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USB 3 card for mid 2010 Mac Pro for backup


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#1 the Battle Cat

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 03:16 PM

I'm looking at this card in particular, which says towards the bottom of it's description that because of OS limitations you will get results somewhere between usb2 and usb3 speeds.  Is this typical of usb3 cards (the specs might not be as honest as the card referenced) or is this card a piece of popsnizzle.

I was also thinking of getting a thunderbolt card for the mac to feed a thunderbolt external hard drive for the backups.  

I'm wondering which to get, usb or thunderbolt.

What I'm doing is trying to arrange a backup system that will help protect me from ransomeware.  The drive is only connected during backup, the backups consisting of: daily, weekly, and bi-weekly.  Perhaps even a monthly.  I want to partition the external drive so that each of these backups are in their own partition plus a bootable partition.  I have a 1TB SSD that is about half full to backup.  I plan to use Time machine to make the backup disk a time capsule for personal data.  How big would that backup disk have to be?
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#2 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 04:37 PM

You missed the sentence before the OS limitations thing: "Windows XP and Vista Users Please Note".

I don't own this card, but heard good things from their owners.

And you can't add Thunderbolt to a Mac Pro. Thunderbolt is dead in the water anyways, especially TB 1 and 2.

#3 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 05:56 PM

I don't know if I would say TB is dead in the water. It seems like it is really hitting its stride with TB3 - numerous PC laptops now have it and it seems like it will be the standard for high-bandwidth peripherals going forward (ex: external GPUs). Marrying TB3 to the USB-C form factor is also a major plus, since most people want USB ports, not mini-display ports.

Like Camper-Hunter said though, there is no way to add TB to a computer. It has to be built into the motherboard. USB 3 will definitely give you good enough bandwidth for a backup drive. If you buy a card I would look for one that is USB 3.1 compatible (since 3.1 supports up to 10 Gb/s, vs 5 Gb/s for 3.0).

An alternative backup solution for your Mac could be a NAS. I have mine running incremental backups for my PC, my MBP, and my wife's MBA on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. I have 2x 6 TB drives running in RAID 1 to protect against drive failures.
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#4 the Battle Cat

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 06:08 PM

View PostCamper-Hunter, on 20 February 2017 - 04:37 PM, said:

You missed the sentence before the OS limitations thing: "Windows XP and Vista Users Please Note".

I don't own this card, but heard good things from their owners.

And you can't add Thunderbolt to a Mac Pro. Thunderbolt is dead in the water anyways, especially TB 1 and 2.

Awesome.  Now I feel happy and stupid.  What is that?  Stuppy?  I feel Stuppy.  Anyway thanks for the clarification.  Got a recommendation for a 3TB range USB3 external drive?  Not sure how big I'll need it to be actually.
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#5 the Battle Cat

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 06:16 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 20 February 2017 - 05:56 PM, said:

I don't know if I would say TB is dead in the water. It seems like it is really hitting its stride with TB3 - numerous PC laptops now have it and it seems like it will be the standard for high-bandwidth peripherals going forward (ex: external GPUs). Marrying TB3 to the USB-C form factor is also a major plus, since most people want USB ports, not mini-display ports.

Like Camper-Hunter said though, there is no way to add TB to a computer. It has to be built into the motherboard. USB 3 will definitely give you good enough bandwidth for a backup drive. If you buy a card I would look for one that is USB 3.1 compatible (since 3.1 supports up to 10 Gb/s, vs 5 Gb/s for 3.0).

An alternative backup solution for your Mac could be a NAS. I have mine running incremental backups for my PC, my MBP, and my wife's MBA on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. I have 2x 6 TB drives running in RAID 1 to protect against drive failures.

K, no TB cards.  Rats.  I'll all about settling so if it can't be so then I'll look for USB3.1  What I am doing is the recommendation of Intego, my virus protection company. Thanks for the info!

