eBay SATA card questions (SIL-3132)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by macstatic, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. macstatic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    My Mac Pro 5.1 came with a cheap eBay PCIe SATA card which I've identified as a Silicon Image SIL-3132. The card looks slightly different from the producer's website though, more like this.
    I currently don't have any external SATA devices and Apple's system profiler says that no driver is installed even though I did install the software drivers for it. Perhaps the drivers don't load until a SATA device is connected?

    Anyway, I'm planning to buy an external SATA drive dock of some sort -preferrably something with 2 or more drive bays. I understand that for such a device with only one eSATA port I need a "multiplier" function (I suppose this is similar to daisy-chaining Firewire devices). Will this card work with a multiple bay device? The specs for the card say:

    The PB3132-2ESATA300 sup- ports port multipliers using FIS based switching. Traditional SATA controllers only support CMD based switching which can only access a single drive at a time, limiting performance to that of the drive being accessed. The PB3132- 2ESATA300 supports FIS based switching which accesses multiple drives simultaneously, effectively aggregating the bandwidth
    of the drives.
  2. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    If the card has a 3132 chip on it its probably pretty good.

    Most cards do not need drivers, my 6GB two port eSATA PCI card doesn't.

    Sometimes two components that say they support port multipliers won't play nice, so regardless of the specs, its plug and hope for the best.
  3. Loa macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2003
  4. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    The driver I downloaded and installed (as instructed by the previous owner of my Mac Pro) was "SiI 3132 Mac OS X 10.6.x BASE (non-RAID)" version but the driver apparently doesn't work or is recognized (see screenshot attachement). I'm on MacOSX 10.6.8 and want to

    Great to hear that it works with port multiplication. Does this mean I can use one of the ports for a multiple-bay removable hard drive enclosure, allowing for say 4 individual (JBOD) hard drives to mount on the desktop at once (and individually unmount as well), and the other port for say an internal SSD mounted inside the Mac Pro?

    Attached Files:

  5. fridgeymonster3 macrumors 6502


    Jan 28, 2008
    That is the driver that you should install. When I upgraded from 10.6.8, the driver clearly does not support 10.8, as it says 10.6.x. I installed it and it did not work. My External eSata drives were not recognized. However, when I installed the SiI 3132 Mac OS X 10.6.x SATARAID5 version the eSata drives were now recognizable. Makes completely no sense to me why, but you could try it.

    Yes it does work with PM with an external 4-bay enclosure. If in JBOD, you will be able to individually mount and unmount the drives. I have a 4-Bay enclosure in JBOD and it allows me to do so. I have a 4-bay Raid 5 drive connected also and that works fine too.

    In terms of the SSD, you can wire one internally using one of the eSata ports. However, I am almost positive you will not be able to boot from it. I don't have a 5,1 (I have a 3,1), so someone with a 5,1 should clarify if it is bootable or not.
  6. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    the 3132 was bootable in my Quad and my MP

    The ASMedia 1061 was also but if these are x1 cards as both of mine are then it will be slower than the native SATA II.
  7. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Did you try that same driver with 10.6.8? Strange that it didn't even work with 10.6.8 as it's supposed to and is what I'm on.

    I just did and it works! (see screenshot attachement -is this the same stuff you're getting in System Profiler?).
    However, I'm not going to use it with a RAID setup but for individual hard drives through the same cable (JBOD) -will this cause a problem?

    Good news indeed! May I ask which enclosure you have? I'm currently trying to find an enclosure for at least 2 or (even better) 4 removable hard drives, preferrably without a "caddy" or other mount, but just allowing the bare 3.5" SATA drives to slide in. But finding something with SATA and Firewire interfaces seems impossible as most of them are just USB 2 or 3.0, or SATA (not essential, but it would ease things with Firewire so I could use it with a Powerbook as well as the Mac Pro).

    I don't mind if it won't be bootable (it'll be used for a scratch/cache disk and the external multiple bay unit will be for file storage), but now I see that GermanyChris says it is, so that could come in handy for stuff like bootable backups of the system drive.

    By the way, did you get any jumper-settings info with the card? I've downloaded all the docs from the website but there's no mention of jumpers there, so I'm not sure how I should assign one SATA connector for internal use and one for external.

    Attached Files:

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