Thunderbolt Motherboard Reviews

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TheMiddleman

These solutions are all garbage. You abandon SATA connectivity for a dubious standard that has yet to be seriously adopted. I'd rather see six SATA3 plugs running natively with full RAID support, frankly, instead of 4 + 2 or 4 additional on a Marvell POS controller that can't even run optical drives.

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jgottberg

'Another thing we should note is that our review board smelled like an iPhone crawled into the ass of a laptop and died there'

LOL!!

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Engelsstaub

Double post.

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Guisano

I've sent back two of these now. The first one got buggered at that horribly placed USB-3 connector for the front panel. If you get one of these boards and you're using HDD's that you check the routing of even that thin cable carefully before you make the final installation. Install it first and you'll hopefully avoid the RMA which led to my receiving a DOA P8277-V. I was trying to replace an older ASUS board that I've detested since installation.

Their software, when you can find what you want, is sad. Their website is sad. Their quality seems unhappy.

I'm done with ASUS boards after nearly 20 years using them. It's a shame.

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TheMiddleman

You're mad at ASUS because you have butterfingers and botched your install?
Yeah, ok. How about you just route your cables better, and don't put unrealistic amounts of stress on soldered connectors, Einstein?

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

OK, what do we need Thunderbolt for? Are there super-fast Thunderbolt external hard drives or something?

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Danthrax66

Thunderbolt is actually awesome, so if you are building a PC now I suggest getting a mobo with it. But the best thing you can do with it is daisy chain 6 devices from one connector. So you can have 5 external hard drives and a monitor or 3 monitors and 3 hard drives etc. Now I don't know if anyone makes monitors or hard drives with the necessary internals for it to work like that but eventually you can do that all from one connector.

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Bullwinkle J Moose

We don't need thunderbolt because there is no killer hardware to take advantage of the speeds

Thunderbolt hard drives would be the dumbest usage as hard drives can't even begin to saturate a SATA 2 port yet

SSD's are starting to saturate SATA 3 ports but are limited by the SATA 3 controller on the drive so thunderbolt offers no benefit to them either

Untill SSD's begin replacing their SATA controllers with thunderbolt contollers to take advantage of the speeds, we are all better off waiting for SATA 4 drives and controllers for backward compatibility instead of investing in a port that may take years to deliver a marginal improvement at a premium price for a single device (or maybe 2)

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Engelsstaub

I'm in agreement that the vast majority, even most tech-savvy consumers like the ones who would read MPC, will not benefit at all from having such a port. Probably not anytime soon.

It's a seriously promising technology but the peripherals available for it now are too sparse and sometimes overpriced. Even many Mac users (professional and personal) that I know aren't really using the connection for anything other than a display. Some have TB-to-FireWire adaptors so they can continue using their soundcards and other low-latency audio hardware.

You're absolutely right about TB HDDs...it is currently a dumb idea. It seems almost every HDD manufacturer has one now and IDK why.

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Danthrax66

Well you can connect 6 external hard drives to one thunderbolt port plus the throughput is higher than USB3 or SATA6 for external RAID enclosures.

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TheMiddleman

How many people realistically have a grand to drop on external RAID enclosures, though?
I'm running two 120gb Corsair SSD's in a RAID 0 array as my System disk, and just increased my storage drives to 4 4TB Caviar Black drives in a RAID 1 array, yet still don't pay as much for storage as one of those external Thunderbolt boxes.
Like I said above: screw Thunderbolt ports, just give me more native SATA3 ports, and I'll throw you my money.

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Engelsstaub

That's a solid point. (I don't currently have any computers with a TB port yet so I"m just considering it. I sure wouldn't mind having such a port...I think it's awesome and complimentary to the USB standard.)

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Engelsstaub

That Asus mobo looks nice but, as you've said, is just a bit too pricey.

I wouldn't mind building a PC with the Gigabyte ZX77X-UP4 TH, though. Hopefully we'll see more stuff that utilizes this connection in the near future. Right now the peripherals are still a bit expensive.

From what I'm hearing TB-support is still unfortunately pretty shitty under Linux.

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JohnnyCNote

I'd wager that even half the price would be more than a lot of people are willing to pay, especially for technology that's not yet usable. Maybe in a couple of years, when it's on mobo's under $150, but not until. Also there's a new version of USB on the way, which would probably be reverse compatible, so why risk investing in a new technology at this point in the game?

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Danthrax66

This seems more useful in laptops, having a universal connector that can adapt to anything would be amazing to have in ultrabooks. Because I don't always need a display, or ethernet, or firewire, or an extra usb, but when I do it's nice to have something that can do any of those.

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Opm2

So we got 4K displays and external hard drives for thunderbolt. One of which you can't even purchase yet.

You cannot buy a PCIe thunderbolt riser card for your not so older computer.

I really don't think this tech is going to gain much market share.

Well hold on. Those apple sheep will gobble it up. They would jerk off to schindler's list if apple told them it was cool. ( Yes I know, it does have shower scenes but... )

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Engelsstaub

Thunderbolt isn't trying to gain "marketshare" against other standards. It's currently marketed mainly to a subset of professionals. There's a reason many (including myself) still used FireWire for audio applications even after USB 3.0.

Intel isn't trying to render other connections obsolete or to "compete" against USB 3.0 (another technology partially developed by Intel.)

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gatorXXX

Then what's the point of having it? People stuck with firewire because it was faster (and more reliable) than USB 1.1 and 2.0. Also to mention that some apple software "required" firewire to operate in it's full glory. But since USB 2.0 and before USB 3.0 (and apple support), firewire has diminished to all but vaporware.

Intel got in cahootz with apple for a standard to replace FW. It's just that intel retained rights to implement TB into PC's right off the bat instead of a waiting period. But as of now...even for the subset of professionals...TB gives no significant gain over any other methods of transfer except for the transfer of money from your bank account to theirs.

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Danthrax66

Actually gatorXXX thunderbolt is capable of a lot more than USB or Firewire are such as the ability to daisy chain up to 6 devices off of a single port, and the ability to use it as a display port with a much smaller foot print than DVI as well as having a higher bandwidth for future 4k TVs. It's a much more capable connector than USB, can output more power, and takes up a smaller footprint. The universality of it is also pretty awesome, it can literally adapt to anything which is less important on a desktop admitedly but on a laptop it adds a lot more functionality in a smaller form factor (TB to ethernet, firewire, usb, external monitor, etc.)

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Engelsstaub

"But as of now...even for the subset of professionals...TB gives no significant gain over any other methods of transfer except for the transfer of money from your bank account to theirs."

...hence the TB-to-FireWire adaptors that are readily available for A/V professionals invested in hardware.

I *believe* Intel "got into cahoots with Apple for a standard to replace FW" because that's where much of the A/V market is. (BTW: my last two PC laptops had FW ports.) It's good that it's available now on PC mobos because many pros have switched back to PCs. The reason for this is Apple's focus on phone & tablet $$$ and (stupidly IMO) not supporting and updating their pro hardware/software. (Final Cut Pro X is a perfect example of how they kicked professionals in the junk so Joe Schmo can have a dumbed-down experience editing his iPhone footage of his cat chasing the laser pointer.)

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