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back to article Vendors smack Thunderbolt punters with massive pricing markup

There's expensive and then there's Thunderbolt device pricing... and that will make you gulp. WD has just announced it is shipping its My Book Thunderbolt Duo, a dual hard drive fitted with Intel's Thunderbolt interface. Jody Bradshaw, WD's general manager for consumer storage solutions, said; "Its dual Thunderbolt ports provide …

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FAIL

confused

Since when did 5 x 2=1 ?

"WD quotes speeds of up to 1Gbit/s, twice USB 3.0's 5Gbit/s"

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Headmaster

New Math?

"WD quotes speeds of up to 1Gbit/s, twice USB 3.0's 5Gbit/s[...]"

In Western Digital's world, 1 = 2 * 5.

(OK, I'll bet Chris meant "10 Gbit." It's still funny to read.)

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Re: New Math?

Not new math but Marketing Math where incoherent bullshit is presented as fact. In this case it probably is a typo but even with the "correct" number I still wouldn't trust it further than I could throw it. There are liars, damned liars, statiticians, politicians, police, lawyers, RIAA lawyers and marketers.

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Bronze badge

Re: New Math?

I think you missed out Estate agents and Bank managers in there! Second hand car salesmen are angels in comparison to this lot.

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What's the difference between car and computer salesmen?

The car salesman at least knows he is lying.

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FAIL

How much of that is royalties?

...versus more complicated kit produced (for now) on a smaller scale? 3.5" and 2.5" switchable USB3/SATA2 enclosures sell for <$30/ea. Unless you're chaining several (expensive) drives together, you'll never reach past USB3 speeds.

Meanwhile my employer is hoping to buy Macbook Airs for the office. 4GB memory max, USB2 or thunderbolt only with a small SSD, and not even a Kensington lock port to secure it on the go. What it lacks in specs it makes up for with inflated prices.

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Silver badge

Re: How much of that is royalties?

I'd say its both plus the mark up on a new technology until there are more products coming to market.

I like the idea of the Promise Raid box, except for its price.

6 bays for ~$2400 (USD) sorry, way too much money.

Do I really need the speed, or can I stick with FW800?

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Re: How much of that is royalties?

For that kind of cash one could builg a very fast FreeNas box.

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Bronze badge

Firewire & SCSI

had similar price premiums for a long time, it affects their uptake rate and wont be sustainable I bet.

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Anonymous Coward

Not quite a like-for-like comparison as you are comparing full list price for Thunderbolt against an online (probably discounted) price for the other version.

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Anonymous Coward

Thunderbolt is blinking fast on a Mac - my old Firewire 800 RAID (2 drives striped) would top out at 75-80Mb per second (a limitation of the interface) - my new Thunderbolt RAID (also 2 drives) gets over 300Mb per second.

So yes you are paying a premium as they contain the same drives - but if you feel the need for speed.

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Dead on arrival

extortion level pricing

almost Mac exclusive

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Silver badge

Re: Dead on arrival

FW800 easily good enough for non-raid or non-SSD external drives. Screw the thunderbolt premium.

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Re: Dead on arrival

Er, Lenovo are already including Thunderbolt ports.

The technology was co-developed by Apple and Intel. The name Intel rings a bell: I hear they're quite big in the PC sector.

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Sounds like HDD manufacturers don't want thunderbolt to take off...

Prices like that will guarantee that nobody uses the new technology, which we should know, since the same thing killed SCSI and prevented firewire from seeing widespread use outside of Mac users (and the firewire premium was far smaller).

Unless the premium falls to 20% or less, thunderbolt wont take off. Apple and Intel need to talk some sense into the device manufacturers, if they want their interface project to get off the ground.

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Silver badge

Re: Sounds like HDD manufacturers don't want thunderbolt to take off...

Dunno, looks like they are making the most of many 'early adopters' who really don't need that speed other than to boast how fast they can go.

Office and coffee shop willy waving?

Include the 'i' factor and that also ramps the price up.

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Silver badge
Thumb Down

I really can't understand this obsession with high capacity high speed drives. My 'office' machine that is stuffed full of audio files, images, work projects etc. is only 120G, and actually I lie, It's not stuffed full, I've only used about half the space. I'm not aware of any speed issues at all when using this system. It totally keeps up with me.

There is no way I'd even think about spending all this dosh on something that won't show any return.

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Depends

Depends quite a lot what your doing with it.

We do publishing, which involves a lot of versions of 500Mb text files, and lots of uncompressed TIFF images at ridiculously high resolution (15k x 10k) (Which they have to be for professional level printing)

The raw data for one version of one 200 page publication can easilly be 10Gb. Couple of versions of one publication?

