recommend USB 3 PCI card for Mac Pro (it's not built in in this model)

Started Jan 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
williamio
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Re: recommend USB 3 PCI card for Mac Pro (it's not built in in this model)
In reply to Karl Gohl, Jan 30, 2013

Karl Gohl wrote:

Thanks for the info, Williamio! What has been your experience in using the Caldigit card with memory card readers? I currently have a Hoodman Raw Steel USB3.0 reader to read my SD and CF cards. Do you happen to know if it works? Actually, would you please list any/all readers that you know work -- I'd be willing to buy a new reader if necessary.

TIA

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Karl

Karl,

you are killing me but I am more than willing to share my finds, give me a little bit time, I believe I can come up a list that I have been testing and using. To be honest with you, some USB3 devices are just "junk" in my opinion when it comes to support Mac OSX. I think it's because those early U3 devices are not following the spec, either XHCI 0.96, 0.97 or now 1.0.

Give me a little bit time, I will work on a list. I promise.

The USB3 card readers that I have been using are

1. Lexar USB3 dual-slot reader. Model: LRW3000U. Rev: A. I use this one most of time.

2. SohoUSB USB3 card reader. I got 2 of them. cheap but work. It has multiple slots including CF, xD, microSD...etc.

3. Delkin USB3 reader.

The memory card I have is from Lexar prof. 600X UDMA CF.

I can confirm that both delkin and lexar have the smilier USB3 chipset, which is Genesys Logic I believe since they both have similar firmware version which is 5.4X. You can read the firmware information from system preference.

SohoUSB card reader has the U3 chip from Realtek, firmware is 1.2.

That being said, if you have the card readers that have U3 controller chips from these two chipset companies, they may work just fine if you upgrade the firmware to the latest revision.

As far as the hoodman card reader, I do not know anything about this reader, HOWEVER. I just browsed their site, my best guess would be the similar chipset company that Lexar is using.

http://www.hoodmanusa.com/prodinfo.asp?number=RAWUSB3

If you click on the firmware upgrade, you will see firmware 0563, which I assume it's 5.63. If that's the case, it should be from Genesys logic too. I did not run the firmware updater, so you may want to try it yourself and report back here

So here are the tricks to make your USB3 devices work better under Mac OSX.

1. Always contact manufacturer to update the firmware to the latest version. (Kudos to Lexar and Hoodman, they both have Mac and PC firmware updater on their support site.)

2. Always use the quality USB3 cable. I found some really bad quality of USB3 cable is bundled with the USB3 product. For example, I happened to have a cheap USB3 toshiba drive from walmart , it did not work properly at all, I blamed to cal digit's card but once they suggested me to use their quality cable, all the problem was gone! Rule number 1, don't buy or use cheap USB3 cables. They are not created equally.

3. Use usb3 and eSATA combo card from caldigit.com . they do have USB3 card too, but with few bucks more, you can have both eSATA and U3 ports on the card. I really like the combo card where I can plug in my SATA drives to the card too. Love this slot saver

Lastly, I promise when I have time, I will make a long list including my equipment and experience. Geeze, I just realized I spent too much money on all the new U3 toys

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