USB 3.x PCIe Cards for Classic Mac Pro

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

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  1. ActionableMango thread starter macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #2026
    That's certainly the claim, but nobody's gotten anywhere near that on a Mac Pro that I'm aware of.
     
  2. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #2027
    Those card "can" use switch, but not necessary "will" have its own switch onboard.

    In fact, the poor performance of the card when installed in slot 2 indicated that there is no switch onboard. That's why the card unable to negotiate at PCIe 2.0 speed, but fall back to PCIe 1.0.

    And this is exactly the reason why I suggested Tastannin try to install the card in slot 3 back in post #1990. His report at post #1994 agreed that my prediction is correct.
     
  3. joevt, Jun 19, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018

    joevt macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2012
    #2028
    No. #1989 shows two Asmedia ASM2142 USB controllers each running at PCIe 3.0 speed (8 GT/s per lane) from a single slot (slot 2).

    The MacPro5,1 does not have PCIe 3.0 slots. Bifurcation does not allow a PCIe 3.0 device to work at PCIe 3.0 speeds in a PCIe 2.0 slot. Therefore, a switch must be used.

    Two devices on two different buses (9 and 11) cannot originate from a single slot in a MacPro5,1 using bifurcation because the MacPro5,1 doesn't support bifurcation, therefore a switch must be used.

    What happens when a PCIe card using bifurcation is inserted into a slot that does not support bifurcation? I don't know. At best, only the first device can appear. At worst, no device will appear.

    All pictures of the HighPoint RocketU 1344A show a PLX switch chip. A card using bifurcation would not include a switch chip. Bifurcation is used to cut cost. Adding a switch chip would negate that benefit and bifurcation has little or no other benefit.

    Like I said, you need to use ioreg or IORegistryExplorer.app or pciutils to see the switch.

    No evidence was given regarding the negotiated speed. There is no indication of a fall back to PCIe 1.0 speed. Poor performance was only mentioned in #1994. It was only described as "a drop in speeds when stressing both drives", but otherwise "speeds are pretty much the same as slot 2". Maybe this is a cooling problem of the card being in proximity to the graphics card?

    He said there was a "noticeable speed increase" for RAID 0 in slot 3, but he didn't give any numbers so we can't compare the speeds with the expected bandwidth of the PCIe link and USB connection. The raid would have to be able to exceed 1000 MB/s to verify a proper PCIe 2.0 x4 connection. Otherwise, you need to use pciutils to see the current link speed and width of the PCIe switch and the USB controllers.

    You may be correct that the card runs at PCIe 1.0 x4 in slot 2 and PCIe 2.0x4 in slot 3 because slot 1 and slot 2 (north bridge?) use a different PCIe controller than slot 3 and slot 4 (south bridge). That would be the same problem as the Amfeltec PCIe 3.0 x16 card has in my Mac Pro 2008 in slot 1 and slot 2 and we have a work around for that. I can't verify the slot 3 and slot 4 behavior because the Mac Pro 2008 only supports PCIe 1.0 in those slots. The common feature of both the Amfeltec and RocketU is a PLX PCIe 3.0 switch chip and that would make it the second half of the problem causing PCIe 1.0 fallback of the north bridge PCIe 2.0 slots. To be sure, we need the results of the setpci command to get the link speed / width for the RocketU's switch chip.
     
  4. jbaugh macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    #2029
    --- Post Merged, Jun 26, 2018 ---
    My Mac Pro 2,1 maxes out with Mac OS 10.7.5. Is there any way to run this card on my machine? In other words, is there a driver that will work? Thanks.
    John
     
  5. crjackson2134, Jun 26, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018

    crjackson2134 macrumors 68040

    crjackson2134

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    Charlotte, NC
    #2030
    This card works out of the box on every OS X / macOS since 10.8.5, however I’m not personally aware of any drivers to make it work with 10.7.5.
     
  6. ActionableMango thread starter macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #2031
    Theoretically it should work with the generic driver in post #1. It's there in the post because somebody somewhere claims that it works.

    I have not personally tried it and I make no promises. Make sure the return policy is good in case it doesn't work.
     
  7. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #2032
    Upgrade to 10.8.5 or later via patch
     
  8. handheldgames macrumors 65816

    handheldgames

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    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Pacific NW, USA
    #2033
    Not all PCIe PLX Bridge chips are created equal. In the case of the x16 8747 plx, 4x pcie 3.0 devices are mapped at 8.0 gts, not 2.5 gts.
     
