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eSATA on your 2010 Mac Pro

Though the excitement of new internal workings on a recently-released Mac is always a crowd-pleaser, there’s something to be said about keeping things the same: namely, the security of knowing what worked before will likely continue to work. Such is the case with the 2010 Mac Pros, which—as far as upgrading goes—are pretty much identical to the 2009 models.

This continuance of design means that it remains simple to add an eSATA port to the back of your Mac Pro at a fraction of the expense of a full PCIe card. All you need is the Newer Technology eSATA Extender Cable and a Phillips screwdriver.

Just like the 2009 version, all you need to do is detach the SATA cable going to the empty optical bay and route the extender cable behind the internal fan, to the PCIe ports. We even have an instructional video that shows how easy it is.

eSATA is the fastest external hard drive connection method currently available for the Mac Pro. OWC and Newer Technology make it easy to add it yourself.

M. Chris Stevens
the authorOWC Chris S.
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  • After purchasing the cable, I found out that I don’t have any PCI slots empty on my mac pro 2009. Any idea or hack that would allow me to get the sockets out of the box?

  • “Are there any PCIe eSATA controller cards that work on the 2010 Mac Pro?”

    Yes I need to ask the same thing – Are there?

  • The fan doesn’t look like it has the space beneath it as the video shows on the new 2010 Mac pro. Plus even on the basic 6 core, the video card extends so far it goesinto the fan in a little gap. That means you have to take the video card out also. I’m not sure how to do this since they are both wedged to each other.
    Anyhowanyhow I I still can’t see the gap under the fan it is meant to sit in.

    Am I doing something wrong?

    • Hello Matt,

      For the full size PCIe cards, like the 5770 and 5870, the card does extend far enough to use the rear card support slots in the fan which closes over the end of the card. To open, press the lighter grey button located on the right hand side of the fan and slide that entire cover to the left. It moves only about half of an inch, but will free the card.

      We are currently producing another video series show the 2010 Mac Pro specifically, but the remainder of the 2009 Mac Pro videos are still sound for the installation instructions on the 2010 models.

  • Is this eSATA option support Hot Swap external HD? This doesn’t work on the first generation Mac Pro. System need to restart/shut down to swap external HD that connected to this eSATA. Otherwise it will crash the Mac Pro. Thanks

    • The eSATA extender cable simply routes the Mac Pro on-board SATA connectors from the interior to the exterior of your Mac Pro. Unfortunately the on-board SATA connectors are not hot-swappable.

  • I take this as bad news — This means the Hexacore MP still has just six sata connections on the board, correct? So I, assuming I have an optical drive, a Mercury SSD and four internal drives I cannot use this product, right? I wish there was a way I could cram an extra hdd or ssd into the machine without having to use external enclosures.

    • Yes, there are still only six SATA connections. Unfortunately, the design of the Mac Pro pretty much restrains you to this.

      You may be able to add a seventh 2.5″ drive internally by using an PCIe SATA controller card that has internal ports and mounting it in the lower optical bay with the SSD via the proper Multi-Mount. Getting a card that has both internal and external ports will also offer expansion via eSATA, which may not be ideal for what you’re looking for, but would at least offer the fastest external connection currently available.