Upgrading Older Mac Pros to USB 3.0

We’re seeing a lot of Mac users wanting to upgrade older Mac Pros to gain USB 3.0 support. Unfortunately, the solutions available (a common one is a PCIe add-in card from a company called Caldigit) are very limited — Caldigit was put in the position of having to deliver a full USB 3.0 software driver stack prior to Apple’s own being available, and that kind of thing is a huge software development effort. So they made their work manageable by focusing on only a few USB 3.0 devices and types. It is not a 100% complete USB 3.0 stack.

The way they put it is the Caldigit USB 3.0 card is ‘designed to work with “Caldigit Certified” products only’. It won’t work with other USB 3.0 devices, including most USB 3.0 hubs on the market today.

That includes all the USB 3.0 hubs and docks that we sell — they are not supported by Caldigit’s card.

Basically, if you’re upgrading an older Mac Pro to USB 3.0, there will be significant limitations. Be careful to use only USB 3.0 devices the card specifically calls out as supporting (often focused on certain USB 3.0 hard disks). Please don’t buy any USB 3.0 product unless you’ve seen a specific positive compatibility report.

Hope this background helps save some frustration for Mac Pro users trying to add USB 3.0 support to their boxes!

Feel free to comment below if you have any helpful info to add for Mac Pro users … Thanks!

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