Apple Compatible ThunderBolt Storage Peripherals

The ThunderBolt backup drives that initially reached the market were all high-end multi or dual-drive RAID storage arrays geared towards professionals. Now we have a much broader selection of more affordable ThunderBolt external hard drive options for Mac users are now appearing at Amazon, often at significant discounts over full-retail Apple Store prices. Of note: Seagate ThunderBolt adapters and Backup+ drives are currently offering the lowest cost per gigabyte.

TunderBolt Storage Devices

ThunderBolt Storage AdapterLaCie Combo DriveBuffalo ThunderBolt RAID
ThunderBolt Drive Converter

USB3 + eSATA + FW800
Rugged SSD Drive

Combo USB 3.0 + TBolt Interfaces
ThunderBolt SSD RAID

512GB or 1 Terabyte

ThunderBolt Drive Adapters

For those who already own one of Seagate's Backup Plus / GoFlex universal interface drives, converters for ThunderBolt use are an affordable way to preserve your investment. The very affordable Seagate Thunderbolt Laptop Drive Converter. It instantly converts an existing bare 2.5" laptop SSD or hard drive mechanism or Backup+ portable laptop drive to ThunderBolt for around $80, or can be purchased as part of a drive, adapter and cable bundle for the most affordable ThunderBolt drive solution to date.

Laptop ThunderBolt Drive

Drive + Dock + Cable Bundle

For desktop storage in full-size drives in higher capacities, there's also a larger version. The Seagate GoFlex Desk TBolt Adapter is for their full-size 3.5" desktop drive line. The GoFlex interface also offers tremendous flexibilty with USB 3.0, FireWire and eSATA docking adapters as an option as well.

Apple and Intel ThunderBolt Interface HDD Storage

At under $400, the average Mac user might be able to afford the LaCie Thunderbolt 1TB Little Big Disk Hard Drive. The 1 Terabyte Lacie ThunderBolt Little Big Disk uses dual 500GB 7200 RPM conventional hard drives paired in a RAID 0 config for maximum thruput from spinning platter technology. Dual ThunderBolt ports on the rear allow daisy-chaining additional TBolt devices. A 2TB drive is also available. An Apple ThunderBolt cable is usually NOT included with the drive. You'll need to order one separately either from the Apple Store or the Apple Thunderbolt Cable listed at Amazon.

External ThunderBolt Hard Drives

It may seem silly to pair a Mac's 10GBps ThunderBolt to a conventional hard drive with spinning platters. But with careful selection of a high-RPM drive mechanism and a large onboard data cache, they'll provide affordable and speedy TimeMachine backups and data transfers for OSX users. The availability of ThunderBolt adapters to peripheral interfaces like USB 3.0 and 2.0, FireWire 400 and 800, eSata will help Apple owners transition and leverage thier existing investment in conventional Mac backup drives until more affordable ThunderBolt backup drive options become available.

Multi-Drive ThunderBolt Interface RAID Arrays

To leverage the port's full bandidth potential with conventional spinning platter drive mechanisms - multi-drive RAID ThunderBolt storage arrays are needed. When paired with exceptionally fast disk modules at high-RPM and with large on-board cache, tremendous read-write speeds are possible. There's the added benefit on very high storage capactiy using very affordable 1 to 3 TeraByte drives to build the array. Western Digital's TBolt G-RAID and My Book Thunderbolt Duo series offer exceptional drive performance AND high-capacity in the $400-700 range.

Solid-State ThunderBolt SSD Drives

The true capabilities of Intel and Apple ThunderBolt technology is most apparant when this interface is used with Solid-State flash memory storage. With zero moving parts or mechanical latency issues to deal with - Mac ThunderBolt SSD drive solutions will blow the roof off of any previous generation consumer computer storage solution. For example, the LaCie 240GB Thunderbolt SSD. This dual drive Little Big Disk Series SSD was first to market and uses dual 120GB SSD disks.

A more affordable SINGLE solid-state drive TBolt solution, the Elgato Thunderbolt 120GB Solid State Drive. It and the 240GB version offers the lowest cost per gigabyte in a TBolt SSD drive to date.

Apple ThunderBolt high-speed computer interface ports are now shipping across all current models of Apple computers. Starting with the TBolt enabled MacBook Pro it's now shipping on the MacBook Air, latest generation Mac mini, Macintosh Pro, and Dual and Quad-Core iMac desktop Macintosh line.

The only thing slow about ThunderBolt was the arrival of alot of drive storage products and peripherals to take advantage of it's insane bandwidth. Current manufacturers shipping ThunderBolt external drives include Promise and Sonnet Technologies, Western Digital, Seagate and ElGato. But it's more than just a hard disk drive interface. As a direct extension of a Mac's internal PCI bus - it replaces our notion of PCI expansion cards and the need for PCI slots with a simple, and very tiny port.

ThunderBolt also supercedes and incorporates DisplayPort monitor technology. Existing DisplayPort monitors made by Apple and other 3rd-Party manufacturers still work on TBolt ports. And new generation of ThunderBolt port monitors are on their way to provide both external display and device expansion capabilities with additional TBolt ports acting as a hub incorporated into the LCD monitor.

Apple, Mac, Macintosh, the Apple logo, iPod, the iPod logo, are registered trademarks of Apple Computer in the U.S. and/or other countries. ThunderBolt is a trademark of Intel Corporation.