USB 3.0 for MacPro 4,1?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by cbt3, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    #1
    I have seen conflicting information regarding USB 3.0 cards, I would assume since newer macs now have native usb3 that it would be no problem to get a PCIe slot expansion for usb3 now. However, I am unsure about which would be a good PCIe USB3.0 to get, I have seen mixed reviews and have not seen a general consensis on what works and what doesn't. I am on osx 10.6 and would be willing to upgrade if it meant 3.0 support, I assume I would be getting a multiport hub as well so I can have the ports right on my desk as apposed to crawling under my desk to plug something in all the time. I mainly want to use this for a fast CF card reader as I am looking to get two of these
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/735435-REG/AJA_KI_PRO_MINI_R0_Ki_Pro_Mini_Compact.html
    for video work and I am assuming a 3.0 card reader would be much for efficient then a 2.0 card reading, especially when transferring 30-60GB of data... and I of course want to use this for external HDD enclosures as well, although my main drives run an a miniSAS raid enclosure, this is mainly for transferring data from portable drives.

    So does anyone have any suggestions on a USB 3.0 PCIe slot that actually works for a MacPro 4,1?
     
  2. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    #2
    Hi, I was in your same situation and after some research I found an extensive thread on this forum with all the answers:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1501482&highlight=state+of+usb+3+0
    The card you're looking for is the ORICO PFU3-2O2I with Fresco FL 1100 chip:
    http://www.amazon.it/ORICO-PFU3-2O2...UU8U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360792024&sr=8-1
    There's also a 4 ports version. You'll need to power this card from the SATA combo cable that powers the optical units. You'll need these two cables:
    http://www.lindy-usa.com/sata-extension-splitter-cable-combined-33440.html
    http://www.amazon.com/inch-Molex-Extension-Cable-Sleeved/dp/B0014XDBIA
    The ORICO card works out of the box with OS X 10.8.2 and Windows 8.
    I'm successfully using it with two WD external drives, getting very good transfer speeds.
     
  3. macrumors 601

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #3
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #4
    It looks like the better card to get is the ORICO-PFU3-2P which uses the Fresco 1009 chip as this card apparently does not need to be powered via the Molex connector in order to work.
     
  5. macrumors member

    LeicaM8

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Location:
    West Michigan
    #5
    My Question is do I need to install modified drivers to use either of these ORICO Cards?
    The 3.0 card I currently have requires them BUT the modified drivers keep my USB Soundsticks from working.
    Thanks in advance for any answers someone may have.
    Richard in Michigan
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #6
    The ORICO cards use the native Mountain Lion drivers that are included for the USB3 ports in the latest iMacs & MacBooks. However the ORICO card I have is no better than e.g. the Sonnet Allegro USB3 card that it replaced as there is still interference with Bluetooth so the Magic Mouse is all but unusable. The cheap USB3 hub that I bought only works as USB2 which could be a problem with the hub not the USB3 cards.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #7
  8. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Location:
    SW, UK
    #8
    Bluetooth interference is endemic with USB3, but the Mac Pro suffers in particular due to the MP Bluetooth antenna location, I cured mine completely by disconnecting the original internal and connecting an external one. Maybe the next Mac Pro will A) have USB3 native and B) have a much better BT antenna arrangement.

    But then you already have read that info ;)
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Location:
    Lakeland, FL
    #9
    get something that works

    I hate it when I read these forums and I still don't know if (name your product), actually works. Well, I have a Mac Pro and the caldigit fasta cards works. Good usb 3.0 and esata too. Running Mountain Lion too.

    Of course when the new Mac Pro comes out, USB 3.0 and Thundebolt will be natively supported (higher speeds).
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #10
    I just had an external Bluetooth antenna delivered so will be fitting that as soon as I have finished editing my current video project. I had made the mistaken assumption that it was some software incompatibility that caused the Magic Mouse problems with my Sonnet Allegro USB3 card rather than a hardware problem with wireless interference. If the external antenna does fix my Bluetooth problems then I shall definitely get a CalDigit FASTA-6GU3. I currently have separate USB3 & eSATA cards & am short a PCIe slot as I want to add a GT120 to give me a third monitor
     
  11. Tesselator, Feb 18, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013

    macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #11
    For a card that just works, is designed without port-multiplying, does NOT mess with bluetooth, and has enough ports to be useful there are three models to choose from:

    1144AM - First generation - http://www.hptmac.com/product.php?_index=77
    1144BM - 2nd Gen. Support up to Lion - http://www.hptmac.com/product.php?_index=90
    1144CM - 3rd Gen. Support for Mountain Lion - http://www.hptmac.com/product.php?_index=102

    I've also heard good things about the CalDigit cards but I don't know anything 1st hand.

    Also to note that it may be the case that the 1st Gen card listed above may actually interfere with BT signals in some configurations.


