Best USB 3.0 card for Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by fizzicist, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. fizzicist macrumors newbie

    fizzicist

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    Dec 30, 2009
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    SoCal, USA
    #1
    I'm looking for a recommendation from anyone with hands-on experience with USB 3.0 PCIe cards. I need it for an external Blu-Ray drive that I'll be using to back up a data base onto rewritable Blu-Ray discs (BD-E).

    I'm currently running OS X 10.6.8 on a Mac Pro Quad-Core 2.8GHz (mid-2010), but I have ML 10.8.5 installed on another drive, and I'm gradually making the transition as I test all my apps and plugins for ML compatibility. So, I'll need to have something that works with 10.8.5.

    Last I knew, Highpoint's card had problems with Mountain Lion, but they might have fixed it by now. I expect that Sonnet's card would work OK, but I'd appreciate anyone's actual experience.

    Thanks!
     
  2. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #2
    This link should provide you with everything you need to know.
     
  3. fizzicist thread starter macrumors newbie

    fizzicist

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    #3
    Thanks for that pastrychef.

    As it turns out, the most cost-effective solution is just replacing my existing internal SuperDrive with an internal Blu-Ray drive. The LG 16x drive can do everything the SuperDrive can do, plus Blu-Ray, and more. Just $85 and I'm done; no external enclosure, and no USB 3.0 card. I guess I'll sell my SuperDrive on fleaBay.

    Apple's lack of support for USB 3.0 is one of those incomprehensible aspects of Cupertino's approach to connectivity and interoperability. I guess they're putting all their eggs in the Thunderbolt basket.

    FWIW, I talked to the folks at Sonnet recently. They're coming out with a 4-port USB 3.0 PCIe card in early 2014. Their existing Allegro 2-port card (which includes 3 FW800 ports) is rumored to work well, but I don't need any more FW800 ports.
     
  4. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #4
    I currently use an Orico 2 port USB 3 card and it works well. No issues at all. I recently got a 64GB USB 3 flash drive and I get about 180MB/s reads and 80MB/s writes. Huge improvement from USB 2.
     
  5. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    #5
    Personally for the money that you might get: Pack the superdrive somewhere safe - it may save your arse one day if the BDRW goes bork.
     
  6. willtothewong macrumors newbie

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    Jul 19, 2009
    #6
    Good tips!

    I think I will wait to see when/if Sonnet's 4port USB 3.0 comes out.

    If it supports USB 3.0 Hubs, then all my prayers have been answered!
     
  7. fizzicist thread starter macrumors newbie

    fizzicist

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    #7
    That's probably good advice. I suspect that whatever relative pittance I might get for a used SuperDrive would be outweighed by the convenience of having a working drive on hand as a backup (...er, minus BR functionality).

    I'm curious, though, as to what's behind your recommendation. I'm not sure why the BR drive is any more likely to "go bork" than any other optical drive. Do you have specific information about some kind of intrinsic lack of reliability in BR drives in general?

    Thanks!

    p.s. Since my last post, I've purchased and installed a Blu-Ray drive (LG Model HL-DT-ST BD-RE WH16NS40) in my Mac Pro Quad-Core (Mid 2010) running OS X 10.8.5, and it's working fine.
     
  8. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    #8
    no data suggests unreliability. just that sods law will apply and if it did fail, it would be when you really need it and thats when you would be glad of the spare :)
     
  9. fizzicist thread starter macrumors newbie

    fizzicist

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    #9
    Ah, I see...the principle that is related (but not identical) to what in my part of the world is usually called "Murphy's law": If something can go wrong, it will. In this case, selling the old SuperDrive is sure to result in the failure of the BR drive...most likely at the worst possible time.

    Yeah...there does seem to be a certain perversity in the universe that engenders the belief in Sod's law as a universal principle. ;)
     
  10. Sawtooth811 macrumors 6502

    Sawtooth811

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    Charleston, IL
    #10
    I know this thread is a bit dated, but I purchased a Generic 4-port USB 3.0 PCIe card for about $11 on eBay, and it seems to work perfectly.

    I tried an external 2.5" HDD without the need of external power, and a flash drive at once, so due to the Mac Pro's high-powered PCIe slots, the USB 3.0 card can power devices despite having a built-in molex power port on the back of it.

    I haven't tried any USB 3.0 devices, but the data transfers are pretty much peak 2.0 speeds.
     
  11. sandbagsteve macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    #11
    There's a guide (I confess, it's my website) here for installing the Inateck cards that are available in the UK

    http://endlessgeek.com/2014/04/add-usb-3-to-a-mac-pro/

    I have used these cards without great success - mainly to connect external drives for backup and forensic tasks. Hope the guide is useful to anyone.
     
  12. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #12
    I assume this is a typo ... that you are having success in using these cards?
     
  13. paulhartel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2014
    #13
    Installing Generic Driver in 10.7.5

    Hi,

    I took the advice on this thread and purchased an Inatek 4 port USB PCI card for the MacPro 3.1 I'm working on - I downloaded the Generic Driver


    GenericUSBXHCI
    Open Source USB 3.0 xHC driver for OS X 10.7.5 - 10.9


    But there's no apparent way to install it. If I simply drag the .kext file into the System Library Extension folder it tells me it's been improperly installed.

    When I check the System Profiler I see the Inatek is recognized, but there is No driver installed, so, I'm assuming it isn't going to work. There is no USB 3 superbus that shows up in the USB profile, either.

    Could use some help installing the .kext file - the driver, so I can use this card I've purchased. Thanks very much,

    Paul
     
  14. arikalish macrumors newbie

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    Jul 23, 2014
    #14
  15. paulhartel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2014
    #15
    Thanks - still have issue

    thank you.

    Actually received this advice a little while ago, and downloaded the app and installed the kext, and it appears to have installed the driver - System Profile indicates the Mac (3,1) is seeing the Driver as installed.

    BUT, I only just discovered that when I plug a USB device into one of the ports, that it is not recognized, does not mount.

    Any advise?

    Thanks,
    paul
     
  16. arikalish macrumors newbie

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    Jul 23, 2014
    #16
    Does the USB card show up in System Profiler? Might go looking for another driver.
     
  17. paulhartel macrumors newbie

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    Jul 28, 2014
    #17
    yes, the PCI card shows up - and it says there is a driver installed (now that the kext file was installed.)
     
  18. arikalish macrumors newbie

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    Jul 23, 2014
    #18
    Does it show up as an available bus/hub in the USB section?
     
  19. paulhartel macrumors newbie

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    Jul 28, 2014
    #19
    Got it to work!

    Thanks thanks.

    Got it to work. Actually simply tried a restart, and the drives show up now, so I should be good to go!! Thank you!
     
  20. carestudio macrumors 6502

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    Aug 6, 2008
    #21
    check with caldigit.com
    they have a longest record of USB 3 support on Mac and Thunderbolt too.
     
  21. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #22
  22. bazsa82 macrumors newbie

    bazsa82

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