Then there are also back-end metadata databases, with redundancy. Websites, feeds to website, archives, Development resources including source control, Development servers, et al.

When you've got XSLT transforms and programs running on a 1Gb XML file, you really want it to be streaming to and from the fastest disks possible. For most large processes, the disk is pretty much always the limiting factor.

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Silver badge

Re: Depends

Spodula - you'll be needing internal SSD then. SATA3 will do. If you want to use thunderbolt then that's your choice but vendors will be lining you up to take a piece.

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Silver badge
Linux

re: Obsessed with high-capacity

Its a price thing. Drives were cheap so home users started adding more. I have 3x2tb drives. Convert to RAID 5 and you're down to 4tb. If you want strip+mirror you need another drive. Allocate iscsi space for time-machine for your mac and you've lost almost another TB per mac. I record all my TV viewing on Myth which in Oz means mpeg2 at 2GB/hour for SD and 6GB/hour for HD. 108 Angelina Ballerina episodes in HD mounts up quickly. It's not just the time for the TV, I also add 20 minutes onto each broadcast because AU tv always runs late. Even SD video from my camcorder turns out huge files. I could compress them, but why bother? Transcoding for the tablet also takes space. Then I've got rather a lot of linux images, not just downloads but ones I've been playing at creating with Suse studio and the NFS images of mythbuntu used for netbooting my work laptop to a home-entertainment pc. There is the squid cache too. Did I mention the backup of my windows box which includes a large Steam game cache? I also run at least two OS partitions per computer so that I can install a new OS with a decent roll-back mechanism.

Essentially, at home, video (and digital photos, with version-controlled editing) eats disk space for breakfast. When it comes to business, emailing MS documents eats disk space, as do backups, which usually go to disk rather than tape these days. We also like to consolidate storage devices which means lots of (usually smaller) disks to get the latency down.

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Re: Depends

Actually, i doubt thunderbolt is on the radar. This is more of an answer to a question to why we need faster and larger disks. We do use SSDs on some machines, and Raided Sata drives on all the fileservers.

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Windows

Apple Tax

Royalties? On Thunderbolt? It's tech by Intel, I don't notice other Intel products, such almost 50% of the chipsets on PC motherboards attracting such ridiculous markups.

This is just Apple tax, like Audiophile Tax and casinos - a tax on ignorant hipsters with lots of money.

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Gold badge

Why the surprise?

It's new tech, so they'll be priced to milk the maximum possible out of the "Money no object, OMFG must have NOW!!!" market before being priced down to commodity levels, once all those who really need that performance have paid for it.

Those of us to whom an overnight window requirement for the full backup once a week is no big deal can soldier on with USB 'til the price drops. Heck, I haven't got to the stage where I actually need USB3 yet.....

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Silver badge
Alien

Re: Why the surprise?

I guess it depends on what you want to do.,.

I used to build my own PCs along w my own Linux boxes in my SOHO.

But during a critical crunch time, I had an issue w my powersupply and I made a snap decision to go w an iMac.

So where I had set up a raided sub system in my tower, I don't have that ability in the iMac.

Hence the desire for external drives. As another punter pointed out, you can fill these drives quickly. Like TB of raw NEF images, and then the edited jpeg print copies.

Add to this the need to store legal docs on a raid system plus backups o something else?

( including secure thumb drives...) you can start to see why I would want a good fast external raid for my Mac.

Let's also add to this that I promised the wife that I would consolidate my servers and keep.my tech to a minimum...

The alien icon because I want to keep the wife happy and my 'twig and berries' intact, something a normal human male wouldn't do.

(Worry about keeping the wife happy unless she already had the boys sitting in a jar...)

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Big Brother

23456

"The dollar price is the same as the euro price, by the way."

So, they're using Apple's retail calculator, then.

Still, it costs more to do business in the UK as Steve said.

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Thumb Up

Re: Why the surprise?

Been there, snipped them, so now I can buy what tech I like and the wife can.... Oh, she's already had them.

FW800 is seems fast enough with a few year's worth of RAW files (420Gb) as part of a Lightroom library. This years photos sit on the internal drive of my iMac and I can't tell any real difference in performance when I have to go back and grab a copy from the external WD Studio drive.

Of course, hopefully the price of Thunderbolt kit will drop and when its time to replace the iMac, the external drive will get replaced as well.

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FAIL

At these prices, I suspect,

USB 3.0 will do quite nicely for most of us, thank you....

Henri

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It actually makes perfect sense

If you use Macs for high-end production work, an iMac with a fast external Thunderbolt array will still be much cheaper than a Mac Pro, despite the Thunderbolt price-gouging, and possibly even faster until the E5 Mac Pros finally ship.

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