  9. joevt macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2012
    #2034
    That is probably true. What uses the 48 lane 8747? 48 lanes could allow eight PCIe 3.0 x4 devices but the 8747 only has 5 ports, which allows only four PCIe 3.0 devices but at x8 width. I guess the fewer ports makes it less expensive than the 32 lane chips so someone might use it to allow four 4x PCIe 3.0 devices. It may be used on motherboards to allow four 8x slots from the CPU.

    I suppose even the 32 lane 8732 of the Amfeltec could behave correctly with a new firmware update.

    We don't know which PLX is used on the RocketU or if it has the same problem as the 8732 of the Amfeltec because no one has tried pciutils with it.
     
  10. sebo2001 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2018
    #2035
    I have Mac Pro 2009 4.1 flushed to 5.1 with 2x3.4Ghz CPUs running OSX 10.10.5
    I got HighPoint RocketU 1344A, card installed in PCI slot 3 system shows 8Gbps speed, mixed with OWC Mercury Elite Pro Quad RAID is super-fast, when doing disk certifications of 4 drives at the same time with SoftRAID app I can see data at 800Mbit/s which is very high for USB drive, 4 drives in Raid 0 showed 700Mbit R and 6500Mbit W speed. Problems is in RAID 5 each time I start benchmark or transfer of 100Gb of videos one of the drives disconnects… Overall very happy with the HighPoint RocketU 1344A. S.M.A.R.T data is not being reported via this card despite being USB 3.1.
    It was quite expensive on Amazon.
     
  11. joevt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #2036
    8Gbps = 8 GT/s? That's the link speed of a USB controller. There's two USB controllers in slot 3? What's the link width? These don't include the link speed/width of the PCIe switch chip / PCIe slot.
    800 Mbit/s = 100 MB/s? Seems slow. Are these normal hard drives?
    700 Mbit = 87.5 MB/s? Maybe you meant 7000 Mbit/s = 875 MB/s?
    6500 Mbit = 812 MB/s? That's about the speed of two SSD's...

    What chips does it use? Install pciutils and run the following commands:
    Code:
    sudo lspci -nn
    sudo lspci -tvnn
    
    Read my posts in the "Amfeltec x16 PCIe with 4 SSDs: 5900+ MB/s" thread for information about PCIe 3.0 switch chips, the Mac Pro, and pciutils. Link: #207
    Instead of the above commands, run the pcitree.sh script (in the same page of the same post) which will also include the link speed/width of all the devices.
     
  12. sebo2001 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2018
    #2037
    Yes 8 GT/s, and yes it was 820MB/s, in Raid 5 speed is 520MB/s

    I read the post #207 but have problems running the script, I’m sure I’m doing something wrong. SSD are much faster for sure, but my main goal was to have 24TB of storage space in RAID 5.

    What is interesting and frustrating when I added RocketU 1344A USB 3.1 card and upgraded to OSX 10.2.6 my eSATA enclosure FH2-SU2S2 with Newer Technology MAXPower 6G PCIe eSATA RAID Controller card stopped working. When I connect enclosure to USB all drives are mounting, but I can’t get it to work with eSATA lights are blinking but nobody is home. Disk utility does not show/detect anything.
     
  13. joevt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #2038
    I think you answered two of my 9 questions but I'm not sure which of my questions the second answer is for... Send me a private message if you want help getting the scripts/commands to work. They can answer the important questions.
     
  14. zero hectic macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    #2039
    I'm using the same card with my Mac Pro 5,1 and an older Drobo S and have never experienced an issue. Having said that, the folks at Sonnet recently pointed me to this support document from Drobo:

    https://supportportal.drobo.com/retrieve/s3/knowledge/AA/AA-01339.html

    **Pending further investigation, Sonnet "Allegro" PCIe USB 3.0 cards are not supported**

    I'm a little concerned since I just placed an order for a Drobo 5D3 and wondering if it'll work correctly or not. I also have a Allegro USB-C PCIe card and hoping the issue doesn't apply to the card as well.

    Could you give us an update? Did you manage to resolve your issue mounting your 5D?
     
  15. TinyWorkshop macrumors member

    TinyWorkshop

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    somewhere in time
  16. joevt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #2041
    Just another ASM1142 based card. Only one port of the ASM1142 is exposed (10 Gbps). The second port is used with a four port USB 3.0 hub (5 Gbps). The card is probably PCIe 2.0 x2 (electrical) since it uses a x4 connector (physical) but they are unclear about this since they only mention x1 maximums (they also mention PCIe gen 3 but I don't know if it's possible for a PCIe device to switch between PCIe 3.0 x1 and PCIe 2.0 x2 automatically?). It probably has the 10 Gbps firmware making it not useable in macOS 10.11 or earlier (except they say it has ben tested in 10.8 to 10.10 but I don't know if that's with Apple's drivers or a third party generic USB driver).
     
