Trying to put USB 3.0 on a G5 PowerMac.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by joe.pelayo, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. joe.pelayo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Location:
    Mexico City
    #1
    Hello everybody.

    Recently I resurrected an old PowerMac (Dual G5@2.0GHz) by installing 4GB of RAM (it wasn't really dead, just somewhat slow), and after adding another HDD I realized the USB 2.0 ports in it would be a limitation for data transfers, so I devised the idea of adding USB 3.0 ports.

    When I opened the case to upgrade the RAM I noticed the existence of several PCI slots on the motherboard, they are available for expansion, aren't they?

    Assuming they are and that I manage to get a PCI expansion card with USB 3.0 ports, would it work on the machine? I mean, would "Leopard" detect them? So far the cards I've seen say they only support Windows (but that could be marketing).

    Thanks,
    Joe.
     
  2. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #2
    I've seen a few adapters around, but I wouldn't know where to get them. Google has a lot of information that'd probably be more helpful.
     
  3. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #3
    All USB 3.0 expansion cards are PCIe (PCI Express). Two problems:

    1. Only the Late 2005 PMG5s have PCIe slots. The older machines are PCI/PCI-X and thus have no appropriate slots.

    2. "Super Speed" USB drivers don't exist for versions of Mac OS prior to Leopard (10.5) and that's the newest version of OS X that will actually run on a PPC Mac.

    So I think you might be out of luck there. But you still do have FW800 and the option to add an eSATA card if you need a faster external interface. Sonnet makes PCI-X and PCIe eSATA cards that work in G5s.
     
  4. joe.pelayo thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Location:
    Mexico City
    #4
    Hi,

    After some googling I found out about the PCI/PCI-X issue which set me back at looking for more USB 2.0 ports (having three in such a machine is miserable). I found several PCI expansion cards with USB ports, but now before I go out a purchase one (Sabrent, Encore, etc), I have a couple of questions:

    Considering the fact that most cards mention in their requirements they are for Windows, what are the odds that they will work on a Mac?

    I am given to understand there are some compatibility issues one has to keep in mind if installing PCI on a PCI-X slot (which might be the case here). Is it possible that the machine gets ruined if I get a "wrong card" (voltage-wise)?

    Thanks,
    Joe.
     
  5. hwojtek macrumors 6502a

    hwojtek

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    A small rural village in western Poland
    #5
    Just buy any USB2 card that uses the NEC chipset. They work out of the box in OS X. One of the popular OEM cards with this chipset features 4 external plus 1 internal USB2 connectors, quite easy to spot, got it running in my G4 on Tiger and then it continues to work in a G5 and Leopard.
     

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