USB 3.x PCIe Cards for Classic Mac Pro

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

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  1. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #126
    Enclosures must support the UAS-Protocol (UASP).
     
  2. ActionableMango thread starter macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #127
    I'd be interested to see results from Black Magic disk speed test (free on the app store).
     
  3. stevielee, Feb 7, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013

    stevielee macrumors newbie

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    Feb 27, 2009
    #128
    Great that you've got not only the USB 3 ports running, and with also the extra bonus external eSATA ports to boot. However, you may probably already know that any eSata ports on your Mac Pro 3,1 cannot actually physically run at their advertised 6GB's speeds since no Mac Pro to date can support the SATA III (6GB) protocol natively on the motherboard -- only SATA II (3GB) protocol. And in the end, that's the real overall maximum speed bottleneck for fully utilizing USB.3 and eSATA interfaces for any 6GB's capable hard drive(s), or SSD's internally, or externally on all Mac Pros to date - including the pseudo-current 5,1 series.

    These major hardware limitations on all of the Mac Pro's up until now is precisely why myself, and several of my higher end user tech associates have reluctantly felt compelled to have to resort to building our own, far more capable and affordable custom Mac Pro's. I sold my 2010 nethelem CPU based Mac Pro for just enough funds to finance the purchase of a state-of-the art i7 Ivy bridge machine that natively supports all of the latest interfacing protocols (USB 3, Thunderbolt, SATA III (6GB), PCIe 3). Modern SSD'a are the biggest performance sufferers of the pre-2013 Mac Pro's limited SATA 3GB's limitations by up to a 2x overall speed factor. This is also somewhat the same situation with USB 3 and especially when using external SSD's as well. Unfortunately, there is, and never will be any possible PCIe card workaround add-on that can overome this critical motherboard Hard drive/SSD bandwidth speed/data transfer limitation...

    I do hear that Apple may finally be releasing a modern, up to date (non-2010 refreshed) Mac Pro in the next few weeks, or months, but the cost will most likely still be at least 2x that of any current custom Mac Pro's with the same, or superior specifications. Apple has not been doing a good job lately at accommodating their higher end professional and workstation consumers.
     
  4. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #129
    Well I bought it primarily to have a USB 3 CF card reader, I had an older esata card that runs an external dock, all my external drives are way under the limit anyway, so it doesn't matter.

    As well, I had to install the card in the top slot, so that's not full speed either in the mid 2008 mac pro. I had to keep the 2 lower slots for graphics and my areca card.

    I'm running a miniSAS from Areca 1880 for my RAID arrays externally for most data.

    But your points are well taken.
     
  5. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #130
    I seem to be having some issues now with sleep: computer beachballs for a long time after waking from sleep and I get a drive disconnected without proper ejection error. Have sent email to cal digit on this - anyone else have this problem?
     
  6. ActionableMango thread starter macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #131
    I had read this older thread and it has several complaints about the Caldigit card causing kernal panics, a complete lack of response from Caldigit to support requests, and late driver support for ML. I wonder what will happen when the next version of OS X comes out?

    I also read this post that explains that the throughput of the Caldigit USB3.0/eSATA combo card is reduced due to its PLX chipset, so both the USB 3.0 and eSATA speeds are reduced compared to single-purpose cards. This is why I asked you for a speed test; I wonder how much the speeds are reduced (just a little bit to not matter, or practically crippled?).

    The whole reason why I started this thread is because I wanted a card with native drivers (Fresco Logic chipset) so I could avoid all the third-party driver nonsense. Admittedly there is hassle hooking up power cabling, but I can confidently attach bus-powered drives now and, more importantly, the computer works reliably. I am very happy with the solution.

    You might get better help asking in the other thread I referenced. There are more Caldigit people there, there are people reporting no problems, and I think at least one guy still recommends the Caldigit card.
     
  7. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #132
    i'd be happy to post some numbers, but I don't think that program works well. When I run it the write needle goes completely off the edge, at over 800mb/sec which obviously is not correct. I think its caching somehow, but the card doesn't have a built in cache.

    I've wanted to test my Areca raid performance and saw the same issue, but that card has a 4gb cache, so I knew I wouldn't get accurate numbers.

    I know others use it, but I'm not sure why it works that way in my machine.
     
  8. slater-k macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #133
    Try AJA system test ... nice app
     
  9. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #134
    You are mistaken. While it is true that a Mac Pro 3,1 SATA port on the motherboard is throttled to SATA-II speeds the PCIe bus is not the bottleneck so e.g. an SSD on an Apricom Velocity X2 card will operate at full speed although you have to use slot 1 or slot 2.
     
  10. ClarkF macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    #135
    Would I be able to power either of the Orico cards using one of the PCIe Aux power supplies? :confused:
     
  11. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
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    Here
    #136
    remind me not to hire you..
     
  12. monokakata, Feb 17, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013

    monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #137

    I've never been happy with the CalDigit 2 port USB3 card, and I haven't been pleased by CalDigit's support, either. Every time I've contacted them about a problem, I get the same advice: install latest combo update, uninstall CalDigit drivers, reinstall them . . . go from there.

    Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Lately my Lexar card reader has failed to mount maybe 80% of the time. I get down behind the MP and switch cables . . . sometimes that fixes it.

    So yesterday I uninstalled the CalDigit drivers, MP (ML 10.8.2) wouldn't shut down for the required restart. Shut down manually. Came up. Installed drivers. Wouldn't shut down. Shut down manually. Came up to the Apple screen. Shut itself down and rebooted, this time all the way.

    Then the KPs started.

