Thunderbolt has a length limitation of 3 meters. In my studio, my computer lives in a machine room that is more than 3 meters away from my desk (approx. 10 meters).
Typically, the audio interface could just live in the machine room and I could run my audio via XLR multicore, but with a unit like the UAD Apollo twin, or even the 8p, it's designed to sit on my desk allowing me to access the knobs and buttons. Perhaps my problem is that the AD/DA converters and the preamps are all in the same unit. If they were separate, the converters could live in the machine room, while the preamps could live on my desk, allowing me to just run long audio cables to the machine room instead of thunderbolt.
I've looked into those corning optical thunderbolt cables, but the expense makes me think I'd be better off just investing in a quieter computer (mac mini perhaps) that can actually sit on my desk quietly.
Perhaps I'm just trying to spark a discussion on this topic, but how do other studios solve this thunderbolt dilemma? Separate the AD/DA conversion from the preamps? Buy long optical thunderbolt cables? Keep a quiet computer in the control room? Perhaps the Apollos are more of an all-in-one convenience thing for portable applications?
PS: I haven't purchased the Apollo yet, I'm simply in the market for an upgrade.