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macstatic

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 21, 2005
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What's the verdict on USB 3 for a Mac Pro in 2018? More specifically a 4-core 2.8 GHz Mac Pro 5,1 (mid-2010) running OSX 10.9.5 Mavericks.
"The USB 3 for classic Mac Pro" thread is getting quite confusing with its latest discussions and it's hard to tell what's relevant and not today, with more current OSX versions.

My intent is to read memory cards from a USB 3 card reader, so I really just need a single USB-3 port. Is the Inatech KT-4004 still the one to go for, for a low cost but well-working solution?
I read something about only specific PCIe slots being suitable for this sort of thing in the Mac Pro, and that not all OSX versions are supported with all cards.
 

crjackson2134

macrumors 601
Mar 6, 2013
4,750
1,908
Charlotte, NC
What's the verdict on USB 3 for a Mac Pro in 2018? More specifically a 4-core 2.8 GHz Mac Pro 5,1 (mid-2010) running OSX 10.9.5 Mavericks.
"The USB 3 for classic Mac Pro" thread is getting quite confusing with its latest discussions and it's hard to tell what's relevant and not today, with more current OSX versions.

It's not confusing at all. Post #1 stays pretty updated.

Just decided if you want cheap, or deluxe.
 
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kohlson

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Apr 23, 2010
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Based on the information from USB 3 for Classic MP thread, I bought a KT4004 6 months ago. Works great.
 
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jscipione

macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2017
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USB3 is better supported on the Mac Pro 5,1 in 2018 than any other year because of the High Point RocketU 1344A: https://www.amazon.com/RocketU-1344A-PCI-Express-Four-Ports/dp/B0797HL9Z3

However that card is expensive so unless you really need the speed get the KT4004 which works out of the box for ~$30, requires no extra power connector. There are a few other cards that also work without any additional drivers based on ASMedia chipsets. Look for FL1100 chipset (KT4004 and all other red PCB cards and Sonnet cards) or ASM1042 or ASM1142 chipset (High Point cards and used by many others) and it should work obb on 10.9+.
 
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flehman

macrumors 6502
Feb 21, 2015
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For whatever its worth, I can testify to the Sonnet Allegro "regular" (i.e. non-pro) card working great on a 4,1->5,1 for over 2 years now with no issues. It only has 1 controller to serve the entire card, whereas the Pro has 1 controller per port, but I usually only have 1 USB drive or external hard drive connected at a time for which I appreciate the USB 3 speeds. Everything else is just devices being charged, so the "pro" was overkill for my needs.
 
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flowrider

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Nov 23, 2012
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bookemdano

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2011
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Can I tag on with a question (that I'm sure is probably answered in the sticky)? Do the mentioned HighPoint cards (1144C and 1344A) have the issue with connected hard drives disconnecting during sleep? I think they probably do, since they are 100% slot powered and the cMP apparently cuts all power to the PCIe slots in sleep mode.

So would it be advantageous then to use a card with a supplemental 5V power connector? Are there 5V power sources that maintain power during sleep?
 
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macstatic

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Oct 21, 2005
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I'm using this card with a USB 3 memory card reader https://www.startech.com/ca/Cards-Adapters/USB-3.0/Cards/usb-3-1-combo-card~PEXUSB312EIC

Works out of the box, no need for drivers. It works from Mavericks to High Sierra. And most likely also with Mojave.

Thanks for all the replies in this thread.
Several cards are mentioned and I understand the Inatech KT-4004 is the one most people go for when they want a reliable, low-cost USB 3 solution. My problem, living in Europe, is that most of these cards have to be ordered from the U.S. with a hefty shipping price-tag as well as import duties on top of that.

That said, the above Startech PEXUSB312EIC will cost me around US$ 93 in total. Not exactly cheap.
I like the fact that it doesn't need any additional drivers so it won't become absolete with future versions of OSX. Is this the only USB-3 card that doesn't need additional drivers?

How does it compare to the (quite popular as I understand it) Inatech KT-4004?
I see it has 4 USB ports (3x external, 1x internal) -does it allow full simultaneous speed on all ports, or will speed be lowered when using more than one at a time? For me it won't really matter I guess since all I need to do (for now at least) is read a single memory card, so there's no need to over-invest in this ;)
Still, this card might actually end up cheaper being bought locally than ordering a KT-4004 from the States.
 
