USB 3.0 Card....on the Cheap!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Wild-Bill, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. Wild-Bill, Oct 3, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013

    macrumors 68020

    Wild-Bill

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    ?
    #1
    Greetings,

    Thought I'd share my experiences trying to get USB 3.0 working on my 2008 Mac Pro without having to shell out ~$70.00 for a Sonnet Allegro or similar Mac-only USB 3.0 PCI-E card. Shame they charge such a "premium" for Mac drivers, but I digress....

    I ordered the "Pluggable Superspeed USB PCI-E" card from Amazon for $25.95

    I downloaded the Lacie drivers from their site

    I downloaded and installed Kext Helper here

    I downloaded a patched kext to replace Lacie's (Lacie does a drive check & if it doesn't detect a Lacie drive, it won't work).

    How I got it to work:
    1. Unzip the patched kext (named PXHCD.kext) to your Desktop
    2. Run the Lacie installer for your version of OSX Do NOT restart.
    3. Run Kext Helper. Drag the PXHCD.kext from your Desktop into the Kext Helper window. Input your user password. Let it do its thing.
    4. Kext Helper will tell you to "Reboot and pray". QUIT Kext Helper
    4a. Kext Helper may not quit. Don't worry. Just FORCE QUIT.
    5. Reboot. Enjoy USB 3.0 on your Mac for less than half the price!

    I tested using a Western Digital WD4000KD in a Thermaltake BlacX 5G USB 3.0 adapter. My disk speed tests in AJA showed about 62 MB/s read / write using a 1.0 GB test file and Video Frame Size of NTSC DV25. I also tested my internal Western Digital Caviar Green which only got about 42 MB/s speeds.

    ENJOY !!!!! :D

    ** Update. When looking in System Profiler, the "Link Speed" is only showing 2.5 GT/s, vice 5.0GT/s as someone else's screenshot showed. And when I look under USB in System Profiler, the hard disk is identified under Superspeed USB as being capable of up to 480 Mb/s, which happens to be USB 2.0 speed. Weird. Still though, the disk tested faster than an internal SATA Caviar green.

    ***** Edit: This is on 10.6.8 Snow Leopard. I don't want ML on my Mac Pro. *****
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    JavaTheHut

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #2
    Sweeeet!
     
  3. macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #3
    So I reinstalled the Lacie drivers for my generic USB3 card tonight on Lion as I needed to run a backup for offsite (I was overdue).

    I'm only getting about 65MB/s backup speed now whereas I use to get about 100MB/s when I was running Snow Leopard.

    Me thinks this is not running at full USB3 speeds under Lion, although 65MB/s is faster than 480Mbps of USB2. :confused: (screen grab from my backup app below)... Perhaps since my 2TB drive is about half full, this is simply a symptom of writing to a slower, inner section of the platter?

    FWIW, my link speed is 5GT/s but my USB speed shows 480Mb/s under system profiler. Screens below...
     

    Attached Files:

  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #4
    Will this work with the older Belkin USB PCI-e card? Similar to the one here.

    Have that card in my Mac Pro (2006), but it has stopped working since the Lion upgrade.
     
  5. roofoo, Dec 22, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    #5
    Mountain Lion compatibility?

    Does anybody know how to get this working in Mountain Lion? I had it working great in Snow Leopard but just upgraded to ML and now it doesn't recognize my USB 3.0 drive. Thanks :cool:

    Edit: Nevermind, I used the new Lacie driver, and found an updated .kext file here. Now it's working again! :D
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    #6
    I bought the same card linked, and followed the instructions in the original post. The card isn't recognized. I saw the updated drivers at the bottom of the thread, downloaded them, uninstalled the earlier LaCie driver, and installed the updated versions. Still no luck.

    Did I miss something on the uninstall process? Do I need to manually uninstall the previous PXHCD.kext file?
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #7
  8. macrumors 601

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #8
    IMO if you have Mountain Lion, you are much better off using a USB 3.0 card with Fresco Logic chipset. It uses native drivers supplied with 10.8.2, so there is no third-party driver nonsense.

    Instructions are here.
     
  9. LordJohnWhorfin, Jan 29, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013

    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    #9
    My card is reported as a pci1912,15 instead of pci1033,194. That's probably what's going on... I found a patched kext that works for it in this thread (post #200).
    The author cautions that it does not support superspeed hubs. I've ordered the card recommended by nigelbb, it makes no sense to bother with patched kexts if you can have a supported card for the same price.
     
  10. teameurox, Jan 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013

    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    #10
    Will the orico card work in a 1 1 under lion with drivers? The only reason I ask is I have ML working under chameleon but also want the usb3 card to work on the officially supported lion drive in my 1 1
     
  11. macrumors 601

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #11
    I've done a lot of research on this and every success story I can find is in 10.8.2. That being said, it may just be a coincidence that everyone who tried it was up to date. Who knows when the drivers were introduced to OS X?

