3 Replies Latest reply: Mar 7, 2012 12:24 PM by yakov536
yakov536 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I have published this information to assist others in Implemnting USB 3.0.

 

System and Equipment:

-Mac Pro, Early Edition

-2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon

-16 Gig Ram

-Mac OS X Lion 10.7.3

-Three Open PCI SLots, 2-X4 and 1-X16

LaCie USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

LaCie Rugged Triple USB 3.0/Firewire 800 External Drive

Highpoint RocketU Quad USB 3.0 for Mac PCI Express Card

Seagate GoFlex Desk USB 3.0 External Drive

 

Summary:

The system worked improperly with the Lacie Card.

The system is working properly with the High Point Card

 

Details:

 

 

I began by purchasing and installing a LaCie PCI Express Card. After discovering that the card and drivers (PXHCD.kext) do not support non Lacie Drives, I purchased a LaCie Rugged Triple USB 3.0/Firewire 800 drive.

 

After attaching the Lacie drive to Lacie USB 3.0 card, the drive mounted. However testing revealed that large transfers failed. The drive worked without any problem when attached via the Mac Pro's USB 2.0 or FIrewire 800 ports.

 

After some time working with Lacie support, I decided to order the Highpoint RocketU Quad USB 3.0 for Mac. This card features USB controllers for each port thus the card is rated to deliver up to 20 Ghz of compbined bandwidth. Per Highpoint documentation, other implementations share a single controller and thus total combined bandwidth of multiple ports will be only 5 Ghz.

 

After plugging  the card into to an X16 PCI express slot, neither the Seagate nor the LaCie drives would mount. I could see them in system profiler under USB SuperSpeed Bus. Profiler is under Apple Menu -> About this Mac -> System Report.

 

After checking logs and and seeing conflicts with the PXHC.kext extension when restarting in verbose mode (command-v), I renamed  the PXHCD.kext extension to PXHCD.kext.lacie in /system/Library/Extensions. Note I had to sudo -s to get root permissions to do this.

 

After the kext change and reboot, the Seagate drive came right up. However it mounted as R/0. When I first installed the drive, I used seagate tools supplied with the Drive Software to allocate all space on the drive as a NTFS partition. To get going with this drive, I reinitialized the drive as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) using the Erase Tab in Disk Utility.

 

The drive now works with out hitch.

 

The following benchmark results for transfer speeds were created using the "Black Magic Disk Speed Test" available for free via the App Store. MB is Megabytes

 

Rugged Drive via Firewire - 80 MB/s

Rugged Drvie via USB2 - 30 MB/s

Seagate Drive USB 3.0 - 160 MB/s

Mac HS2 - 97 MB/s

 

My principle application is backing up VMWare Fusion Virtual Machines and running them from external drives. Has been working well.

 

These notes reflect my hardware and experience. There is quite a bit of information about USB 3.0 and patched drivers such as the modbin PXHCD,kext patched driver. In the end, moving to new hardware and drivers was the solution.

 

I hope that this infomration is helpfull.


Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (247,280 points)

    Here's a better solution:

     

    Buy CalDigit's AV drive and the CalDigit USB 3.0 card and drivers which work perfectly in my 2006 Mac Pro.

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,370 points)

    Yes, well I always advise folks to avoid LaCie at all costs!

     

    Kappy has a good combo card, someone posted their results with SSDs and using USB3 and SATA3/6G

     

    HPT also has a nice 4-port SATA 6G $249 that works.

     

    When I compared USB3 vs SATA there just is not any compelling reason for USB3 when you can have SATA PCIe other than dirt cheap cards which might for some be reason enough.

  • yakov536 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I had a typo in the transfer speed lists. That is HS2 should be HD2 which is a Segated 7200RPM SATA Drive mounted in my Mac. Also the Mac Pro is an Early 2009 model.

     

    I did see the Caldigit and the Lacie info after purchasing the LaCie. I have had ok luck with LaCie on Unix/Mac/Windows in the past.

     

    I have worked with SATA as well as SAS. The USB solution provides portability which I need to work with other systems. Haven't done much with SSD yet. My MacBook Air is SSD.

     

    Thanks