Acer Dumping Thunderbolt, Sticking with USB 3.0

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daekar

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Thunderbolt is definitely a premium thing at the moment. The question is, does the average consumer NEED it? In a time when computing devices are proliferating because of their low price and sacrificed function relative to desktops, a premium connectivity with that kind of bandwidth is superfluous. Who has 4K video now? A minority. For those transferring super large files it will be a godsend, but most people... USB 3.0 will be more than good enough for a while.
 
Its so logical. There are very few devices that utilize Thunderbolt's bandwidth.
Only dumb Apple users will buy that feature.
Whereas other manufacturers know that its customers are not dumb.
 

ddpruitt

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Acer sees the writing on the wall. This is the same reason Firewire never caught on it started on premium systems and the peripherals all cost more. When it comes down to it the vast majority (99%+) of people care about price and don't really know or care about speed.
 

back_by_demand

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They had me at "backwards compatibility" seeing as the world+dog has USB2.0 flash drives, printers, etc - thunderbolt may be fast but it consigns my existing hardware to the bin and that won't fly with a lot of people - here's a radical idea, seeing as it is possible to have a port that is dual USB/eSATA then why don't they make Thunderbolt 2.0 connectors dual USB3.0/TB2.0 - crazy I know, but the world really doesn't need yet another plug
 

AndrewMD

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Chimera201 - Last time checked, many studios, graphic design houses, etc use Apple products for the production. Seeing the TB 2.0 will increase speeds to 20gbs will help them even more with transfer rates.

 


You just answered your own question. USB3.0 is on most modern chipsets, requiring nothing more than connectors and a bit of power circuitry on the MB. Thunderbolt requires an extra chip, supplied only by Intel.
 

DRosencraft

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This was easily foreseeable from the moment Thunderbolt was discussed. When it was first announced SSDs were still a relatively novel device, and were the only things that could take real advantage of the speed in Thunderbolt since the average mechanical drive couldn't even read/write fast enough to keep up. Even for most heavy data users the difference in speeds between USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt right now is minute seconds - not enough to offset the added pain of looking for compatible devices, and the extra cost of it all. It's hard to introduce a new standard, and this one was never rolled out properly to begin with, so after giving it a couple years, it's not surprising some are jumping ship now and cutting their loses.
 

James Devenberg

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I wish they would put Thunderbolt, or at least Mini Displayport on more of their premium machines. I love the Aspire S7, but I want to be able to connect to more than one external monitor, or at least one that is over 1920x1080. The fact that HDMI and USB are the only connection options are serious barriers to me getting the S7. If it had Thunderbolt or Mini DisplayPort, I would be 100% sure it was my next laptop. As it is now, I'm waiting for the Retina MBP refresh, and if that takes too long, it will be a hard choice between the S7 or the XPS 12
 

teh_chem

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Thunderbolt is truly an interesting technology. However, it doesn't have the benefit of backward-compatibility on existing devices. Though this article says one of the issues with backing USB 3.0 is that most devices are still 2.0 (or older). But this doesn't matter a whole lot; devices that don't benefit from the speed (or power) improvements of 3.0 don't need to be made with 3.0--2.0 suffices. On the other hand, thunderbolt requires an entirely new and different hardware and firmware architecture to be built into devices. Most of those devices already function with USB 2.0. It's a tough argument to make as to which technology to go with.

 

pmurraymusic

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Question for the room? I currently am running most of my plug-n-play drives via USB off of my iMac, but do all my audio editing/music tech stuff w/a Saffire Pro14 Interface through a Firewire connection; it's been running awesomely. I'm looking to purchase a couple of 1-2TB external drives, one of which I'd like to use as the main drive for all my audio data with the other as a backup. For the main drive, with my 2.0 USB port, would it make sense - and be faster - to purchase a 2TB unit w/3.0 capabilities? Or should I stick with Firewire? Happy to give more specs via e-mail so someone who could help. Thanks so much :) !


P. Murray
http://twitter.com/pmurraymusic
 

Mashuri Lambana

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Sometimes i do not understand the logic with the PC makers , in this case, Acer
How much more expensive to add Thunderbolt into Mobo? $50 dollar extra?
Please give number , because if someone pays 900 dollar notebook, will it complaint to have 50 dollar Thunderbolt?
That thunderbolt cost less than a keyboard and mouse.
This kind of reasoning why Apple will always successful and Acer, as always, behind everyone else
 

back_by_demand

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Mashuri, it matters a lot even if $50 is the figure as 95% of PCs and laptops sold are bought by people who do not and never will need TB, from the remaining people almost none need the interface as they do not have any TB peripherals and buying those also costs more money again. The rest have more money than sense.
 

