Adding USB port?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by RDM, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. RDM macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Guys, I have a PowerMac G4 Quicksilver model M8667LL/A, Dual 1.0 Ghz, that I'd like to see about adding an additional USB port to the back of the unit. It only comes with two, one is being used for the keyboard-> mouse, the other I have an external hard drive plugged into. I recently bought a cradle for my Fuji digital camera that comes with a USB cord, I'd like to hardmount the cradle and plug it in but don't want to swap with the hard drive every time I use it or run the cable to the spare keyboard port, that looks like hell. Is this a feasible option to do, and if so, how? Mind you I'm not a computer expert so I'd either need a very basic set of instructions or an technician to do it locally, but first I'd like to know if it's even possible. Any help is appreciated.
  2. runplaysleeprun macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2004
    Chicago, IL
  3. Earl Urly macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2004
    The card mentioned above has reviews that mention it won't work in a Mac, even after downloading a driver. It uses the VIA chipset which is not supported well on the Mac.

    Get a USB card with a NEC chipset, its supported automatically in Tiger and Leopard. Only $10.

    This card has at least three separate reviews that say it works beautifully in a Mac with no driver installs necessary.

    Even though it's SYBA, it's virtually identical to the Sonnet Allegro USB 2.0.
  4. RDM thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Forgive my ignorance, because I have a ton of it around computers, but what is the difference with the above items, obviously the hub is just like a 2way splitter, what does the card involve as far as installation? I have no clue what a PCI slot is or where it would be. Either method seems reasonable, I like the card more since it's integral into the machine but how would I go about finding out if it's possible to install it?

    Edit: Found this while searching:

    Your Macintosh has four expansion slots, each of which accepts a PCI card up to 12 inches long. Install only expansion cards that come with Macintosh driver software and that comply with the PCI 2.1 standard. NuBusTM cards cannot be used in these expansion slots. In standard Macintosh models, a graphics card that supplies a monitor port occupies the PCI slot labeled number 1. This slot can accommodate 3.3 volt (V) cards with 66 MHz frequency and 32-bit data widths only. The other three PCI slots can accommodate mixed voltage (5.0 V or 3.3 V) cards with a 33 MHz frequency and 32-bit or 64-bit data widths. To use a 66 MHz card in one of these three slots, the card must be designed to function at both 66 MHz and 33 MHz; it will work at the lower 33 MHz frequency when installed.

    So basically I buy the USB card, remove the screw securing the cover on the second PCI port, next to the monitor card, and install the new card onto the main board. Turn it on and it's ready to go?

    Would firewire be an easier method?
  5. Earl Urly macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2004
    Also the above cards give you USB 2.0, which can run up to 20 times faster than the built-in USB 1.1 ports. All a hub is going to do is give you more slow ports if all you have is USB 1.1 on your machine.

    Yep.. it should work in any of the PCI slots; I have an ADS Turbo USB 2.0 card and it works fine, makes using USB Flash drives much faster than using the built-in USB ports
  6. illegallydead macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2007
    No. Unless you have firewire devices (hard drives, cameras, etc.), firewire is completely unrelated to this.

    Simply get a USB 2.0 card (that is supported on mac) and pop it into one of the PCI slots. You WILL notice a huge speed increase on the newer USB 2.0 hardware. Plug anything that is transferring data (hard drives, cameras, flash drives, memory cards and the like) into the new USB card, and plug stuff like your keyboard and mouse into the old ports, since they do not need the speed of USB 2.0 (the USB ports on the keyboard, if it came with your Mac and if it has it, will not run at 2.0 speeds anyway)

    At least you admit to being ignorant in the ways of computers. There are many here and out there that talk through their @$$ like they know what they are saying, then ask "where the PCI slot is". Thanks for being honest :rolleyes:
  7. RDM thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Cool. Sounds way easy, I'm a mechanic by trade so usually I figure anything computer is going to be over technical. I'll get a card ordered tomorrow as well as a stick of 512 RAM I've been looking at and throw them in.

    Thanks for the input everyone.
  8. rhyx macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2008
    A USB PCI card should work great for you. I wouldn't use a hub with the onboard ports.
  9. rockinrocker macrumors 65816


    Aug 21, 2006
    Keep in mind that RAM has to be added in pairs....
  10. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level

    i can install one stick of ram and be perfectly fine
  11. RDM thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2008
    I heard that somewhere else too. The machine has three slots, only one is open. If I have to add it in pairs, do I take one out first, then put it back in with the new one, or do I have to replace one of the old ones?

    Or, do I buy a 1GB stick and a 512MB stick, and take the two existing 512 sticks out? It's a 1.5GB maximum unit.
  12. TrapOx macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    The G4s do not need ram in pairs, the G5s do.

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