SYBA SD-MPE40056 Mini-PCIe SATA3 card (ASM1061 chipset)
(added 12/5/2014, Assume 2006/2007 (pre-2009) mini)
Just a quick note for your page... I have the following parts working in a quick test. The attached SATA drive worked (though not for booting). Ultimately I plan to cut a slot in the white plastic edge to feed the ribbon cable outside the mini, and reassemble everything.
Flexible Mini PCI Express card Extender/Extension Cable
SYBA SD-MPE40056 Mini PCI-Express 2.0 SATA III 2-port card (ASM1061 chipset)
Thanks. What OS X version are you using? (and no card drivers required?)
Delock Mini-PCIe SATA card (ASMedia controller, not Silicon Image 3132 used in earlier reports)
"eSATA card report - 2007 Mac Mini (OS X Mountain Lion)
I have a 2007 MacMini 2.0GHz, and the Optical Drive port is dead. I wanted a fast drive but couldn't use the boot drive as I needed 3TB for video.
I looked at the information on your page... (this page), hoping to find a suitable card here in the UK to work. I took a gamble on this card from Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0093IYYZM/
Delock MiniPCIe I/O PCIe Module with Full Size 6GBps 2x SATA.
(IIRC, this card uses the ASMedia 106x chipset.)
... and it worked PERFECTLY with no configuration and no drivers.
(I did have to buy an extension cable from eBay/China, but that was only £12)
Thought maybe you'd like to include it on your page.
I am very pleased and have a 3TB hard drive attached now.
No WiFi now, but don't really use it anyhow.
Thank you. Glad it worked out. (Back in Feb 2014, an iMac owner (OS X 10.9.x) said he had problems with an ASmedia AS1061 based card (CONRAD-SATA-ASM1061) but it may have been a bad sample.)
"2007 Mac Mini with Commell MPX-3132 Card
I used your website as a guide to install one of the Commell MPX-3132 SATA Cards in a 2.1 Mac Mini, with favorable results. I had already upgraded the processor to a 2.33 GHz Core2Duo, and replaced the hard drive with an Intel 120GB SSD. I also pulled the DVD drive and put the originally upgraded 500GB hard drive in an enclosure from iFixit in place of the DVD drive.
I was concerned that I would need to use a Raid 0 or 1 setup with the two external drives attached to the new SATA card, but it turns out that wasn't required. After installing the Silicon Image Base, and then the Raid Management Drivers, both drives appeared on the Desktop and were behaving like other external drives. No Raid setup was needed.
"A few months back you had an article on replacing the Airport card on a (2006-2007) Mac Mini with a (Mini-PCIe eSATA card. (Also articles here on the same card swap for intel-based iMacs reports here and Photo Gallery/Guide to iMac eSATA Card Install/Mod.-Ed) Just thought I would follow-up and say I did the mod and it works really well. Used the same card from Global American as in the article and works great with the RAID driver. Hooked up several different drives including a 2 drive port multiplier case (will try with 5 drive case when time allows) and everything so far has worked really well - particularly hot swapping drives. Other than the lack of ability to boot off connected drive it is pretty nice. In fact works as well as some FirmTek controllers I have in 2 Mac Pros. Have not tested with really fast drives yet but on the drives tested so far seems comparable to same drives on FirmTek controllers.
Using a USB 802.11n adapter for wireless access - which also works well - not quite as handy as Airport software but it is 802.11n.
1.66GHz Mac Mini (2006? model), OS X 10.6.5 (not updated to 10.6.6 yet) - spare machine not really being used for anything else.
Done with the idea of using as a backup server and wanted faster storage than FW400 or USB 2.0. May even use it as file server running Leopard Server - but the lack of a fast alternate boot drive is a bit of a handicap.
Thanks for the article - never would have thought of it otherwise.
(added 9/7/2010 - note he is NOT using the Mini-PCIe card others here used.)
"Yes, I'm using a Macmini2,1 (2007 model) where I've removed the Airport card and installed a Mini-PCIe to PCIe cable. (I wrote to ask for a link to that cable/adapter. See below for info.-Mike) And I'm using a Sil3132 2-port SATA card which is being recognised and working fine under 10.6.4 client.
(After some saying only the RAID driver install worked for this, I asked what version of the driver he used. For (full size) PCI Express cards (in a Mac pro) and Expresscard slot (i.e. MacBook Pro) Sil3132 cards, I've always used the non-RAID drivers personally. But I don't have a Mini (Mac) to try these mods.-Mike)
I specifically wanted the non-raid driver as ZFS works best with a JBOD setup. (an optimal ZFS setup is to have direct access to all of the drive) Here are the details of the driver from ASP.
