eSATA for cheapskates

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by pastrychef, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #1
    Several months ago, I saw a Syba branded eSATA PCI-e card online for about $7. (I don't remember exactly which site, but these cards can be easily found online for about the same price.) After I confirmed that it contained a JMB360 controller, I made the purchase. I suspected that it would work with OS X without additional drivers based on what I'd read about JMB360-based Express cards for MacBook Pros.

    When it arrived, I found, to my dismay, that it had one of those half height PCI-e cage brackets. So, I had to do a bit of hacksaw and Dremel work to extend it to full heigh before it would fit in my Mac Pro. This also explains why I had it sitting in its box for several months before I installed it...

    Well, I recently had to copy a bunch of stuff off of a failing hard drive that was in my Mac Pro. Since all the internal bays were used, I first tried doing the copy with an external USB based dock. Once it started, Finder estimated 18 hours to finish. Screw that! I took out my eSATA to SATA cable and jury rigged some power to the new drive and it popped up on my desktop. I proceeded to do the copy and this time, Finder estimated 2 hours to finish!

    I've only used it that one time and probably won't use it all too often, but it's a fantastic option to have. At $7, it's hard to beat. I know that my Mac Pro has two unused SATA ports that I can route to the back, but I do use one of those ports for an internal optical drive and, from what I've read, they do not support hot plugging which this card does. Why this instead of SIL3132 based cards (which can also be found at extremely low prices)? Built-in OS X support. No need for drivers!

    To those who intend do something similar, don't make the mistake that I did... Find a card with a full height PCI-e cage bracket.
     
  2. OracleRedux macrumors member

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    #2
    That is extremely helpful! I am planning on buying a cheapo e-Sata card but the one you mention is discontinued on the site I am looking at.
    Have you discovered during your research whether the JMB362 controller has Mac OS X support without drivers needing to be added?
    This site is a little ambiguous - it says not mac compatible at the top and suggests support at the bottom of the spec.
     
  3. pastrychef thread starter macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #4
  5. pastrychef thread starter macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #5
    No, I think the card that you linked to uses the SIL3132 chipset.

    The card that I got only has 1 eSATA port and no internal ports. The model id is SD-LP-PEX1ES.

    It's a bit of a pain for me to pull the card because of the way I have my Mac Pro placed... As for how much I had to hack off... What I did was cut off the top part of the bracket (where the 90 degree bend is) and I cut a spare PCI plate that I had around. Then I used the upper part of the PCI plate with the bottom part of stock PCI plate. I used a nut and bolt to hold it together.
     
  6. codymac macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Two thoughts...

    1 - The bracket is usually just has a couple of nuts & bolts holding it to the board and they're pretty easy to remove (no hacksawing required).

    2 - Isn't there a full height Syba branded version of the card with that chip?
     
  7. pastrychef thread starter macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #7
    1. Yes, it's just two nuts and bolts holding it but I thought the way I did it was easier than trying Dremel a hole in a plain plate and figuring out how to mount it to the card.

    2. There may be. I don't know. I didn't realize when I purchased this one that it had the short bracket.
     
  8. philipma1957, Oct 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2010

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #8
    went to newegg searched syba pci express. if you have a macbook and have an express card slot adapter.

    you can use the two to add an esata to you macpro.. this might be bootable? if someone would test it would be nice.
     
  9. pastrychef thread starter macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #9
    For $13.50, you can find a JMB360 based PCI-e card and not have to share the Epress Card with your laptop.
     
  10. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #10
    OS X support is not listed. Also troublesome is this comment in the reviews:

    And this:
    It doesn't seem suitable for Mac Pro on many counts.
     
  11. philipma1957, Oct 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2010

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #11
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by philipma1957
    went to newegg searched syba pci express
    OS X support is not listed. Also troublesome is this comment in the reviews:

    Quote:
    The card (for whatever reason) requires that it's plugged into a PCI-E x1 slot.
    And this:
    Quote:
    Thank you for purchasing our products. Please make sure that you connect the included cable to the USB Type-B port on the device, and the other end to a motherboard internal USB header.
    It doesn't seem suitable for Mac Pro on many counts.


    My mac pro is using a sonnet usb2 pcie card. i have an internal usb2 port on that card.

    this device is more like an extension cord then anything else.

    I am of the opinion that the comment is true about a pci-e x1 slot because he did not have a usb2 hookup to the card.

    If it worked with owc's express card adapter you would have a bootable esata slot.


    having a bootable esata slot is nice. cost would be about 35 bucks.

    I get that pastrychef is saying I could avoid using 2 pieces but i can't find a link for the pcie card he mentions. if he is correct that is also good for my needs. pastrychef do you have a link for that pcie card?
     
  12. pastrychef thread starter macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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  13. pastrychef thread starter macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #13
    I haven't tested if it's bootable, but if the JMB360 cards are bootable for MacBook Pros, I don't see why it wouldn't be the same for Mac Pros.
     
  14. codymac macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I was under the impression it was a temporary solution.

    I don't blame you if it was permanent... in that case, I'd just have milled a blank plate (access to a couple of machine shops is nice to have).
    :D
     
  15. philipma1957, Oct 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2010

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #15
    okay I won an auction for it 12 bucks shipped. for 12 dollars a bootable esata would be nice.
     
  16. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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