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  • california_son - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    Now awaiting influx of people arguing this is too expensive for "consumers."

    Promise doesn't target consumers - they never have, they never will.
    But this product announcement is definitely great news for professionals in broadcasting and film, especially with 4K gaining traction worldwide.
  • Reflex - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    I think the real comment to be made is that Thunderbolt does not target consumers. There are very few products that typical consumers use that depend upon TB or require its capabilities. And that is why companies like Promise are making products like this targeted at professional and IT applications. Reply
  • adamdz - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - link

    I've set up several Pegasus units and was pretty disappointed how cheap they feel: really low quality plastic front panels. I expected aluminum at this price point. Reply
  • CecileWamsley - Monday, October 28, 2013 - link

    my Aunty Brianna recently got a stunning yellow BMW Three Series Wagon just by working online with a computer. website link... Reply
  • sorten - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    I have no use for Thunderbolt until a pci-e external enclosure shows up on the market. Then I'm all over it. Reply
  • Devfarce - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    They do exist. Sonnet makes a line of them. They aren't oriented towards graphics cards by size or power requirements but they are there and start at about $400. (I assume that's what you want out of this.) I think someone should make a mini ITX compatible board that is simply an array of 3-4 PCI 3.0x 16 ports with a PLX chip connected to an intel TB 2 controller. Use ATX power supplies and BYO chassis. You have all the expand ability you want and this would be easily be doable for $250. With the Darth Vader Mac Pro coming on line (6 TB!!!!) soon I believe that this will be a reality soon. Professionals are the ones who need and are willing to pay for Thunderbolt but before this their Mac pros didn't have the interface. They are the market who will drive TB, so they need the product to drive it. Reply
  • cbelle - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    The problem is each Thunderbolt controller is limited to a total bandwidth of 20Gb/s or about the same as 4x lanes of PCI-e 2.0. I don't think you can combine 2 Thunderbolt controllers (yet?). But even then the MacPro 2013 has 2 - maybe 3 TB controllers via 6 ports. Not enough to feed 3-4 slots of 16x PCI-e 3.0. Reply
  • Reflex - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    Another issue is that most PCIe cards and drivers are not able to handle hot swapping. There are no video card drivers that handle this scenario properly. Even if you had external PCIe via TB, you'd need support from AMD/NV in order for it to matter. Reply
  • jasonelmore - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    so your saying thunderbolt wont initialize until your in the OS? Reply
  • Reflex - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    No, I am saying that if you bring your laptop in and set it down next to your TB chassis and plug it in, a variety of bad effects could happen. It is unlikely that the graphics cards would be dynamically recognized and activated. It is much more likely that either they will not or your system will crash. Reply
  • easp - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - link

    I suspect the bigger worry is what happens when you disconnect. For the first month or so, there was a ~25% chance my rMBP would have a kernel panic when I unplugged the thunderbolt ethernet. Its been solid since then though. Reply
  • Ncrmro - Sunday, November 03, 2013 - link

    Maybe something along the lines of an initial sudo operating system that sets up drivers and what not and then handshake over to the OS? Reply
  • repoman27 - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    Mac Pro has three DSL5520 Thunderbolt 2 controllers, which AFAIK still have the same PCIe 2.0 x4 back end as the previous generation dual-port controllers, thus PCIe bandwidth would be limited to exactly PCIe 2.0 x4 per controller. I guess there's a possibility that Intel bumped it up to PCIe 3.0, but until Anand fills a Pegasus2 full of SSDs, we won't know for sure :-)

    @Reflex, the issue with getting things to work at all seems to be mostly with EFI/UEFI/BIOS and PCI Reset Delay. If you can power up the GPU after the PC, or have a hardware PCI Reset Delay switch, you can actually boot and load the normal NVIDIA / AMD drivers. Lucid's Virtu works as well. However, drivers that support hot-swap and are optimized for reduced PCIe bandwidth would be a major improvement. Example of DIY Thunderbolt eGPU setup:

    @jasonelmore, Thunderbolt support is handled differently on Macs and PCs. Many things that Apple implemented at an OS level were pushed into BIOS / UEFI on PCs because Microsoft couldn't be expected to roll them into Windows 8 / 8.1.
  • Reflex - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    Yes, if your willing to hack your hardware it is theoretically possible to make it work. But I doubt that 'solution' is one that would work for, well, almost anyone. It is not a "put a card in a box and dock your laptop to it whenever you put it on your desk" solution, and in fact it requires significant modification of hardware and software, and even then it does not appear to permit hot plugging meaning you'd still have to reboot to dock.

