Expresscard, using USB 3.0 @2.0 speed

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mr-zeddeh, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. mr-zeddeh macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2013
    Hello everyone,

    After reading many postings here about Expresscard 34's it seems the consensus is that those cheap usb 3.0 flush-mounted cards from Amazon (see photo) may not work @ 3.0 usb speeds, even with using a variety of hacked drivers.

    Quick background: Both usb (2.0) ports on my MBPro (mid 2007) are starting to fail after years of use. 1 has stopped working completely and the other works 75% of the time.

    Instead of paying big $ to get new usb connectors installed onto my motherboard I was thinking of buying a flush-mounted expresscard. My plan is to use this older laptop for 1 more year and then I'll get a MBAir

    Here is my question...

    I don't need usb 3.0, all I need is a 100% working usb 2.0 port (from which I run a usb powered hub)… does anyone have any experience that would indicate that these cheap usb 3.0 expresscards will work as a usb 2.0 connection without drivers? Or do they either work as a usb 3.0 or nothing at all?

    My second option would be to get a larger usb 3.0 card (see photo) but run it @ usb 2.0, if apple drivers are available or required...

    My 3rd option would be to get a large 4-port, usb 2.0 card (see photo), but they are so bulky I don't think I want it forever sticking out the side of my computer as I would need to leave it in all the time.

    Ideas? other options?

    Will any usb 3.0 card work @ a usb 2.0 without drivers?

    Thanks for any info you can provide.

    Attached Files:

  2. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    I have the GYMLE one you posted first, with a late 2008 MBP. So far it works fine. Only thing I think is that I can't hot swap it, I have to boot up with it inserted to work. Got USB3 speeds on it from my only usb3 device. I did have to install drivers for it but it was pretty painless and I hear there are much better drivers than what I had at the time. It is a bit cheaply made though and may not be able to provide full USB power to both ports at the same time.
  3. mr-zeddeh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2013
    Hi astroboy907,

    Thanks for your quick reply.

    Having the card inserted before booting would be ok as I plan to leave it installed in the slot all the time. I would have no need to take it out as I would then have no usb ports.

    Where did you find the drivers @?

    I forgot to mention I am running 10.6.8. I suppose I could always upgrade the OSX if it helps to get the drivers working.

    thanks for you help!
  4. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    You don't want my drivers, they are probably 2 or 3 years old, around the time these cards started to be compatible with macs. I remember in the comments of the amazon product page there are links to newer drivers :) Should work with Snow Leopard just fine!
    Another thing- not sure if this is actually an issue or just me, but a couple times I had this card in and my computer closed, in a bag, etc, I would take it out and the computer would be dead. Maybe the card drained the battery? I don't know though. I'm pretty sure it was just me (maybe the old drivers). But for around $10 it's worth a shot at least. Personally I haven't used mine in forever, I keep an SD card reader there as my mac doesn't have an internal SD slot.
  5. mr-zeddeh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2013
    Yep for $13 its not a big deal... I just bought one a few minutes ago

    Looked around the web and downloaded different drivers (Oyan Digiteal, etc) so hopefully I can get one of them to work.

    Thanks for your help I appreciate it!

  6. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    I use tonymacx86's USB driver and it works flawlessly.
    A 3GB file transfer is done in couple seconds.
  7. TheBigearedOne macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2016
    Im shopping for the same thing - an expresscard 34 to add usb3 to my mid 2009 macbookpro 17inch

    Just wondering which one you bought and how it worked out for you?

    Im currently running 10.10.5 and its way too slow so Im going to erase the drive and install 10.8.5 instead

  8. pierrox macrumors regular


    Jun 19, 2015
    Paris, France
    This is not a recent thread, but I didn't find more relevant/recent. I have the last 17" MBP and it still rocks - I bought the most powerful model back in the days (i7 chip, 16Gb RAM, mat screen, SSD drive in there).
    I have an eSata card, but that's becoming less common.
    These days, 2.5" USB3 drives are everywhere and dirt cheap, so I often get media files delivered on them - I'm a film editor. So I'd like to get an Express Card that can do USB3, with the OS drivers preferably, to speed up exports a bit and have a generally faster machine when I use those as media-drives.
    Any recommendation for such a card?
    I guess another option would be a Thunderbolt -> USB3 adapter but is there such a thing?

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