Best USB 3.0 card for Mac Pro?

fizzicist

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2009
9
0
SoCal, USA
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!
 

fizzicist

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2009
9
0
SoCal, USA
This link should provide you with everything you need to know.
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.
 

pastrychef

macrumors 601
Sep 15, 2006
4,520
1,026
New York City, NY
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.
 

costabunny

macrumors demi-goddess
May 15, 2008
2,464
58
Weymouth, UK
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.
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.
 

willtothewong

macrumors newbie
Jul 19, 2009
27
1
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!
 

fizzicist

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2009
9
0
SoCal, USA
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.
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.
 

costabunny

macrumors demi-goddess
May 15, 2008
2,464
58
Weymouth, UK
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?
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 :)
 

fizzicist

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2009
9
0
SoCal, USA
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 :)
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. ;)
 

Sawtooth811

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2007
317
1
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.
 

hfg

macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
3,577
281
Cedar Rapids, IA. USA

paulhartel

macrumors newbie
Jul 28, 2014
7
0
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
 

paulhartel

macrumors newbie
Jul 28, 2014
7
0
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
 

paulhartel

macrumors newbie
Jul 28, 2014
7
0
yes, the PCI card shows up - and it says there is a driver installed (now that the kext file was installed.)
 

paulhartel

macrumors newbie
Jul 28, 2014
7
0
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!
 
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