Opinion: Thunderbolt on the new iMacs is great

MacVideo by Jason Snell

Thunderbolt on the new iMacs is great, but there's nothing to use it with - Super-fast transfer protocol yet to show its power

Last week, Macworld Senior Editor Roman Loyola and I arrived at Apple bright and early for a briefing about the latest generation of iMacs -- the same four 2011 iMac models we reviewed earlier this week. That iMac unveiling gave us the chance to see the new Thunderbolt connection technology in action.

I was out of the country back in February when the new MacBook Pro models introduced Thunderbolt to Mac users for the first time. And though we've had those models in our lab since we reviewed them two months ago, we still don't have any Thunderbolt devices in our offices to test with Apple's revamped hardware.

At Apple's headquarters, however, I was treated to an impressive demo: A four-SSD RAID array streaming six channels of uncompressed 1080i video in real time. For those of you who don't know about video bit rates, let me explain. No, there is too much -- let me sum up. That's a gigantic amount of data passing across the Thunderbolt port. So much data that it makes me wonder about the future of the Mac Pro, now that fancy expansion cards won't be needed to enable massively fast data rates. read more...

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