Last Modified: 2/06/10 5:04 PM
Architectures: i386, ppc, x86_64
64-Bit (Intel): Yes
Kext Version: 1.2.3
Load Address: 0x93a000
A nice thing about using ZFS is that I now don't care about using cheap nonserver-grade disks. (I've never used ZFS but thought apple had dropped support for it? (IIRC?))
Yes that's correct... However the project still lives on - http://code.google.com/p/maczfs/. My colleague (Michael Shaw) made the icon for the project. Someone has even implemented basic support for ZFS into Disk Utility. The build version is somewhat behind the current solaris build, but Alex is doing an almighty job in following Apple's and Sun's source trees.
(More info added about his PCIe card and the mini-PCIe to PCIe card adapter/cable he used. Other reports here just used a Mini-PCIe card.-Mike)
www.addonics.com/products/host_controller/adsa3gpx1-2em.asp - ADSA3GPX1-2EM, 2 Port eSATA II PCI-E Controller for Mac Pro.
(You can find very cheap PCIe 3132 SATA cards. Some are under $20 at even Brick and Mortar stores.
Here's his later mail tonight with info on the Mini-PCIe to PCIe (full size) adapter/cable.-Mike)
Search for: PEMINI2X1 (third entry from bottom) at: www.adexelec.com/pciexp.htm.
All sorts of goodies on this page.... They delivered to me in Australia!
(Not sure how many Mini owners would go that route (adapter to a full size PCIe card), but if you did and if I had a choice I'd prefer some other (not SIL3132 based) PCIe card. For instance a natively supported (in 10.5.x and 10.6.x) PCIe SATA card like NewerTech's 6G model instead. (No drivers to install and better than typical 3132 card performance without being overly expensive as noted in my review/comparison back in Jan.)-Mike)
(The rest of his original report follows)
I've connected up 2 Silicon Image Port Multipliers to each SATA port and now have a total of 10 SATA ports available.
Here are some pics a crude proof-of-concept using 2 1TB drives. http://gallery.me.com/tangles#100082 (no longer online)
And here is the macmini inside an old Apple Network Server (ANS500) case. gallery.me.com/tangles#100084 (Link no longer valid)
The ANS500 (I called it LittleBox on my network) used to house a G4 motherboard (Gigabit series) with an upgraded 1.33GHz dual CPU. I had ZFS running on this back when Apple announced ZFS support, using 2 PCI Acard 4 port IDE controllers with 500GB drives for the raidz ZFS pool.
This is why LittleBox looks rather messy and adhoc inside, as I've only just sat it there and used velcro on it's base to keep it in place. (the mini has always been a temporary build)
Currently, the macmini is serving up two ZFS pools via OSX using NFS exports to our machines on the network (macmini3,1 in lounge, MacPro3,1 in study, nforce790i in study, and a MacBookPro4,1)
I have iTunes', iPhoto's, XBMC's and EyeTV's data all on a ZFS pool which works really really well now that I got rid of AFP!! (AFP and ZFS = bad)
I really love this set up now. I sleep better knowing my data (i.e. photos) are protected from silent data corruption (blogs.sun.com/bonwick/entry/raid_z) etc etc
So, yes, back to your original query, it's working for me, speed is great (PCIe-1.0 1x lane is 250MB/sec each way!)
(YMMV. Any Interface spec's max rate (the theoretical max) is rarely seen in real-world use (due to other hardware bottlenecks, overhead, etc).)
Cheers, Raoul C."
And here's a copy of the original/first report (from Aug 24, 2010 news page)
From a reader mail on Aug 23rd, 2010 (a reader in Germany)
(BTW: This could also be usable for iMacs w/mod to bring the cables out the bottom. Not checked the older iMacs but the 2010 models have the airport card very near the bottom and it should be possible to run the cables out the bottom with a mod to the plate, similar to what OWC does with their 27in iMac (onboard) eSATA mod.
Update/FYI: Here's a link to a page with notes/pix from an iMac owner that did this same mod.)
"Hi, I've read your site for more than 10 years and it helped me a lot upgrading my old beloved 7500. But in late 2007 I finally switched to a new mac mini and upgraded RAM and HD. Now I want to report about removing my Airport card (which I don't need) and replacing it with a mini PCI-e SATA card, since this is not very common.
(FYI: Of course you lose your Airport card with this mod, but if you must have wireless, there's USB Wireless options or better yet (IMO) an Ethernet to 802.11n (and g/b) Wireless bridge. Rather than the usual single ethernet port models, I'd be more interested in this Buffalo model with 4 Ethernet ports.-Mike)
The switch is no more difficult than installing memory and HD. To move out the cables it was necesarry to remove a small peace of the case. (I.E. for the eSATA card cable pass-thru. I asked if he could send a pix of that - he said he would over the weekend.) You should not try the switch if you are not used to this kind of work.