    Pretty inconvenient. Also, at the price in question why wouldn't you just get a laptop with a more powerful graphics card?
  • repoman27 - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    Oh, I'm totally with you. I included the link to that project mostly because it illustrated the drawbacks of the current hardware setups and where they run into trouble with existing EFI and drivers. Reply
  • Reflex - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    The frustration for me is that if they had prioritized a story like this, TB would have had a real chance in the consumer market. Instead it appears destined as the replacement for Firewire with no real consumer penetration. Reply
  • psuedonymous - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    Many have tried. It seems as soon as a consumer-priced PCI-E -> Thnderbolt enclosure or adapter comes close to market and attempts to acquire certification (in order to sell with the Thunderbolt name, use the Thunderbolt symbol, etc) Intel inexplicably smacks the project down. This has happened several times so far, so it's distinctly suspicous. Reply
  • repoman27 - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    According to a leaked Intel Thunderbolt Developer's Application Form, External Graphics - Graphics controller/card in external chassis = Currently Not Supported.

    Granted there are some distinct technical challenges involved in getting this to work in a consumer friendly sort of way, and Intel does state: "Device categories and descriptions are based on general technical assumptions. Final application approvals will be made on a case-by-case by the Thunderbolt team." However, this does reek of an artificially imposed limitation.
  • lin2log - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    Yeah, since there are just SO MANY PCI cards that one just can't do without, since there aren't in fact any replacements for their functionality via USB, Firewire or even Thunderbolt and 9 out of ten times even CHEAPER and BETTER...

    Oh wait...

  • repoman27 - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    There are a lot of folks with considerable investment in PCIe cards for applications such as:

    SSD / application accelerator
    10 / 40 GbE
    converged networking
    SAS / mini-SAS
    pro AV

    But I suppose they're idiots for wanting to continue to use thousands of dollars worth of gear they've already paid for, which provides functionality that may be otherwise unobtainable, with a new Mac.
  • lin2log - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    Yeah, you SO need more/different **GPUs** of all things when you buy a new Mac Pro??! LOL! Gotcha.

    Everything else? ALL available otherwise. Almost always better, faster and CHEAPER. The rest is yesterday's news and a waste of time and money. NONE of that is "otherwise unobtainable". What BS. The whole "I need PCI slots!" is such utter MALARKEY. Check your calendar. It's almost 2014. Come join us. But then, if you need any of that so badly, you're simply not the truly PRO customer that the Mac Pro is meant for. Well boo-hoo.
  • lin2log_gay_lover - Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - link

    Yeah, boo-hoo. Don't buy a Mac Pro, loser, just stay with your PC. lin2log and I don't want you buying a Mac Pro. We want the Mac Pro just for us! Lin2log, please pick me up for dinner at 8. I love you! Reply
  • lin2log - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    SCSI, SATA RAID or any of that other i/o??... LOL!! Brilliant! As if I could even be the least bit interested in those when I have THUNDERBOLT??


    Keep pulling stuff out of your backend without rhyme nor reason. Just... because. :-))))

    You forgot floppy-disk drives by the way. Gotta have a floppy-disk drive! LOL
  • repoman27 - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    I hesitated to respond to your earlier comment because you're obviously trolling or just have no idea how any of this stuff works.

    Thunderbolt is just a meta protocol for transporting PCIe and DisplayPort packets. Thunderbolt accessories are made by taking existing silicon that would normally be found on a motherboard or PCI Express card and hooking it up instead to the PCIe lanes provided by a Thunderbolt controller. For some applications an argument can be made that it is both cost effective and far more elegant to design a custom solution with the Thunderbolt controller and various ASICs on the same board. For many bleeding edge, industry specific, or legacy applications, simply exposing the PCIe lanes in an external chassis and connecting an existing PCI Express card is a far more reasonable option.

