I have a connection question, and it might be a bit of a complex one.
I'm looking at buying a new 17" MacBook Pro to replace my old one. I am mostly running FCS3, but I just bought the Avid Media Composer 5.5 crossgrade and I have CS4 Production Premium installed (and will probably upgrade to CS5.5 at the end of the year).
So, the AJA IO Express for external monitoring makes the most sense since it monitors for all of these software off of the MacBook Pro.
However, I am also looking at an 8TB external storage device. It looks like my connection options are to either go with a Thunderbolt model or an ESata/FW800/FW400/USB model (not all five, which would be perfect).
Since I have an older PowerMac G5 running FCS2, I'm leaning toward the ESata/FW800/FW400/USB model so that I can use it with the G5, the new MacBook Pro and even the old MacBook Pro all via eSata. Plus, a $50 Thunderbolt cable and a several-dollar higher price tag for the Thunderbolt model doesn't make any sense to me since the external RAID encases the same 7200rpm drives anyway - so, I'm not really gaining any speed benefit between the Thunderbolt versus eSata connections anyway.
So, you can probably already see what my question is!
If I get the eSata external raid, I'll need the Express34 for MacBook Pro connectivity. If I get the IO Express, I'll need the Express34 for MacBook Pro connectivity.
As you know, there's only one Express34 slot on a MacBook Pro!
Is there one Express34 that has connections for both? I've seen a dual eSata Express34, but I'm not sure what the IO Express needs for connectivity after checking it out the product info on the website. I'm assuming the IO Express does not connect via eSata, though.
Also, just to throw an extra wrench into the mix, I do have the AJA IO La. It's the older FW400 to/from analog video (component, composite and S-Video). I am currently using it between my G5 and Beta-SP deck (which I haven't used in a while), but also for external monitoring. Would a FW800 to FW400 crossover cable with the IO La drivers on the new MacBook Pro work for component external monitoring, freeing up the Express34 slot for the external RAID via eSata?
G5 Quad Desktop with 4GB Ram, 750GB HD & eSata ~ 30" Cinema Display & 17" Sony SVGA
~ Swift Data 200 Internal 1.6TB SATA II RAID 0 ~
2.33gz Intel MacBook Pro with 3GB Ram, 500GB HD
AJA Io LA
Final Cut Studio 2 on G5 & 3 on MBP
Sony UVW-1800 Beta-SP
Sony DSR-40 DVCam
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I'm thinking about a similar thing (I've got FCS and Avid currently working on a thunderbolt enabled MBP but limited external monitoring). So I don't know the answer yet but I'll share some observations:
I also have an older AJA IO, and it does work down a 9pin-6pin FW cable but it's a bit flaky and I have had to reinstall the driver software a few times to keep it going, plus it's SD only and I'm now mainly doing HD so I've put that aside for the moment.
I agree that the AJA IO Express looks great but I'm a bit reticent about committing my Expresscard slot to it as my external Raid is better when connected by esata than by FW800.
I have noticed that Sonnet have announced a Thunderbolt to Expresscard34 adapter that should begin shipping "during October" (but I haven't actually seen one yet). That might just solve the conundrum of needing two expresscard slots...
I also see that Aja have announced a thunderbolt connected IO XT which might be a better way forward. http://www.aja.com/news/index_article.php?id=159