__-_-_-__

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the problem here is intel licensing that sucks. also chips are overpriced for what they offer. it's a pain to license a thunderbolt product. manufacturers even plan to make things with thunderbolt and end up removing it due to intel licensing problems. acer w700 tablet was going to have thunderbolt but intel didn't allow it.
so screw it intel.

anyway this will become irrelevant when usb3.5 arrives in the end of this year with better capabilities then thunderbolt.
 

DRosencraft

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The cable alone costs around $50, and probably around that much extra on a external drive w/ TB compared to one w/ USB 3.0. But that is on the end-user side. For Acer it's the cost of licensing the standard, then in the manufacturing process for incorporating it alongside other existing standards, including USB, all without cluttering the I/O area. From a simple standpoint of simplicity it's better to minimize the costs. Acer is a budget PC retailer.

By nature they strive for quality at a low price, not quality at any cost. Apple can get away with supporting something like Thunderbolt or FireWire for a long time because their market is baked in; not a lot of Apple users are going to suddenly jump ship to Windows over a single feature or cost, otherwise they wouldn't have gone with Apple in the first place. But Acer has to compete with the likes of Asus, HP, Lenovo, Dell, etc in the Windows market. It's more of a cost and a pain to stick with something like this that is struggling right now. They stand a better chance shaving a little cost and competing on cost instead of touting something the vast majority of their consumers will never use, or likely won't need for some years. Trying to also deal with a floundering PC industry, saving the likely much more than $50 makes the most sense.
 

teh_chem

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First question is do you have USB 3.0 ports? You need USB 3.0 ports to get USB 3.0 speed. Otherwise if you have only USB 2.0, you'll only get 2.0 speeds even with a 3.0 device.

It entirely depends on the performance of the drive(s) you're looking at. Lots of faster HDD's can hit average speeds of around 100-120MB/s; that exceeds USB 2.0 (and firewire 400) speeds, so you're better off going with 3.0. But on the other hand, if you're using "green" (i.e., low power, lower-performance) disks, they might top out around 50-60MB/s (or lower), which is fine for USB 2.0 (give or take some headroom on the bus). USB 3.0 is faster than firewire, but the limiting speed is probably going to be the disk.

It also depends on whether you've got firewire 400 or 800. Firewire 800 is around about as fast as most mainstream HDDs (give or take), with firewire 400 about as fast as usb 2.0. So if you have a firewire 800 connection, and a firewire 800 external hard drive, you're pretty much good to go in terms of speed.

For the purpose of ubiquity, if you have USB 3.0 ports on your system, I don't see why you'd want to maintain firewire moving forward. USB is on pretty much every device, whereas firewire isn't as common.
 

James Devenberg

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Better than Thunderbolt? If by "better" you mean on par with what Thunderbolt currently offers as far as data speed and behind Thunderbolt 2 (also due out this year, just like USB "3.5"), and lacking the display options of Thunderbolt and lacking Thunerbolt's (very useful) daisy chain abilities, then yes, USB 3.5 will be better. But, I think most people would disagree with that definition of better. USB 3.5 will offer speeds on par with Thunderbolt 1 and be cheaper, but cheaper does not mean better. Also, USB 3.5 requires all new hardware, just like Thunderbolt 2, so don't think your existing USB 3 toting laptop will be getting a driver update and a speed boost.
 

James Devenberg

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I see it as providing more flexibility for placement options and eliminating the need for multiple long, messy cables. To set up three monitors you need on 4-5' cable then two 2-3' cables. Much less clutter and mess than 5' cables and a pair of 8-10' cables. Or even placement of a hard drive array and a pair of monitors. The less long cables I have running back to my tower the better. USB hubs can accomplish similar results for some peripherals, but not monitors and not as cleanly.
 
You can do it with DisplayPort too though, and point-to-point connections are easier to trace than chains. If I want to pull something out of a USB-based system, I just disconnect one end and trace the cable. To remove something from a chain, I have to disconnect one thing, then hope one of the two cables connected to it is long enough to reach the next device.

Besides, how many things have you found with two TB connectors? Almost everything is only one, which sort of breaks it.
 
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