back to article Apple refreshes iMac with Thunderbolt, Sandy Bridge

Apple has indeed taken the wraps off updated iMacs, as anticipated by rumour and a temporary Apple Store closure this morning. The new models - two 21.5in machines and a pair of 27-inchers - sport Intel Sandy Bridge chippery: 2.5, 2.7, 2.7 and 3.1GHz quad-core Core i5s, respectively. Build-to-order buyers can elect to have 2. …

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Thunderbolt > Displayport

Thunderbolt isn't essentailly just Displayport. What Thunderbolt has is a backward compatibility mode where chips will drop back to Displayport mode if the only thing they see is a display. What Thunderbolt is, is encapsulated PCIe. In a sentence, you take all the good ideas from Firewire: hot plug, dynamic reconfiguration, peer to peer communication, isocronous transport, and use it to wrap around a PCIe lane or two as payload. Pretty much exactly the best of all worlds.

This means some pretty interesting things can happen. One of the neat tricks is that Thunderbolt is not difficult to port a peripheral to. A PCIe lane pops out at each end, and all the work done on previous device drivers should be trivially ported. Amongst other things it neatly subsumes the role that Express slot had. But better.

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Don't forget

It's also full-duplex, whereas serial connections (like SATA and USB) are still half-duplex. Apple did a great thing and starting stuffing this chippery on their boards. Intel did a FAIL thing and didn't include this tech into their CPU/chipset in lieu of USB3, and instead decided to just shun USB3, leaving out LightSpeed(Thunderbolt) for now, instead. I would have loved to have a LightSpeed-capable external raid box (think NAS).

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Happy

Takes all the fun out of peripherals...

...I really miss my SCSI chain

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Gold badge

SCSI, not so scuzzy at all

SCSI was great, all the good computers came with it as standard, so that's Macs and Amigas.

The PC world had to endure bi-directional parallel ports for many things or fit a SCSI card and spend a lot more on hardware.

The first CD writers for IDE were notoriously shite.

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IT Angle

I miss my scsi

Yes, I have kept my old dual 1GB cpu systems (remember them? 2 cpu & 2 fans on the same motherboard) and 4 SCSI 1500 rpm hard drives, running raid 0. and don't forget the "Knight Rider" lights in the raid card. Now all we have is a very small port in the side of your computer how times have changed.

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@Joey

Ah, those 50 wire ribbon cables, LUN number DIP switches, and SCSI terminators. Those were the days.....

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Happy

Even better were the days before Keyed Cables

Ah yes, a SCSI cable plugged in upside down. The smell of burnt plastic and ash floating down through the air. Who needs this new fangled technology crap! Bring back the fry em hard days!

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So with the Australian dollar running 10% above the US

Here I was thinking we might get dollar for dollar parity on new Mac prices...

But no, still a 10-15% charge (after removing GST) for the privilige of letting US customers pay less and get get a far higher level of service.

Gee, thanks Apple

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Grenade

Cost of Business

Australia lets companies import duty free?

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a

Apple computers are built in the US?

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