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Sonnet releases Tempo dual eSATA ExpressCard/34

updated 12:30 am EDT, Fri September 12, 2008

Sonnet Tempo eSATA

Sonnet Technologies has announced the Tempo SATA Pro ExpressCard/34 two-port SATA host controller. The company claims sustained throughput speeds up to 200MB/Sec, designed for video capture/editing or other tasks requiring fast transfer. As an example, using Sonnet's F2 portable RAID drives configured as RAID 0 set connected to the Tempo, the company claims sustained speeds of 131MB per second for write and 133MB per second read.

Up to ten drives can be connected to two external 3Gb/s SATA II ports. Tempo works with either ExpressCard/54 or ExpressCard/34 slots, compatible with MacBook Pro (15"/17") running Mac OS X 10.3 or higher, or on a Windows XP SP2 or VISTA system. The Sonnet card will be available next month for $300.

by MacNN Staff





  1. macvette

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Pricing this at $300 is outrageous! I've seen single port SATAII Express cards for $20 and dual port SATAII Express cards for $40 ( How can this product command such a high price? Does it do something the others do not?

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969



    this looks almost identical to the dual port Rosewill card that has served me so well for so long -- I'm sure I paid less than $50 for it and its really really fast.

  1. InfraredAD

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If this uses the same chipset that most eSATA cards are using - a Silicon Image 3132 chipset - then you can welcome, with open arms, many kernel panics. It's a known driver problem with the 3132 chipset. What you should search for are eSATA cards, be it PCI-E or ExpressCard, that use the JMicron chipset. That chipset requires no drivers, and even works at boot, meaning you are able to boot your Mac off an eSATA card & drive. Don't believe me? Try doing a google search for it. There's also multiple discussions on the Apple sites.

    I purchased a PCI-E Sonnet card a few months ago and only discovered all this after my Mac Pro (early 08) started having kernel panics. The same was true with my MacBook Pro & a LaCie eSATA ExpressCard.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Price

    Maybe its the specifications (throughput, that kind of thing) that warrants the price.

    Or maybe its a new chipset that won't crash your computer like InfraredAD.

  1. gperks

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ditto to InfraredAD

    Yes, the SI3132 drivers are awful. Kernel panics every other time you plug in or remove the card. Latest drivers, latest firmware or the card (which you have to use Windows to install...). This has been the situation for months (a year?) with no fix.

    Surely the price is $30 not $300.

    Thanks for the pointer to the other chipset. I'll have a look for a card using that. I didn't know there was an alternate to the Silicon Image-derived cards.

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