12 Replies Latest reply: Jul 19, 2013 3:58 AM by Hamish B.
Anniefromwa Level 1 (0 points)

What USB 3.0 card should I get for early 2009 Mac Pro so I can connect the Drobo 5D? They say get CalDigit or Sonnet. Anyone have preference or experience with reliability with this. I am running Lion and Trying to find which is better as I know from experience not all cards are created equal. Thanks in advance for your help!


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • Kappy Level 10 (266,041 points)

    I'd use the CalDigit card.

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,679 points)

    Here is a single rave review for the "ORICO PFU3-2P card with the FRESCO FL-1009 chip":

     

    Re: USB3.0 PCI Express Card working

  • Kappy Level 10 (266,041 points)

    I looked at those test numbers, and I'd have to say they weren't too impressive. I wonder what the test media was. I have a Lexar USB 3.0 flash drive model that produces better numbers!

     

    FireWire 800 produces around 60 MB/sec throughput. That's about 75% of its theoretical maximum of 80 MB/sec. I would have expected to see much better results than were shown.

     

    Of course for an old MP any card that can run natively may be worth it. But it would have been nice to see the USB 3.0 results alongside FW800 results on the same media.

  • yakov536 Level 1 (0 points)

    High Point RocketU Quad USB 3.0 for Mac is working great for me. Had an issue with CD/DVD Drive which was resolved with most current driver downloaded from the support site.

     

    Running Moutain Lion on Early 2009, mirroring two Seagate Go Flex 2TB USB 3.0 Drives. Installed in Slot 4.

     

    Using it primarily with VMWare Fusion for Virtual Drives. Windows, Unbuntu and other OS running really well.

     

    HPT Support was responsive and very helpfull using the WEB Portal under the product page.

  • Joseph Ciccio Level 1 (5 points)

    I installed the Orico PFU3-2P USB 3.0 PCI card in my Mac Pro 3,1.  The Fresco chip is natively supported in 10.8.2.  There are no drivers needed.  There appear to be other USB cards now using this chip.   The Orico card is only $15!  I did not add a power cord, as the one I ordered on ebay was not long enough to reach the card, but the bus powered portable drive works fine.

     

    My Passport portable USB 3.0 drive is recognized and the read / write speeds (Blackmagic Speed Test) are about 66 MB/s, which is about double my Iomega portable FW 400 drive.  The test numbers are not awesome, but may be due to the limits of my portable drives and Mac Pro.

     

    Only problem I found is if you put your computer to sleep, the drive is not shut down properly.  This appears to be a problem with the non-native cards also.  Otherwise, the USB 3.0 works well. I have not tried any hubs or booting off the USB 3.0 drive

  • FatMac>MacPro Level 5 (4,420 points)

    Anniefromwa wrote:

     

    What USB 3.0 card should I get for early 2009 Mac Pro so I can connect the Drobo 5D? They say get CalDigit or Sonnet. Anyone have preference or experience with reliability with this...

    I started with the Sonnet and after a year of unsatisfactory service, switched to the CalDigit and never looked back. Have used it with Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion with no problems. Their USB 3.0/eSATA card is a nice combination: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/CalDigit/FASTA6GU3/

  • Joseph Ciccio Level 1 (5 points)

    Update on Orico Card USB 3.0 card: 

     

    1. If a USB 3.0 drive is plugged into the card and the computer is then restarted, the startup is fine until the User signin window, at which point it freezes until the drive is unplugged (then you can immediately proceed with normal signin and plug the drive back in). 

     

    2. I set my computer to never sleep, but "put hard disks to sleep when possible" checked. In the morning, had to restart for the card to recognize a newly plugged in USB 3.0 drive (the drive showed that it was powered, but it was not recognized by the computer).

     

    Probably also means that you cannot keep a USB 3.0 hub plugged in.  Not sure if this is an OSX driver, PCI bus, or USB card design problem.  Either way, it works fine for my main purpose, using  inexpensive USB 3.0 drives for storage and backup.  I am not leaving them plugged in full time.

  • triglyph Level 1 (85 points)

    One thing you want to watch out for is the Highpoint card 1144. It works fine as long as you don't have any other Highpoint card in the Mac. I also have a RocketRaid 2722. The problem is that both are controlled by a web based GUI (Raidman). This GUI only recognized the USB card, which I don't need to control (it works fine) but it will not connect to the Rocketraid which I do need to control

     

    I've been going back and forth with Highpoint support for over a week. They are clueless (I mean that litterally). Their first response was just "The GUI will only recognize one card at a time." which is a non-answer.They've tried several things, including sending me a script to run in Terminal, which didn't work.

     

    I'm going to send it back and get a refund.

  • Joseph Ciccio Level 1 (5 points)

    Not sure this will work for your configuration, but for my MacPro 3,1, this combination has been working flawlessly, with a great increase in speed (ie. 4 sec boot time, much snappier application loading, etc) and versatility.  The costs are relatively inexpensive for these cards:

     

    In one PCIe 2.0 16x slot:  Apricorn Velocity Solo x1 with Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB SSD as boot drive - there are extra SATA III ports off this card that I have not used or tested.  There are some issues reported with plugging in a RAID to one of these ports in the Windows world.

     

    In one PCIe 1.0 4x slot: Orico PFU3-2P USB 3.0 PCI

     

    Both cards work fine together.

     

    I listed some of the caveats for this setup in December. One additional problem - the known issue of USB 3.0 / Bluetooth conflicts  - wreaks havoc on my bluetooth mouse when a USB 3.0 external HD is plugged in.  Still some interference even when an external bluetooth dongle is used.

  • HenryS Level 2 (295 points)

    yakov536 wrote:

     

    High Point RocketU Quad USB 3.0 for Mac is working great for me. Had an issue with CD/DVD Drive which was resolved with most current driver downloaded from the support site.

     

    Running Moutain Lion on Early 2009, mirroring two Seagate Go Flex 2TB USB 3.0 Drives. Installed in Slot 4.

     

    Using it primarily with VMWare Fusion for Virtual Drives. Windows, Unbuntu and other OS running really well.

     

    HPT Support was responsive and very helpfull using the WEB Portal under the product page.

    I have some comments and a suggestion:

     

    • Have you tried your setup with a SD/CF combo card reader (like the Lexar or Kingston FCR-H63)? Does the card appear on the desktop when first plugged in?
    • Did you need to fool around with any kind of power issues in installing this card in the x4 PCIe slot of the MacPro?
    • Suggestion. Have you tried one of the fixed in this article to cure the BT issues in MacPro 3,1?

     

     

    Good luck.

     

    Henry

  • Hamish B. Level 1 (10 points)

    Joseph

     

    Interesting configuration. I have just dropped one of these Caldigit cards (USB 3 / eSATA) in my Mac Pro 2008 3,1 but not hooked anything up to it yet.

     

    At the same time I am trying to install an Apricon Velocity X2 card with a MacSales SSD mounted on it.

     

    I have tried clean installing OS X 10.8.4 onto the SSD and cloning with CCC and Super-Duper, but it won't boot.

     

    Anyone successfully using the Apricorn and Caldigit cards in their Mac Pro?

     

    I have an ATO 5770 Mac GPU in the bottom slot, then Apricorn, then Caldigit. Slowest slot at the top is empty.

     

    Maybe I should switch slots? Remove the Caldigit card? FInd an Orico card instead?

    thanks

    Hamish

  • Hamish B. Level 1 (10 points)

    Ok I solved my problem.

     

    Apricorn Velocity is in top slot (x4 speed)

     

    Caldigit is in slot 2 (x16 speed).

     

    Working fine now

     

    thanks