How many devices can be connected - simultaneously - to one thunderbolt port?

I work with video production but the budget is yet limited, so I can't afford a Mac Pro. But with an iMac I might be able to work just fine. But before I buy a mac I need to know if the thunderbolt can support multiple devices as in a hub. Could I plug two, three monitors, a pci express for playing hard videos, and also connect a Raid of Hard drives?

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  • Best Answer:

    Thunderbolt is a point-to-point interface, that also allows daisy-chaining to up to seven devices. The new iMacs have other ports besides just Thunderbolt out their back, so in effect it already is a hub for these different port types. IF you want to chain via the Thunderbolt port, you need to make sure each device connected to your iMac has two Thunderbolt ports, one for its "upstream" Thunderbolt partner and one for its "downstream" device chain. Be careful, though, for not all Thunderbolt devices have this second port, so they have to be wired into your string as the last/end-point

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  • Actually, there is a limit to the number of devices that can be connected in a daisy chain to a single Thunderbolt device - 6. This is the limt of the specification.

    Also, there are peripheral devices that have single ports and dual ports.

    For example, here on the Apple store, there are portable devices like the LaCie Rugged which have a single Thunderbolt port; it also has a separate USB 3.0 port to connect to computers that do not have a Thunderbolt port. This devices cannot be daisy chained.

    There are also 2-port Thunderbolt hard drives and peripherals like the LaCie 2big. and the LaCie 5big, as well as devices from other vendors. These can be daisy chained to expand the number of devices that connect to a single Thunderbolt port on a Mac.

    Some Macs like the Macbook Pro Retina have 2 Thunderbolt ports for even more flexibility.

    Thunderbolt is different from USB - USB can have hubs, while Thunderbolt can not. So, for expansion capability there is only the daisy-chain topology.

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