  17. TinyWorkshop macrumors member

    TinyWorkshop

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    #2042
    I don't know with macos < than 10.13

    form my needs works very well and without problems
     
  18. weezerr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    #2043
    Ive read through most of this thread.

    Is there a solution to USB drives disconnecting with sleep with using the Inateck KT4004? Thanks!

    Mac Pro 3,1 on 10.13.6
     
  19. ActionableMango thread starter macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #2044
    Yep:
    1. Ignore the disconnection notices
    2. Manually eject the drives before sleep
    3. Use Jettison software
    Personally I chose option #1.
     
  20. bookemdano macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #2045
    Was it ever determined if cards with a molex connector for 5V power exhibited the same disconnection behavior? Is there any 5V power source inside the chassis that is maintained during sleep?

    Edit: you also forgot option 4. Disable sleep entirely ;)

    That's what I did on mine since I use it at work now and they pay the electric bill
     
  21. ActionableMango thread starter macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #2046
    Yes, someone tested SATA power and reported "no sleep issues", just look back a couple of pages in this thread.

    But I don't understand the obsession with the disconnection message. Just don't look at it. MacOS doesn't go to sleep with cached writes pending. Your data isn't lost.

    Literally nobody complained until Notification Center was added to MacOS and therefore put the error messages in everyone's face.
     
  22. crjackson2134 macrumors 68040

    crjackson2134

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #2047
    It’s never caused me a problem, and I have at least 4 connected drives all the time. I just close the notification and move on.
     
  23. bookemdano macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #2048
    Thanks. Missed that post.

    You're on a forum for Mac fanatics and you say you don't understand the obsession over a meaningless error message? ;)

    I understand it's a low/no risk situation but at the same time if there's a way to avoid it then it's good to have that option for folks who don't want those messages to appear (or don't want to have to keep clicking them away).

    Like I said before, I just avoid it by disabling sleep on my cMP, but if I was looking to buy a USB 3.0/3.1 card at this point I'd strongly consider one with a molex connector and route the SATA power from the secondary optical bay over to it.

    To each his or her own.
     
  24. kings79, Jul 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018

    kings79 macrumors regular

    kings79

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    #2049
    About to buy this one. StarTech 5-Port USB 3.1 (PEXUSB312EIC)

    For use with Pro Tools Ultimate 2018.4.1, Mac OS High Sierra & Lynx Aurora 8 Audio Interface for audio streaming I/O

    [​IMG]


    Reasons;
    1. Inexpensive
    2. Able to connect to PCIe Aux Power for correct power for other devices
    3. Has a 20 (19 used) pin connector for internal USB connection.

    [​IMG]

    So;
    I plan to mod the front 2x USB 2.0 Mac Pro 5,1 ports with something like this

    [​IMG]
    Credit

    Power can be sorted by making a cable (Not using connectors!). This is very easy and fun.


    15 Pin SATA Power PinOut

    [​IMG]
    6/9 Pin PCIe Power Pinout

    [​IMG]



    Credit ***Make sure you test the 6pin AUX Power cable with a DMM before connecting it to the USB PCIe card.

    The only thing I am missing is a source for the 15 pin (Female) SATA Connector.

    What I would also do is setup the StarTech 5-Port USB 3.1 (PEXUSB312EIC) without the extra power and internal USB connection first. Then connect power, then connect internal USB.

    NB Rear USB ports should be left alone because of the USB 3.0 driver booting after System boot.

    Anyone have any thoughts or can point me to the Female 15 pin Connector?
     
  25. ActionableMango, Jul 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018

    ActionableMango thread starter macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #2050
    Get any SATA power cable and just cut off the end you don't need. As a side bonus it will already be wired. But if you really want just the connector, Mouser has them.

    However, your SATA pinout shows that it expects 3.3V, 5V, and 12V. Your AUX pinout only supplies 12V. Are you going to add DC voltage converters? Or does the USB card only need 12V from that SATA connector? (That seems unlikely to me since USB is 5V.)

    Back when cards required supplemental power, I pulled it in from a SATA connector in the optical bay via Y-cable. That way physical drive capacity was not reduced like it would be if I blocked a drive sled.
     
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