DigiTimes reports that Intel has notified partners that the company will "fully release" its Thunderbolt technology (previously known as "Lightpeak") in April 2012. Intel is reportedly preparing to launch Thunderbolt-supported motherboards, notebooks and desktop PCs at that time, other mainboard suppliers such as Gigabyte and Asus will follow.
Intel and Apple originally partnered on the new technology which has become standard across Apple's MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, and iMac. Digitimes reports that the cost of Thunderbolt technology is expected to drop in the second half of 2012, allowing more widespread adoption. While this sure is great for Windows users, that also means Thunderbolt will be available for hackintosh users!
While Apple does offer Thunderbolt across most of its product line, the first Thunderbolt products have been limited to relatively high end devices, such as the Blackmagic Ultrastudio 3D, the Magma Expressbox 3T or the Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID. More widespread adoption should help drive adoption by accessory makers that will benefit both Mac and PC users that use the Thunderbolt technology.
Thunderbolt is not competing against USB3 (Intel said they see both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt as complementary technologies) - furthermore there will be USB3 support for Apple devices, since there will be breakout boxes that offer USB3 connectivity.
Caution with Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID 6x3TB (18TB) or 6x4TB (24TB) modification. 6x5TB (30TB) possible as of January 2012?
Nanofunk reported on a possible modification of the Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID to host 6x3TB Hard Drives for a total of 18TB storage back in July 2011. While we did not have any issues with Hitachi Deskstar 3 0F12450 and Western Digital 3 TB SATA II Intellipower 64 MB Drives, other people repeatedly reported issues and even failures when the drives hold more than 11TB of data.
Currently, with the announcement of the Hitachi Deskstar 7K4000 4000GB, SATA 6Gb/s (0F14681) and the 4TB Deskstar 5K4000 as well as the 4TB Seagate Barracuda XT 7200RPM a total of 24TB could be reached when modding the Promise Pegasus just replacing the 2TB drives it comes with.
Tomshardware even reported on 5TB HDDs arriving in January 2012, so a modification to fit 30TB into the Promise Pegasus would be possible theoretically.
While all the drives are not available at the current time of writing of this article, please do consult the Promise Support if you are planning to do modifications or already did! Judging from the current feedback on modifications, updating the Promise Pegasus before an official answer or statement from Promise Technology is NOT RECOMMENDED!
Please send emails to Promise directly and ask them to react on the current limitations. I already did so - still waiting for response.
Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID system for high-speed data demands: 6x3TB for a total of 18TB (mod)
[Edit 23.12.2011] CAUTION! People trying the below mentioned modification of the Promise Thunderbolt reported issues and data loss. Please consult the Promise Support if you are planning to do modifications or already did!
[UPDATE] with the announced Hitachi Deskstar 7K4000 4000GB(4TB), 5K4000 as well as the 4TB Seagate Barracuda XT a total of 24TB could be reached when modding the Promise Pegasus just replacing the 2TB drives it comes with. 5TB HDDs are reported arriving in January 2012. Read our updated Article: Caution with Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID 6x3TB (18TB) or 6x4TB (24TB) modification. 6x5TB (30TB) possible as of January 2012?
The Promise Pegasus is the most "promising" hardware for enthusiasts and pro users, since it offers really fast transfer speeds, even topping the OCZ Vertex 3 SATA 6Gbps internal SSD on Macbook Pro computers.
Delivering over 800MB/s of disk performance, Pegasus is compatible with Mac systems with Thunderbolt
Compare the Promise Pegasus R4 (4x 2TB) and the Promise Pegasus R6 (8x 2TB). Of course, if you want to pimp your pegasus, you can replace the internal drives with different ones.
Internally Promise uses a PMC Sierra PM8011 8-port SAS-2 RAID controller. This is an 8-lane PCIe Gen 2 controller with eight SAS/SATA 6Gbps ports. On the R6 obviously only six of those ports are functional. The PM8011 has an embedded 600MHz MIPS processor and is paired with 512MB of DDR2-533. (via Anandtech)
Possible replacements and hacks for the Promise Pegasus:
* replace the internal hard drives with SSD drives: at the current date this still has stability issues. We are waiting for updated drivers or a response from Pegasus about the current freezes and issues with SSD drives. If you really have to test it out, make sure you get 6Gbps SSD drives. 2.5inch drives will also fit in the caddy.
* replacing the internal drives with 3TB drives: this is a confirmed and stable way of pimping your pegasus drives. Pegasus comes with 2TB Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 drives, so make sure you are getting 3TB drives from the same brand. We can recommend the Hitachi 3TB 7200RPM drive, but also we can confirm the Pegasus runs with the Western Digital 3 TB SATA II Intellipower 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive and the SEAGATE Barracuda XT 3 TB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 64 MB Cache. Just keep in mind, not to mix up brands: you should get 6 times the same hard disk for the most stable system.
* replacing the internal drives with SAS 6Gbps Hard Disks: while this would render the promise pegasus a real pro system that is rock stable, drives should be used, that offer a compatible SAS-connector. Since SAS-drives are generally compatible to SATA-connectors, we can generally recommend the Seagate Constellation ES.2 3 TB Internal Hard Drive SAS 600 7200rpm 64MB
Conclusio: The Promise Pegasus is a fast solution for great read/write speed plus the extra feature of having the possibility to daisy-chain more Pegasus devices together, to increase the space when needed. Compared to the Data Robotics DROBO PRO System, it only offers 1-drive fail (1 drive can get corrupted, if 2 fail your data is lost) while the DROBO offers dual drive redundancy. Also, the DROBO PRO supports different sized drives, while you can only put drives of the same size (and it is recommended to also only use the exact same drive models) in the Promise Pegasus.
Overall, nanofunk is recommending the Pegasus R4 and R6, because of its faster speed and possibilty to enhance the system. Since we had our DROBO PRO replaced twice (the unit itself was faulty) we are currently fully in favor of the Promise Pegasus.