USB 3.x PCIe Cards for Classic Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ActionableMango, Dec 3, 2012.

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  1. texem, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012

    texem macrumors member

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    #51
    Etron is not natively supported AFAIK

    You need the Frecso chipset for native support
     
  2. All Taken macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 28, 2009
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    UK
    #52
    AFAIK Multibeast kext adds support for Etron?
     
  3. pyzon macrumors regular

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    Jan 31, 2008
    #53
    not sure i'll even bother testing this :)

    the description on Amazon:

    Support Windows XP/2003/Vista/7/2008/8 and MAC 0S X 10.7 or above.

    the details:

    Built-in Fresco Etron ultra high speed Controller works extremly fast and stable. Support Windows XP/2003/Vista/7/2008/8 and MAC 0S X 10.7 or above.

    Fresco Etron is there such a thing!
     
  4. texem macrumors member

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    Aug 18, 2010
    #54
    Wondering the EJ168A chip is natively supported .. don't think so.

    ----------

    but we are talking about kext-free solutions here :eek:
     
  5. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #55
    Right. Only Intel & Fresco (OS X >= 10.8.2). Fresco probably for the next MP, because Sandy Bridge Xeon platforms do not support USB 3.0.
     
  6. pyzon macrumors regular

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    Jan 31, 2008
    #56
    sent it back and got a caldigit 2-port.

    since orico were vague at a stretch to confirm if it would work or not.!
     
  7. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 22, 2012
    #57
    The Orico PFU3 2-port card apparently works natively in 10.8 but does someone have a definitive answer as to whether the very similar Orico PFU3-4P 4-port card also works?
     
  8. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 22, 2012
    #58
    Has anyone done benchmarks between the different USB 3 adaptors? I have a Sonnet Allegro which seems to perform pretty well but I would feel more comfortable with the native support of the Orico card as I wouldn't need to worru about 3rd-party drivers breaking when there is an OS X upgrade. If the Orico card performs as at least as well as (hopefully better) the various NEC chip based cards then I would buy one particularly if it could be confirmed that the Fresco chip 4-port card works. With the Mac Pro being so low on PCI slots it's important to maximise use of each one.
     
  9. texem macrumors member

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    Aug 18, 2010
    #59
    I am succesfully using the 2 port version ,
    but for testing I ordered also the 4 port card.

    Both cards are working, but the 4 port only works with external power via the Molex connector.
     
  10. macmesser macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Long Island, NY USA
    #60
    What OS are you running? If that card works with 10.6.8 I'll be getting it. Does Apple support the NEC chipset in 10.6.8?

    Why are the Caldigit and Sonnet offerings at OWC so expensive? I was almost going to go for the Sonnet until I read a slew of horrible reviews. Maybe that's why it's on sale...
     
  11. pyzon macrumors regular

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    Jan 31, 2008
    #61
    Here is a link to the Etron drivers for MAC OSX 10.8.x and 10.7.x, there were mailed to me by Orico, but I had since sent the card back, perhaps I was a bit impatient. Anyway grab them if you need them now or in the future for testing...

    https://www.box.com/s/2qt5n34bawtx5q0b5e21
     
  12. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #62
    I'm running the latest release of ML. NEC USB 3.0 chips are not natively supported by Apple, but through a variety of 3rd party drivers including the one I linked above. I have no idea if they support back to 10.6.8... but let's face it if you want reasonably current hardware support, at some point you're going to have to move up from Snow Leopard.
     
  13. macmesser macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 13, 2012
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    Long Island, NY USA
    #63
    Thanks. Upgrade is immanent for a number of reasons, like accessing my iCloud account and hardware support. The card is cheap enough that even if it doesn't work for me it will have been worth the gamble. Besides, I'll be running Parallels/Windows 8 soon on the same machine so it will probably be functional there.
     
  14. ActionableMango thread starter macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #64
    I just wanted to come back and report success.

    My power cables finally arrived yesterday. I installed them and now the card works perfectly in OS X with native drivers.

    I will follow up with speed tests.
     
  15. Erlang macrumors member

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    Dec 23, 2009
    Location:
    SW, UK
    #65
    Hi I thought I'd chime in with my findings, based on above threads I replaced a HighPoint USB 3 card (post 10.8.2), with ORICO PFU3-2O2I, I suspected I'd need molex power so bought a SATA power splitter, hoping I could fashion a solution from the optical bay (DVD-R plus SSD in there already).

    Well that didn't go too well, what with the effective firewall between the top section and main board PCI-E area. (2009 4.1 Mac Pro), the combi power-data cable also not helping. (I should have read Pyzon cable post more closely).

    So I have an alt solution that works for me.

    A DC Molex supply from a defunct USB-> SATA adapter kit like this http://compare.ebay.co.uk/like/170753186055?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar&cbt=y

    And in my junk box I found a 4 pin Molex PCI pass through plate like this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Phobya-4-Pin-Molex-3-x-3-Pin-Fan-PCI-Pass-Through-Plate-/320999326543?pt=UK_Computing_CablesConnectors_RL&hash=item4abd0d034f

    So by supplying the Molex power INTO the PCI plate and cabling it off the internal of the plate I can power the ORICO card.

