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Old Aug 28, 2011, 02:44 AM   #1
MattDSLR
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USB 3.0 for Mac Pro

Is there a card that works that I can plug in directly into my Mac Pro that will work
I need it for Drobo back up and and USB3.0 card reader

THX
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Old Aug 28, 2011, 04:54 AM   #2
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E.g. Sonnet has one, though the OS X driver appears to be fairly limited (only hard drives).

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/allegrousb3pcie.html

I don't know if there are any cards that support all devices.
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Old Aug 28, 2011, 09:52 AM   #3
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Old Aug 29, 2011, 08:49 AM   #4
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At work there's a 2008 Mac Pro with the aforementioned Sonnet card working to load video for clients onto little loaner SSDs faster.

It definitely doesn't work with hubs, the clueless IT folks tried that.

I tried a USB 3.0 card reader someone got last week for their PC and it didn't seem to function with my CF card at least. Apparently it doesn't see them as 'hard drives'?
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Old Aug 29, 2011, 10:16 AM   #5
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My caldigit card is great. No driver issues even with Lion. What a difference in transfer speeds using usb 3.0 ext drives and flash. Too bad apple can't see the light along these lines, but this is a good solution.
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 02:48 AM   #6
MattDSLR
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Originally Posted by xgman View Post
My caldigit card is great. No driver issues even with Lion. What a difference in transfer speeds using usb 3.0 ext drives and flash. Too bad apple can't see the light along these lines, but this is a good solution.
I tried cal digit card and it crashed my computer
so I had to pull it out and reload system
what was happening it made my wireless mouse very choppy

I would love to use USB3.0 but sort of stuck now

THX for the help, any other cards available on the market?
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 11:25 AM   #7
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CalDigit

I'm using the CalDigit card on my 2009 Pro with Lion. (although I've done the EFI hack and hex-core upgrade so I guess now it's a 2010 Pro)

It works great for me - I've got two USB3 drives in an enclosure connected and getting good speeds and no crashes. (have my Time Machine back on one of them)
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 11:32 AM   #8
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I thought next year's Ivy Bridge was supposed to have USB 3.0 as part of the chipset
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 11:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by class77 View Post
I thought next year's Ivy Bridge was supposed to have USB 3.0 as part of the chipset
Doesn't mean Apple will provide the ports for it. And I thought most everyone was expecting the new Pros to be Sandy Bridge - E / Xeons (aka chips that don't have USB 3.0 built in)

I do hope that Apple decides to include at least 2 USB 3.0 ports on the new pro, no reason why USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt can't coexist.

Last edited by cragmr; Sep 2, 2011 at 02:43 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 12:29 PM   #10
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Wouldn't USB 3.0 support in Lion require nominal accounting charge?

As Mac OS X Lion did not appear to ship with official USB 3.0 support, wouldn't official USB 3.0 support in a Lion update require Apple to charge users a nominal fee for corporate accounting purposes?

I don't recall Microsoft updating support for new USB versions in old operating systems either.

Sadly I am thinking there will be no USB 3.0 ports on an Apple machine until the next operating system release, 2+ years from now.
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 01:01 PM   #11
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Maybe you could use eSATA as an alternative (Drobo S with USB3 also comes with eSATA, which may be a little slower on paper, but is probably not saturated by the drobo).

The cheap solution:
Use of the two free SATA connectors on the motherboard underneath the front fan assembly by simply adding a SATA cover plate (assuming you're having a 1st/2nd gen MP from your 'Westmere' sig).

Pro:
- Cheap
- No driver problems

Con:
- No "true" eSATA (-> Cable length limited to ~ 1m in total)
- More work to get the front fan assembly out for plugging the cables

The expensive solution:
Get a PCIe eSATA card and plug it in.

Pro:
- True eSATA (-> full cable length with up to 2m)
- No disassembly of MacPro parts

Con:
- Comparably expensive
- Drivers may be problematic
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 02:12 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JohnPhamlore View Post
I don't recall Microsoft updating support for new USB versions in old operating systems either.
Hmm. Windows 95B brought support for USB absent from Windows 95 at launch. The whole nominal fee for added functionality is a crock of bs. Let's see if Apple feels obliged to charge for iCloud, which is not available outside of the US until September.
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Old Sep 1, 2011, 04:05 PM   #13
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If it's any help I just got the Sonnet Allegro USB 3.0 PCIe as mentioned by the second post. Install card, boot, install driver (which you have to download), restart and it's good to go.

I connected a 1TB My Passport Essential SE (USB 3 of course) drive and I was getting between 70 and 80MB/s. Connect same drive via USB 2 and I get 35MB/s at best.

You can certainly see the difference.

I use a USB 3 cable extender; so no need to go around the back all the time.

Mac Pro is Mid 2010.
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Old Sep 1, 2011, 05:34 PM   #14
VirtualRain
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Here's the thread with my findings (not so long ago)...

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1106369

Basically you can install any USB3 card... they are all nearly identical and based on the same NEC chip. Then you can pick any OS X driver you like from any of the vendors that make a USB3 card/driver and it should work just fine.
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Old Sep 2, 2011, 10:07 AM   #15
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Hope for the future:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1222685
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Old Sep 2, 2011, 10:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by class77 View Post
I thought next year's Ivy Bridge was supposed to have USB 3.0 as part of the chipset
Yes, Ivy Bridge is due to include USB 3.0 support (IIRC, it will actually be part of the chipset, not the CPU).

