USB Cards and drivers

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Avro, May 3, 2015.

  1. Avro macrumors regular

    Avro

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    Belgium
    #1
    I have got an early 2008 Mac Pro running Yosemite. Now my Belkin F5U252 USB 2.0 PCI Express Card isn't working. Could this be a driver issue and where could I get drivers for the card?

    I am also thinking of getting a USB 3.0 card for the Mac Pro.

    Is the Sonnet Technologies USB3-4PM-E Allegro PCI-e Card any good?
     
  2. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    #2
    The Sonnet Tech USB 3.0-4PM-E Allegro is a good card as there is a member here, if I recall correctly, ShawnF who is using the Sonnet USB 3.0 and gave a positive feedback. Best to check out this thread topic on USB 3 for the classic Mac Pro thanks to ActionMango.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1501482

    Other USB 3.0 cards you can also consider is the Highpoint RocketU 1144C or the CalDigit FASTA-6GU3 Pro

    The first page outlines all the brands of USB 3.0 cards. Just take note that the USB 3.0 cards does not support sleep. I think there is a solution by using a software on the sleep issue.
     
  3. flehman macrumors regular

    flehman

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    #3
    I am using the Sonnet card in my 2008 MP and have been very pleased with it. The USB cards out there vary in their features - some offer an internal port or two in addition to the external ports, some have 2, some have 4, some even have eSATA as well. I only needed USB 3 ports, and the 4 on the Sonnet was plenty.

    I have had absolutely zero problems with the Sonnet card. I have used it for syncing my iPhone, connecting a USB 3.0 external drive I use for backup, and connecting several high-capacity USB 2.0 and 3.0 thumb drives. The transfer speeds far exceed USB 2.0 and I have been pleased with the speed bump, although I haven't done any benchmarking. I have the card installed in slot 4 (top slot).

    I cannot speak for everyone with the same hardware combination, but for my own part I have not experienced any sleep or compatibility issues. The card performed flawlessly and transparently right out of the box, and I would expect nothing less when paying $70 (considering there are cheaper alternatives out there).

    I also would not presume to judge what setup might work best given how you have your equipment arranged, but in my own case I found it helpful to buy 2 short USB 3.0 extension cables and run them over the top of the MP case. I attached a small cable clip to the underside of the top handle at the back of the tower and routed the cables through the clip so they do not get lost. With this setup, I do not have to poke around in the back of the computer with a flashlight to find the USB 3.0 ports every time I want to plug something in. I also have a Lightning cable routed through the clip for mobile devices.
     
  4. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #4
    You should look at the first post in the thread that Macsonic linked to. There are a few card recommendations depending upon your needs or preferences.

    I use this card. It works well for me. I've also used the Inateck KT4004 which also worked well for me.
     
  5. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #5
    I believe that the Sonnet card uses its own proprietary drivers so you are at the whim of the manufacturer when there is a new version of OS X (probably the reason the OP's Belkin card does not work with Yosemite). The Inateck KT4004 uses the same chip set as are used in building more modern Macs so uses the native OS X drivers.
     
  6. flehman macrumors regular

    flehman

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    #6
    The Sonnet card works right out of the box - no drivers to install. It uses the Fresco Logic chipset.

    http://www.sonnettech.com/product/allegrousb3pcie4port.html

    Another point I forgot is that the card runs on the power of the PCIe slot alone and does not require additional power/wiring. I seem to remember that one or two of the cards do require that.
     
  7. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #7
    OK, I see that the Sonnet card linked to is a new one & obviously using new chipset. There are older versions of the Inateck 4-port card that required a power feed & the 7-port version still needs extra power.
     
  8. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #8
    Sonnet does have a kernel extension to enable higher power draw over the USB ports for faster charging of devices, but it is not required for normal USB operation and charging. I have not yet bothered to install the extension; the card works well, even charging the iPad.
     
  9. flehman macrumors regular

    flehman

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    #9
    I did not even know about this extension. I never installed any software or driver, and the card has worked perfectly right out of the box. I do not typically charge my mobile devices at the computer but I will definitely investigate this kernel extension. Thanks!
     
  10. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #10
    http://www.sonnettech.com/support/kb/kb.php?cat=473&expand=&action=a3#a3

    MikeBoss and CRJackson clued me in about it. CRJackson probably knows more about USB3 on Mac Pros than anyone else on Earth.
     
  11. Cactusface macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Location:
    Leicester. UK
    #11
    Hi All,
    hope you don't mind me adding my bit! I have a cMP 3.1 running mountain Lion. I have a 4 x USB-3 card using the Fresco FL1100 controller, but I can't get it to work with or without the extra power connector.

    System info says no drivers installed, can't find any on-line but if you know different, I'd be happy to hear from you!! doing a bit of research it seems the this controller is not supported until OSX 10.8.5. I have a OSX 10.8 basic Mountain Lion, trying update says no updates available, tried it in OSX 10.10 it works, but I don't want to run OSX 10.10 It seems the NEC controller may be OK?

    Any help or advice welcome.

    Regards

    Mel.
     
  12. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #12
    Drivers for the FL1100 chipset are provided in 10.8.2 and newer. If it worked in 10.10 without any third-party drivers, it should have worked in 10.8.2.

    I don't know what's wrong. You can try this third party driver, but you shouldn't need it on 10.8.2 and newer.
     

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