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straightMacin

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 6, 2019
104
70
Chicago, IL
Hey Guys,

I'm curious what expansion cards people are planning on using?

I'm thinking of adding a decent sound card, some internal storage, and some USB A expansion.

What are you folks adding to your machine?
 

cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
21,870
25,393
California
Hey Guys,

I'm curious what expansion cards people are planning on using?

I'm thinking of adding a decent sound card, some internal storage, and some USB A expansion.

What are you folks adding to your machine?
Someone should make a list of PCI cards with black external connectors. Can’t sully your machine with silver connectors, can you?
 
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casperes1996

macrumors 603
Jan 26, 2014
6,018
3,905
Horsens, Denmark
'm thinking of adding a decent sound card

May I ask why?

For internal audio, Apple already uses excellent DACs for their headphone ports, and if you need anything more high end, keeping it internal is often considered less than ideal for audio since it's inside a box with a lot of other interference, so external sound devices are typically preferred. What do you want from the device and for what use-case?

Also, note that Sazzy on YouTube did a video about PCIe cards and showed that at least one SoundBlaster card didn't work in macOS.
 
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bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,983
2,080
MP7,1 does not include an OPTICAL port that is needed for a lot of users and setups. Fortunately, several TB3 docking solutions and USB audio interfaces have that covered easily.
 
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casperes1996

macrumors 603
Jan 26, 2014
6,018
3,905
Horsens, Denmark
MP7,1 does not include an OPTICAL port that is needed for a lot of users and setups. Fortunately, several TB3 docking solutions and USB audio interfaces have that covered easily.

Hm. I really would've expected the 3.5mm port to be TOSLINK compatible like they used to be, but nope, doesn't say it supports TOSLINK optical on the site.
 
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Korican100

macrumors 65816
Oct 9, 2012
1,131
478
MP7,1 does not include an OPTICAL port that is needed for a lot of users and setups. Fortunately, several TB3 docking solutions and USB audio interfaces have that covered easily.
yup that was an unexpected, "welp". the nMP had toslink, and that's what i used for my audio interface. Looking at USB audio interfaces now. MO MONEY
 
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bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,983
2,080
They (Apple) should have an alternate I/O card with different port configs. Many need optical audio vs more USB, etc. What I really don’t like about MP7,1 is how much still is going to be external from the machine when I’m “done” configuring. It’s not really any cleaner of a setup than an iMac/Pro or Mini or MBP. Throwing GPUs inside and massive RAM are the main advantage. Lots to decide in next few weeks/months.
 
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Sunrunner

macrumors 6502a
Nov 27, 2003
599
2
Hey Guys,

I'm curious what expansion cards people are planning on using?

I'm thinking of adding a decent sound card, some internal storage, and some USB A expansion.

What are you folks adding to your machine?

So far, the Promise R2i for SATA and an Angelbird PCI card with 2TB 2280 for added NVMe storage. While its tempting to add more I/O, the external expansion/breakout options already on the market are pretty economical.
 
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bxs

macrumors 65816
Oct 20, 2007
1,140
515
Seattle, WA
Adding
  • Promise Pegasus 2Ji with 1x 8TB and 1x 16TB disks
  • Sonnet/Samsung PCIe combo card - Samsung EVO Plus 3x 1TB and 1x 2TB blades; will RAID-0 4x 1TB, and use the remaining 1TB on the 2TB blade for cloning my internal 1TB SSD.
  • Adding 256 GB RAM (8x 32GB R-DIMMs) to stock 32GB (4x 8GB R-DIMMs)
  • Once the MP7,1 is up and running with the above will consider adding the Afterburner.
 
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kjohansen

macrumors regular
Nov 19, 2008
100
52
Oregon
Adding
  • Promise Pegasus 2Ji with 1x 8TB and 1x 16TB disks
  • Sonnet/Samsung PCIe combo card - Samsung EVO Plus 3x 1TB and 1x 2TB blades; will RAID-0 4x 1TB, and use the remaining 1TB on the 2TB blade for cloning my internal 1TB SSD.
  • Adding 256 GB Ram (8x 32GB R-DIMMs) to stock 32GB (4x 8GB R-DIMMs)
  • Once the MP7,1 is up and running with the above will consider adding the Afterburner.

My 8TB drive died almost right away, I could not get Apple to replace it...
 
