Thunderbolt card for Mac Pro 4,1

Ben1l

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2006
222
-1
I have a Mac Pro 4,1. I just wanted to know if there is any way of installing a Thunderbolt card in the machine?

Thanks,
 

3dadd

macrumors newbie
Jan 20, 2012
11
0
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axy60

macrumors newbie
Sep 7, 2012
11
1
near equator
a new Thunderbolt option for the HP Z820 & Z620

You can see the card in this blog article & video on 4K editing from Adobe (part of their 7.1 update announcement)

http://blogs.adobe.com/davtechtable/2013/09/whats-new-in-the-oct-2013-pro-video-cc-releases.html

Video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=UrxEx8ICqME#t=467

The card requires a special connector on the motherboard as part of the Intel Spec. More discussions on the RED Forums and Creative Cow

hope this helps.
Not sure how this option for a PC would help a MP user... (?)
 
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costabunny

macrumors demi-goddess
May 15, 2008
2,464
58
Weymouth, UK
Unfortunately there never will be an option to retro fit thunderbolt to a pre nMP Mac Pro as it requires support in the logic board itself (the chipset has to be thunderbolt ready so to speak).

I guess its like trying to add fingerprint support to the start button on an iphone 4 - the hardware just cannot support it, as it needs to be baked in at manufacture.

Its a shame, and is a big factor in why I am selling my beast to get a nMP or new iMac, we have thunderbolt storage that my main machine cannot fully utilise :(
 
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serr

macrumors regular
Mar 8, 2010
176
21
Lots of comments back from 2013 just reading every single TB pci expansion card the riot act and even claiming such a thing can never be built to be reliable. Sounds pretty dramatic...

Fast forward to 2017.
What options do we have today and is one of them recommended by anyone?
 
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William Payne

macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2017
931
358
Wanganui, New Zealand.
Even on PC's for thunderbolt to work the mothboard has to have a thunderbolt header (plug) for it to work. That era Mac Pro does not have that header as it predates thunderbolt.

Even if you installed a thunderbolt card. The computer can't talk to it.
 
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warragul

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2016
49
4
Melbourne, Australia
Even on PC's for thunderbolt to work the mothboard has to have a thunderbolt header (plug) for it to work. That era Mac Pro does not have that header as it predates thunderbolt.

Even if you installed a thunderbolt card. The computer can't talk to it.
If you'd like to McGyver it you could pick up a cheap Mac Mini (the later ones have TB) and start it in Target Mode, hooked by FireWire/USB to your cMP. I don't know how fast it would be but you'd have connectivity (of a sort).
Wish I'd thought about it when the local pawn shop had a couple of WD 4Tb TB drives. But for 4Tb drives they wanted too much.
 
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William Payne

macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2017
931
358
Wanganui, New Zealand.
If you'd like to McGyver it you could pick up a cheap Mac Mini (the later ones have TB) and start it in Target Mode, hooked by FireWire/USB to your cMP. I don't know how fast it would be but you'd have connectivity (of a sort).
Wish I'd thought about it when the local pawn shop had a couple of WD 4Tb TB drives. But for 4Tb drives they wanted too much.
Most thunderbolt items have a USB 3 port as well. May as well just plug in USB.
 
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Draeconis

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2008
967
264
Ironic that the machine Light Peak was developed on, never got it officially.
[doublepost=1499493753][/doublepost]
If you'd like to McGyver it you could pick up a cheap Mac Mini (the later ones have TB) and start it in Target Mode, hooked by FireWire/USB to your cMP. I don't know how fast it would be but you'd have connectivity (of a sort).
Wish I'd thought about it when the local pawn shop had a couple of WD 4Tb TB drives. But for 4Tb drives they wanted too much.
I know you can chain FW800 to FW400 by having a machine in the middle with both. Has to have power but doesn't actually have to be on. Wonder if it's the same for FW to TB..
 
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weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
4,943
2,165
Thunderbolt is useful in a sealed system - albeit a clunky and expensive way of adding peripherals. In a cMP, you have direct access to the PCIe buses, so is TB really that big a deal when you can readily swap out graphic cards, USB cards etc?
 
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William Payne

macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2017
931
358
Wanganui, New Zealand.
Same thing applies. With USB3 or eSATA or internal nvme adapters what is the real benefit of TB?
If you need to move large files or lots and I mean lots of files from a computer to an external drive or vice versa really quickly. I was watching a video of a photographer who when backing up his files at the end of a location shoot from his laptop to a external drive he said thunderbolt sped his transfer time from 30 minutes with usb to 5 with thunderbolt.
 
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chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
9,188
3,166
If you'd like to McGyver it you could pick up a cheap Mac Mini (the later ones have TB) and start it in Target Mode, hooked by FireWire/USB to your cMP. I don't know how fast it would be but you'd have connectivity (of a sort).
Wish I'd thought about it when the local pawn shop had a couple of WD 4Tb TB drives. But for 4Tb drives they wanted too much.
Putting a Mac Mini, or any thunderbolt equippped Mac into target disk mode will not provide any thunderbolt connectivity to a Mac Pro.
 
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h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
13,951
6,578
Hong Kong
If you need to move large files or lots and I mean lots of files from a computer to an external drive or vice versa really quickly. I was watching a video of a photographer who when backing up his files at the end of a location shoot from his laptop to a external drive he said thunderbolt sped his transfer time from 30 minutes with usb to 5 with thunderbolt.
That kinds of difference most likely is coming from the drive (e.g. SSD vs HDD), but not the connecting method.

Even a $20 PCIe USB 3.0 card can let a cheap SATA SSD write at ~500MB/s. 6x faster means 3000MB/s. Do you think it make sense? Which "normal price" external drive has this kind of speed?

I don't know which video you refer to, but may be he compared a USB HDD to a Thinderbolt SSD. In this case, ~100MB/s vs ~550MB/s. Very close to that 6x improvement.

If he actually used a USB 3.0 SSD. 500MB/s, write for 30min.

500x60x30 ~ 900GB. Which also doesn't sounds right for normal photos work.
 
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weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
4,943
2,165
If you need to move large files or lots and I mean lots of files from a computer to an external drive or vice versa really quickly. I was watching a video of a photographer who when backing up his files at the end of a location shoot from his laptop to a external drive he said thunderbolt sped his transfer time from 30 minutes with usb to 5 with thunderbolt.
I think the same as h9826790. This sounds like a comparison of USB 2.0 to TB or some similar mismatch.
 
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William Payne

macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2017
931
358
Wanganui, New Zealand.
The photographer I was talking about is working with 100 megapixel phase one medium format files.

I may have either miss quoted his times or he was exaggerating to make a point.

Not sure what drives he was using in the past, but the photographers I pay attention to are thunderbolt users and all use thunderbolt for that purpose, fast file transfer between devices externally.
 
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carpsafari

Suspended
Sep 13, 2015
277
56
the Netherlands
If you need to move large files or lots and I mean lots of files from a computer to an external drive or vice versa really quickly. I was watching a video of a photographer who when backing up his files at the end of a location shoot from his laptop to a external drive he said thunderbolt sped his transfer time from 30 minutes with usb to 5 with thunderbolt.
Well for that we have the flashSSD, or 4x on an Amfeltec card, to speed up things, even faster than TB3 can.
Using a flashSSD as Scratchdisk will illiminate the need for TB.
Backing up to a HDD is no problem, because by then you finished your project.

ps, when I move a folder with dslr clips from my scratchdisk (SM951) it takes less than 30 seconds for 32Gb.
 
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