So you bought a late-2016 MacBook Pro? Congratulations! So did I! But how will you connect your favorite monitor, hard drives, and other accessories to those pesky new USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports? Read on for my “survival guide”, listing the essential cables and accessories you should (and shouldn’t) buy to go with your new MacBook Pro!
Did you buy the new MacBook or MacBook Pro? Maybe the Google Pixel? You’re about to enter a world of confusion thanks to those new “USB-C” ports. See, that simple-looking port hides a world of complexity, and the (thankful) backward-compatibility uses different kinds of cables for different tasks. Shoppers have to be very careful to buy exactly the right cable for their devices!
4K video is still in its infancy, but Mac users are clamoring for high-resolution external displays. Many Macs have the ability to drive a 4K display, but it’s not easy to get it to work with older hardware. Here’s how I connected a 4K Dell P2715Q display to may 2012 Retina MacBook Pro, one of the first 4K-capable Macs.
Greg “EtherealMind” Ferro recently “mused” that it might be a good idea to replace PCI Express (PCIe) inside servers or rack-scale infrastructure with Ethernet. But this seems to be the exact opposite of the direction the industry is headed. Rather than replacing PCIe with Ethernet, companies like Intel seem set on replacing short-range Ethernet (in rack-scale systems) with PCIe!
The Apple Thunderbolt Ethernet Adapter really is a full PCI express device, complete with its own Ethernet controller! This is easily the smallest and cheapest Thunderbolt peripheral to date, and suggests a bright future for similar devices in the future.
Seagate just responded to Western Digital’s acquisitions of Hitachi’s Global Storage Technologies subsidiary by acquiring LaCie. The â‚¬49 million transaction solidifies Seagate’s presence in the retail space, especially on the Apple side of things. In this way, Seagate will use LaCie to offset Western Digital’s G-Tech offerings.
I was thrilled to see the announcement by Blackmagic Design of two Thunderbolt versions of their respected Intensity video input/output box. But which is the better choice, the Intensity Shuttle or Intensity Extreme?
It seems that hardware vendors are finally answering the call of Mac users seeking to use Thunderbolt as a generic interface for expansion cards. Last week, Magma, best known for its line of PCI express expansion chassis, announced a three board Thunderbolt version, the ExpressBox 3T. Although the company has not yet released timing and pricing, they are signing up prospective customers on their website.
The Sonnet Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter demonstrates the power of Thunderbolt to bring flexible, high-performance connectivity to compact computers. But we are still in the first generation of devices like this, and it will be a while before prices drop out of the stratosphere.
Thunderbolt is important not because it is fast but because it extends the PCI bus outside the computer chassis. The next iteration of the Mac Pro could be as tiny as the Mac Mini, as long as it has two or more Thunderbolt ports and an expansion chassis for video and I/O cards.