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Don Scioli
Thunderbolt 2 vs. Thunderbolt 1
on Jan 3, 2014 at 12:41:08 am

Much has been made of the Thunderbolt 2 inputs on the new Mac Pro which I have on order. As I look to order external drives for the Mac, I notice the only Thunderbolt 2 drives now out are the expensive Pegasus RAIDS.

For posting HD video mostly, is there really that much difference between Thunder 1 and 2 in terms of performance. For example, would the OWC Elite pro drive with TBolt adapter be fast enough to utilize the TBolt 2 spec to an advantage?

Or should I just wait for more TBolt 2 drives to become available, since I probably won't receive the Mac Pro until February.

Thanks


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John Christie
Re: Thunderbolt 2 vs. Thunderbolt 1
on Jan 3, 2014 at 1:49:25 am

I have a 2 year old iMac i7 (still drooling over the new Mac Pros)

I'm not running FCP X, but FCP 7 runs nicely with ProRes HD, both on a 6 drive Pegasus and a 4 drive OWC raid using a Lacie Tbolt to SATA adapter.

The Pegasus is faster, and I like the extra redundancy of 6 drives vs 4 on the OWC Mercury Elite Pro QX2.

As the MacPro can handle much more data, I'd throw as much speed as possible at it. But short term, the OWC/Lacie combo gives good bang for the buck.

Cheers

John


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Dave Jenkins
Re: Thunderbolt 2 vs. Thunderbolt 1
on Jan 3, 2014 at 2:08:09 am

I have the Pegasus R6 Thunderbolt 2 attached to the new Mac Pro stock 3.5GHz 6-Core and I'm getting around 800MB's Read & Write.

Dajen Productions, Santa Barbara, CA
MacPro 3.2GHz Quad Core - AJA Kona LHe+
FCS 3 OS X 10.7.4
FCP X, Logic Pro, Squeeze, Filemaker 10.8.3


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Chris Kenny
Re: Thunderbolt 2 vs. Thunderbolt 1
on Jan 3, 2014 at 3:06:11 am

[Don Scioli] "For posting HD video mostly, is there really that much difference between Thunder 1 and 2 in terms of performance. For example, would the OWC Elite pro drive with TBolt adapter be fast enough to utilize the TBolt 2 spec to an advantage?

Or should I just wait for more TBolt 2 drives to become available, since I probably won't receive the Mac Pro until February."


A Mercury Elite Pro, or pretty much any non-SSD single drive 7200 RPM storage, will top out at 130-160 MB/s. First-generation Thunderbolt should be good up into the 700-800 MB/s range, which means speed will be limited by drives, not by Thunderbolt. This remains true until you get up into 6+ drive RAID systems. First-generation Thunderbolt speeds (with storage that can keep up) are fine for around three streams of uncompressed 1080p24 HD, 16+ streams of 1080p24 ProRes 4444 and 25+ streams of ProRes 422 HQ.

Basically, you're not going to see big benefits with Thunderbolt 2 unless you're working with uncompressed 4K formats or a lot of simultaneous HD streams, and have a pretty serious storage system.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Claude Lyneis
Re: Thunderbolt 2 vs. Thunderbolt 1
on Jan 3, 2014 at 4:02:32 am

My Lacie 2 Big (6 T) (RAID 0)running Thunderbolt on a mid 11 iMac clocks in at read and write speed of about 360 MB/s according to Blackmagic Disk Speed Test App. I am not sure how fast it is in real time transfers, but I found the speed test app a reasonably accurate predictor when working with FW800 and USB 2. Obviously, it is benefiting from the RAID 0 configuration.


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Jeff Meyer
Re: Thunderbolt 2 vs. Thunderbolt 1
on Jan 3, 2014 at 8:42:38 am

Thunderbolt has 2 bidirectional channels, each can be 10gbps each direction. This gives a Thunderbolt cable the ability to carry 40gbps, 20gbps from the computer to the peripherals and 20gbps from the peripherals to the computer. Any single channels (or device) is limited to 10gbps each way.

Thunderbolt 2 has 2 channels and 40gbps like Thunderbolt, but Thunderbolt 2 allows for two channels to be ganged together. This allows a single device to break the 10gbps barrier. Without Thunderbolt 2 we couldn't have 4k displays as they gobble up 14gbps on their own. After connecting a 4k display you have roughly a USB3 cables worth of bandwidth left leaving the computer on the Thunderbolt cable.

In terms of performance for storage, you'll be hard pressed to saturate a Thunderbolt bus with any storage that's close to your computer. You'll be looking at a large SSD or a very large HDD RAID to get over 10gbps.


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