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Re: Pretty amazing Thunderbolt demo.

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Walter Soyka
Re: Pretty amazing Thunderbolt demo.
on Jan 20, 2012 at 10:48:19 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Precisely. We could also email and browse the web on laptops, but as soon as we were able to take that capability and carry it around in our pocket..."

I get that. I'm not trying to minimize Thunderbolt. I agree with you that Thunderbolt will change the way we can work, and I said so in my last post (though not as articulately as you have here).

Thunderbolt is all about more capability per pound (which is not the same as more raw capability). It means doing things on a laptop that you used to need a desktop for.

Thunderbolt is impressive -- but relatively, not absolutely. 4K editorial isn't new, but 4K on a laptop is.

[Jeremy Garchow] "You mean a 24 sizzle core beast, I'm sure."

I absolutely did! Thank you for the correction.

[Jeremy Garchow] "The point of this demo is that a year ago, you could not do what he is trying to do without some serious computing hardware with a lot of physical heft and a mini van. In my mind, that's an accomplishment. "

You wouldn't have needed serious computing hardware to do this a year ago. The RAID and the Red Rocket are doing most of the work here. You could have used any cheap Core i7 desktop with a couple PCIe slots. As a bonus, you could have also added a proper NVIDIA card for CUDA acceleration in Premiere Pro. Reading files from disk and passing data to an expansion card has not been exclusively a part of the sizzle core value proposition for several years now.

Really, if you replaced all the references in this demo to the MacBook Air with references to a Costco minitower and all references to Thunderbolt to PCIe, what would change?

Even with a MacBook Air, you still need a cart or desk to hold the RAID and the Sonnet chassis, and you still need power, so it's not like this is a completely portable solution.

Whether you've got a minitower or an Air with external doodads, a minivan is not required -- although since a DIT would probably have this in a nice wheeled case, it might be a good idea.

[Jeremy Garchow] "And once optical cables get here, it's all extendable. To me, it's a big deal. To the sizzle core crowd, maybe not so much. To each their own."

I am squarely in the sizzle core crowd, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate what Thunderbolt will do. 4K on a laptop is incredibly cool! I'm not trying to rain on the "Thunderbolt adds peripheral expansion" parade -- 4K on a $1500 computer is a big deal -- but I am throwing buckets on the "Thunderbolt adds compute power" parade.

I just think that some balance to the Thunderbolt hype is important. Let's acknowledge what Thunderbolt is good for, but let's not set expectations for it too high. It moves PCIe devices that have existed and worked for years out of the computer case. No more, no less.

Walter Soyka
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