Quote:
Originally Posted by cragmr View Post
Doesn't mean Apple will provide the ports for it. And I thought most everyone was expecting the new Pros to be Sandy Bridge - E / Xenos (aka chips that don't have USB 3.0 built in)

I do hope that Apple decides to include at least 2 USB 3.0 ports on the new pro, no reason why USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt can't coexist.
Coexistence isn't the issue; cost is. By waiting for USB 3.0 support to come with Intel parts, Apple and any other vendor thinking the same way, there isn't any additional parts required = reduced manufacturing costs vs. adding a 3rd party chip, which would be required ATM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnPhamlore View Post
As Mac OS X Lion did not appear to ship with official USB 3.0 support, wouldn't official USB 3.0 support in a Lion update require Apple to charge users a nominal fee for corporate accounting purposes?

I don't recall Microsoft updating support for new USB versions in old operating systems either.

Sadly I am thinking there will be no USB 3.0 ports on an Apple machine until the next operating system release, 2+ years from now.
First off, they could add USB 3.0 support with a future update to Lion, or whatever version of OS X they have in effect at the time. Not that big a deal really.

But they do need hardware that's compliant with USB 3.0, and currently, that would mean either adding a 3rd party chip (which costs more money, and historically, Apple doesn't do often; FW and TB are recent exceptions, as they played a part in bringing them to market). So it's far more likely they'll wait for Intel to provide that in their chips (doesn't add to the manufacturing costs per system, as there's no additional chips to be added).
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Old Sep 2, 2011, 12:24 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by nanofrog View Post
Coexistence isn't the issue; cost is. By waiting for USB 3.0 support to come with Intel parts, Apple and any other vendor thinking the same way, there isn't any additional parts required = reduced manufacturing costs vs. adding a 3rd party chip, which would be required ATM.
I'd agree with your point here, except for the fact that Apple is already including Thunderbolt chips. Thunderbolt isn't built into the chipset natively, and requires an extra component and space on the motherboard.

I'm only guessing here, but I'd also venture the cost of adding Thunderbolt is more than the cost of adding USB 3.0 (economies of scale).
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Old Sep 2, 2011, 02:29 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by cragmr View Post
I'd agree with your point here, except for the fact that Apple is already including Thunderbolt chips. Thunderbolt isn't built into the chipset natively, and requires an extra component and space on the motherboard.

I'm only guessing here, but I'd also venture the cost of adding Thunderbolt is more than the cost of adding USB 3.0 (economies of scale).
Yes, TB is a separate chip.

But Apple has embraced the tech, just as the did with Firewire (they were involved with creating the technology of both specifications from the beginning). Thunderbolt page (originally, there was more than just Apple and Intel involved, but the others had to do with the optical portion <back when it was called LightPeak>, which to date, hasn't been implemented). Intel did the hardware, Apple did the software of the current electrical only variant of TB.

Apple never helped create USB however, and have no input into the specifications.

So I see this as a critical difference (they intended to use FW and TB from the beginning vs. things like USB are included in an Intel chip that must be added to the system for multiple reasons <vital part of the Intel reference designs = won't work without it>, not just a single interface).
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Old Sep 10, 2011, 12:55 AM   #19
MattDSLR
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I will try new card from lacie to see if that one will work if not both of them going on e-bay
all I need USB3.0 for downloading Compact flash cards
Firewire is way to slow for me,
if you using USB 3.0 card reader on a mac pro please let me know what card you used in your MAC Pro and what reader you are using
Thank you
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Old Sep 10, 2011, 03:41 PM   #20
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I had a generic ebay card fitted for about a week, Black Magic Design speed test shows 120 MB/s to Freecom 2TB drive. The seller provided drivers.

Looking for a resonable USB 3.0 card reader now.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 01:37 PM   #21
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OK I now have Lacie USB3 Card
It worked amazing for 2 days now it stopped working too

This sucks
Just order new card reader as I think it may be Lexar card reader
I will try Transend next they just came out with USB 3.0 reader
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 03:14 PM   #22
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I had a generic ebay card fitted for about a week, Black Magic Design speed test shows 120 MB/s to Freecom 2TB drive. The seller provided drivers.

Looking for a resonable USB 3.0 card reader now.
This seems VERY low to me. USB 3.0 is 5 Gbit/s which should in Mbyte's be around 640 MB/s (Divided 5Gbit/s by 8). Basically you're getting 1/5th speed for some reason.

Or am I missing something?
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 03:26 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blunti View Post
This seems VERY low to me. USB 3.0 is 5 Gbit/s which should in Mbyte's be around 640 MB/s (Divided 5Gbit/s by 8). Basically you're getting 1/5th speed for some reason.

Or am I missing something?
USB 3.0 won't make your HD any faster though. 120MB/s sounds pretty average for 2TB 5400rpm drive.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 03:55 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by MattDSLR View Post
OK I now have Lacie USB3 Card
It worked amazing for 2 days now it stopped working too

This sucks
Just order new card reader as I think it may be Lexar card reader
I will try Transend next they just came out with USB 3.0 reader
The Lexar 3.0 card reader looks good. Sometimes when you update your OS to a .1--.2 etc, you need to re-load the drivers for the usb cards or in some cases get updated ones. The caldigit ones have worked right though Lion, but occasionally need to be reloaded between OS minor upgrades.
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Old Sep 17, 2011, 01:14 AM   #25
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The Lexar 3.0 card reader looks good. Sometimes when you update your OS to a .1--.2 etc, you need to re-load the drivers for the usb cards or in some cases get updated ones. The caldigit ones have worked right though Lion, but occasionally need to be reloaded between OS minor upgrades.
I try reloading drivers with no luck
this ducks
neither card works now
Waiting for new card reader to see if that will help
Does anybody know why my wireless mouse has issues when the USB3.0 card was working?
Mouse became choppy and sometime it stopped moving
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