on April 10, 2011
This expresscard adapter is highly recommended for the following reasons:-
1. USB 3.0 Officially Certified
If you are shopping around for a USB 3.0 card, this is the main reason why you should buy this.
This expresscard contains the Fresco Logic FL1000 USB 3.0 host controller chip. By way of analogy, this is the CPU of the expresscard you are purchasing.
Fresco Logic's FL1000 chip is one of the few chips out there which have met the stringent requirements of USB 3.0 and have been certified to work within USB 3.0 guidelines.
2. Latest Drivers readily available - Works with Windows 7 x64
This package comes with a mini-CD which contains the drivers.
I did some Google research before purchasing this item and so I knew that the mini-CD supplied drivers were out of date. You can safely ignore the mini-CD and keep it as a momento. ;)
The latest drivers as at 30th Mar 2011 are "Version 188.8.131.52" for Windows Xp/Vista/7 32/64bits.
As AMAZON does not allow the posting of http links in product reviews, I'll post the link to the latest driver in the comments below.
After you download the latest driver, double click the program icon to run the decompression program.
Just run either the "FL1000_32bit" or "FL1000_64bit" file for 32Bit or 64Bit Win 7 o/s respectively.
Now insert the expresscard into your laptop slot.
The Fresco Logic USB 3.0 host controller is recognised immediately.
3. Snug Fit
This was the 2nd main reason why I chose this AKE card.
There are many other USB 3.0 expresscards out there which protrude out of the laptop in a rather unsightly manner.
As advertised, this fits flush in the 34mm expresscard slot and does not protrude out of the slot.
4. Speedy Transfers
I have found that data transfers are on average about 2x faster than USB 2.0.
For those who wish to jump onto the USB 3.0 bandwagon, this should be a good enough reason to upgrade.
Please note that there are a couple of caveats where speed is concerned.
Currently, all USB 3.0 expresscards cannot provide the maximum transfer rate of 4.8 Gbits/s as advertised per the USB 3.0 specification.
This is due to the current limitation of the expresscard which can only accommodate 2.5 Gbits/s.
But this should not deter one from purchasing such an upgrade because current conventional HDD cannot saturate the transfer rate limit of 2.5Gbits/s, unless you are attaching an SSD drive.
5. USB 3.0 port
I consider this to be very well made as the USB 3.0 connector is very tight.
Any USB 3.0 device attached to this expresscard will not be disconnected easily.
There is also a caveat when it comes to attaching your USB device to this expresscard. You have to connect the usb cord (of the USB device) to the expresscard 1st, BEFORE installing the expresscard itself into your laptop.
This is because if the expresscard had been installed first, any inward pushing movement of the USB cord into the USB port on the expresscard will cause the expresscard to be detached from the laptop.
Due to the Expresscard limitation, the full 900 mA specification of USB 3.0 cannot be provided.
However, as confirmed by another fellow reviewer, this card can still provide sufficient power to an external HDD via USB.
A very strict reviewer might deduct a couple of rating stars from this product due to the caveats I mentioned.
However, these are limitations of the Expresscard specification rather than that of this AKE brand of card. This is why I feel that the product still deserves a maximum of 5 stars.
BTW, only an Expresscard 2.0 can provide the transfer rate and power of the USB 3.0 specification. At the present moment, about 99% of laptops out there only have an Expresscard 1.0 slot.
on March 11, 2012
This card now contains the ASMedia 104x chip. ASMedia 104x Drivers will make it work. Too bad the seller didn't include an instruction page since the mini CD had 6 different drivers on them and it was a trial and error process to figure out which one is the correct driver.
I ordered this because I saw one reviewer who said it worked flawlessly on his MacBook Pro. While this may be true, I can tell you there is NO driver in the package and no instructions telling you where to find the driver. So, if you plan on using this on a Mac... wait for a driver or it won't work at all.
*** UPDATE *** After looking on Amazon for another brand of card to replace this one, I found one from a company called Oyendigital that was $69. It definitely is a superior card in many ways (It's larger so the plugs are easier to add/remove, and it has the ability to add extra power with a Y cable). I then decided I would buy it, but take a chance that they may share the same chipset, so I installed the driver before ordering it.
As it turns out, when I installed the driver... nothing happened, until I rebooted. After the reboot, my USB 3.0 drive (Seagate GoFlex 1.5) popped up and it worked super fast. SO, I ejected it and inserted another device, a Patriot SuperSonic Magnum 64GB USB 3.0 flash drive... NOTHING. So, I rebooted... There it was... and it was not only fast, but it was faster than my internal 7200 RPM drive. In fact, it was TWICE as fast as my internal drive. This flash drive was giving me reads at 210 MB/s and writes at 130 MB/s.