    The ORICO PFU3-2O2I is recognised with or without the Molex, but the two USB devices I have a Freecom Quatro enclosure and a Kingston card reader are not detected, by the card without the Molex.

    Once powered with my jury rig both work fine.

    Oh the MP hard drive bays weren't really an option as all four SATA bays are occupied.
     
  16. ActionableMango thread starter macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #66
    The optical bay worked for me. The combo splitter, y-cable, and SATA-to-Molex cables sit behind the optical drives. This is all hidden inside the optical bay, so it is tidy. From there I have a molex extension cable that follows the route of the factory SATA cables into the PCI section of the case.

    In order to get the Molex cable through the "firewall" as you say, I did have to temporarily remove one of the connectors to thread the cable through the hole.
     
  17. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 22, 2012
    #67
    This is confusing as according to user texem in post #59 above it's only the 4 port ORICO card that requires external power via the Molex connector.

    It appears that there are actually two different ORICO cards. Firstly the PFU3-202I that is a two port card that also has an internal header for another two ports & requires external power. Secondly the ORICO PFU3-2P with just two external ports that does not require extra power.
     
  18. Erlang macrumors member

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    Dec 23, 2009
    Location:
    SW, UK
    #68
    The combo splitter (or lack of)is the problem, the only supplier seems to be CablesonDemand and they don't offer to ship outside US (still a problem after more than 10 years of global online trade).

    good to now how to squeeze the cable through if I ever mange to get a combo splitter.

    On a side note the pure 2 port was unavailable so I took a punt with the 2 port plus header.

    Of course why the manufacturers of such cards can't use the PCI-e spec to draw power stumps me, even conventional PC owners would be glad of dumping as many internal cables and splitters as possible.
     
  19. texem macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    #69
    Yes, my card is currently out of stock .. http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B008V3TH48/ref=oh_details_o06_s00_i00

    Main diff is that the "2 port only card" s built with a Fresco FL 1009 chip. The 4 port card uses the FL 1100. Connect power to Molex and you'll get native USB 3.0 with HUB capability
     
  20. tinycg macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    #70
    Just grabbed a Fresco Logic FL1009 off Amazon and got it today. However I can't get it to show up in 10.8.2 on my MP 2009 in slot 3 or 4, powered or not. I didn't think I needed to power the 2 port version but I'm at a loss.

    If I have to, I'm not sure how other people are threading power through from the optical drive bay, even removing the power 'firewall' I dont see how there's enough space to loop anything down around and in to the back of the case.

    Has anyone else used a non-Orico Fresco Logic board and gotten this to work?

    I'd prefer running native, but the power situation might be the limiting factor, all my drive bays are used etc.
     
  21. ActionableMango, Jan 7, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013

    ActionableMango thread starter macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #71
    I didn't think I needed to power the 2-port version either, but I had to. The MP recognized the card upon bootup, but disabled the card with a message about how a USB device was using too much power so it shut the card down.

    I too have all bays full, both HDD and optical. Nevertheless, I used a y-cable in the optical bay to get power. You can indeed run power there through the tightly integrated case. See this post. I can provide pictures if it helps.

    This is the particular card I used.

    Everything is powered now and works perfectly with native drivers, which was the whole point. I didn't really want to hook up extra power, but now that I have, I can confidently use a bus-powered device if need be.

    Here are the cables I used:
    1) This one splits the SATA combo plug into separate data and multiple power plugs, including molex. It sits in the optical bay.
    2) This cable runs from inside the optical bay to the card.

    This assumes you have SATA optical drives of course, which I think is Mac Pro 4,1 and newer.

    You have to temporarily remove one Molex connector from that second cable to thread it into the optical bay. I used the same route as the default SATA cabling. To remove the connector, you'll need a very small tool such as a jeweler's screw driver to press down on the 1-way prongs for each of the four power connectors, and obviously you want to keep track of which wire goes in which hole in the connector.

    It is SUPER EASY if you are willing to buy the proper tool, which my local Radio Shack had in stock:
    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062447
     
  22. tinycg, Jan 7, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013

    tinycg macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    #72
    Awesome post Mango, I have new hope.

    I've got the exact same card. I tried it first without power, nothing. I tested it by unplugging the optical bays and using that power and still nothing. Maybe it was because it had already disabled the card?

    I'd rather not send it back, but even powered I couldnt get it to work. Is there a way to power the card and get it to forget it disabled the card so I can see if this will still work?

    p.s. it never showed in the system profiler, which made me think maybe I had a dead card.
     
  23. ActionableMango thread starter macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #73
    I think you have a dead card. I got the "disabled" message every time I booted up. Once I added power, it automatically worked.
     
  24. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 22, 2012
    #74
    Mine did show up as two USB3 buses.
     
  25. tinycg macrumors member

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    May 8, 2009
    #75
    Could only RMA for a refund, so I have a replacement being shipped tomorrow along with some cabling. I'll report back on my success or failure on the replacement card.

    This one definitely doesn't get reported and seems like a dead card.
     
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