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USB 3.0 PCIe cards interfere with Bluetooth chip on board MacPro

1761 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Aug 3, 2013 6:26 AM by HenryS RSS
HenryS Level 2 Level 2 (295 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 5, 2013 1:40 PM

After installing a Sonnet Allegro USB 3.0 card in my MacPro 3,1 (2009+), that generally seems to work OK on its own, I found that the card interferes with trackpad Bluetooth operation severely. Does anyone have any work-arounds on this issue? I will have to return the card if it can't be fixed. I'm told that other cards similarly affect Bluetooth connected device operation and that they are not doing anything about fixing the problem as it is not their issue (does not affect operation of the USB 3.0 connected devices (even though it does produce bus interference in and of itself that in turn causes the problem). Harrumph, says I.


I haven't digested the Intel White Paper fully, but Intel suggest using Aluminum foil to mitigate the effect in some way. REALLY???


This is the image from their FAQ page on this.

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 16.26.27 .png


Sonnettech's site referred me to an Intel White Paper describing this issue and pointedly directed me to Apple about the interference problem they claim to be a known issue, here

Mac Pro, OS X Mountain Lion, (3,1) 10GB RAM, 500GB HD+250GB SSD
  • mario49 Community Specialists Community Specialists (1,785 points)

    Hi HenryS,


    Thanks for using Apple Support Communities.


    For more information on this, take a look at this article:

    Bluetooth: Unreliable wireless performance may occur when USB 3.0 external devices are close


    Better shielded USB 3.0 cables may also be helpful.


    Using USB 3 devices on Mac computers FAQ


    I sometimes have difficulty with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth devices when USB 3 devices are attached to my computer.  What could be wrong?

    Some USB 3 devices, hard drives in particular, can generate radio frequency interference that can cause Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices operating in the 2.4GHz band to have issues communicating with your computer. Do not place hard drives or other USB devices behind the rear of your Mac near at the hinge of your screen. The antennas for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are located there, and USB 3 devices placed there may interfere with your wireless connections. See this white paper for more information.

    Best of luck,



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