High-performance PC desktops and notebooks are hurridly offering system with USB 3.0 connectivity so users with lots of media—or lots of data, anyway—can transfer it quickly between capacious storage devices. However, Apple has yet to offer any systems with built-in USB 3.0 (although FireWire 800 is still on board many Mac systems), so peripheral and storage vendor LaCie is jumping into the gap: folks with a Mac Pro tower or a MacBook Pro computer with an ExpressCard/34 slot can now upgrade to USB 3.0—and transfer speeds of up to 220 MB/s for dual hard drives.
“LaCie is excited to bring full USB 3.0 compatibility to our Mac customers,” said LaCie marketing director Minh Le, in a statement. “This milestone demonstrates LaCie’s industry leadership and longtime commitment to delivering the best performance possible to our valued Mac users.”
LaCie’s USB 3.0 solution for Macs comes in the form of a LaCie USB 3.0 PCI Express Card for Mac Pro towers, or a LaCie USB 3.0 ExpressCard/34 expansion card for MacBook Pros, either of which can be coupled with LaCie’s USB 3.0 driver for Mac OS X. While the solution leaves a number of Mac systems out in the cold—including iMacs, MacBooks, and the brand-new MacBook Airs—it does offer a USB 3.0 option for Apple’s high-performance desktop and notebook systems—just the Macs used by content-creation professionals who might need to tap USB 3.0 peripherals and storage.
The LaCie USB 3.0 PCI Express card runs $49.99; the LaCie USB 3.0 ExpressCard/34 add-on for notebooks runs $59.99. Both offer two USB 3.0 ports and are backward compatible with USB 2.0 devices. LaCie’s Mac OS X USB 3.0 driver is a free download for use with LaCie’s USB 3.0 expansion cards.