It's 2011 Who uses their expresscard/34 slot

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jamesschmidtke, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. jamesschmidtke macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2008
    Not being sarcastic, just wanted to know what the current uses are and if anyone can't live without it. I ordered a BTO 2011 17" and was a little bummed to lose the sd card slot but am intrigued as to what I may have gained. All the express card threads are pretty old and don't really address why a high end machine that was just refreshed days ago saw it fit to keep this tech. Is this tech dead? Are new developments coming? Or is this just a tide over until thunderbolt peripherals outweigh esata express card adapters?
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    In the past, it was the only way to get fast external storage (eSATA). Now that Thunderbolt is here, I don't see that much use for ExpressCard. Offers more features than the SD card slot though ;)
  3. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    Yeah, have to agree with Hellhammer here.

    I wouldn't even call an SD card slot a Pro feature to begin with :p
  4. auero macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2006
    The 17" is used by more professionals such as photographers and videographers. Thunderbolt is here but it'll be a while before we see equipment out and at the same time would you want to spend extra money replacing equipment because of a port? They can also be used to add extra firewire ports or even a tv tuner.

    I kind of wish they would have both on it but at the same time I understand why they choose the express slot over sd.
  5. Hansr macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2007
    I only use it for a card reader and generally so do the people I know but there are a few guys out there using it for HDDs.
  6. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    You don't have to replace any equipment. If you have eSATA storage, just get TB to eSATA adapter. TB is based on PCIe so it can provide pretty much anything with an appropriate adapter.
  7. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    You can put a 3G card or a card reader without it having it hanging way out there.
  8. T-bag Guest

    Jan 20, 2011
    Does anyone know about any good international sites for buying expresscard-stuff? The prices are quite high in my country, and I can't find any SSD-cards. Would be great to find a reasonable priced 48GB SSD I can put windows on. :)

    If I'm able to, then the expresscard-slot is much more welcome than the sd card reader.
  9. altecXP macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2009
    express card based SSD is you have any use for one.
  10. rebby macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2008
    I too would much rather have the ExpressCard slot than the SD slot. I have no need for the SD slot. SD is more of a consumer media than "Pro" anyway. Any "Pro" level camera worth using utilizes CF cards anyway. Should Apple have put in a CF slot instead? Perhaps, I know that I would use it but the fact is, the ExpressCard is far more versatile.
  11. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    I never used it in my old 15", and probably won't with my new 17". It'll probably go away in 1-2 refreshes to replaced with something more useful (CF slot that's flush with the case would be awesome)
  12. wct097 macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2010
    Lots of people still have Expresscard mobile broadband cards. We have them deployed in almost all of our vehicle mounted computers. Fire trucks, EMS vehicles, police cars, inspections vehicles, etc. Granted we don't run Apples, but the usage of the slot is pretty common.
  13. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    ExpressCard 2.0 will be more useful than any fixed function slot.
  14. thatisme macrumors 6502


    Mar 23, 2010
    United States
    I could never get it to work properly with my CF reader without a kernel panic attack.... the port has been idle 99.99% of the time I have owned my MBP
  15. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2008
    I have a USB3.0 Expresscard. I did not expect to see Thunderbolt so soon. I wouldn't have gotten one if I did.
  16. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Dec 13, 2004
    esata card, but curiously it never gave me performance over ~35 mb/s. It wasn't the hard drive and it wasn't the card, so it must have been some limitation with the slot. Curiously also, fw 400 transfer speeds with the same hd were also ~35 mb/s. This was on a 2007 mbp 15" btw.
  17. gbullman, Mar 3, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011

    gbullman macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2011
    RE: It's 2011 Who uses their expresscard/34 slot

    I use the Sonnet Tempo ExpressCard/34 eSATA adapter in my late 2007 MBP. When copying large files between 2 eSATA connected RAID 0 devices I get about 90 MB/sec so I would say something besides the slot is slowing down your throughput.

    What I've found is FW800 is just a little slower than a 7200 RPM single drive so even a single drive will benefit from eSATA (55 MB/sec with FW800 & 65 MB/sec with eSATA).

    I'm expecting that Thunderbolt to eSATA adapters will hit the market, does anyone have info on who will be offering them and when we can expect to see them?

    Once I can continue using my eSATA devices I'll probably go for one of the new MBPs. Next generation of devices I'll go Thunderbolt, but these eSATA devices have a lot of life left in them.
  18. Derango macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2011
    I never used it in my original Macbook Pro and now that I don't have one in my 2011 version I don't miss it one bit.
  19. cathyy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2008
    I've owned my Macbook Pro for 3 years and I've never ever used it. I've never used my FireWire ports either.
  20. thearc macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2011
  21. mmcatee macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2007
    Lexar Card Reader

    I use it for the Lexar card reader and it works fantastic
  22. mulo macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2010
    Behind you
    which I will once they arrive, until then i'm keeping my eSata card safe and sound!
  23. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2011
    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.

    Which expresscard did you get?
  24. LunaC macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2011
    The 35MB/s sounds almost like you were using a eSata that was using the USB bus.
  25. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    I use it with an Intel X25 and an enclosure (eSATA). I bought a couple of those eSATA express cards (cheap). On of them is flush and works great.

    I get SATA 1 or 2 performance (maybe just STATA 1, not sure). But it's faster than my WD 7200 internal 750GB drive.

    On thing that puzzles me, is that apparently, there are 'self powered'
    eSATA express cards and enclosures. But it all seems very murky. You would need a special cable I would guess.

    Does anyone have any experience with this? ( Of course with the regular eSATA enclosures you need a separate USB cable to power the enclosure (so you a stuck with two cables coming out of it), which fine but messy. )

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