LaCie cues up Thunderbolt hard drive
10Gb/s data transfers, anyone?
It's easy to claim a world first, but unless you're actually shipping something, the claim is arguably worthless. Marks, then, to LaCie for not claiming to the only storage specialist to have a Thunderbolt-connected external hard drive in the works.
It does have one: the LaCie Little Big Disk, but it won't go on sale until the summer, LaCie admitted. Nor did it reveal how much the high-speed drive will cost when it does become available.
Thunderbolt, announced last week by Intel and shipping now on Apple's latest MacBook Pro laptops, leverages a DisplayPort monitor connection to deliver data transfer speeds of up to 10Gb/s, though you won't see that kind of throughput coming off a Sata hard drive.
Even USB 3.0's 5Gb/s bandwidth isn't remotely strained by your average HDD.
Quite what Thunderbolt can deliver with existing storage technology - SSDs as well as HDDs - we'll get to see when LaCie and others get product out the door. ®
Yes, the 10Gbps is dual-link. However, there's not "another 10Gbps in both directions for DisplayPort." DisplayPort is just one of the two protocols that Thunderbolt supports (the other being PCIe). So no, you can't have 2x10Gbps to a monitor and 2x10Gbps to a daisy chain of devices at the same time.
As for RAID using the bandwidth, it would take quite the RAID0 to pull off 10Gbps. Likely something akin to 8xIntelSSDs in RAID0 actually. Not quite a portable device.
Last I checked, my laptop came with 4xUSB (hand-picked over the 3xUSB counterparts). eSATA would have been a nice addition, but I had a certain ceiling for expenditure.
However, have no fear. I'm sure Apple intends on dropping those USB ports since Thunderbolt is likely to kill them as FireWire did....at least in Steve's reality....
Of course, a single spinning disk isn't going to benefit (much) from Thunderbolt, however a RAID array could. But just before you dismiss this thing as "junk" don't forget that Thunderbolt can be daisy-chained, you can connect a few of these via that port and they could all be used together. It's also worth noting that it's 10Gbps in both directions with another 10Gbps in both directions for DisplayPort. On a laptop this is very significant as, due to physical space constraints, such connections are at quite a premium.
Presumably all these 'Thunderbolt' disks that people are announcing will also have USB3/FireWire (and who knows, eSATA) interfaces as well? I may be mad enough to have a Mac laptop but I'm not mad enough to buy a disk that only Macs can plug into.
i love my mac book pro....
but stop giving us fcktardwirefirethunderbolt ports and give us more bloody USB ports,
I like apple, but i want more USB ports, and further apart as well, i have some wide usb devices.
You can also junk the batter status lights, and replace them with usb ports.
I think i have made my point here.