California based company mLogic LLC debuted a new “mLink” Thunderbolt enclosure at the NAB 2012 show that will allow users to connect PCI-E based cards to computers using Thunderbolt connections. Unfortunately, enthusiasts wishing to slap a graphics card into the enclosure are out of luck. The incompatibility is due to graphics cards not having Thunderbolt aware drivers and may be something that is rectified in the future but currently not an option.
Right now, there are only a few storage devices and networking NICs that are compatible with the mLink enclosure including Apricorn and OWC PCI-E SSDs, Atto Technology’s Fiber Channel network cards, and Atto Technology’s SAS RAID controller cards. (The full list of compatible devices is located here.) Not terribly exciting, but some users will find it very useful. The design is very streamlined and sleek, though its worth mentioning that it comes at a cost of $400 USD.
Enthusiasts wanting to add more graphics horsepower to their notebooks will have to look elsewhere, but for users that need super fast storage in a sleek industrial design enclosure it is an interesting option. The price will be something that turns many people off of it, however. It is slated to release in June with pre-orders being accepted now. More information along with photos of the device is available here.
It sure looks nice, but is this something people will actually use? Let us know in the comments!
Thunderbolt -> USB 3.0. Is
Thunderbolt -> USB 3.0. Is that so freaking hard?!?!
Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 is
Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 is pretty easy, but who is going to pay $200 for a Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 adapter? You will probably see something near the end of the year with firewire, USB 3.0 and maybe eSATA as a multi-purpose device… or added as part of a monitor. Right now the products coming out are ones that people need and will pay for… i.e. Editors buying desklinks from ATTO to migrate from a Mac Pro to iMac… people buying storage from Ci Design and LaCie to connect directly to a MacBook Pro… Intel said at IDF a few weeks ago that there will be a 100 devices by years end…so bet on USB 3.0 being in there somewhere.