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#1 2017-07-23 21:16:57

MacOS Plus
Registered: 2015-12-09
Posts: 110

Which PCI SCSI cards are Mac compatible?

I have a lot of SCSI cards collected over the years.  (Even EISA and SBUS!)  I'm trying to sort out conclusively which of the PCI ones, primarily Adaptec, are Mac compatible at least within OS 9 or earlier.  I've found some Powermacs just won't play nice with certain ones even if they work in others.  Presumably some older cards don't work at all in post-Beige machines due to lack of PCI 2.1 compliance.

  Does anyone have a decent reference list for what works?  I don't care about bootability - they just have to mount drives reliably and not cause crazy voodoo-nonsense.  It appears that some cards work in PC and Mac without having to reflash.  I know OSX is much more limited with support also.

  Any help is welcome - even if it's just reporting one of your own cards you know works.

Last edited by MacOS Plus (2017-07-23 21:17:52)


#2 2018-04-24 21:41:51

Registered: 2015-01-07
Posts: 16

Re: Which PCI SCSI cards are Mac compatible?

All the experimenting I did along these lines was with flashing the firmware on cards.  In most cases, a larger Flash chip had to be supplied.

In my experience, the Adaptec 2940UW was extremely compatible.    However, you need to know that in later years, Adaptec used the 2940UW model on some very different models that don't work.    The newer models were the 2940UW Dual and the 2940UW Pro.   I think there were some Dell OEM versions too.

The dispositive quality is to lift the sticker on the big square chip on the card.   The compatible ones have an AIC-7880 chip.    The others have a 7890 or some such.

The 3940UW is also fairly compatible, as it is just a pair of 7880 chips with a PCI bridge chip to wedge them into one slot.

The 2940U2W was also convertible, IIRC, but I don't have any personal experience with that one.   Oh, and the 29160.

If you just need a cheap low performance PCI card, the 2906 is a good bet.  It doesn't even have firmware on board, so it is never bootable, but it works as is in both Macs and PCs, provided the OS has a driver.   And there were drivers for it.   Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately) its external connector is a DB25 like Apple uses.


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