: Steve Modica's Blog
: Thunderbolt growing pains
We've been selling a lot of thunderbolt stuff over the last couple months and I've been very pleased with the performance and convenience of the products. Thunderbolt seems to be a big win.
As with any new technology, there are always a few growing pains and I wanted to bring one of them up here in my blog.
As with any new technology, vendors trip all over themselves trying to bring it to market. Everyone wants to rush through testing so they can be first. Likewise, cable vendors want to do the same. They source the connectors, get the molds made, solder everything up and shoot the injection molds and they've got $20 cables on Amazon before you can blink.
The problem of course, is that these cables vary widely in quality.
High resolution monitors and high frequency, high bandwidth cabling requires a lot of interference management (this is in part why all your monitor cables have those big fat lumps molded into the middle of the cable.) Those lumps are ferrites and selecting the correct one for the application is actually quite involved. You can read about it here:
Depending on the engineering, time and testing put into the product, your success with these cables may vary.
So be prepared when you order monitor cables and thunderbolt cables online to see problems like flicker, intermittent operation or downright failure. You may have to try a vendor or two before you find the right one. Be sure to look at reviews!
Over time, I expect to see both peripheral and cable vendors approach some happy medium as they all figure out what works best.