Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Jul 23, 2014 9:05 PM by MichelPM
frank325 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Can I  upgrade to a USB3 memory card reader with my 3 year old IMAC?

  • MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (9,865 points)

    If your iMac is a 2011 model you can use USB 3.0 devices, but these will only work at USB 2.0 data transfer speeds.

  • frank325 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Is there a Thunderbolt to USB3 converter out yet? Heard that Kanex was coming out with one.

  • MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (9,865 points)

    If they are, iit will be garbage.

    Most USB to Tbunderbolt or FireWire adapters simply do not work or work well and are very kludgy, at best.

    USB is a burst rate data streaming protocol.

    Thunderbolt and FireWire are sustained rate data streaming protocols.

    The two technologies are mutually exclusive and incompatible.

  • DEFCON 3 Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)

    Is there a Thunderbolt to USB3 converter out yet? Heard that Kanex was coming out with one.

     

    http://www.kanexlive.com/thunderbolt-esata

  • MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (9,865 points)

    This appears to be a much better, thought out solution than I have seen for past Thunderbolt/FireWire to USB adapters.

    This one looks like a solution that will, actually, work.

    All I can say about this is if you want to purchase this and try it...go ahead!

    If you would, could you post back with your feedback on this device. Especially how well and fast this works, if it works as advertised.

    Good Luck!

  • MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (9,865 points)

    This appears to be a much better, thought out solution than I have seen for past Thunderbolt/FireWire to USB adapters.

    This one looks like a solution that will, actually, work.

    All I can say about this is if you want to purchase this and try it...go ahead!

    If you would, could you post back with your feedback on this device. Especially how well and fast this works, if it works as advertised.

    Good Luck!

  • WebbWebs Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I ordered Kanex's new Thunderbolt to eSATA + USB3 Adapter and waited with great anticipation for it to arrive, since I needed it for a very large data transfer. Much to my surprise, it simply did NOT work as advertised.

     

    I recently purchased a 2011 MBP 17, as my MBP 17 Retina simply doesn't cut it. In my opinion, the newer MacBooks just can't provide the expandability to qualify as a "PRO" machine. I had hoped that the heretofore unused Thunderbolt port might become useful for something beyond extra ventilation.

     

    I have about 30 WD My Passport drives... mostly 2TB, but some 1TB... all USB3. I also have a few misc. pocket drives by Seagate, etc. While the single USB3 port on the Kanex adapter is inadequate for transferring from one external drive to another, I was hoping it would at least give me a way to reduce my the time required to clone my internal drive to something less than 8-10 hrs!

     

    Unfortunately, NONE of my external pocket drives will load. None of the photos on Kanex's site show an external power supply attached to the drives. Did they simply forget to mention that the adapter fails to provide sufficient power to start up a pocket drive? I was hoping to at least test the transfer rate before investing in a powered USB3 hub (that may not be any faster than the box of USB2 hubs in my closet).

  • DEFCON 3 Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)

    I ordered Kanex's new Thunderbolt to eSATA + USB3 Adapter and waited with great anticipation for it to arrive, since I needed it for a very large data transfer.

     

    I’m in much the same boat as you and am interested in a simple and inexpensive TB-->USB 3 adapter for use in cloning my 2011 MBP (USB 2 only) to an external backup drive. Unfortunately the Kanex is not exactly either. It serves dual functions (eSATA or ethernet + USB 3) and is a little expensive if you’re only making use of one.

     

    Unfortunately, NONE of my external pocket drives will load.

     

    When researching the device shortly after it was released I located this guy’s detailed review, which suggests (in the section captioned “Testing”) that it's capable of powering most 2.5” external drives:


    http://fortysomethinggeek.blogspot.com/2014/07/kanex-thunderbolt-to-esata-usb-30 .html

     

    So it’s useful to know about your counterexample (though this obviously isn’t much consolation for your disappointment). Afraid I can't offer any help, but I did notice that someone has posted a similar issue on the Kanex site that turned out to be caused by the TB firmware they were running on their 2011 MBP. Perhaps it has some relevance to your situation:

     

    http://www.kanexlive.com/article/thunderbolt-adapters

    (way down in the hidden replies under the second posting from the top)

     

    Another issue with the Kanex is that you can’t boot from the USB 3 port, as indicated in the “Update” appended at the end of the above-referenced review. Even if you found a drive that it would power, you wouldn’t be able to boot from your clone. Which pretty much kills my interest in the adapter. Certainly at the advertised price, anyway.

