, yes, they do the same thing.

          In practice, USB has a crapload of overhead that makes it cheap to produce. Maybe some day we'll come up with a bus that has DMA, no overhead, cheap and easy to use. But now is not that day.

          • by sjbe (173966)

            You mean like audio engineers, DJs, musicians, et al?

            Yes. That is the very definition of niche. We're talking about a tiny fraction of a single percent of users who would ever care about the amount of latency in a sound card. Hell, the number who even know what the word latency means is probably in the low single digits.

            USB has a crapload of overhead that makes it cheap to produce

            Which 99.9% of users do not care about at all so long as their device works. Only engineers and geeks like (I presume) you and me give a shit about the overhead. It simply does not matter as long as it works. To use an analogy, sending a

            • Yes. That is the very definition of niche. We're talking about a tiny fraction of a single percent of users who would ever care about the amount of latency in a sound card. Hell, the number who even know what the word latency means is probably in the low single digits.

              That's why they cost upwards of 400 bucks a piece for really nice ones.

              Still doesn't mean that there isn't a need for the port. Plus it integrates with MDP, so it's not like you're losing a port. You're gaining functionality!

              Wish that the USB IF didn't axe using the USB socket for it though.

              Which 99.9% of users do not care about at all so long as their device works. Only engineers and geeks like (I presume) you and me give a shit about the overhead. It simply does not matter as long as it works. To use an analogy, sending a file via email entails a vast amount of overhead compared with FTP. Nobody cares. They send the file via email because it works and costs them less (in time mostly). Same here. Almost nobody cares how much overhead USB has. They care whether their data gets from point A to point B when they need it there.

              No one cares how much overhead USB has, but I'm pretty sure someone would care why the performance of their USB->HDMI adapter sucks so badly. or their USB video capture, or their USB whatever.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @06:04PM (#46818725)

      The thing is USB doesn't have DMA. This is on purpose, it allows for cheaper devices and is more secure. However it means everything has to go through the CPU. So higher load, higher latency. Thunderbolt is just PCIe (and display) so it is as low latency and impact as a card in the system.

      For lots of usages, the difference doesn't matter, but for heavy hitting stuff it can.

      • by guruevi (827432)

        As was IDE vs. SCSI and FireWire vs. USB and now Thunderbolt vs. USB3. In the end, the professionals and geeks are always going to want the best and know what they need to work efficiently, home users will always get sold the cheapest and worst option (and they won't even know).

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        USB works mostly because it assumes you've got a high power CPU on one end that (ie, a 90s era PC or better) and a user that doesn't mind latency and is focused on everything being low cost. The PHY layer is pretty decent though. Using USB on embedded devices can be a headache though, especially with the badly designed Intel host controller chips that share your bus (I think they assumed it would only be on a PC with a separate front end bus).

        The latency is killer for a lot of things. People don't think

      • by dabadab (126782)

        The thing is USB doesn't have DMA.

        It DOES have DMA since USB3.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      This is Apple, that means every new macbook needs to have a new set of incompatible connectors. Otherwise no one spends the money to buy the new adapters.

      As for USB, it's a stupid standard really, even 3.x. They really should have revamped it for USB 2.0 since all the original design goals were being tossed away. It's just that PCs standardized on USB and so it is the one that stuck (same way ide stuck instead of scsi). It does most of what people want which is to plug in a keyboard/mouse or a fast exte

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Base thunderbolt is faster than USB3. TB2 is twice that, same connector. The problem is lack of power.

      TB3 is 4 times as fast as TB1 (so over 4 times as fast as USB3) and finally provides some power.

      The connector change is to add power, which wasn't part of the original design because the original design was fiber based, TB over copper was created to bring the cost down, but they still didn't add a power (other than to power the cable transceiver) supply ... that was kind of ... stupid.

      They are fixing an i

      • by Guspaz (556486)

        TB2 has the same aggregate throughput of TB1, it just combines the existing channels. That's great if you're only connecting one device, but not so great if you're daisy chaining. TB1/2 don't lack power, they supply 10 watts, far more than the cable itself requires. That's already double what USB provides over data connections, and you shouldn't be drawing much more than that from a notebook anyhow. The vast majority of systems sold with TB support today are notebooks (mainly because the vast majority are M

        • That's already double what USB provides over data connections, and you shouldn't be drawing much more than that from a notebook anyhow

          No, you shouldn't, but the laptop is probably drawing something on the order of 60-85W and there's no reason why it couldn't get that from a power supply in the display, rather than a separate wall wart...

        • Except the goal of USB3 as a I understand it is to reverse the process: use the 12V USB3.1 standard to charge laptops through the one port.

          That's a goal worth striving for. Everyone can get behind that goal because to hell with every laptop having a separate special charger when we know they all max out at about 100W.