So, I ejected the drive, then re-inserted the GoFlex. Guess what? Nothing. So the bottom line is you cannot hot-swap with this card / driver... BUT... as long as you boot your Mac with the device installed, you will get super speed performance that more than makes up for the inconvenience.
That said, I think paying $69 for the other card from OyenDigital would be a fair price, IF it doesn't have this problem. I will contact that company and ask them. If it gives me this great speed and fully supports hot-swapping... I'm going to buy it.
***** Update *****
Since writing this review I ordered a pair of USB 3.0 extension cables and I plugged them into the card. What I discovered is that I can now hot swap devices. The original issue was largely due to the difficulty removing a device, then inserting the new one without the card itself ejecting from the express card slot.
So in summary, this is how it works on my MacBook Pro.
1. I installed the driver I mentioned earlier.
2. I insert the card before I power up, with my devices tethered to USB 3.0 extension cables. Mine are from startech, so they stand up like mini pods.
3. When I eject a device, I don't put any pressure on the card itself because I have the extension... It works beautifully and the performance I get is simply amazing.
I would give 5 stars if I didn't have to tinker so much to make it work... But then again, this card only cost me $5 and made my computer fly like a rocket,, so I'm not surprised it doesn't come with extensions, however I would suggest they raise the price and include 6 inch extensions. Mine are 5 feet long.
on February 23, 2013
This has been a great little card; inexpensive and works great. A 4.2GB file transfered with this card to my USB 3.0 hard drive in about 45 seconds, as opposed to the same drive on USB 2.0 taking 2.5 minutes.
The challenge is that they don't have drivers for Mac OS X. Fortunately you can get those drivers from the osx86 guys and they work perfectly on your mac!
Do a google search for "MultiBeast Mountain Lion" and you should find a post from tonymacx86 talking about the release. (there is one for Lion and one for Snow Leopard as well). You'll have to register for the forum to download the MultiBeast installer, then when you run it follow this path:
Drivers & Bootloaders -> Drivers -> Miscellaneous, then check "USB 3.0 - 3rd Party"
After installation you may have to restart the computer. It should now work!
on January 9, 2014
If you have a MacBook Pro with an ExpressCard slot such as my Early 2011 17" MBP, you will probably be in luck with this card--even if you are running Mavericks. But you will have to download and install 3rd party drivers through an indirect method. Thanks to others who have shared, I will post the steps with links in a comment on this post. It has worked great with fast USB 3.0 speeds in my brief testing. I will edit if I encounter any problems.
I've been using it for a while primarily with an external USB 3.0 raid enclosure and other USB 3.0 hard drives. It has been working great for this purpose. There are some issues though that have come up in using it with my Macbook Pro. So if you are using the same configuration as me, here are some of my observed
-When I eject the card, I usually have to restart my computer to make it work again
-Not a strong or reliable physical connection; I would not trust it for any live recording onto an external drive plugged into it
-When the computer goes to sleep for a decent amount of time, the hard drives are ejected (this may just be something I need to configure)
-When I plugged in my 7 channel USB hub to the card, some of the connected devices didn't work
-Using my hard drive through the card sometimes causes Wi-Fi problems that are resolved only by disconnecting the drive
on December 12, 2012
This is a no frills card, but it works well. It fit snuggly in my Lenovo ThinkPad T410. It won't pull out if you unplug the USB cable. I tested that both USB ports can be operating at the same time.
I saw posts on gmyle /product_p/3100.htm website that drivers for Fresco Logic 100x and ASMedia 104x worked. I searched the Hardware ID from Device Manager and it matched the ASMedia 104x chipset. So I downloaded the latest drivers (v1.16.2) from station-drivers dot com /page/asmedia.htm and it is working fine. It appears in device manager as ASMedia XHCI Controller.
Works as advertised
Very basic packaging and driver CD is useless.
I'm very satisfied with the purchase and would recommend it.
on May 12, 2012
This device comes with a mini-CD and zero instructions. If you've read the reviews here and on other sites, you can see that it may contain an internal controller from any of three makers, and there is nothing on the outside to tell you which. The drivers are on the disk in multiple folders, along with several SATA controller drivers that have nothing to do with this device. Deciding which to use is guesswork. Windows 7 won't just find the right one from the disk, In my case, the card needed the ASM driver, which is in the first folder on the CD, but it's in a .rar that needs to be extracted. Once I ran the extracted setup.exe, the driver installation worked fine, but I have to dock a star for making buyers depend on these reviews for tech support. That's a judgment call that may be unfair given the price of this device, but I'm making it, anyway. The reviews here clearly show that buyers can't always figure these things out for themselves.
