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LaCie Brings USB 3.0 Hard Drive Support to Mac Pros and MacBook Pros
Just as rumors of Intel pushing forward on its Light Peak connectivity standard surface, LaCie has announced support for USB 3.0 on Mac OS X with the release of a free driver to support the company's USB 3.0 hard drives.
LaCie announced today a major breakthrough, introducing industry-leading performance to Mac users with the availability of a USB 3.0 driver for Mac OS. The driver brings the fast speeds of LaCie's USB 3.0 hard drives to Mac computers and laptops - delivering transfer rates that are more than two times faster than FireWire 800!With Apple yet to support USB 3.0 hardware and CEO Steve Jobs suggesting that such support is not likely to appear anytime soon, users will need to purchase either a PCI Express Card ($49.99) or ExpressCard/34 ($59.99) to add two USB 3.0 ports to their Mac. Consequently, LaCie's USB 3.0 solutions are only compatible with Mac Pros offering a PCI Express slot and MacBook Pros offering an ExpressCard/34 slot.
USB 3.0 offers a theoretical maximum of 5 Gb/s, topping the 3 Gb/s available through eSATA. Real world burst performance on LaCie USB 3.0 hard drives is on the order of 130 MB/s for single hard drives and 220 MB/s for dual hard drives.
Update: For clarification purposes, LaCie is not the first manufacturer to deliver USB 3.0 drivers to Mac, as CalDigit released a Mac-compatible SuperSpeed PCI Express Card and SuperSpeed ExpressCard, to support the company's line of AV Drive external hard drives, in early September.