eSATA PCIe card compatible with MacOS Sierra?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by namethisfile, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. namethisfile macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2008
    Anyone know if these cards are compatible with MacOS Sierra?
    • NewerTech MAXpower eSATA 6G Pro PCIe 2.0 Controller Card
    • CalDigit FASTA-6GU3 Plus PCIe card
    • Sonnet Tempo SATA Pro 6GB 4-port
    • Other?
    The CalDigit and Sonnet cards seems to hint at MacOS Sierra support on their websites. I've also scoured the net and the reviews. But, no definite confirmation. Although, Sonnet states "MacOS Sierra compatible" for their card.

    Meanwhile, I can't confirm anywhere whether the NewerTech MAXpower card is MacOS Sierra compatible.

    Thanks in advance. I just wanna get the right card to get my Mac Pro 5,1 up to speed, pun intended!
  2. DearthnVader macrumors 6502a


    Dec 17, 2015
    Red Springs, NC
    I don't think it matters what OS you run, I think it matters what firmware is one the card. Is it compatible with the Mac Pro's EFI.

    Otherwise it can't be used as a boot device.
  3. namethisfile thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2008
    Well, do you know, if the NewerTech MAXpower eSATA card is compatible with MacOS sierra?

    I've read that some eSATA adapter cards will work with earlier versions of OS X. But, won't work with MacOS Sierra....
  4. DearthnVader macrumors 6502a


    Dec 17, 2015
    Red Springs, NC
    No, I really don't know. Sorry, I missed the "e" before eSATA.

    Really,a SATA card should be transparent to the OS, but OS X does have disk controller drivers. I'm not sure if anything changed in Sierra as far as disk controllers, or if those cards that no longer work relied on drivers Apple removed from Sierra.

    If the later is the case, then installing the drivers Apple removed form an older Mac OS should fix it.

    I use a motherboard with SATA 6G, and haven't seen any troubles with my disks under Sierra, even tho Apple dropped support for my chipset with Sierra.

    Check if the add in board manufacturer is offering drivers for their boards for the Mac OS, and email them and ask them if they support Sierra, if they don't have Sierra drivers listed.

    Sonnet has always had good customer support.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 23, 2017 ---
    Part No.     
    TSATA6-PRO-E4    Tempo SATA Pro 6Gb 4-Port
    Warranty    5-year
    Bus Interface    PCI Express 2.0 x4
    External Connectors    Four locking eSATA
    Drives Supported    20(1)
    Data Transfer Rate    Up to 1,300MB/sec(2)
    Drive Types Supported    SATA 6 Gb/s, SATA 3 Gb/s, and SATA 1.5 Gb/s
    AHCI Support   
    System    OS X    Windows 10, 8,7    Windows Server 2012    Windows Vista
    Boot Support    √(4)    √    √     
    Port Multiplier Aware    √(1)    √    √    √
    Hot Plug Drive    √               
    Advanced Features   
    Supports ATAPI (CD/DVD) drives
    Supports port multipliers under Windows 10, 8, 7, and Vista
    Supports S.M.A.R.T. status data reporting
    Supports Spread Spectrum Clocking for compatibility with all SATA drives and for lower EMI emissions
    RoHS Compliant    Yes
    Package Contents   
    Tempo SATA Pro 6Gb 4-Port host controller card
    Specifications subject to change without notice.
    Mac Compatibility
    Mac Pro® (with card slots)
    Xserve® (with PCIe slots)(5)
    Power Mac® G5 (with PCIe slots)
    OS X 10.5.8+
    macOS Sierra compatible
    Windows Compatibility
    PC (with PCIe slots)(3)
    Windows® 10, 8, 7, Vista
    Thunderbolt Compatibility
    Mac or PC via a Thunderbolt-to-PCIe Card Expansion System
    Sonnet's xMac mini Server
    Technical Notes
    OS X port multiplier support requires Version 10.8.5+.
    See Performance Tab for details.
    Marvel driver required for HP Z820.
    Supports booting in Mac Pro 3,1 (early 2008) and newer and any Thunderbolt Mac with a Thunderbolt-to-PCIe Card Expansion System.
    Locking feature of eSATA connectors not supported in Xserve.
    Mac Logo Windows LogoeSATA LogoroHS Logo
    --- Post Merged, Apr 23, 2017 ---
    Sonnet clearly states it supports Sierra, tho the driver download only list 10.5-10.6, but seems to be from 2013.

    Nothing I know of changed with disk controllers since 2013, and if Sonnet says it supports Sierra, I don't see how you can go wrong.

    I have gotten a bad product from Sonnet, once, but they replaced it with a free upgrade to a better product.
  5. namethisfile thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2008

    I already did it.

    I don't feel good about it.

    I got the NewerTech MAXpower eSATA PCIe card.