  • WebbWebs Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thank for your feedback DEFCON 3. I'm running the latest version of Mavericks (10.9.4). I would have thought that firmware updates would be included in OS updates on an as-needed basis, by hardware. Having said that, I just checked my Thunderbolt firmware version and it is "22.1". I can't find out what it SHOULD be. It seems like update 1.2 is the highest, though from the following thread, I'm not sure I'd apply it. It appears that the update was not properly tested...

     

    Re: Thunderbolt Firmware Update v1.2 - Graphics Glitch Afterwards

     

    "Installed the Thunderbolt Firmware Update v1.2 which came out today and immediatly after update started experiencing choppy graphics when scrolling, especially in the Mac App Store.  Swipe between screens and dock magnification also causes glitch..."

     

    Hopefully, Kanex will reply to my service request some time in the near future.

  • MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (9,865 points)

    As I stated, these types of adapters simply do not work or work very well  for their intended purposes.

    The technologies and voltages are not compatible with each other.

  • WebbWebs Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    And, with all due respect, MichelPM, you ALSO stated...

     

    "This appears to be a much better, thought out solution than I have seen for past Thunderbolt/FireWire to USB adapters.

    This one looks like a solution that will, actually, work."

     

    With 8,115 points to your credit, I hoped you might actually be right. So I ordered one. Go figure.  ;-)

  • MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (9,865 points)

    Well,

    I was hoping DEFCON was going to purchase this and report back with his feedback on this adapter.

    I did mention that if DEFCON wanted to try this that he should.

    But since DEFCON posted almost a month later to your reply, there was no way I could know if he ever purchased this device or not and if this device worked or not for him.

    As he posted, after he found mixed and negative reviews of this, he decided against this purchase.

    With all due respect, this device does look a lot more thought out than the typical bulky and kludgy-looking USB to FireWire adapters I have seen in the past.

    I am sorry that this device doesn't work as we all thought it might.

    I never made a  definite recommendation to DEFCON either way.

    I only mentioned if he did purchase to come back and tell us about the product and his experiences with it.

  • WebbWebs Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    No worries, MichelPM. I'm a big boy. I made my decision based on ALL the feedback, and to a great degree on Kanex's somewhat sketchy advertising. If you look at the Kanex site, they have several photos of the adapter connected to an external pocket drive, WITHOUT any additional power supply. Clearly, this is deceptive advertising. No doubt their response to my query will be that I now have to purchase the 4-port powered hub for another $45. Personally, I'd like PROOF that it works, before buying something else from them.

  • DEFCON 3 Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)

    Hopefully, Kanex will reply to my service request some time in the near future.

     

    Let us know. “It should work”, as they say, so I’m hopeful that Kanex can troubleshoot the issue. Sorry that I can’t be of more help (or if I have influenced anyone’s purchasing decision in a negative way).

     

    I notice that Amazon has begun to sell the device and that it has already received a couple of reviews — one very positive, one very negative. You might keep your eye on the listing to see if any future reviewers address the power issue in a helpful way.

     

    I'm running the latest version of Mavericks (10.9.4). I would have thought that firmware updates would be included in OS updates on an as-needed basis, by hardware.

     

    I just purchased one of the last of the 17-inch MBPs as an Apple refurbished device. Appears to be brand new, but obviously had to be manufactured in 2011, and as you might expect it came with Lion installed. I'm now running 10.9.4, but after reading your post I checked and found that the TB firmware is still at 13.0-2.8. So the firmware updates aren’t necessarily happening automatically. At least not in all situations.

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