News for Friday, February 7th, 2014     Go to Current News Page

Mac Upgrades/Mods | Storage | Video | Audio/Home Theater | macOS Updates/Tips/WiFi
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Report on iMac SATA Mini-PCIe card Mod (using Airport Card Slot) (updated)
(latest report on mods to use SATA Mini-PCIe card in Macs w/Mini-PCIe slot Airport card.)
"About the mini PCIe mod on mac mini or iMac
I wanted to give this mod a try and purchased a lower cost SATA mini-pcie card (CONRAD-SATA-ASM1061 € 25.95) built around the (Asmedia, SATA3, PCIe 2.0) ASM1061 chip which is said to be well supported on OS X. (IIRC, PCIe card support reported with OS X 10.6.8+.)
   Sadly the controller wasn't even detected by the hardware - even lspci wasn't able to detect it, and booting the my early 2008 iMac with Ubuntu didn't gave better results.
(What OS X version was on the iMac? Card fully seated?-M.)
I'm a bit surprised. Maybe the board is DOA, but I don't have any other hardware to test it.
FYI, Matt.
(Update: here's his later reply:)
Yes, the card was well seated, I double checked that. I run OS/X Mavericks (10.9)
I went to a Commell MX-3132 (the SATA2 card used in prev mods here, see links below.-M.) and this time it was successful as expected. However, since my goal was making a Fusion Drive, I came across a big problem: the card isn't bootable. (SI3132 OS X Driver install required. But even if you could do it, I'd be leery of a Fusion drive from 2 different interfaces.)
I did not foresee that the kernel wouldn't have loaded the necessary drivers in order to access the second drive needed to mount the Fusion drive.
As far as I know there is no mini-PCIe card on the market that is also mac-bootable.
(None that I know either so far. My Mac Pro had a OS X natively supported (Marvel 88912SE) PCIe SATA3 card that also wasn't Mac bootable, although It was listed as bootable w/Windows PCs if AHCI enabled in bios. Ditto for the ASM1061 PCIe cards I think.-M.)

I guess that I'll stay with my current configuration : SSD on the internal SATA controller, mechanical drive in a external enclosure on the Firewire 800 port. I run this setup for some weeks without any issue and the performances are really far better for casual use than a standalone HDD on the SATA port, even with a small SSD disk (60GB in my case). The OS is generally extremely responsive and will make my old iMac last a few more years.

Thanks for the follow-up Matt. (If anyone had better luck with an ASM1061 mini-PCIe card mod, let me know. Include mac model/OS X version used. Also if eSATA case used is PM or not. Some cards have no PM support but ASM1061 lists it.) Previous mini-PCIe eSATA mod reports used a SATA2 Commell MPX-3132 card (SI3132 based) with (required) Silicon Image 3132 OS X driver install.
Here's links to previous posts on Mini-PCIe card mods in various Macs:

2009 and later Minis -do not- have a Mini-PCIe slot airport card, but IIRC iMacs still do.
Last spring I asked if anyone had found a working USB 3.0 Mini-PCIe Card but no reports yet. (For anyone still needing wireless support after the mod, one option is to use an Ethernet to Wireless bridge.) Also curious if anyone does a working mod w/Mini-PCIe Broadcom BCM4360 based 802.11ac card.

(BTW: The 1st gen Apple TV also had a mini-PCIe airport card slot, which some owners swapped in a crystal video card for 1080P video support with 3rd party Media Center software mods.)

Apple/products related News/Tips/Updates/PR:

New/Updated Apple Support/How-To/Troubleshooting Articles:

Other News/Updates/Tech/Tips/Op-Ed/OT:

Recent Articles/Tips/Tweaks/Reviews:
Listing/links of updates, DIY mod/upgrade articles, tips and reviews you may have missed.

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Previous News Archive Summary: (no updates Thursday)
    Wednesday February 5th, 2014 News
  • Mac mini: How to remove or install memory
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013): Installing or replacing memory (and more)
  • Tip for Airplay mirroring freezes and dropped connections
  • Why 30in DVI Cinema Display might show 1280 x 800 as max resolution
  • Troubleshooting Apple TV playback performance
  • OS X: How to connect with File Sharing using SMB
  • iTunes: About iOS backups
  • iTunes: Syncing media content to iPod
  • iTunes 11.1.4 for Windows: Tips for Unable to install or open
  • iCloud: Locating Reminders and Tasks
  • Other News/Reviews/Tips/Op-Ed/OT:
    - Did Steve Jobs want Sony VAIOs to run OS X?
    - Review of Abbyy FineReader Pro OCR for Mac
    - PCMag list of Top Wireless Routers of Home
    - Pinnacle T1 PBAR 2000 Powered Sound Bar Review
    - Sony Negotiating to Sell Its PC Business to Investment Fund
    - Info on Xbox One Update coming Feb 11th

For links to older news pages, see the Archives.

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