    Kernel Extensions in backtrace:
    com.CalDigit.driver.CalDigitUSBxHCI(1.3.8a2)[F4AA3EBC-9193-31D6-89AF-D7D1AF1192BF]@0xffffff7f8fa44000->0xffffff7f8fa60fff
    dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOUSBFamily(5.4.0)[C3094550-7F58-3933-A4F7-CD33AE83F8B9]@0xffffff7f8efd8000
    dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOPCIFamily(2.7.2)[B1B77B26-7984-302F-BA8E-544DD3D75E73]@0xffffff7f8ee50000

    BSD process name corresponding to current thread: kernel_task


    Right now, my external (Seagate 3 TB in a Newer Technology enclosure) is working OK (it was the device that was operating when the KP happened).

    I ran BlackMagic on it and got about 130 for reads and about the same for writes. By comparison, the same Seagate model, internal, with the same files (the external's a clone of the internal) runs in the mid-170s for R and W.

    Anyway, I don't know what to do. There are no newer CalDigit drivers.

    I'm going to look at the 4 port Highpoint, and try to sort out the conflicting information about whether the B version works on ML or not.

    I really wanted to go USB3 when I got my Nikon D800, and it never has worked with the CalDigit setup (I got an all-offended email from them excusing themselves by saying that the D800 wasn't available when they wrote their first set of drivers. Correct. But it certainly had been available for some time when they were working on their current drivers.)

    Or maybe the Orico is the better solution. Has anybody tried the Orico on a D800?

    Two more KPs this afternoon. Same culprit.
     
  13. perspixe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    #138
    I have been looking with cards with the Fresco chipset in Europe with no luck, yet. Could anyone give me some directions?
    Ideally, even if all cards ar PCIex1 I'd like to go with the 1100 and 4 ports to avoid the need for a hub, as ORICO PFU3-4P, and then bring power from the Optical bay...

    ----------

    Finally just found it
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4-Ports-U...perSpeed-Adapter-Card-Plug-Play-/290872659510
    For anyone interested
     
  14. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #139
    Ya get what ya pay for! Don't expect that card to be fast with more than one device connected.... ;)
     
  15. perspixe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    #140
    Sure thing, PCIex1 will saturate a single good SSD but in the end for card reader and hard drives this is good enough.
     
  16. Tesselator, Mar 14, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013

    Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #141
    Rotational hard-drives? Yeah, true...

    For SSDs... no. not true. :p
     
  17. perspixe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    #142
    I installed the ORICO PFU3-4P and it works perfectly. Pulled Molex from optical Bay Sata Line. I already had 2 SSDs in the optical bay, plugged in a Highpoint Rocket 640L (not the Raid version, the PC not Mac supported version, but works and bootable on the Mac Pro) and getting their power from Sata line there, and a RocketRaid 4322 with an 8x2TB Raid6, and no problems whatsoever. the Orico card is for backup Rotationnal hard drives, USB 3 card reader and external USB 3 2.5" rotationnal hard drives and that's plenty enough speed.
     
  18. sarthak macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #143
    I'm moving over from eSata and this is the card that I'm about to buy the ORICO PFU3-4P with the Fresco FL 1100 chipset.

    Would I need to hook up power to the ORICO if I want to use a Mediasonic 4 Bay enclosure? I don't want a cable mess hooking up power so I might get the -2P if it works.
     
  19. ActionableMango thread starter macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #144
    Yes. It's not really a "cable mess" though. A single molex extension cable is visible running from the card up into the optical bay. The optical bay hides the SATA y-cable.

    Everyone else would like to not run the cable too. Of course it is cleaner, simpler, and cheaper to not need the cable, but the 2P has become very hard to find.
     
  20. i make movies macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    #145
    I just want everyone to know that the above post, in its entirety, is false. Like every single sentence is just wrong. You can add 6G to your MacPro and PCIe bandwidth is WAY more than adequate if you need it.
     
  21. sarthak macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #146
    I can get the 4P for $27 or the 2P for $23, shipped to Canada. Is it absolutely mandatory to run the power if you're going to use 3.5" enclosure that is powered via a Power Brick and not via USB port. I'm just hoping it works just fine without plugging in power to the card.

    I'm currently using a Sata to eSata bracket and it works "fine"... Getting around 100 R/W to a 4 Bay enclosure. The only issue with it is that when the machine is turned off, the enclosure turns off with it... a few seconds later, the enclosure turns on again and it immediately kills power to the drives and turns off. I'm afraid it's going to damage the drives. The enclosure works fine with USB 2.0.
     
  22. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #147
    Probably not. The molex power is primarily so it can be exported out of the box. If the external device isn't drawing power then is zero reason why the normal PCI-e bus power can't power the USB 3.0 controller and the secondary chips/capacitors on the card.

    It using it exactly like standard eSATA it doesn't need to be much more than what eSATA requires. (yeah there is an eSATAp but not mainstream. )
     
  23. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #148
    Yeah, it looks like he's confusing PCIe ver.1.x x1 speeds with with the SATAII and SATAIII specifications. ;)
     
  24. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    #149
    Fixed that for you
     
  25. i make movies macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    #150
    That I would forgive as a simple mistake, but he writes like just because the MacPro is SATA2 means it's impossible to attached a SATA3 drive, which is false.

    There are dozens of PCIe cards with 6G eSATA ports and USB3 ports...now, the read/write speed of most of external drives don't saturate the SATA3 pipe because they're cheap spinning platters, but an SSD RAID0 will 100% get you there.

    And for the more extreme user...

    http://blog.macsales.com/12247-upgrade-your-06-08-mac-pro’s-internal-bays-to-sata-3-0
     
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