No more PCI?

A little while ago I picked up a Magma 4-slot expansion chassis. It came with a PCI host adaptor and worked straight away with my old G5. As it can hold up to 4 hard drives, I recently bought a couple of SATA drives to put in it.

I also recently snagged a 2.93 GHz Macbook Pro with an ExpressCard slot. So after some technical enquiries and a tip from a guy at Magma that the various host adaptors were about to jump in price by $100, I bought an ExpressCard host adaptor. It works really well.

The long-term plan is to buy some second-hand Pro Tools HD cards and have a very powerful mobile system. For now, I can't afford that, so what to do...

Great, I thought. I'll put a RAID controller card in the expansion chassis and I have a mobile hard drive. Except that such cards are not supported under OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard). I need that OS to run the copy of Pro Tools 9 I just bought. It seems that since one cannot buy a Mac with PCI slots an more, there's no need to make any PCI products work with anything past Leopard, the last OS that runs on machines which have PCI slots. Thanks to Magma, we can have PCI slots working with the newer machines and OS, but beyond Pro Tools one struggles to find any cards that will work.

I have seen a few PCI to PCIe adaptor cards which act as a bridge between newer style PCIe cards and PCI slots. Whether they would work or not, who knows?

Does anyone know? It would be nice to keep those drives in the chassis and use it for something until I can get Pro Tools HD.

2 Responses to No more PCI?

  1. 13413 David Rodger 2011-10-01 22:28:33

    I've decided to try a Syba PCI SATA controller. It uses a Silicon Image 3124 chip, and uses the Silicon Image drivers. There's a version of the drivers for Snow Leopard.

    If this works, it'll be great.

  2. 13944 David 2011-10-12 22:16:28

    Sigh. It doesn't work.

    The Macbook hangs at startup. Whether it's the card being incompatible with the chassis or the driver not working I don't know. I might see if it works with the old G5.

    Meanwhile, if anyone knows how to make a HD work inside a Magma chassis without resorting to Firewire or some other external connection, I'm all ears.

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