Also, are you recommending I get a card with USB-C?
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#6 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 07:30 PM

USB-C and USB 3.1 are the same performance. USB-C just uses a different physical connector. USB 3.0 will be more than enough performance for backups though. It operates at a faster speed then most spinning disks, so the hard drive, not USB 3.0, is the speed bottleneck.

This MacRumors thread has a good list of USB 3.0 expansion cards for Mac Pros
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#7 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 11:47 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 20 February 2017 - 07:30 PM, said:

USB-C and USB 3.1 are the same performance. USB-C just uses a different physical connector.
Not exactly. USB-C is the connector. USB 3 which is now USB 3.1, is also two different speeds, in that USB 3.1 Gen 1 is 5.0 Gbit/sec and USB 3.1 Gen 2 is 10 Gbit/sec. USB 3.1 can in theory also come with old standard USB connector we all have.

Confusing? Oh yes. Whoever thought up that marketin cluster frak should have his carreer revoked.
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#8 the Battle Cat

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 09:38 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 20 February 2017 - 11:47 PM, said:

Not exactly. USB-C is the connector. USB 3 which is now USB 3.1, is also two different speeds, in that USB 3.1 Gen 1 is 5.0 Gbit/sec and USB 3.1 Gen 2 is 10 Gbit/sec. USB 3.1 can in theory also come with old standard USB connector we all have.

Confusing? Oh yes. Whoever thought up that marketin cluster frak should have his carreer revoked.

Yes, that is confusing.  I'll go do the homework SS game me and be back later.  Thanks everybody.
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#9 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 12:31 PM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 20 February 2017 - 11:47 PM, said:

USB 3.1 can in theory also come with old standard USB connector we all have.

Not only in theory: my ASUS motherboard has both Type A and Type C USB 3.1 Gen 2 connectors.

#10 mattw

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 01:06 PM

View Postthe Battle Cat, on 20 February 2017 - 03:16 PM, said:

I'm looking at this card in particular, which says towards the bottom of it's description that because of OS limitations you will get results somewhere between usb2 and usb3 speeds.  Is this typical of usb3 cards (the specs might not be as honest as the card referenced) or is this card a piece of popsnizzle.

I was also thinking of getting a thunderbolt card for the mac to feed a thunderbolt external hard drive for the backups.  

I'm wondering which to get, usb or thunderbolt.

What I'm doing is trying to arrange a backup system that will help protect me from ransomeware.  The drive is only connected during backup, the backups consisting of: daily, weekly, and bi-weekly.  Perhaps even a monthly.  I want to partition the external drive so that each of these backups are in their own partition plus a bootable partition.  I have a 1TB SSD that is about half full to backup.  I plan to use Time machine to make the backup disk a time capsule for personal data.  How big would that backup disk have to be?

I have the same USB 3 card in my machine - the advantages compared to some others are no power cable required and no drivers to be installed.

As others have said Thunderbolt isn't an option on a classic Mac Pro but in reality most things can be added via USB, eSATA or PCI - all of which can then be used via Thunderbolt converters later if needs be. There is a premium for Thunderbolt devices (a bit like FireWire versus USB in the past).
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#11 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 02:44 AM

View PostCamper-Hunter, on 21 February 2017 - 12:31 PM, said:

Not only in theory: my ASUS motherboard has both Type A and Type C USB 3.1 Gen 2 connectors.
That's good to know - I thought most manufacturers would just jump the USB-C wagon, but clearly not. I wonder what the reasoning is for including USB-A 3.1 Gen 2..
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#12 the Battle Cat

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:51 PM

OK, thanks to your answers, suggestions, and my research I've decided on a plan.  I'm going to get a USB-C 3.1 card to add two USB-C 3.1 ports to my Mac.  The external backup HHD is a 4TB USB-C 3.0 device.  Even though the backup drive doesn't need 3.1 because 5Gb/s is all it can handle, I still have a 3.1 port to help future proof my Mac.  The WD HHD is compatable with Time Machine.  