    If you've invested a lot of time in writing CUDA code for NVIDIA Quadro, you're probably less impressed with the GPU options for the new Mac Pro. Furthermore, the first Macs to ship with Thunderbolt 2 are the new versions of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, most of which rely solely on Intel Iris / Iris Pro and at best can be specced with an NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M. In fact most Macs with Thunderbolt could get a significant boost from a fairly inexpensive discrete GPU if only they had a conventional PCI Express card slot.

    Thunderbolt PCIe expansion chassis will definitely play a more significant role as a transitional technology, with purpose built Thunderbolt accessories being the preferred goal in the long run, but they will always remain useful for certain scenarios.
  • lin2log - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - link

    "If you've invested a lot of time in writing CUDA code for NVIDIA Quadro, you're probably less impressed with the GPU options for the new Mac Pro."

    LOL... that bullshit CUDA drivel again! :-D Yeah, too bad the AMD cards "only" support OpenCL, right (along with every Nvidia board btw!)? You know, that OpenCL that kicks CUDA to THE WALL in terms of performance AND is both open-source and non-proprietary?! Oh gee, yeah. What a BUMMER that I'm not forced to use that Nvidia crap... LOL!

    And there is NOTHING "reasonable" about spending an inordinate amount of money on some BS PCI chassis to merely run some legacy crap boards... pfffff...

    You can't name me ONE PCI card that any relevant amount of people can't do without AND actually needs more than maybe eight lanes, in which case there is ZERO need for a slot... you lose, sorry!
  • Maccer - Monday, November 25, 2013 - link

    since you asked so nicely.. RED ROCKET-X
  • lin2log - Saturday, December 07, 2013 - link

    LOL... yeah, enjoy your RED-Rocket. What a bummer that it's already been announced that RED decode and encode will be optimized FOR THE NEW MAC PRO, making the Rocket completely SUPERFLUOUS and not worth the soldering iron it's made of.

    My tip: catch a clue FIRST, then post.
  • lin2log_gay_lover - Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - link

    Yeah, loser. Catch a clue FIRST otherwise my lover lin2log will have some spicy words for you! Don't you just love how my lin2log can use such big words as superfluous? He's so smart and when he uses ALL CAPS, it makes him sound even smarter. He's my true love! Reply
  • lin2log_gay_lover - Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - link

    Yeah, take that. lin2log just told you off. He is so smart and witty and that's why I love him. Thunderbolt is the way to go, so there! Brilliant! LOL! :-))))). ROFL. You are the best, lin2log!! Reply
  • repoman27 - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    A quick list of Thunderbolt PCIe external enclosures:

    Bplus TH05 PCI-Express to Thunderbolt Adapter (discontinued thanks to Intel)
    Magma ExpressBox 1T
    Magma ExpressBox 3T
    mLogic mLink
    mLogic mLink R
    Netstor TurboBox NA211TB Thunderbolt PCIe Expansion Enclosure
    Other World Computing OWC Mercury Helios PCIe Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis
    Sonnet Echo Express Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis for PCIe Cards
    Sonnet Echo Express II Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis for PCIe Cards
    Sonnet Echo Express Pro Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis for PCIe Cards
    Sonnet Echo Express SE
    Sonnet Echo Express III-D Desktop Thunderbolt 2 Expansion Chassis
    Sonnet Echo Express III-R Rackmount Thunderbolt 2 Expansion Chassis
    Sonnet Echo Express SE II Thunderbolt 2 Expansion Chassis

    There are also a couple with built-in storage adapters:

    Netstor NA211TB-LD Thunderbolt Storage and PCIe Expansion
    Netstor NA333TB 3U 16-bay Thunderbolt Storage and PCIe Expansion
  • HisDivineOrder - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    Where are those Thunderbolt to PCIe GPU external boxes we've been promised for years?

