Adding USB 3.0 to iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Mark Morb, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Mark Morb macrumors regular

    Mark Morb

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Location:
    Norfolk
    #1
    Hi,

    I need to add another external hard drive and it would be great if I could make use of USB 3.0

    I have the following iMac:

    27inch, Mid 2010
    2.93 GHz i7
    8GB Memory
    ATI Radeon HD 5750 1024 MB

    I'm unsure what ports this model has as I can't find a list anywhere. I know one is a LAN port and obviously there are the USB 2.0 ports.

    Is there an adapter I can buy to use on any of the other ports that would enable me to use USB 3.0 at it's full speed with external drives?

    Thanks a lot,
    Mark Morb
     
  2. coolmacoz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #2
    You can find out quite easily.
    Go to About this Mac/More Info/System Report/USB and it will tell you whether you have USB2 or USB3.
    I'm pretty sure you would have USB2 as my iMac is 2011 and it's only USB2.
    Good luck !
     
  3. Mark Morb thread starter macrumors regular

    Mark Morb

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Location:
    Norfolk
    #3
    Hi...I know that my iMac is USB 2.0 but I didn't know if I could use another port (Firewire?) with an adaptor to use a USB 3.0 external drive at full speed rather than using it with a USB 2.0 port at USB 2.0 speeds.
    Thanks,
     
  4. mulo, Sep 2, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2012

    mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Behind you
    #4
    your only option is this

    edit: your mac doesn't have thunderbolt does it?...
     
  5. Bilalo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Oxford, England
    #5
    I know theres some kind of card you insert that enables 3.0 but I really cannot recall what it is, sorry.
     
  6. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Behind you
    #6
    MacBook Pro 17" and Mac Pro only, and they don't "enable" it, they add extra ports.
     
  7. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #7
    It's highly unlikely anyone will make a USB 3.0 to FW adapter that sends data at a high rate. You're better off using firewire.
     
  8. Mark Morb thread starter macrumors regular

    Mark Morb

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Location:
    Norfolk
    #8
    Looks like Firewire it is...Shame Firewire external Drives are at a premium price above USB 3.0 Drives!
     
  9. Bacci, Sep 17, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012

    Bacci macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2012
    #9
    I have the same iMac as you (11,3) and would also consider a USB 3.0 upgrade.

    Lacie has USB 3.0 PCI expresscards with OS X drivers, but no miniPCIe version which is the only port we could use (at least, when tossing out the airport card).
    Theoretically however, using a miniPCIe USB 3.0 card from another manufacturer (e.g. this) but based on the same NEC 720200 USB 3.0 chipset as the Lacie expresscard should work using Lacie's drivers, but :
    1/ I have not yet seen any reports from iMac folks going that route.
    2/ the Lacie driver is probably locked to work only with Lacie USB 3.0 hard drives. I say probably, because contrary to the Snow Leopard driver, the new (sep 15th) Mountain Lion driver no longer mentions "is for LaCie storage devices only."... a glimpse of hope or just forgotten on the part of Lacie?

    For now though, it seems adding eSATA to the 2010 iMac and using eSATA external drives is the most we can do.
     
  10. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #10
    His iMac is a 2010 model so it does not have TB.
     

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