The other star gets docked for power consumption. My Lenovo battery usually lasts more than 4 hours when fully charged. With this card installed, battery life drops about 30-40%, which seems almost inconceivable. It's pretty warm when it's ejected.
My only other gripe is that the device ejects if I'm not careful to hold it steady when inserting or removing a USB plug. In use, the card ultimately works fine. It's firmly seated in the expresscard slot, with no wiggle, it clicks in and out, and it sits dead-flush with the case of my Thinkpad. That's not as important as I thought it would be, though, since its power-hungry nature makes me reluctant to leave it in the slot when not in use.
on August 11, 2012
The drive is super cheap, and seems solid enough. The issues lie with Mountain Lion's refusal of USB 3.0 third party stuff.
So, after an hour of searching for & trying the two other driver sets mentioned in the reviews (CalDigit & Oyen Digital), I still couldn't get the USB card to recognize in Mac's System Information. Just wouldn't show up at all, even though the USB Controller icon shows up in my menu bar.
Another hour of searching, I found this: [...]
Download the Lion package, since that's the latest they have. You'll need to register for the forum to get access to the file. It's free. Use some disposable email. It's a package called Multibeast, which is predominantly used by folks building hackintoshes, but conveniently includes a tweaked set of NEC/Renesas and LaCie USB 3.0 drivers that finally did the trick and got this card to work in my Late 2008 MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion.
Open the package, select only the USB 3.0 drivers, under the Miscellaneous section. Install. Works great on my machine, though YMMV.
on June 29, 2012
This express card works great, but it's NOT for the average user, please read below:
- The 2 USB port card works perfect, provides additonal/fast USB ports to connection starved laptops.
- The card edge is flush with the laptop side, so no bulky or protuding edges.
- The price is unbeatable for a brand new gadget, it couldn't be cheaper compared with similar products.
CONS (Installation and Operation):
- Install for the average user is a nightmare, Again, it's a nightmare if you're not a geek or very familiar with Drivers websites, Extracting programs, and software download mgrs.
- Drivers on the little CD work but need to be decompressed, winzipped and/or updated, depending of the system OS.
- .RAR files in the CD work for W-Vista, they have to be WINZIPPED to run and install the setup.exe pgm
- Fresco drivers in the CD work for W-7, need to be extracted, however they may or may not work for your OS and could ask for updates.
- The card runs a bit hot in the express slot, not recommended if you normally use your pc from battery only.
- The USB ports are very very tight, so ports are great to house mouse receivers, bluetooth, memory plugs or items that will stay plugged in permanently.
- Not good for daily plug/unplug use; Always hold the card before removing USB gadgets or the whole card will Pull out easily and Crash the xpress slot.
- Although the card mounts flush with the laptop edge, the depth of the ports in the card is not enough, so your mini usb receivers will Not go all the way in as in a regular USB port, they will pop out about 1/8" more.
OVERALL REVIEW: Good card, Unbeatable price, Works GREAT(if you have the skills to make it run), NOT for daily plug/unplug gadgets, but great for permanent plugged in ones.
RECOMMENDED: YES if you're a geek and want to take the installation challenge; Absolutely NOT if you're a regular plug and play user and not familiar with all of the above conditions(sure, it's going to give you a bad day).
on October 31, 2013
My setup is:
- Early 2011 MacBook Pro
- OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4 (see NOTE below)
- USB 3.0 driver from MultiBeast 5.5.4
This works great. It is very welcome to install this, connect a $25 Kingston USB3 card reader and have my SanDisk Extreme CF being read at 70 MB/s and written at 59 MB/s. Plus I can expect to connect USB 3 hard drives in the future and again avoid the considerable premium of a FireWire or Thunderbolt solution.
As others have noted:
- It will work once you reboot after installing the driver from MultiBeast
- If you do not hold the ExpressCard in while pulling out your USB cable, you will probably pull the card out. I can push it back in, but it is not recognized for me until next reboot.
NOTE: MultiBeast or Apple forums (can't remember which) indicate that the update to 10.8.5 will stop the GMYLE from working. Lucky I am slow at applying updates. MultiBeast is already available for Mavericks. I will test the GMYLE when booted off a Mavericks USB disk before the big upgrade.
UPDATE Nov 9, 2013: I have installed Mavericks 10.9 on an external drive, added the MultiBeast Mavericks 6.0.0 USB 3 driver and can confirm this card works with OS X Mavericks 10.9.