    Same place as the affordable peripherals using Thunderbolt, I guess.
  • lin2log - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    Oh yeah. Seeing what complete TURDS the TWO GPUs that come with each and every Mac Pro are, you'll just be hurting' for a third at an astronomical price point to get that "real pro" performance.

    Thanks. That's really using your head! *applause*

    But hey, at least you got your daily dose of mindless, no rhyme nor reason Apple hatin' out of the way, so not everything's lost. Be sure to come back tomorrow.
  • lin2log_gay_lover - Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - link

    Yeah, you tell him, lin2log! Don't you know AMD makes the best products? (Just like their CPUs). They really allow me to be my best. Just the other day, I got my top score on solitaire because my smokin' fast dual AMD Firepros. Also, stop being such Apple haters you guys! The Mac Pro is for professionals, that's why they named it the Mac Pro. Here's a tip: Don't buy a Mac Pro unless you're a Pro! I love you, lin2log! Reply
  • ThreeDee912 - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    Interestingly, on Apple's Mac Pro "Performance" page, they specifically mention a "a PCI expansion chassis connected via Thunderbolt" among other things if you scroll down a bit.

    It appears Apple might be working with some other companies to get Thunderbolt 2 products out there, but they're not quite ready to release any specifics yet.
  • ThreeDee912 - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    Interestingly, 10.9 enables IP over Thunderbolt, and people have been reporting speeds of over 700MB/s over Thunderbolt 1. This is without any special cards or extra equipment, except for maybe the expensive cabling. Corning is also finally ready with their 100m optical Thunderbolt cables, so length isn't an issue anymore. It would be nice to see a review of how well networking over TB works. :) Reply
  • nerd1 - Sunday, October 27, 2013 - link

    Why cant we just use a single big box that has 4-8 drive bays and enough slots for 3 GPUs, All powered by a single PSU? This all thunderbolt thing is so silly. Reply
  • lin2log - Saturday, December 07, 2013 - link

    Hmmmm... because you're too thick to grasp simple basics?

  • lin2log_gay_lover - Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - link

    C'mon guys, stop being Thunderbolt haters. Lin2log is the only one on here making any sense and that's why he's my true love!!! Thunderbolt is the best because it's plug and play and can transmit all kinds of secret data back and forth at super fast speeds. It is also a sexy sounding name, way sexier than PCIE. PCIE? What the heck? Only a PC turd would make up such a name. Thunderbolt is the best. That's why lin2log has a thunderbolt tattoo on his right bicep and a thunderbolt air freshener in his new Ford Fiesta, because he's sexy. So like lin2log just said, stop being too thick in girth because it will prevent you from grasping simple basics. Be like my true love, lin2log, who has a microscopic penis but knows how to use it so much better than all you hateful PC guys! Reply
  • romaz - Friday, December 20, 2013 - link

    I was almost ready to bite. I almost bought into lin2log's rhetoric as some of his statements made sense despite his vitriolic and uncivilized tone (I notice that some diehard Mac worshippers often behave like this when they feel their beloved Macs aren't getting the respect they feel they deserve...kind of like how men with complexes about their short stature or small penises behave). I am neither a Mac hater nor Mac lover. I am fortunate to have a large hardware and software budget to work with each year and so when I evaluate and purchase equipment, I do so based on performance much more than cost. I own a 15 inch MacBook Pro with retina display that I believe to be the best laptop available today and is a credible platform for light “on the field” video editing on Adobe Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC (sorry but FCP X is crap). I edit videos professionally and once upon a time used a custom modified 12-core Mac Pro that I now use exclusively as a very expensive and pretty to look at paperweight. As Apple has ignored their workstation market for several years now, I was forced to migrate to PCs for the bulk of my work as it is the only viable platform for editing large ProRes 444, Epic 5K/Red 4K and uncompressed files as far as I'm concerned. I was excited when the specs for the new Mac Pro were released and believed that Macs might become viable once again although like many who have made comments here, I had some concerns about lack of PCIE expansion slots and relying only on Thunderbolt 2 for connectivity. As anyone who edits complex codecs knows, some codecs require considerable CPU/GPU/memory horsepower (AVCHD, DSLR QT) while other codecs require high disk throughput (uncompressed files) while other codecs require both (ProRes 444, Epic 5K, Red 4K).

