View Full Version : Connecting Burly to new Mac Pro?

11-07-2014, 11:08 AM
Hello Gurus:

I'm on the verge of pulling the trigger on the Mac Pro 6,1.

What's the best way to keep using my Burly? I currently have the Lycom 4-port PCIe card in my Mac Pro 3,1.

Do I use a Thunderbolt to eSATA adapter? House the card? Switch to USB 3.0?

Thanks in advance for help.

-Nathaniel Reichman

11-07-2014, 01:58 PM
Lots of options, usually USB isn't one of them.

You might read the article Thunderbolt Storage (http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/guides/storageoptions.php). It covers pretty much all of it.


11-08-2014, 12:29 PM
Thanks Rick. Sorry for not noticing the "New!" postings on the left. Great info.

11-08-2014, 07:06 PM
No worry. I don't write new articles often enough to keep an eye out for em. My fault. But the article is the best place to start.


11-08-2014, 07:35 PM
It seems that every good solution for connecting my 4-bay Burly to Thunderbolt is $200-300. That looks like money I could be spending on the 4-bay Datatale instead... hmm. Might be time to abandon eSATA altogether. Too bad, since the Burly has been the most reliable storage appliance I've ever purchased.

Rick, based on your review I see that you like the Datatale. Is it better than the 4-bay Akitio, or the 4-bay Thunderbay? My main concern is that it's quiet and inserting and removing drives is not difficult. I'll be running it with Pro Tools which prefers JBOD mode, so RAID is not an issue.

11-09-2014, 02:03 PM
Can't say I know anything about the Thunderbay. One of OWC's enclosures, I believe? Not something I can or will be making a review of or comparisons towards.

The Akitio 4 bay is ok. It works, and is faster with SSDs than the Datatale. The Datatale is far easier to swap drive in and out of. Beyond that, they share the identical weaknesses: external power supply and a design philosophy whereby once the manufacturer makes a change in the design the old design is not only unsupported but once out of warranty is unsupportable. All the parts are model specific. Break something, toss the enclosure.

Datatale has sent us some Thunderbolt to eSATA hubs to test. Not sure if they are in transit yet or not, but that may be a good answer if they work with port multipliers. Last time I had a hub that promised that was with the Akitio Thunderdock and it failed miserably. We ended up dumping all of them, most of them at below cost since the eSATA reliability was not bad, just missing entirely.

The nice thing with a Burly for long term is it still is maintainable. Even if we add an adapter in between it and a Thunderbolt port it still works and is fixable no matter what the need.


11-09-2014, 06:31 PM
For those following along at home, the Thunderbay is getting poor marks when it comes to noise level. Since we're installing all this stuff in studios (some with machine rooms, but some without), noise is a big deal.

11-09-2014, 06:46 PM
Last question (I promise!):

Is my old reliable Lycom PCIe SATAII Host Card 4-port compatible with any of the Thunderbolt to PCIe enclosures/adapters you carry? If not, the Akitio and the Newer combo looks pretty good...

Thanks again Rick!

11-09-2014, 07:44 PM
The only cards that are able to work on Thunderbolt are those new enough to be Revision 2 PCIe. The Newer card, one of the Sonnet cards. I suppose CalDigit and Firmtek and others have later model cards that are Rev2.

Second requirement is Thunderbolt aware drivers. Not sure if being Rev 2 means the drivers are Thunderbolt aware, but the two go hand in hand.

The Lycom is a PCIe Rev 1 card - believe it or not been using it since 2005. Amazing.


11-09-2014, 07:50 PM
One other thing. I am running Yosemite - I have to be an early adopter to see what new OS's break. I have had my User Directory on a drive attached to the Thunderdock with a Newer card in it now for a week or so. No hickups at all.

One other note: most all Thunderbolt storage seems to share a common issue that sometimes when waking from sleep the drives don't come back with the computer waking. I never sleep a computer, so that doesn't bother me. Those who do are usually unhappy since spontaneous dismounts are a curse and not good for your data.


11-10-2014, 11:40 AM
I noticed that dismount after sleep on my MacBook Pro. My Mac Pro's never sleep, and I need to remember that with the laptops.

Okay, I'm convinced and will buy an Akitio PCIe expansion chassis and Newer card!

Next device:

My ye olde single-bay Firewire 800 Burly would make a great backup device (this is the Burly that takes the same HS-b-t drive trays as my 4-bay eSATA model). Can I buy the MGBurly UPM Upgrade kit so I can run eSATA/USB 3.0 to my new Mac Pro with that enclosure? Or is there a better way?