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There is a new fast port from Intel: Thunderbolt (was code named Light Peak). It provides Dual-channel Bi-directional 10 Gbps per port. Can I use this port to connect two computers together like with 10Gigabit Ethernet (to create a very fast network between computers)?


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In theory, there's probably no reason you can't do something like that the same way there are special USB connectors to do this. In practice, somebody will actually have to make such a product - I doubt it'll be as straightforward as plugging a standard cable in. I think the real answer is "Ask again in a few months" since nobody, to my knowledge, is actually manufacturing anything that USES this connection yet! – Shinrai Feb 24 '11 at 18:45
@Shanrai, Actually, apple has a preproduction macpros and it must start mass production at the time. – osgx Feb 24 '11 at 19:08
Thunderbolt Technology Brief – Moab Feb 24 '11 at 20:39
I didn't mean the ports. I meant devices to plug into the ports. Nobody's making the PERIPHERALS yet - I can't walk into Best Buy and buy a hard drive with a Thunderbolt interface. Sorry if I wasn't clear. – Shinrai Feb 24 '11 at 21:25
up vote 2 down vote accepted

In theory, the hardware supports this.

In practice, it would require software support. Current Macintosh computers with firewire can mount another computer's storage as a drive volume on boot. I suspect this will be the route Apple takes if they include this feature, rather than using it to create an ad-hoc TCP/IP network.


A Macworld article by Dan Frakes and Dan Moren states:

On the new MacBook Pro models, you can use Target Disk Mode over a computer-to-computer Thunderbolt connection. (We assume this will be the case with future Thunderbolt-equipped Macs, as well.) However, Mac OS X’s Migration Assistant software doesn’t currently support Thunderbolt connections.

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Yyyeeesss! Target disk mode is alive again. But using it like network is still interesting. – osgx Feb 24 '11 at 23:39
Technically this may not fully answer the question. The question was whether or not it could be used "like Ethernet," which introduces far more capabilities than Target disk mode. – Joshua Mar 6 '11 at 3:57
@Josh Yes, no one knows. However in my answer I do address the ethernet issue. I don't think it will be supported. – ghoppe Mar 6 '11 at 17:28

The short answer is that it will require software support, which does not appear to be available at this time.

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