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USB 3 Upgrade to 3,1 3008 Mac Pro

Posted on 2014-01-31
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Last Modified: 2014-04-18
My 4 HDD bays are full... WD & SG. 1 optical bay open.

Running Mavericks and Win7 in Bootcamp.

What's the best way to get power connection to PCIe USB 3 card?

Is the Optical bay my only choice?

What kind of cable will I need?

Probably going with Anateck, Sonnet or Anker PCie card.

Seems their cables are meant for an open HDD Sata slot.

Do I have to worry about Power Supply issues?

Save for the 4 HDD's, an ATI 5770 VC and 14G Ram the Mac is a standard Quad.
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Question by:mtnhome
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 39826222
If you're saying you don't have a spare SATA power connector, you can use an adapter:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200061
(currently on sale for $2, but similar low-cost adapters are available on Amazon, also.)
Or here's a USB 3.0 PCIe card that takes a standard molex plug
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14G-0001-00013

> Is the Optical bay my only choice?
Maybe I don't understand the question, but I don't know any way to mount a PCIe card in an optical bay.
Still, if you're looking for ways to swap around storage space and *have* an open optical bay, here's what I use for that - KingWin KF-1000-BK trayless docking rack
edit: This appears to be the same thing, without the KingWin brand name on it
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006RBODUO
edit2: Sorry - it's NOT the same thing... the KingWin branded unit does not have an integrated SATA cable...  you can connect any length SATA cable between the tray and motherboard on the KingWin internal dock, or even the SATA+power combo plugs, plus the KingWin unit has power/activity LED indicators, which the COSMOS unit apparently lacks.
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 39826750
Thanks for the links.

Yes,,, all 4 HDD bays are filled.

Was trying to see if the power supply plug from my spare optical drive bay would work.

Then, what kind of cable would I need to make the connection back to the PCIe card.

Also, is there a power connector on the motherboard that might work?

Just thought of something... is there an adapter that would connect to my Firewire 800 port and convert it ti USB 3?
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 39827295
> Was trying to see if the power supply plug from my spare optical drive bay would work
I don't know what that plug looks like.
> Then, what kind of cable would I need to make the connection back to the PCIe card.
*what* connection are you wanting to make to the PCIe card?
>Also, is there a power connector on the motherboard that might work?
Typically, motherboards have power output connections for just a couple/few 80mm to 120mm fans.
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 39827607
"I don't know what that plug looks like."

Either do I. That's why I'm asking. I assume all 3,1 Macs have the same power connectors in the optical bay. That being the case, can the PCie card be powered via a connection at the optical bay?

"*what* connection are you wanting to make to the PCIe card?"

Let's try this again. I need a power supply to the PCIe card. That's all!

I can use a splitter from one of the HDD bays or alternatively, go directly to the open Optical bay.
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 39827729
I don't see a 3008 or 3.1 listed at
http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_pro/index-macpro.html
Can you take a picture of the connector and post it here?

For Firewire 800 ports, there are lots of choices... on Amazon's page for the
WD 1TB My Passport Studio, if you scroll down there's a 'compare to' grid with links to other manufacturer's models, too.
Personally, the WD 3TB MyBook Studio is more attractive to me, but everyone has their own tastes.
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 39827776
Apple Mac Pro "Quad Core" 2.8 (2008) Specs

Identifiers: Early 2008 - BTO/CTO -   " MacPro3,1 "  - A1186 - 2180

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_pro/specs/mac-pro-quad-core-2.8-2008-specs.html

My only interest in Firewire is if there were an adapter to convert a Firewire 800 port to USB 3!
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LVL 44

Accepted Solution

by:
Darr247 earned 1000 total points
ID: 39827810
So, can you provide a picture of the power connector for that optical bay?
Here's what a standard molex power supply plug looks like4-pin Molex Female (click for larger)
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 39827818
Thanks... but I was hoping to find someone familiar with 2008 Mac Pros 3,1, upgrades especially, who would know if the USB 3 PCIe card could source its power directly from the open optical drive bay.

Maybe someone will show up!
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 39827821
Apparently you are not familiar with it, yourself.  :)

Is what you need a 6-pin PCIe extension?PCIe 6-pin Extension (Typically used for Graphics cards)
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 39827832
That's why I ask questions... hoping for good answers!
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