Of all the upgrades to your old Mac Pro, this is the cheapest and fastest ways to give your old tower a power boost. Adding USB-C PCIe card is as simple as slotting in a PCIe USB-c card between the Graphics and PCIe NVMe drive, and should take you no more than five minutes.

The difference in performance when it comes to read-write times is best illustrated in numbers.

Read/Write hard drive comparisson

  • USB 2.0 Seagate Portable HD | Read = 29.6MB/s, Write = 25.7 MB/s
  • USB 2.0 WD Passport SSD | Read = 31.7MB/s, Write = 36.9MB/si
  • PCIe USB-Ci WD Passport SSD | Read = 421.2MB/s, Write 430.2MB/s
  • Now that’s an amazing speed boost and all for the price of a cheap PCIe USB-C card. The reason that this makes such a difference is that the old Mac Pro’s only featured USB 2.0 ports, so it doesn’t matter how fast your hard drives are the USB 2.0 port will create a bottleneck.

    There are firewire 800 ports, but it’s now almost impossible to find a drive that will fit this type of connector.

    A USB-C card such as the Sonnet Tech Allegro USB-C PCIe (USB 3.1 Gen 2 Card with 15W per Port) will set you back around £60-70, a snip for such an easy increase in speed. There are of course cheaper USB-C cards out there but this one appeared to work without hitch in the two Mac Pro’s tested.