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Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.

COW Forums : Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate

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Jeremy GarchowOpitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 2:47:07 pm

Maybe I'm being naive, but isn't Thunderbolt going to change computing/peripherals?

What am I missing?

http://www.jigsawbroadcast.com/news/nab-2012-news-optical-thunderbolt-cable...

Jeremy


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Gary HuffRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 3:08:36 pm

You mean you don't see the elegance in daisy chaining a ton a devices together?


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Andrew RichardsRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 3:11:48 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Maybe I'm being naive, but isn't Thunderbolt going to change computing/peripherals?"

It changes a lot for small form factor computers (which happen to be massively popular). I don't see it being a step forward for towers though. PCIe slots are still capable of far more bandwidth. That doesn't mean you wouldn't put Thunderbolt on a tower, you still want to be able to use the same peripherals across all classes of computer. But Thunderbolt is not a replacement for PCIe. It is a wonderful leap beyond FireWire, USB, eSATA, and ExpressCard.

From my distant Internet vantage point, it looks like there is a lot of Thunderbolt at NAB this year.

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:24:28 pm

[Andrew Richards] "It changes a lot for small form factor computers (which happen to be massively popular). I don't see it being a step forward for towers though. PCIe slots are still capable of far more bandwidth"

Today. Today, you are right. How much bandwidth do we need realistically?


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Andrew RichardsRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:53:14 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Today. Today, you are right. How much bandwidth do we need realistically?"

What do you want to do with it? For any one thing, 10Gb is a nice sized pipe. It is double what you will push with a small RAID like a Pegasus. It is a lot more than you will push for HD or 2K I/O (depending on the codec). But combine those two? You're saturating the bus already. 10Gb is not nearly enough if you want an outboard GPU to give you all its got. Maybe all this 4K stuff is overkill, but if people want to work with it, they are going to need more than a single duplex 10Gb pipe to do it.

Even if Thunderbolt 2.0 (being based on PCIe 3.0) doubles throughput, you're still way south of what multi-lane slots give you. As Mr. Soyka has said, expectations rise in proportion to capability.

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 5:09:25 pm

[Andrew Richards] "Maybe all this 4K stuff is overkill, but if people want to work with it, they are going to need more than a single duplex 10Gb pipe to do it."

I guess if you're working in uncompressed 4k.

the highest that we have been required to deliver is 1080, and there's the occasional odd aspect ratio (like 1080x3), but those jobs are more rare.

My fibre connection is 8Gb now. Seems to be all good.

Jeremy


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Andrew RichardsRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 5:19:04 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I guess if you're working in uncompressed 4k."

Even Pro Res 4K would be in the 500MB/sec range depending on the flavor.

[Jeremy Garchow] "My fibre connection is 8Gb now. Seems to be all good."

And that 8Gb FC link is only doing one thing. If you are cramming 500-800MB/sec storage I/O and 200-250MB/sec video I/O into a 1.2 GB/sec Thunderbolt pipe, it could get crowded. If you are doing one thing at a time with a Thunderbolt bus, it is a lot of bandwidth. If you are splitting it up among a few bandwidth-hungry devices in a daisy chain, it isn't.

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 5:29:47 pm

I understand, Andrew. Really, I get it.

But I'm not going to be doing 4k. There's no reason in my line of work to post in 4k at this time.

We can shoot 4k, but I'm not posting in 4k, even so:

[Andrew Richards] "Even Pro Res 4K would be in the 500MB/sec range depending on the flavor."

Who would 4k ProRes be any different from 1080 ProRes? ProRes and all of it's variants have data rates. LT is 100 Mb/sec, ProRes is 145Mb/sec, HQ is 220Mb/sec and 444 is 330 Mb/sec at the very top level, those are bits, not Bytes. It's a VBR codec so usually the rates are lower than that. So even if you saturate ProRes 444 at 4k, you are still well under 200MB/sec (big B).


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Andrew RichardsRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 6:44:13 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Who would 4k ProRes be any different from 1080 ProRes? "

It's over 3 times the frame size, for one. Like pretty much any codec, the bitrate on ProRes is relative to the quality (4x4, HQ, etc), the frame size, and the frame rate. The bitrates are not absolute.

[Jeremy Garchow] "LT is 100 Mb/sec, ProRes is 145Mb/sec, HQ is 220Mb/sec and 444 is 330 Mb/sec at the very top level, those are bits, not Bytes. It's a VBR codec so usually the rates are lower than that."

