Unveiled at the 2009 Intel Developer Forum, Thunderbolt (aka Light Peak) wouldn't make its debut into an actual product until two years later with Apple's MacBook Pro 2011 refresh using the same connector as Mini DisplayPort. Another year would pass until Thunderbolt finally started to find its way into PCs though you'd be forgiven for not noticing, as devices supporting the new interface are still uncommon.
Fortunately, that's changing. The number of devices featuring Thunderbolt is growing with several options from LaCie, Promise, Buffalo and now Western Digital. As adoption of the interface grows, users will wonder if it's worth investing in it. After all, USB 3.0 has only really started to gain serious traction this year despite the fact that most chipsets are yet to provide native support.
Furthermore, it's rare to come across a USB 3.0 storage device that can max out the specification's 5Gb/s bandwidth. Modern SSDs are only getting there now, making an expensive 10Gb/s interface seem like a tough sell. However, Thunderbolt is not just another peripheral interface, as it combines PCI Express and DisplayPort into a single connection providing very powerful connectivity combinations.
With most Thunderbolt-enabled products available today being storage-related, we wanted to see what the new Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH motherboard and its dual Thunderbolt ports had to offer in terms of performance. The best way to accomplish that, in our opinion, is to test the new ultra-fast Western Digital My Book Velociraptor Duo, which has a pair of 10,000RPM Velociraptor hard drives...
Read: Thunderbolt-equipped Gigabyte Z77X-UP5TH Meets Velociraptor Duo
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