  • The adoption rate has been lukewarm at best and yet they come up with a replacement that is incompatible with the existing version and still incredibly expensive. Way to kill before it is even born intel. Hint if you want to copy apple lock in money grabbing model you first must make the product a success before squeezing the punters balls for more juice.
  • The article does not list "extended range" among the advantages, so I guess they are not switching over to the optical thunderbolt. Too bad, I think that would be a much bigger advantage than the 2x speedup (my MacBook already has 2 thunderbolt2 connectors). If optical thunderbolt ever catches on you could use it to attach multiple terminals to a computer, such as routing uncompressed low-latency video signals throughout your home. Last I checked, there still is not a good way to do this over gigabit e
    • by LDAPMAN (930041)

      You can buy optical cables for your current Thunderbolt connection. Here is a 33ft one: http://store.apple.com/us/prod... [apple.com]

      • by timeOday (582209)
        I'm just afraid those ridiculous prices won't come down until optical is the norm. $659 for a 30m cable? A 30m fiber network cable is $60.
        • by timeOday (582209)
          Whoah, I just googled it and Corning just (in the last week) released a USB3 optical converter/cable that's $109.99 for 10m. Maybe USB 3.1 will get us there - one connection to rule them all (even HDMI and ethernet).
    • > Last I checked, there still is not a good way to do this over gigabit ethernet.

      HDbaseT is the standard for HDMI over CAT6. Several vendors support it, sometimes branding it with their own name.
      As an alternative, boosted HDMI cables are good up to about 50 feet or so, depending on resolution.

      Using boosted cabling, a 4X4 HDMI matrix will let you connect four sources to four receivers.
      HDbaseT will connect (at least) one source to multiple displays. I'm not sure if HDbaseT works for multiple sources wit

      • by timeOday (582209)
        That sounds interesting for piping TV throughout the home, but what about all the USB peripherals you need on a terminal? (Mouse, keyboard, USB connection for syncing your mp3 player, etc). I guess you could just solve the mouse/keyboard situation with a wireless peripherals if the range is sufficient, although bluetooth for one is not meant to work through walls.

        Ah well, a thunderbolt dock is like $300 anyways, vs. $30 for a good USB3 hub. I think USB will beat out thunderbolt.

        • HDbaseT 1.0 included RS-232, which could be used for keyboard and mouse. HDbaseT 2.0 includes USB over the same cable.

          However, if computer terminals are what you want, not top quality video, there are better options. Obviously there are things like VNC and RDP. I buy and sell Raritan IP KVMs, which I use in my datacenter. The KVMs give full control, from BIOS to GUI, over the internet. HDbaseT is targeted at entertainment video - lots of motion, and high quality video.

          I've been studying the HDMI options in

          • I have a 75' HDMI cable (bought for arround $45). Works great at 1080p. I tend to avoid converters when I can.
            • Thanks for that info. Do yyou know if that cable is boosted or unboosted cable? It can be hard to tell. For 75', it's probably boasted.

              From my research, it seems that at that distance, some displays are sometimes able to sync with some sources, using some cables, in some environments. A different source, a different display, or new sources of interference may cause it to stop working. Sometimes it'll work for a while, then require restarting in a certain order. For my purpose, it needs to work every t

              • I never had an issue with that cable. It is quite large gage that must help. I don't have an external, powered, booster. However there is some sort of filter at the TV's end. The cable is not supposed to be reversed.
                • > However there is some sort of filter at the TV's end. The cable is not supposed to be reversed.

                  That sounds like the boosted cables I've seen. HDMI provides the power for a buffer/ booster at the display end. Where did you find it for $45?

  • by ffkom (3519199) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @05:49PM (#46818621)
    Thunderbolt always reminds me of the TIFF "standard" for image files: Theoretically you can put anything in it, theoretically it supports every imaginable feature - but in practice, it's of little use - because there's almost no common denominator of what different implementations actually can deal with.

    Plus, the idea of defining a "cabling" for the consumer market where every cable is on its own with regards to how it implements the physical layer is a very bad idea. It renders cables terribly expensive and you cannot be sure that the cable from vendor A will work well with the socket from vendor B.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      At the moment it looks like it will end up like Firewire. Some advantages but cost and the multitude of different cables will mean that USB continues to prevail as the main way most people connect stuff to their PCs.

  • I think Intel has given up trying to compete directly with USB. Instead, they're pumping thunderbolt to be as fast as it can possibly go, for people who care more about performance than cost.

    I can't think of any other reason why they'd be pushing performance so hard while prices are still so absurd that no consumer in their right mind would purchase them if there is a USB equivalent to be had.

  • I, for one, am excited about this new super-fast connector for which all the peripherals will be too expensive to buy. I know that when firewire was being replaced by Thunderbolt, I was worried that they may do away with the chaining that means any hard drive case or breakout unit which doesn't have a pass-through becomes a dead end. Now, with this new Thunderbolt I can be comfortable in the knowledge that there will still be a whole array of amazing devices all of which are too expensive for me to possibly

  • Any chance we'll see external video cards now?

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