I posted the question on askubuntu.com about what's the current status of ThunderBolt in the Linux Kernel and on Ubuntu in particular. The response was quite interesting: partial support exists, while hotplugging does not work yet. We can hope for a better support in the upcoming Ubuntu 12.10 Release, which will be ready in october 2012.
As of May 2012, support in the Linux kernel was still buggy and being worked on. For example, hot-plugging did not work, while cold-plugging did, etc.
Considering that the new Linux kernel will only appear in Ubuntu 12.10 (October 2012), I think that's the earliest you can hope to expect partial Thunderbolt support in Ubuntu.
Black Magic Design unleashed the Black Magic Design Cinema Camera with 2.5K RAW Video in CinemaDNG (12-Bit), Avid DNxHD (10-bit) and ProRes (10-bit) support. The Camera can record on SSD drives internally and features a touchscreen with 5" and 800 x 480 resolution. But that's not all: it has Thunderbolt connection, so getting that recorded data out fast is not an issue.
The camera has a dynamic range of 13 stops (!) and supports EF (Canon) and ZF (Zeiss) lenses. Only disappointment seems to be audio support: one integrated mono mic, 2x 1/4" jacks for balanced analog audio (why no XLR?).
Oh, and wait - that's not all - for the suggested price of $3000 they also give you DaVinci Resolve, which is said to be "world's most advanced color correction software", as well as BlackMagic Media Express (Capture Software) and Blackmagic UltraScope software for waveform monitoring from the camera’s Thunderbolt port.
If that isn't something!
New Apple Macbook Pro Models are on the horizon? Intel Ivy Bridge for the 13, 15, 17 inch and MacBook Air models are most likely, with quad core and possibly USB3 ports. There might be a "slim form factor" that would mean MacBook Air-like MacBook Pro Models, with USB3 ports along other features such as dual Thunderbolt ports and Retina Displays (treat this information as rumors!). As macrumors notes, Reseller Shortages Hint at Forthcoming Update for 15-Inch MacBook Pro: "Apple has been said to be ramping up production of new 15-inch MacBook Pro models carrying a thinner form factor, with Intel's rumored April 29 debut of quad-core mobile Ivy Bridge processors undoubtedly driving that timeline."
The 13" MBP still goes for around $1,115.00, the 15" Quad Core i7 15-inch version is still at $1,679.88. Prices for the upcoming models are obviously not known yet.
Frequent readers of this Blog know that I am a Mac user, running several Apple and Hackintosh systems (since 2001). Over the years Apple lost the hardware race and currently the only technology unique to Apple machines is Intel Lightspeed (aka Thunderbolt). Apple moved away from the professional market and is targeting mostly consumers, which also reflects in the supported hardware. Furthermore the future of the Mac Pro line remains unclear, since Apple might drop the line completely (it might face the same fate as the XSERVE line).
Here are my thoughts on why Windows 7 and Windows 8 might be a better choice for media producers and enthusiasts
* Current graphic cards are not supported on Mac OS X
Although there is some serious efforts by netkas in getting AMD 6950 and 6970 GPUs to work with Mac OSX, there are no currently known configurations that will work with Hackintoshes. The 6950/70 will work with patched KEXTs on Mac Pro Systems, but wtf? We have already the AMD Radeon 7970 Graphic Cards available for a decent price, so why should we bother with Apple being too late to the party? Unless there is a new Mac Pro with 79xx GPU coming out, we won't see any kexts soon.
* No SLI or Crossfire support and no dual-GPU support on Apple!
Mac OSX does not support SLI or crossfire - hell it does not even support multi-GPU cards such as the AMD Radeon 6990. Dual GPU-cards such as the ATI Radeon HD5970 only run with one GPU disabled on OSX. This is a serious limitation if you are creating media content such as 3D or video.
* Professional SSD-Cards don't run on Mac-based systems
Fast PCI-E cards, such as the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 Max IOPS 480GB, PCIe 2.0 x4 (1900 MBPs read/ 1700 MBPs write) or the OCZ Z-Drive R4 R Series (up to 2800 MBPs read/write speeds) are not supported on Mac OSX. The OCZ Revodrive X2 was reported usable with several Hackintosh configurations, but it is not that easy to set up, since some kext-magic is needed.
* Only limited hardware support on OSX, Sandy Bridge-E only with some hackery
Apple Mac OSX supports only very few hardware components, so mostly we have to get parts that are intended for a Mac Pro. There are ways to get to use the Sandy Bridge-E chipsets with Hackintosh (see the nanofunk post: Sandy Bridge-E Intel 2011 Socket confirmed working with Hackintosh), but still it's not easy as pie.
* Adobe Suite runs faster on Windows
Mostly because of all the issues described above, logically the Adobe Suite will run faster on Windows based machines. If Apple can not catch up with the demands of the pro-users and the enthusiasts, it might lose the professional sector after all - so Windows 8 could become the system-of-choice for serious media professionals again.
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.
Intel will bring Thunderbolt to the PC, which means you can use your devices such as the Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID or the Lacie Little Big Disk, but also products such as the black magic intensity extreme Thunderbolt video capture cards on your Windows PCs - and on your hackintosh machines as well.
During Intel’s Developer Forum, the chip maker showed off some Ultrabook prototypes running on its Haswell-based processor and sporting the high-speed Thunderbolt port. The technology was developed in collaboration with Apple and has so far remained exclusive to Macs. That may change soon as Intel teases that Thunderbolt will be heading to Windows PCs as well.
hunderbolt was originally code-named Light Peak and was installed on the update to the Mac Book Pro earlier this year. Rights to the Thunderbolt technology were originally registered under Apple, but were transferred over to Intel which is why you'll see it's name popping up a bit more. We already know Acer and Asus are planning Thunderbolt integration, but we're unsure how the port will look. Currently, the Thunderbolt port on Apple products is identical to the mini-display port, but PC users would rather it be more like USB for increased compatibility. Not to many people are aware of this, but Sony released their VAIO Z with a hybrid USB 3.0/Light Peak port, so it's kind of up in the air as to how things will shape-up.
Expected timeframe: anywhere in 2012.
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.