Installing USB 3.0 on Mac Pro - Will it work and will I get 3.0 Speeds?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Reseb, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. Reseb macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2013
    Hello I would like to upgrade my Mac pro to USB 3.0 and I wanted to get a clear picture on things.

    I saw this on the web:

    It says it's compatible with mac pros and all looks well. However, I had a "technical" person tell me that if my computer doesn't have USB 3.0 connections on the inside of the machine then I won't get USB 3.0 speeds. So I was thinking (if this was true) there is no point of upgrading.

    Anyway, any input on this matter would help. Thanks.
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I don't have a MacPro, and I've never tried it, but...

    .... I've read that if you install USB3 via a PCI card (or perhaps even via a Thunderbolt connection) that you only get speeds that are roughly half of what USB3 is capable of (if it were installed "natively" on the motherboard).

    Definitely faster than USB2, and the speed increase that you _do_ get may be worth it to you (provided the PCI USB3 card doesn't cost too much).

    But it won't be as fast as, say, it were running on a USB3-equipped iMac...
  3. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    Check out some of the reviews on amazon - some people say it only recognizes disk drives. I don't see a reason why it wouldn't work. PCIe is plenty fast for USB 3. What are you planning on connecting to it?
  4. matthiasgoodman, Jul 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013

    matthiasgoodman macrumors member


    Jul 13, 2005
    Chandler, AZ
    COrocket Reseb, the card you listed is an HBA (from Wikipedia: In computer hardware, a host controller, host adapter, or host bus adapter connects a host system to other network and storage devices. The terms are primarily used to refer to devices for connecting SCSI, Fibre Channel and eSATA devices.)

    It is meant for the sole purpose of connecting storage devices to your computer. It probably presents them as storage devices and the OS probably does not even see the USB controller.

    There are other USB 3.0 cards that should work. With PCIe you should have not problems achieving full USB 3.0 speeds with the correct card and drivers.

    One like this should work.
  5. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    I'm not the OP who posted the link. I was just commenting that people bought it and plugged in mice and mobile devices and nothing except drives showed up.
  6. Reseb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2013
    I am planning to connect a drive, but I would not like to be limited to solely drives. It would be nice to have the option to connect other devices.

    Thanks for pointing out the HBA nature of the device that I posted originally. Achieving full USB 3.0 speeds with full USB 3.0 functionality is what I'm going after. I went to that link you sent me and check out the reviews (thanks Fishrrman) and for the most part it looks like my 2010 Mac Pro model has the right stuff to get this done. This is probably the route I will take.
  7. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012

    work, but can be problems booting from it. And speeds are not full. But still, better than USB 2.2 Take a look or stroll by the Forums. Your very questions had been discussed a fair share of posts....:D


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