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Apple Store serves up Thunderbolt RAID systems

When Apple introduced the latest refresh to the MacBook Pro line-up a couple of months back, everyone got all excited about the new hardware's Thunderbolt port.

Based on an Intel-designed optical connection called Lightpeak, Apple's copper-cabled version promised bi-directional data transfer speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second - ten times faster than USB 2.0 - as well as the ability to hook up monitors and other PCIe-compatible peripherals.

The only problem was, there was nothing much to actually connect to the other end of the overpriced Apple cable, which made paying forty quid for one a bit of a dumb move, even for the most avid Macolyte. Apart from a few underwhelming hard drives, the Thunderbolt cupboard was pretty much bare.

Today, however, Apple has quietly added a range of RAID systems made by Pegasus which will give the new port - which will almost certainly be added to the next refresh of Apple's desktop flagship the Mac Pro - something to do.

Some might even suggest that the very appearance of Thunderbolt-equipped RAID systems - which, let's face it, are hardly likely to find themselves hooked up to an Apple laptop - is a portent that a Mac Pro refresh complete with Thunderbolt connectivity and Sandy Bridge CPUs is very much imminent.

The Promise Pegasus RAID boxes come in four or six-bay configurations and range from £769 complete with four 1TB drives up to £1400 stuffed with six 2TB drives.

They all support RAID 0, 1, 5, 50, 6 and 10 and come with two Thunderbolt ports for daisy-chaining duties.

You'll have to wait up to three weeks for delivery and you will, of course, have to cough up another £40 for a cable.

Details and prices of the full range are available over at Apple.