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Macsonic

macrumors 68000
Sep 6, 2009
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How does it compare to the (quite popular as I understand it) Inatech KT-4004?
I see it has 4 USB ports (3x external, 1x internal) -does it allow full simultaneous speed on all ports, or will speed be lowered when using more than one at a time? For me it won't really matter I guess since all I need to do (for now at least) is read a single memory card, so there's no need to over-invest in this ;)
Still, this card might actually end up cheaper being bought locally than ordering a KT-4004 from the States.

Hi. With the Inateck 4004, there’s a slowdown in transfer speed if your using 2-4 ports at the same time. The models below have dedicated individual ports but they’re pricey. Maybe the Inateck 4004 would suit you just fine if your usage is light.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sonnet-USB..._rd_t=40701&psc=1&refRID=YXK20X7QA6W73VA4STYE

https://www.amazon.co.uk/HighPoint-...&keywords=highpoint+rocketu+usb+3.0+pcie+card

You can check out Amazon UK or eBay UK since you’re in Europe as shipping cost might be lower.
 
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macstatic

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 21, 2005
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Norway
Good advice about using the UK Amazon or eBay sites!
Unfortunately neither of the Sonnet or RocketU cards linked above ship to Norway, besides they're quite pricey.

Looks like buying the Inateck KT-4004 from eBay UK or Startech PEXUSB312EIC locally will cost about the same. How do they compare performancewise and will the Inatech work without a driver (like the Startech) to ensure compatibility with future OSX updates?
 
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barmann

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2010
939
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Germany
The Inateck card works without a driver; as for future compatibility, that can never be taken for granted .
But even for Apple it'd take some effort to mess up a simple USB 3.0 card's function .

Performance with a memory card reader is not likely to be an issue either way, the reader and the memory card will almost always limit the speed before the interface does .

As for prices, you could also try German Amazon, it's usually a bit cheaper than the UK, shipping too .
 
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meistersinger

macrumors newbie
Jul 15, 2018
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I have a Mac Pro 4,1 which I updated the firmware to 5,1 and running High Sierra 10.13.6.I have just received an Orico PVU3-502I-R2.0 card, with 5 USB 3 ports. This beastie uses the VIA VL805 controller. Will High Sierra automatically recognize this card? If not, where can I find the drivers? I saw on Youtube where someone used this card in a Mac Pro 1,1 and carked the entire logic board. Is this card safe to use, as the documentation is quite sparse, even on the Orico web site.
 
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bookemdano

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2011
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I have a Mac Pro 4,1 which I updated the firmware to 5,1 and running High Sierra 10.13.6.I have just received an Orico PVU3-502I-R2.0 card, with 5 USB 3 ports. This beastie uses the VIA VL805 controller. Will High Sierra automatically recognize this card? If not, where can I find the drivers? I saw on Youtube where someone used this card in a Mac Pro 1,1 and carked the entire logic board. Is this card safe to use, as the documentation is quite sparse, even on the Orico web site.
I think the VL805 controller is natively supported as of Sierra.

Doesn't the PVU3-502I have a molex power connector on it? If so you'll need to run a power cable to it (adapt from the SATA power cable in the 2nd optical bay or something).

I don't know about that card specifically but I don't have a high opinion of Orico in general. I had one of their USB cards (a different model) just die on me after 3 months, so my sense is that their stuff is cheap for a reason. That said, I sort of doubt you'd damage your mainboard by installing the card. Just take good precautions while installing it--make sure you're grounded, basically.
 
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norda72

macrumors member
May 27, 2016
48
6
Bollnäs, Sweden
And somehow get USB 3.0 on motherboard/logicboard is impossible, I guess? I have read about someone who did it and was successful but I don’t know how. USB 3.0 would solve some issues with this machine.
 
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macstatic

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 21, 2005
1,445
87
Norway
Perhaps you're thinking of the thread entitled custom front USB 3.0 PCB?
As far as I understand this doesn't mess with the existing USB 2 on the motherboard but relies on a USB 3 PCIe card, but replaces those front panel USB 2 ports with USB 3 ports.

The downside is that you won't be able to boot with USB sticks plugged into the front panel connectors. Perhaps a middle ground would be to replace just one of them with USB 3 and keep the other as it is. I haven't read the entire article through, so there may very well be such an option.
 
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jscipione

macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2017
307
158
I only wish that Apple had made a Late-2013 Mac Pro with USB3, PCIe 3.0, and SATA-3. Instead we got a trashcan that they had the audacity to call a “Mac Pro”.

There is no real way to convert the built-in USB 2.0 ports to USB 3.0 and even if you could there’s no way to boot from USB3 ports.
 
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