I used the following card: Commell MPX-3132, Modul, Mini-PCIe, 2x SATA-II (Silicon Image 3132 chip based)
(FYI: Gunter later noted he used the RAID driver and some others said only the RAID version of the 3132 drivers worked for this mod w/Mini PCIe card, athough one report (above) from a 10.6.4 user said he used the non-RAID driver but he's using a MiniPCIe to PCIe card cable/adapter.
The SI driver comments reminds me of some past mails on 3132 drivers in general where some had problems with the SI site driver installs working where I didn't (ever - I installed at least 3 different versions over the last year from the SI site (used with 10.5.x and 10.6.x - all worked OK), yet some have had problems with them. For those that did the recommendation in the past was to use the Sonnet driver installer (their 3132 expresscard/PCIe card drivers - which as I've mentioned many times in the past appear to the very same ref SI driver extension in their installer package as is in the SI site non-RAID driver download although the SI site has had a later version/update).
Regardless, if you do see a problem with one version of the SI driver, try the other to see if that helps.
Also remember some major OS X updates will remove the installed 3132 driver (with a note in an incompatible software folder on the boot drive) and require a 3132 driver reinstall (or updated driver).-Mike)
(Is this the card you used?
and did it come with cables? (they show this cable pix)-Mike)
Yes, that is this card. I bought it here in Germany (product page link)
It came with two cables. One side fits in the connector of the card, the other on the sata port of an internal HD. To connect to an e-sata port of an external drive you need an additional adapter (sata->e-sata).
- 1.83 GHz Core2duo Mini w/2.5GB RAM (667MHz),
- OS X 10.5.8 and (bootcamp) Win XP SP3
- Int. HD: WD WD3200BEVT (320 Gig, 2.5") Partition 1 Mac extended, 200GB, Partition 2 NTFS, 120GB
- Ext. HD: Seagate ST350041-8AS (500GB, 3.5") Partition 1 Mac extended, 250GB, Partition 2 NTFS, 250GB
The bad thing about the SATA card is that I can not boot from it. (If anyone knows of a natively supported card (i.e. JMB 36x, etc) send a note to see if we can test one.). I think it is a problem with the firmware of the mini that it does not recognize the mini pci-e port as something to boot from. (Generally cards that require 3rd party drivers to work (no rom/efi support) are not bootable either) If someone knows better please let me know.
When selecting the boot device on the mac os the drive can be selected but it does not boot from the drive. The drive can be dismounted in the finder and after power down and power up again the drive remounts.
Under XP the drive behaves like an internal drive. I have not set up any raid system for maximum speed.
Here some real world copy tests:
(I asked if he'd run tests duplicating the folder/files also. That rules out the effect of other drives.)
Copy Tests w/OS X: 1 folder w/20 files (11.94 GB) using either the eSATA port or an external USB port
- Internal HD -> Ext. USB HD: 495s
- USB Ext. HD -> Int. HD: 435s
- SATA Internal HD -> eSATA HD: 239s
- eSATA HD -> Internal HD: 253s
Copy using Win XP: 1 folder w/1366 files (total 2.76 GB:
- Internal HD -> eSATA HD: 137s
- USB Ext. HD -> Internal HD: 138s
- Internal HD -> eSATA HD: 124s
- eSATA HD -> Internal HD: 105s
And Benchmarks with HD Tune 2.55 under Win XP:
- Internal HD: Min 18.8 GB/s, Max 63.9 GB/s, AVG 49.4 GB/s
Access: 17.0ms, Burst 38.2 GB/s, CPU 2.8%
- Ext USB HD: Min 23.6 GB/s, Max 28.0 GB/s. AVG 27.3 GB/s
Access: 14.8ms, Burst 20.6 GB/s, CPU 21.1%
- eSATA HD: Min 68.6 GB/s, Max 109.8 GB/s, AVG 100.6 GB/s
Access: 14.5ms, Burst 79.0 GB/s, CPU 3.8%
(Could be limited by the drive, not the card)
Unfortunately the card does not allow me to set up a multiboot system. The speed gain in copying large files is worth the appx $30 for the card, at least for me. (Plus access to much larger HDs, at a lower cost per GB than 2.5in HDs)
For one to get most out of the mini, you can replace the int. SATA drive with a solid state drive as boot system and use this card to have access to large data sets.
I hope this report is helpful to someone.
best wishes, Gunter"
He later sent a photo and a few more notes:
"I am very busy at the moment, but here is a photo with the mini, the cabes coming out of the mini and one cable goes into my old SCSI case which supplies the drive with power (the adapter from IDE/SCSI power cable to SATA power cable came with the drive).
The end of the other cable can be seen on the photo. The whole at the side of the mini was made by a metal saw and some some tape was added to protect the SATA cable from sharp edges of the whole.
Duplication of 1 folder with 3.53 Gig and 5 files in the finder took 69s, about 50 MB/s or 100MB/s read and write.
best wishes, Gunter