Embarrassing mistake on my part, yes, bits not bytes. But those are the bitrates for 1080 @ 29.97. Everything else being equal, 4K would be more than double the bitrate of 1080 at the same quality level and frame rate. That works out to roughly 500 Mbps or 62.5 MB/sec. So not that bad after all, even for several streams.

I stand by my earlier point though, that Thunderbolt is not a step up for anything that already has PCIe slots. It is a huge step up for machines that never had them. Still, you're not going to be able to hang as much outside a computer with Thunderbolt as you can hang inside a computer with PCIe slots. I'm glad Thunderbolt is opening up so much potential in iMacs and MacBooks, but I would hate for it to be the excuse for killing off Macs with PCIe slots (whatever they be called).

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 7:12:43 pm

[Andrew Richards] "It's over 3 times the frame size, for one. Like pretty much any codec, the bitrate on ProRes is relative to the quality (4x4, HQ, etc), the frame size, and the frame rate. The bitrates are not absolute."

Frame size does not matter. It is a data rate. The data rate will not go over 330 Mb/sec (with no alpha, and unless something changes) and it usually is under that since ProRes is not CBR, but rather VBR.

720p60 = 1080i29.97. Same rate. Since ProRes is VBR and scales, the MOST any data rate will be is 330Mb/sec at 444. Anything below that, ProRes scales the data rate down. The data rates given are maximum.

4x times the frame size does not equal four time the file size when data rate stays the same. 4 times the data rate does increase the file size, though.

Jeremy


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Andrew RichardsRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 8:12:12 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Frame size does not matter. It is a data rate. The data rate will not go over 330 Mb/sec (with no alpha, and unless something changes) and it usually is under that since ProRes is not CBR, but rather VBR."

Not true. Frame size absolutely matters, and there is no cap on ProRes data rates (bitrate = data rate). Apple's own ProRes documentation lists 2K ProRes 4444 topping out at 370 Mbps, for instance.

[Jeremy Garchow] "720p60 = 1080i29.97. Same rate."

Yes, because it is the same volume of data. 1280x720 is roughly half the pixels of 1920x1080, and 720p60 plays at double the frame rate of 1080i29.97, hence roughly the same data rate. However, look what happens if frame size is the only variable:

ProRes SD 720x486 @ 29.97 = 34 Mbps
ProRes HD 1280x720 @ 29.97 = 73 Mbps
ProRes HD 1920x1080 @ 29.97 = 147 Mbps
ProRes 2K 2048x1152 @ 29.97 = 168 Mbps

The data rate is proportional to the frame size.

[Jeremy Garchow] "ProRes is VBR and scales"

VBR permits elasticity in terms of the complexity of the image contained in a given frame, and since ProRes is an iFrame codec, there isn't any efficiency gained by having similar frames adjacent like you get with long-GOP codecs. VBR does not mean the frame size is irrelevant to the data rate.

[Jeremy Garchow] "4x times the frame size does not equal four time the file size when data rate stays the same."

But the data rate does not stay the same when you quadruple the frame size and keep the frame rate and quality setting the same. The data rate is relative. To quote Apple:

"The actual data rate of Apple ProRes codecs depends on the dimensions, frame rate, image complexity, and quality setting you are using.

The Apple ProRes format has a target data size for every frame, regardless of complexity, but allows frames to fall short of that target if they are simple (if they cannot benefit in quality from using more bits). Such a shortfall is not reclaimed for other frames; instead, it just produces a smaller overall file."


Best,
Andy


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 8:39:03 pm

[Andrew Richards] "Not true. Frame size absolutely matters, and there is no cap on ProRes data rates"

There isn't? I think there is. Your last quoted sentence sums it up. It does not go above, it only goes down. VBR means that every frame is not encoded at the same data rate, which is why file size very on ProRes, and it's where it gains it's efficiency while still being i-frame.

I was under the impression that ProRes 444 is 330 Mb/sec tops.

4 times the pixels do not equal four time the size in ProRes, there's more math going on than that.

4k ProRes does not equal 500MB/sec.

Ok, I'm done now.

Jeremy


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Jason JenkinsRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 9:07:38 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Ok, I'm done now."

I don't think so mister! Somebody spelled "optical" wrong in the subject title and I want to know who's responsible.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Optical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 9:13:57 pm

[Jason Jenkins] "I don't think so mister! Somebody spelled "optical" wrong in the subject title and I want to know who's responsible."

