Mac Pro adding USB 3.0 without PCiE

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by steve997, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. steve997 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2015
    #1
    Hi guys,
    I have a 5,1 Mac Pro.
    All my PCiE slots are full (GPU, miniSAS/RAID card, Blackmagic Video, 10GigE). I also want to have USB3.0.

    Short of buying a CUBIX expander can anyone offer any way to put a USB3 input on the box (possibly by using one of the SATA slots for disk drives via adaptor to USB3)?

    Cheers
     
  2. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #2
    USB 3 would only be via a PCIe card. I'm not sure what the SATA to USB3 idea is about, even if something like that did exist, you'd be limited to SATA-II speeds, which are slower than USB2!
     
  3. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #3
    If you are using wired Ethernet (not wi-fi), then you could pull your Wi-Fi card out and you'd have a mini-PCIe slot free.

    There are USB 3.0 cards in mini-PCIe format. You'd then need a cord to run from the internal usb header on the card to an external USB port outside of the case.

    Actually the first challenge would be finding a mini-PCIe card with a chipset that has OS X drivers. The three most common USB 3.0 chipsets I see out there with OS X drivers are Fresco Logic, NEC, and ASMedia. If you are only running Windows, then that wouldn't be a problem.

    I seem to remember someone doing this before, but I am unable to find the thread, so maybe not.

    That sounds way off to me. In my experience, hard drives connected directly to the SATA ports are significantly faster than if I pull them out and connect that very same drive via USB 2.0. Looking up the specs, SATA-II is much, much faster than USB2.
     
  4. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #4
    Ignore me, I'm getting Mb and MB mixed up.

    Even so, SATA and USB are totally different connections, you can't just slap a USB header on a SATA connector, that doesn't make any sense.
     
  5. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #5
    SATA2 is 300 megabytes a second
    USB2 is 480 megabits a second

    Converted...
    SATA2 is 2400 megabits a second
    USB2 is 480 megabits a second

    "Second-generation SATA interfaces run with a native transfer rate of 3.0 Gbit/s that, when accounted for the 8b/10b encoding scheme, equals to the maximum uncoded transfer rate of 2.4 Gbit/s (300 MB/s)."
     
  6. merlinmage macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2014
  7. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #7
    I found the post I was mentioning earlier. This guy got USB 3.0 working over the mini-PCIe slot.
    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...-3-0-on-mac-pro.1501482/page-35#post-19011744

    I don't know why he used a miniPCIe->ExpressCard->USB3 setup instead of just a USB3 card directly in the miniPCIe slot.
     
  8. haralds macrumors 6502

    haralds

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    #8
    Wouldn't it be simplest to replace one of the eSATA cards with one that does both eSATA and USB 3? I have two of these: http://www.caldigit.com/Fasta-6GU3pro/
     
  9. 666sheep, Nov 19, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015

    666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #9
    Most likely because all mPCIe USB cards are on a Nec chipset which isn't reliable and usually requires 3rd party drivers.
     

Share This Page