    Because it was much more affordable.

    We shall see...

    *crossing fingers*
  6. jeeplj8 macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2014
    from reading on the apple discussions forum the CalDigit card specifically works with Sierra. People report it also works with El Crapitan. Apparently most cards work OK in both Yosemite and Sierra, but run into problems with El Craptitan.
  7. howiest macrumors regular


    Aug 16, 2015
    Left Coast
    The NewerTech MAXPower eSATA card is MacOS Sierra compatible, I've had mine for a long time and it's always worked with every OS update because it requires no drivers. I am not able to boot from it though. I use it to connect to a NewerTech Voyager Q dock.

    While I'm on the topic... this USB 3 / eSATA NewerTech card is not compatible with Sierra. The drivers caused a kernel panic early in the boot cycle after I upgraded to Sierra. Which is why I switched back to the eSATA card you were inquiring about.
  8. namethisfile thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2008
    Ok, cool. That's reassuring. I don't mind not booting with it. I just wanna use it to connect to an external dock for backup and/or as a scratchdisk for FCP X.

    How does it handle being used as a scratchdisk for video editing?
  9. howiest macrumors regular


    Aug 16, 2015
    Left Coast
    Should work fine for a scratch disk. I really noticed no difference between the previous USB 3 card and this eSATA card in terms of performance.
  10. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
  11. namethisfile thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2008

    I received the NewerTech MAXpower 6G Pro card and it does WORK in Sierra!

    So, that's cool.

    Also, Read is definitely faster than my Mac Pro's internal Sata using Black Magic Disk Speed Test.

    The internal SATA on MP 5,1 will peak at around 250 MB/s Write speed and 250 MB/s Read speed. This is using 5 GB Stress Test.... and an SSD (120GB 840 Evo)...

    But... on the eSATA card connected to an external HDD dock via eSATA cable, it should theoretically be able to saturate the Sandisk Plus 120GB SSD, right?

    Not really. And, my results are weird.

    First of all, Read is consistently at 350 MB/s, so it's faster than internal SATA. But, the Write speed bounces around. It will peak at 300 or so MBs and then slowly climb down to 100 MBs or even below.

    Usually, if I stop and start the test, the first run will hit 300 or so MBs. But, the runs after that, the Write speed slowly goes down to around 100 MBs.

    Anyone know why this is?
  12. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    Sounds like your SSD is running out of free space. So, when you run the benchmark, GC cannot catch up the speed. When no more pre-emptied free cell avail, the writing speed will drop significantly.

    But once you stop the test, TRIM and GC have time to do their job again. Therefore, when you start a new test, there are some free cells available, which makes you able to see 300 MB/s again.
  13. bitnaut macrumors newbie


    May 10, 2014
    Weird, I had the 4 eSATA port version of this card and it did not work with MacOS Sierra. At least it didn't work with the RAID rack mount box that holds 12 requires a port-multiplier eSATA type card which the MaxPower is but it required a driver which has not been updated for MacOS Sierra.

    So I bought the HighPoint RocketRAID 644L which has drivers built into every version of OS X including Sierra. Turns out the board is exactly the same as the MaxPOWER but it has a different PCIe identifier so the HighPoint drivers won't load with the MaxPOWER card installed.
  14. namethisfile thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2008
    Shows on their website that it does not support port-multiplier cases/enclosures, here:
  15. bitnaut macrumors newbie


    May 10, 2014
    Like I said in my reply, I was talking about the 4 port version which DOES support port multiplier cases/enclosures up to 20 drives:

    but does not work in MacOS Sierra where the HighPoint RocketRAID 644L does even though they appear to be the exact same card hardware-wise.
  16. namethisfile thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2008
    My bad.

    I wonder why that is.
  17. bitnaut macrumors newbie


    May 10, 2014
    Because the Highpoint card has drivers built into every OS X version up to Sierra. The MaxPower card requires an installable driver which MaxPower, has so far, not provided despite my repeated requests. So I gave up and found the Highpoint card and have been happy ever since.
  18. heero503 macrumors newbie


    Nov 12, 2014
    Hong Kong
    I am using this card and 2 two angelbird SSD in raid0 from 4,1 and real 5,1now.
    I am using Sierra also.
    This card is ok but only 1 thing is worst that you cannot get the boot menu and u need to switch os or install disk from preference startup disk.
  19. haralds macrumors 6502a


    Jan 3, 2014
    Silicon Valley, CA
    I know for a fact that CAlDigit cards work and boot. They are in my 5,1. They are working with Lion and higher. eSATA part foes not need drivers. USB ports need drivers on Lion I think, it is rarely used these days.
  20. FireWire2 macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    DATOptic just release a new USB 3.1 to eSATA adapter replace the old U3eSATA adapter support PM box
    Check it out:

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