The Thunderbolt Option Card may be the most excited I've ever gotten over an accessory! I was having an issue using the firewire port with the Apollo Quad recording at a Buffer size of 64 in Ableton Live. For some reason the firewire port would kick my cpu to 70% with just one LA-2A Silver. My computer is very powerful with an i7 and 16 gbs of ram and a solild state drive so the issue wasn't the speed or strength of my computer. When I installed the thunderbolt port, my cpu was at 13% with just one LA-2A Silver.
Good news, all new Apollos you buy ship with this now.
I was there at AES during the launch of the Apollo and I talked to several UA staff members about the Apollo and the capabilities of the Thunderbolt option. I was also one of the first people to buy a Apollo for my home project studio that I consider to be very professional. I bought the Thunderbolt card and within 3 days I ended up returning it after doing extensive test and seeing no performance improvement. I was told so many different things from several different UA staff members that when I really put the card through its paces it did not help with anything I was told. This biggest disappointment is that the Thunderbolt card does not handle any of the audio i/o. I was told at AES that this would compete against Avid's HDX PCI-e cards
Right name for this card: "UAD-PlugIn section Thunderbolt Option Card". The audio I/O is still at FW800 speeds even with this card installed. On the UA homepage there is' nowhere a clearly reference on that fact. (only clever circumscribed)
When I buy a "Thunderbolt option card" I expect a Thunderbolt connection for the whole interface. If this is' not so this fact needs to be mentioned!
I wrote to the support if there is' any chance to solve this issue with an update. The answer: "Can you let me know exactly what isn't working with the Apollo?" Exactly: my apollo is' still a FireWire interface after an extra 500 Euro invest!
If audio I/O could reach TB speeds with an update: 5 stars. If not it's too expensive and not honestly advertised.
Well the reviews are not great, but man has my system been stable since receiving the thunderboltcard. I had errors all day long with the stock firewire connection, but ever since I god the thunderbolt card, I have not had ONE SINGLE DROPOUT!
So I am guessing this the Apollo soon will come with the thunderbolt as stock, because it will really save UA a lot of hours on technichal support :)
i like this interface but in truth i have realized no real gains from my old saffire pro26i/o and there is a latency issue. i am a drummer and things like that bother me so when i record real audio i move it over so it is in time . a pain in the ass but some of the ua plug ins are nice
Here it is, I bought the thunderbolt option card thinking I'm in for a ride. I have had this unit for a while now and using it to record my guitar. Keyboard players are telling me how it seems like I am lagging on my playing. Time and time again I simply couldn't put my finger on it and there it is. Firewire 800 is running at 7.5ms and the caption card is running at 6.1ms. Read this
I was wondering why my 003 seemed a little bit better.
If I could get my money back, I would in a heart beat!
For the money it would be nice if they could throw in a thunderbolt cable.