    .
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    #12
  13. macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #13
    Please explain exactly what you mean. How is "driver support" lacking? And how is a USB 3 card not "user friendly"? :rolleyes:
     
  14. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    #14
    That company, not USB3, is not user friendly (from my point of view)

    I bought a 1144AM for more than 100 Euro$, but now with Mountain Lion, that card is just collecting dust. nothing else.

    It's very poor support if you need to buy a new card for ever new major OS-X release ( for my taste )
     
  15. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #15
    On the quoted pages for 1st and 2nd generation they don't support the latest OS X version (10.8). The cards seem tagged for specific subset of OS.
    That would be lacking in driver support. ( Unless they are handing out free replacements for those who want move up.)

    Are those powered USB 3 sockets? Although it says it is not this card seems geared toward primarily just powered external USB 3.0 drives. USB 3.0 upped the standard power draw from USB sockets. Four ports would be pretty heft draw.

    ----------

    There is no "of course" here. Updated Thunderbolt standards aren't due till 2014.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5405/the-first-thunderbolt-speed-bump-likely-in-2014

    It is likely a new Mac Pro comes before these new controllers make it to market.

    The Mac Pro has a good chance to get USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt but they will be no better or no worse than the rest of the Mac line up. ( Probably two Thunderbolt ports but two ports is not a speed increase over just one port. )
     
  16. Tesselator, Feb 18, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013

    macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #16
    Oh, I see. Yes, they aren't very clear about how their product line is configured - which leads to occasional wrong purchase choices. The 1st and 2nd gen cards are for the MacPro 1,1 and 2,1. The third gen 1144CM card is for MacPro3,2 and up. Evidently you have mismatched devices there.



    deconstruct60,
    There are people who want to do all kinds of crazy insane *****...
    [​IMG]
    but that remains crazy and insane... :p
     
  17. LeicaM8, Feb 18, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013

    macrumors member

    LeicaM8

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Location:
    West Michigan
    #17
    edit: I just saw your post re:getting a usb bt dongle! :D
    Hello,
    I discovered here on the Forums this weekend that this Bluetooth interference problem is easily rectified by plugging in one of those tiny USB BT Adapters that are so ubiquitous. Further, that part of the issue with this BT Interference from USB 3.0 Cards is partly due to less than stellar placement of the Antennae for it in the MacPro Casing -and- there is a spare w-fi aerial wire available in the case if an owner is competent to swap the connection which fixes the issue.
    Personally, I'm a gonna buy the USB Adapter.
    Richard in Michigan
     
  18. macrumors member

    LeicaM8

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Location:
    West Michigan
    #18
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Location:
    SW, UK
    #19
    Not all USB BT dongles are equal and I didn't find one able to A) Wake MP from sleep, and even if I gave that up B) spent ages re-connecting to BT dongle, to the point of being a failure.

    Regarding swapping the antennas, this isn't an option on 4.1 (and I guess 5.1) MP as the Airport antenna and BT Antennas are too far apart.

    For me the solution was a pigtail lead and then attach an external BT antenna.

    My Orico PFU3-2O2I card, is internally powered from optical bay and BT is the smoothest it has ever been, working flawlessly for about a week with BT keyboard, BT trackpad, and Magic Mouse.
     
  20. macrumors 601

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #20
    I've seen this recommended many times, yet nobody can ever provide a link. I've never seen one for sale in the USA. I tried contacting some European vendors that had them in stock, but they wouldn't ship to the USA and now they are out of stock too.

    If you know where they are for sale, please provide a link.

    The reviews seem to indicate that it does not work. Why don't you go with one of the Orico cards verified to work that are linked to earlier in this thread?
     
  21. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    #21
    well I would prefer something that "just works"

    that cal digital one looks inciting, I like that it has SATA6G as well,
    http://www.caldigit.com/fasta-6gu3/

    also I forgot to mention, I am running on osx 10.6.8, would I need to upgrade to a newer OS?

    If I could plug that in to my MP 4,1 on 10.6.8 that would be ideal

    I had seen in other threads posting usb3 cards that needed external power, I am glad to see that is not the case with this one, that makes things much easier
     
  22. macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #22
    That Caldigit card sucks... this is what their support emailed me when I asked if there were any bottlenecks in that card...

     
  23. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #23
    That performance is as good as the Mac Pro's native SATA-II e.g. an SSD plugged into a drive sled will only deliver a maximum of around 250MB/s. Personally it looks OK to me & worth some sacrifice in return for the convenience of using a single PCIe slot for combined USB3 & eSATA.
     
  24. macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #24
    Except with a bottleneck of 250MB/s it's not able to handle either USB 3 or SATA3 speeds never mind both at the same time. You're just as well off with a $20 SATA2 card and the Mac Pros built-in USB 2 ports. :(
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #25
    USB2 will only deliver 30-40MB/s. A single hard disk can only sustain a maximum of about 120MB/s while many are much less. An external disk connected via the CalDigit combo card will be faster than an internal disk in a drive sled. What's not to like?
     

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