Apple! Duh.

Besides. Opitical is the new Coppier.

Fixed (for this post) and thanks.


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Aindreas GallagherRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 9:33:17 pm

flashes of thunder at mountaintop - large numbers hurled in the clouds...

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos
http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 9:44:00 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "lashes of thunder at mountaintop - large numbers hurled in the clouds..."

Yeah, sorry. It's my bad.


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Aindreas GallagherRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 9:48:04 pm

hell no. that was fun, and rather informative. I know a quite a lot more than I did eleven posts ago.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos
http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Andrew RichardsRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 9:36:28 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "4 times the pixels do not equal four time the size in ProRes, there's more math going on than that."

It's an algorithm, not magic. I generated this graph with the numbers from Apple's ProRes specs (because their table happened to paste perfectly into Numbers). Note the data rates are proportional to the number of pixels encoded. If double the pixels yields roughly double the data rate, it stands to reason that quadruple the pixels yields roughly quadruple the data rate.

I'm done now too.

Best,
Andy


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Frank GothmannRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 10:07:59 pm

[Andrew Richards] "It's an algorithm, not magic. I generated this graph with the numbers from Apple's ProRes specs (because their table happened to paste perfectly into Numbers). Note the data rates are proportional to the number of pixels encoded. If double the pixels yields roughly double the data rate, it stands to reason that quadruple the pixels yields roughly quadruple the data rate."

Also, all vbr codecs occasionally spike and sometimes quite substantially. 30 percent on top of the spec average isn't uncommon.

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Herb SevushRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 3:19:47 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Maybe I'm being naive, but isn't Thunderbolt going to change computing/peripherals?"

AS for me, if I could undo my purchases of the last year which included a new high speed raid and an external LTO5 drive, I would be all over the ProMaxx One PC workstation, which has an internal 6 disk hardware raid, an internal LTO5 drive and 4 boot drives that can be swapped out externally. This would put everything I need in 1 box with 1 power supply and 1 set of fans. Brillinat idea and the exact opposite of the daisy chained jumbled cable Tbolt future you apparently long for.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:23:40 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Brillinat idea and the exact opposite of the daisy chained jumbled cable Tbolt future you apparently long for."

That awesome if you can buy one machine with everything in it. It's just not the way we operate.

The most exciting thing about the article I linked to is the extension.

We already have a jumbled cabled mess, and Thunderbolt will actually clean that up a bit.

We have 5 computers connected to a SAN and two of those are extended (Keyboard, DVI x2, mouse, Kona SDI/audio, ethernet x2, computer audio for each machine) with fibre linking to the SAN where the computers, video/audio patch panel, LTO, KiPro, VTR. The other 3 computers are linked via ethernet to the SAN. Thunderbolt can take up a lot of this mess, and allow us to attached the laptops and iMac to the SAN at a faster rate than 1GB ethernet. Since Thunderbolt will be optical, it will allow for longer cable runs. We can then have the ATTO Thunderbolt to Fibre hookups right in the noisy CPU room. And we won't need a monster MacPro to do this. We operate with mobility today (and with MacPro power too). What I thought most intriguing about Smoke was that they are actually developing for this type of future on OSX, and that's what interests me. I know it doesn't interest you.

So, if I can attach CPUs with one cable fairly easy to our existing system that allows greater performance than before, then yes, I guess I "long" for that. Am I wrong to think that this might be cool?

Jeremy


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Herb SevushRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:45:44 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Am I wrong to think that this might be cool?"

It's very cool. And as they say, horses for courses.

[Jeremy Garchow] "What I thought most intriguing about Smoke was that they are actually developing for this type of future on OSX, and that's what interests me. I know it doesn't interest you."

I'm interested, I simply won't give Autodesk any of more of my money.

[Jeremy Garchow] " We can then have the ATTO Thunderbolt to Fibre hookups right in the noisy CPU room"

I'll be very interested to hear how this works out for you. To me this is the crux of it, can Tbolt handle PCIe raids as well as internal cards. If they can, then I don't need a tower, and I have some real options in the OSX world.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:52:07 pm

[Herb Sevush] "To me this is the crux of it, can Tbolt handle PCIe raids as well as internal cards."

Right now, it offers more connectivity to smaller machines that any other option in history.

Sure, there's going to be some growing pains.

