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#1 2016-11-07 21:49:57

MacOS Plus
Member
Registered: 2015-12-09
Posts: 108

Minimum Mac OS version for USB 3.0 and ExpressCard support

First the basic general question - what is the minimum Mac OS version for USB 3.0 and also for ExpressCard support?  I would assume a relatively recent Intel OS X for each of them or both combined.

  Now for the 'tangent' - I really enjoy trying to cram as many upgrades as possible into older computers purely for the "because I CAN" factor.  I just found out that slot converters exist which allow installation of USB-host-interface-based-ExpressCard accessories into the older CardBus slots:

Syba
StarTech
Amtron

  Of course the biggest potential hurdle is driver support for such a setup on any machine old enough to not have an ExpressCard slot already.  I figure there's a narrow 'window of opportunity' on PCs at least for success.  Mac I figure is right out, unless someone here knows better.  I don't own any Intel Macs so I doubt there's any chance for me on the Mac platform at the moment.  The Amtron adapter states Mac OS 10.3 as minimum requirement, which of course is for their USB 2.0 bus element, but would there actually be any ExpressCards at all that would have had driver support this early on?  Surely only for Intel Mac anyway, right?

  I own one truly odd-ball older PC laptop machine, an Acer Ferrari 4000, that has only CardBus internally but offers a proprietary expansion box to be attached which provides (among many other things) a CardBus slot also.  This computer is from the Windows XP era because that's what it came factory-installed with.  This gives me the hope that other laptops of this vintage might support ExpressCards via the CardBus adapter I mentioned above.

  Thoughts?

P.S.  How are you supposed to know if a particular ExpressCard device is based on a USB host interface or not?

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#2 2016-11-08 20:20:48

cc333
Member
From: North S.F. Bay Area, CA
Registered: 2014-05-23
Posts: 576

Re: Minimum Mac OS version for USB 3.0 and ExpressCard support

Well, since MacBook Pros have had ExpressCard slots from the very beginning, I'd say that Mac OS X 10.4 would have at least some support for them. USB 3.0, on the other hand, will be a challenge, as I think the earliest Mac OS that even kinda-sorta supports it is 10.6, which no PPC Mac can run.

You *might* be able to hack something up and get USB 3.0 to work in Leopard given it's similar to Snow Leopard, but again, unless you can find an open source USB 3.0 driver and can recompile it for PPC, any other driver you'd find will likely be Intel only.

c


Main Macs: Early '09 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 13"
Secondary Macs: Early '08 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 15"
Playthings: Mac SE/30, 3.0 GHz Mavericks-based HackServe, Many others....
Desired: Lisa, Kanga PowerBook G3, Apple IIc, Apple II, Spare parts, etc.

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#3 2016-11-09 18:21:27

MacOS Plus
Member
Registered: 2015-12-09
Posts: 108

Re: Minimum Mac OS version for USB 3.0 and ExpressCard support

Given that the adapter creates a USB 2.0 bus, which should be supported, are there any ExpressCard devices that would work at all or would they all lack PPC drivers?

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