Are there any known issues with Western Digital drives that I need to be warned about?  Tom's Hardware thinks they are OK, what do you think?
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#13 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 06:48 AM

I've only had one, but it still going strong after 10 years. (250Gb!)

(At least, I recall having had it for that long)
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#14 the Battle Cat

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 09:33 AM

K, it's done.  Thanks for the help everyone!
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#15 macdude22

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 09:39 AM

View Postthe Battle Cat, on 23 February 2017 - 09:33 AM, said:

K, it's done.  Thanks for the help everyone!

Use the memes.

Posted Image

also interjecting now that I have one of these in ye old 3,1

https://eshop.macsal...h/MXPCIEL2ESU3/

works fine, can count on 1 finger the number of times I actually used the eSATA ports :teehee:
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#16 the Battle Cat

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 12:01 PM

Didn't see your post till today.  The linked page says, "Important Note: Apple OS X Sleep is not supported with this card." in red no less.  You've only used it once so I doubt that you have a problem with that, but do you think that it could be a problem with regular use?  Are you using the legacy drivers with it?  

I installed the StarTech.com 2-port USB 3.1 today.  It needs a dongle for the cable so I can't install the WE My Book yet.  

Got an email alert from Intego this morning reporting "a tidal wave" of new Mac malware:

OSX/Filecoder: This file-encrypting ransomware program is found on BitTorrent websites, masquerading as an Adobe Premiere CC or Office 2016 patcher. If you get infected, it encrypts your files permanently — even if you pay the “ransom.”

OSX/Sofacy.gen: The biggest buzz in Mac malware this month involved a backdoor associated with a group known variously as Sofacy, APT28, and Fancy Bear. If a Mac has previously been infected by Sofacy’s malware known as Komplex, that malware may download and install XAgent as a secondary infection.

iKitten: A report was published describing Mac malware called MacDownloader or OSX.iKitten.A . The malware was targeted at the United States defense industry, and was distributed through a site that impersonated an aerospace firm.

EmPyre Word Macro: A file recently circulated that contained a Microsoft Word macro which contained the EmPyre malicious code, and become infected with additional malware.

OSX.Proton.A: A new remote-access Trojan (RAT) called PROTON (OSX.Proton.A) was found on a Russian cybercrime message board. The RAT was reportedly available for other would-be criminals to purchase for their own targeted campaigns, and even offered to add an Apple-approved developer signature to the attacker’s custom RAT software in order to bypass Apple’s Gatekeeper protection on the victim’s Mac.
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#17 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 03:16 PM

One thing to note is that you most likely will never contract malware unless one of the following happens:
  • Someone is specifically targeting you
  • You visit some weird/sketchy/unknown website
  • You download and install some random program
The first option is highly unlikely unless your alter-ego is some well known public person with valuable info on your machine. The latter two somewhat easy to avoid if you aren't pirated stuff and limiting your web time to sites you know and trust. There are exceptions, but I wouldn't stress about malware day to day. Always good to be prepared though.
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#18 the Battle Cat

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 06:25 PM

Sorry for the delay.  I'm basing my decision on an article titled "Cybercrime Gets Personal" in the March 2017 issue of Money magazine.  I've typed out some relevant excerpts from the article:

"...malware accounted for fewer than 2% of emails with malicious links or attachments in the fall of 2015, according to PhishMe, a cybersecurity firm.  By last fall, ransomware's share had zoomed to a shocking 97%.  Total ransomware losses in the US hit $1 billion in 2016 up from $24 million in 2015, the FBI estimated."

and

"Just as scary as ransomware's growth is the ease with which you can fall victim to it.  This malware, which makes online scams like emails from a Nigerian prince seem almost quaint, can infect your computer not only if you open a rogue email attachment, but even if you simply land on a mainstream website booby trapped by cybercriminals."

I got the email from Intego while I was here in this topic dealing with the information above and thought I should pass the warning along as it was new info hot off the press.
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