    I never saw anyone try with Lion. You would be the first as far as I know. I kind of hope you will try it out and let us know, but I also understand if you don't.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    #12
    Works in 10.9

    Installed the Orico 4 port card in my 2010 Mac Pro running OSX 10.9.
    Initially the system would not go through the boot sequence (stuck on the Apple logo), so I removed the card, restarted, and removed leftover extension kexts for previous cards which I had never got to work successfully (CalDigit I think).

    Restarted, and the card was recognized, System Information reported "driver installed: yes" for the card, but it would not recognize disks when plugged in.

    I read the Amazon reviews for this card and one user named "Jack" mentioned using the open source driver GenericUSBHXCI. I installed it with Kext Utility 2.5.6 and after a reboot my card functioned perfectly.
    Unlike earlier el-cheapo cards I had used, which did not support USB 3.0 hubs and caused regular kernel panics (I never managed much more than a day of uptime, which is why I removed them), this one has been performing absolutely flawlessly. I connected Seagate 3GB desktop drives, 1TB and 500MB portable drives, and a USB 3.0 memory card reader, directly on the card and via a USB 3.0 hub, and everything is rock solid. On the faster desktop drives, transfer speed is roughly three times what it was on USB 2.0.

    Other people have been reporting success without installing any drivers; I suspect it may be because my startup drive is an upgraded antique; it would be worth it trying with a clean OSX 10.9 install. At any rate, this inexpensive little card is a keeper!
     
  13. macrumors 68030

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #13
    I have gone through all iterations of Mac OS X from 10.0 to 10.9 without having ever done a clean install. I simply upgraded all along the way.

    I also never needed to install any additional drivers. I suspect that perhaps there is another reason for your card not being recognized initially.
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    #14
    pastrychef, did you install other USB 3.0 cards before the Orico?
    In System Information, under Hardware/USB, if you select "USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Bus" what is the "Host Controller Driver" reported? Mine is the GenericUSBXHCI I installed. Yours is going to be the name of an Apple Kext which I may have removed (although I don't remember doing that) or more likely some installer removed without telling me. Thanks for your help!
     
  15. macrumors 68030

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #15
    No, I never installed any other USB 3 card.

    System Profiler reports that the host controller driver I'm using is "AppleUSBXHCI".
     
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    #16
    There is no AppleUSBXHCI.kext in my Extensions folder, so that explains why devices weren't being mounted. I guess it's time I do a clean install on a spare drive to see what happens. I'll report here :)
    Thanks for looking it up!
     
  17. macrumors 601

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #17
    On tonymacx86 website, it's been reported by others that installing third party USB 3.0 drivers for NEC-based chipset cards prevents Fresco Logic cards from using the native OS X USB 3.0 drivers.
     
  18. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    #18
    Thanks ActionableMango :)
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    #19
    If you whant USB3 working on Mac with an ExpressCard

    Download and install GenericUSBXHCI Open Source USB 3.0 xHC driver for OS X 10.7.5 - 10.9 from SOURCEFORGE NET here.

    install it with Kext Drop and restart.

    That's all up to 5Gb/sec
     

    Attached Files:

  20. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2014
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #20
    Just installed an Orico PME-4U in my 2010 MP using the Sata to Molex cable supplied with the card. No problem. Only tried a couple of 2.5" USB3 HDDs so far. Speeds are pretty good. Very simple upgrade for $35.
    BTW, sourced the card from China as Amazon wouldn't ship to Australia
     
  21. macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #21
    You would have been better served using this card and posting in this thread.

    It's more up to date.
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2014
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #22
    Yes, I'm aware of the Inateck. Haven't been able to source it here. Again, Amazon won't ship presumably due to warranty issues. Not that warranties from China are much chop :)
     
  23. macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #23
    Bummer... You should contact Inateck directly and ask them how to obtain the card there. Worst case scenario, I'd get the card and ship it to you if you sent me the money by PayPal or something. I'm less than 2 mi. from my local post office, so it wouldn't be much trouble (for my WIFE :D) to drop it off.
     
  24. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2014
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #24
    Thanks for the offer. Inateck have said they can't do it btw.

    The Orico is working fine. I'm just keeping a world wide watch for the Inateck on eBay atm, see what that throws up.
     
  25. macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #25
    If you change your mind just send me a PM and we'll work it out. I'm not sure how much shipping will cost but surly it couldn't be that prohibitive. I'm glad you at least have a working solution, but the Inateck is a cleaner install. I'd be happy to get one to you.
     

Share This Page