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Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by poiihy, Dec 1, 2014.
Is a (466Mhz) Powermac G4 capable of utilizing a USB 3 PCI card?
Perhaps you could, if you were willing to install Linux on the system, otherwise definitely no. No version of OS X that will run on a PPC Mac supports USB3 as a protocol. Anyway, even if you did install Linux you would be limited by the PCI bus and never see the actual transfer speed advantages of the bus.
Short answer is, maybe, but you won't see any of the advantages.
I noticed you just edited your comment when I was going to say that they do exist
So old versions of OS X does not support USB 3? What about the bus speed, is it still slow like you said? Even if USB3 is faster than the bus speed, could it still use the highest speed possible, or would it just use USB 2 speeds?
Also, what about Firewire800 cards, would they work? They had Macs with Firewire800 running Tiger so I think it would work with the latest version of Tiger.
There are no drivers available officially, that's correct, although perhaps you could look for modified kext files from a Hackintosh forum that might enable such a card to work.
What I said is correct though, it's pointless, the maximum transfer speed of the 32bit PCI bus is 133MB/s or 266 MB/s and that's if you have a 64bit card. The transfer speed of USB3 is 625MB/s. You will never see the maximum performance of USB3, Firewire800 is only 80MB/s so its well under the limit of a 32mbit PCI slot.
Would a USB 3 card run at 133MB/s or would it run at USB 2 speed of 60MB/s?
It would run at 133MB/s.
I see. So USB 3 would utilize full speed of the system bus, but OS X on PPC doesn't support USB 3. Is it possible to install some driver for it to work with PPC OS X (10.0-10.5)?
USB3 support came with Snow Leopard 10.6, I'm pretty sure that was 10.6.7 also. As far as I'm aware there are no official OS X drivers from Apple available for 10.5 and below. You would probably be able to get it working using Linux due to kernel level USB3 support.
You might investigate using some kind of hacked kext, or try talking to someone on a Hackintosh forum such as Insanely Mac. If they can provide you with a kext driver it might work, or perhaps you could try copying over the USB3 kext from a 10.6 install it may work.
I'd recommend backing up your machine before you go messing around with kexts as you can brick your machine. There is a previous thread here:
EDIT: Lacie have a driver available for USB3 for Leopard but it's intel only, you might be able to unpack it. If you can work out what chipsets it works with then you might be able to make something compatible
There is another thread here that is interesting:
There is an open source USB3 driver and it has been compiled for Intel OSX. Find someone good at writing drivers for PPC OSX or OS9 and you will have your driver.
In other words, forget it.
Realistically all you would have to do is compile the source it and install it. That's something you can do yourself with enough reading and it shouldn't be too difficult. It seems the issue really is one of it not being compiled by the developer for PPC.
It probably requires more patching than just compiling for PPC. I haven't looked at the source but drivers are never straightforward.
Up to 133MB/s.
It's a shared bus so other I/O PCI devices will be contending with the USB controller. Other architectural choices like bus-mastering also factor into the performance.
PCIe changed with each device having it's own dedicated connection to the central Root Hub.