    The new Mac Pro with Intel's 12-core Xeon E5-2600 and dual AMD D700s is no doubt a potent and very capable combo (I say this as one of the machines I edit on has this same 12-core Xeon and dual Firepro W9000 GPUs and compares favorably to another machine I use with an NVidia K6000 gpu). It's no secret that the Thunderbolt (version 1) RAID arrays currently available are not suitable for professional video editing as they have dismal throughput capabilities. I was hoping Thunderbolt 2 would be better. Unfortunately, Promise (despite its claim to being the "absolute fastest") posts no actual performance data which automatically makes me skeptical. Finally, a review has become available on CNET on the Pegasus2 R8 Raid 5 array (32GB) which is their fastest configuration and unfortunately, the results are very disappointing. Read throughputs are only 376.02 MB/sec and write throughputs are 361.92 MB/sec. These are paltry performance figures and I highly doubt a professional editor can edit a 4k production with this kind of an array unless they enjoy stuttering. Maybe Promise is using a substandard RAID card and maybe CalDigit, G-Raid, OWC or LaCie can come up with something better but if this is as good as Thunderbolt 2 gets, then only the clueless Mac worshippers need apply.
  • AVentheusiast - Thursday, February 13, 2014 - link

    After receiving a new Pegasus2 2/24 RAID DOA due to a defective Drive (Preinstalled by Promise Technology) and pathetic customer service / support from Promise Technology; I'd caution others from seeking any technology solution from Promise and searching elsewhere.

    After my RAID reported errors almost immediately after installation (on a new MacPro 2013) I immediately contacted technical support. (First, I had to register the unit online; which automatically assigned a warranty expiration date based upon the date the unit shipped from their warehouse to the authorized reseller, not based upon the sales / ship date to me.) Regardless of the detailed information I provided regarding the multiple bad sector detections and subsequent designation of the drive as being bad (by the promise RAID management software) Tech support would not even begin cooperating until I generated a specific HTML based report via their software & uploaded it to Promise's Tech Support.

    They did immediately (upon receipt of the report) acknowledge that the drive I reported as being DOA was indeed dead. In order to receive a warranty replacement I was informed that I could either return the defective drive; after which I would be shipped a replacement or I could provide a credit card # for them to place a hold of about $250.00 (on a drive that can be purchased on Amazon for $109 with free 2-day shipping) and that they would only provide complimentary GROUND shipping. If I wanted Next Day or 2-Day shipping; it would be at my expense. Considering that this was a defective unit shipped from Promise; I was astounded by the lack of support on a $3,500.00 piece of hardware. I provided the Credit Card # and finally received the replacement drive, only to discover that I was expected to pay the return freight on the defective drive.

    This was bad enough; but part of my dissatisfaction is rooted in the fact that such a high-end RAID system was equipped (once again by Promise Technology) with consumer grade Segate Baracuda Drives. Considering the premium price they charge on storage size; one would think that they would at least use the higher grade Enterprise Grade drives from Seagate. In fact; at the time that tech support authorized the drive replacement, I asked if it would be a problem if I simply installed a 3TB Western Digital Red drive that I had on-hand as a spare for a separate RAID system. I was informed that the WD Red was not on their list of approved drives; and would not be supported. I later downloaded Promise Technology's complete list of approved drives for the Pegasus2 system and discovered that only 2 drives (in 3 TB capacity) were on the approved list; both of which were lower-tier consumer grade models. There is no indication that they ever tested any higher quality drives or what system requirements of the Promise2 RAID would limit full compatibility with any other drive; just a failure to reference any other models. My personal opinion / interpretation is that they leave the higher quality (higher priced) drives off of their list as a convenient excuse as to why they do not provide better drives in the first place. It seems counter-intuitive to produce an ultra high-speed storage system aimed largely towards video editing, then supply that system with anything other than enterprise level hard drives. Based upon this experience, I will NEVER purchase another product produced by Promise Technology. I have purchased products from a number of other manufacturers over the years and have never had such a poor experience with any other companies tech support staff.

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