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bxs

macrumors 65816
Oct 20, 2007
1,140
515
Seattle, WA
My 8TB drive died almost right away, I could not get Apple to replace it...
Yea - you'll need to contact Promise as they provide a 3yr warranty and tech help. Apple only covers Apple branded components, and is clearly stated on their web site.
 
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bob_stan

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2019
119
73
Central New York
Added a Promise J2i with an extra 8TB Toshiba Drive. Running it as a stripped raid drive (RAID 0)
96GB of OWC Ram
Already had an external USB 3 hub which I just connected to one of the 2 available USB ports.
 
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StuAff

macrumors 6502
Aug 6, 2007
259
124
Portsmouth, UK
Would point out that the optical audio port on OWC's TB3 dock, and many other possible solutions, does not support encoded 5.1 DD or DTS soundtracks, just stereo. The CalDigit TS3 Plus dock does, and there are HDMI audio extractor/splitters that can also pass the signal on. I have an old Creative Inspire 5.1 set with decoder, and I'll be wanting to keep the full functionality with future Macs.
 
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Korican100

macrumors 65816
Oct 9, 2012
1,131
478
Added a Promise J2i with an extra 8TB Toshiba Drive. Running it as a stripped raid drive (RAID 0)
96GB of OWC Ram
Already had an external USB 3 hub which I just connected to one of the 2 available USB ports.
Where did you grab your extra 8tb toshiba? from amazon?
Also, what did you do with your 32gb apple ram that came with your system?
 
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bob_stan

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2019
119
73
Central New York
I bought the Toshiba from OWC. Don't remember the model but it is an enterprise class drive. I held on to the 32GB chips in case I need some service under warranty. I have heard, but have no verification, that there may be warranty issues if you have other than Apple provided ram installed.
 
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chfilm

macrumors 68030
Nov 15, 2012
2,964
1,722
Berlin
I would also recommend trying to go through HDMI. I’ve currently got an AV receiver hooked up through thunderbolt 2, behind a promise Pegasus raid via TB2-> HDMI Adapter and it receives perfect surround sound through that. Quite a nice protocol thunderbolt is!
 
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doobydoooby

macrumors member
Oct 17, 2011
84
132
Genève, Switzerland
For the digital audio out, instead of using my toslink cable I'm just going to add an extra pci row of usb3 connectors and use one of those to export usb audio to my external dac. Most hifi or dac units that receive a toslink cable can also accept a usb audio cable.
 
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zhpenn

macrumors regular
Aug 27, 2014
228
88
may add Usb 3.2 type A X 4
Highpoint Raid SSD Card
Radeon VII
wifi 6 PCIe card
 
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Korican100

macrumors 65816
Oct 9, 2012
1,131
478
For the digital audio out, instead of using my toslink cable I'm just going to add an extra pci row of usb3 connectors and use one of those to export usb audio to my external dac. Most hifi or dac units that receive a toslink cable can also accept a usb audio cable.
which usb 3.0 pcie cards are people using for macpro7,1?
I saw on snazzy labs, his didn't work, so im curious which ones do.
 
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Korican100

macrumors 65816
Oct 9, 2012
1,131
478
Believe ALL of the Sonnet Allegro USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 PCIe cards are advertised as MP7,1 compatible.
just tried to find it on owc and sonnet's site. They didn't mention the 7,1. I'm fearing i maybe searching for the wrong one. Do you have a link? I am willing to pull the trigger asap!
 
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bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,983
2,080
ALL of these are advertising MP7,1 compatibility:


I'm sure MANY of the existing MP5,1 compatible cards also would work:
 
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davidec

macrumors 6502
Jan 31, 2008
371
378
Believe ALL of the Sonnet Allegro USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 PCIe cards are advertised as MP7,1 compatible.
Yep I’ve got one running in my nMP no problem

Ive also added an RME Madi PCIe card. It has a second double height card you can use for midi that doesn’t go into the actual PCIe slot. Funny it was stable in my cMP but extremely loose in my nMP
 
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Sunrunner

macrumors 6502a
Nov 27, 2003
599
2
Where did you grab your extra 8tb toshiba? from amazon?
Also, what did you do with your 32gb apple ram that came with your system?

Unless you fill all the slots, just leave the 32Gb RAM in the machine. They do not have to be all the same capacity.
 
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