[Herb Sevush] "If they can, then I don't need a tower, and I have some real options in the OSX world."

If you only have one machine, then direct connect to a Raid makes sense, but we have many machines and a RAID that they all share. It's different.

What do you need PCIe wise?


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Herb SevushRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 5:02:34 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "What do you need PCIe wise?"

High speed raid. Can't get enough speed. Multicam is a beast on bandwidth. Other than that, BM I/O cards, LTO5 deck, GPU. For me MacPro's do not have enough PCIe slots, it's one of the temptations of the PC world. And yes, at this point I'm down to a single machine. I used to have a multi seat facility, but those days are gone. So the temptations to have everything in one box, with less cabling, less mess, is very strong - as long as I can open the box myself for upgrades and repairs.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Andrew RichardsRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 5:09:54 pm

[Herb Sevush] "High speed raid. Can't get enough speed. Multicam is a beast on bandwidth."

How fast is your RAID today?

Best,
Andy


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Herb SevushRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 5:22:29 pm

[Andrew Richards] "How fast is your RAID today?"

at 80% full:

Blackmagic Speed Utility: 1000 MBs Read; 831 MBs Write

AJA at 1280x720 8 bit: 978 MBs Read; 220 MBs Write (cache turned off)

And even at these speeds I get the green preview line for my 5 camera multicam timelines, using ProRes 720P60.

"I feel the need for speed."

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Andrew RichardsRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 6:56:25 pm

[Herb Sevush] "1000 MBs Read; 831 MBs Write"

Thunderbolt has the bandwidth to support that (duplex 1250 MB/sec).

[Herb Sevush] "And even at these speeds I get the green preview line for my 5 camera multicam timelines, using ProRes 720P60."

With your 5 stream multi cam ProRes 720p60, you are only pulling an aggregate 100 MB/sec (750Mbps aggregate), or less than 10% of the bandwidth capacity of a single Thunderbolt pipe. You'd have plenty of room left for video I/O. Plus, that 10Gb is bidirectional, so read bandwidth from your RAID does not stomp on your video out bandwidth on the same port.

Best,
Andy


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Frank GothmannRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 9:06:12 pm

[Andrew Richards] "Thunderbolt has the bandwidth to support that (duplex 1250 MB/sec)."

Thunderbolt has, but TB controllers don't acchieve that bandwith. All tests usually max out at around 800 MB/s all chained devices in.

------
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John KaleyRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:45:05 pm

I looked at that workstation too, and had to image the jet-engine roar the fans must make when that thing's at full-tilt boogie.



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Herb SevushRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:53:53 pm

[John Kaley] "I looked at that workstation too, and had to image the jet-engine roar the fans must make when that thing's at full-tilt boogie."

They say it's very quiet, but I'd have to hear it to believe it, but I doubt it's any noisier than my current Maxx Digital Raid + MacPro. You could check with our own David Roth Weiss, who now works at Promaxx.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Andrew RichardsRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 5:00:34 pm

[John Kaley] "I looked at that workstation too, and had to image the jet-engine roar the fans must make when that thing's at full-tilt boogie."

Sure, at full tilt, but then so is a Mac Pro at full tilt. The idea is several large diameter fans turning slowly can cool very quietly. Presumably, the ProMax rig is monitoring its internal temps and has a fan controller only turning the them as much as it needs to to keep cool.

Best,
Andy


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gary adcockRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 18, 2012 at 1:16:07 pm

JG

Promise is showing a 200M optical TB cable on a MAC system in thier Booth here, While I am happy that TB is coming to windows I know of over 75 TB devices at the show!

gary adcock
Studio37

Post and Production Workflow Consultant
Production and Post Stereographer
Chicago, IL

http://blogs.creativecow.net/24640

follow me on Twitter
@garyadcock




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Steve ConnorRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 18, 2012 at 10:11:13 pm

http://www.fcp.co/hardware-and-software/pro/802-convert-your-mac-mini-to-an...

Interesting?

Steve Connor
"FCPX Professional"
Adrenalin Television


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 18, 2012 at 10:13:55 pm

[Steve Connor] "Interesting?"

Hell no. Thunderbolt sucks and won't do anything to change the CPU market, or fill in any voids.

Keep pipe dreaming!

Jeremy


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Herb SevushRe: Opitical Thunderbolt cables. On a Thinkpad.
by on Apr 18, 2012 at 10:22:22 pm

I'd sooner buy a hackintosh.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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