Adding eSATA to 2009 Mac Pro Octo

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by tanousjm, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. tanousjm macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    #1
    Hi everyone,
    I am a new Mac Pro owner (2009 8x2.26) and I have used up all my internal SATA connections on two software RAIDs for OSX (including the second optical drive bay).

    I also need to run Windows via Boot Camp and I'm hoping that I can use an external drive via an eSATA connection. I've seen various eSATA PCI-Express cards on sites like NewEgg and OWC, but I'm not sure if they create new eSATA ports from the PCI-Express connection, or if they need to be connected internally to SATA port on the motherboard. I don't need RAID or anything fancy for this connection, just a way to plug an eSATA cable into a PCI express card and then connect that to a fast external hard drive.

    Does anyone have any experience with this and could you recommend a product? Is this even possible?

    Thank you for you help!

    -Jim
     
  2. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
  3. tanousjm thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    #4
    Thank you so much for your quick replies! The card is ordered and on the way.

    Update: Actually, I just temporarily cancelled my order as I noticed that the card is listed as compatible with Mac Pro 2006-2008 systems (I got all excited and jumped the gun). Does anyone know if this will work with my 2009 Mac Pro?
     
  4. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    Damn looks like it is not from this blurb near the bottom of the page.

    You may want to email to confirm this is still true.
     
  5. lemonade-maker macrumors 6502

    lemonade-maker

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #6
    The driver doesn't work in Snow Leopard. OS puts up a dialog saying its not compatible and moves it to another location.
     
  6. osin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #7
    There is also a note: "Temporarily not recommended for Mac systems with greater than 2GB of memory" :)
     
  7. IronFixXxeR macrumors member

    IronFixXxeR

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #8
    That is pretty ironic. The only Macs that would take this card are towers and who owns a Mac Pro with 2GB of memory or less!
     
  8. tanousjm thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    #9
    Yeah, this does seem like a needlessly complicated task. I imagine that there are lots of Mac Pro owners who would need additional hard drive connectivity.

    If I can't find anything, would booting Boot Camp from an external FW800 drive work? If so, how bad of a performance hit would it be compared to eSATA?

    Thanks again for everyone's responses!
     
  9. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #10
    Boot camp will only work with a SATA drive. It is possible to use a Windows install from a USB drive, but not Firewire.
     
  10. tanousjm thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    #12
    Thanks for your replies, everyone. I have been unable to find a product that will work with the 2009 Mac Pros; I don't know what changed in terms of PCI Express compatibility between the 2008 and 2009 models, but it was something big, as all the products I've looked at don't work with the 2009s.

    I've resorted to reducing my scratch disk RAID from 3 drives down to 2, and running boot camp off that now free drive. It's working great and I guess the ability to run my Windows applications is worth losing about 100MB/s on that RAID.

    If anyone ever finds a product for the 2009 Mac Pros, please let us know!
     

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