Sonnet Tempo Trio

This page has all the info I have collected on using Sonnets Tempo Trio PCI card. Since this card is kind of unique having IDE, USB, and Firewire all on one card, I couldn't decide which topic to place it under so I gave it a new page :)
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8/5/2002 Sonnet Announced Temp Trio, a three-in-one card!: This is probably old news for some but at the last MacWorld Expo, Sonnet announced a three-in-one PCI card that has USB2, firewire, and ATA/133 ports! This is big news as this finally gives Mac users with limited PCI slots the ability to upgrade to all the latest ports with just one PCI card. Their press release is below.

[For Release: July 17, 2002

For more information, please contact:
Joy Hsu


NEW YORK: July 17, 2002. Sonnet Technologies, the worldwide market share leader in processor upgrade cards for Apple Macintosh® computers, announces the new Tempo Trio, a PCI card that combines ATA/133 with FireWire® and the latest USB 2.0 ports. This product is ideal for machines with limited open PCI slots, as one single card adds functionality that previously required up to three separate cards. The Tempo Trio's state-of-the-art ATA and USB interfaces surpass even those found on the latest G4 systems shipped by Apple, and also support all previous ATA and USB standards to maximize performance and compatibility. Sonnet's latest solution brings legacy Macs up-to-speed with the digital hub era, and moves current models a step into the future. The Tempo Trio requires a simple one-time installation into a single PCI slot, and is compatible with OS 9.x and OS X.

Included with the Tempo Trio is the Tempo AV Tool, first introduced with the Tempo ATA100. This special software solution facilitates superior audio and video file playback results on older Mac® models, enabling the user to select optimal drive performance with a simple mouse click, without restarting the system.

„The Tempo Trio fits well with our overall strategy to support users machines as ŒDigital Hubs,‰ states Robert Farnsworth, President and CEO of Sonnet. „Users of many earlier Macintosh systems can load and use OS X, yet still be unable to enjoy the benefits iMovie or the iPod. Tempo Trio delivers this compatibility with all the required modern connections, on one card and for one low price.‰

Tempo Trio specifically offers:

- Two USB 2.0 ports, the newest high-speed interface for the latest in USB products. The USB ports are also backwards-compatible with USB 1.1 products. Under OS 9, USB will operate at 1.1 speeds.
- Two FireWire ports, the Macintosh standard high-speed interface for FireWire products.
- Two ATA/133 connectors, supporting the installation of up to 4 drives.

Tempo Trio is compatible with the following models:

- Power Macintosh Series 72xx, 7300, 7500, 7600, 8200, 85xx, 95xx, 9600
- Power Macintosh G3 All-in-one, Blue & White, Desktop, Minitower, Server
- Power Macintosh G4 (all models except Cube)
- Workgroup Server 7250, 7350, 8550, 9650
- Daystar Genesis & Millennium Series
- Mactell XB-Pro
- Power Computing PowerBase Desktop, PowerCenter, PowerCenter Pro, PowerCurve,
- PowerTower, PowerTower Pro, PowerWave
- StarMax 3000, 4000, 5000, 5500
- UMAX C500, C600, C600X. J700, S900

Availability and Pricing
Tempo Trio is available now with an estimated street price of $179.95.]

Sonnet Tempo Trio. Why wasn't our Mac mentioned?: Some of you may have been asking this question as I was after reading that press release. Why not our Macs? The simple truth is that they where not tested by the time the press release was made. They even admitted the 6500 model should not have been listed on their website but they lucked out and it does work. The 6400 and 6500 models are support with the Tempo Trio. Here is a reply to a letter I sent Sonnet on this.

[Mr. Koons,
The Tempo Trio is compatible with the 6400 and 6500. They were omitted from the press release because we were still testing when it was published. However, as you probably know, it is quite a challenge to install PCI cards, etc. into these machines.

The mention of the 6500 on the Tempo Trio was actually an oversight that proved to be correct. We are in the process of altering all of our materials to include these two machines.

Thank you for your interest in the product. Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Debbie Michelle
Product Marketing Manager
Sonnet Technologies, Inc.

On Tuesday, July 23, 2002, Thomas Koons <> wrote:
Hello, I host The 6400 Zone web site and I was wondering if this card is compatible with the Performa 6400 or Power Mac 6500? I see your web site lists the 6500 but the email you sent out and the PDF document do not? Is the card to long to fit in the 6400/6500?

Thank you
Thomas Koons]

Sonnet Tempo Trio. Ok, so what about the 5400, 5500, 6360?: Support for these models gets a bit stickier. According to a Sonnet representative at MacWorld, these models have a wall between the PCI slots and the HD bay so there is no way to run the IDE cables to any drives. Looking at the 5400/5500 take apart manuals from Apple, it does appear to be true. The HD is under the mother board so to get a cable to it, you might be able to go through a hole in the back panel and then cut another hole in the back panel to access the HD? If anyone can verify this or has another solution, please email me. Thanks.

As for the 6360, I do not have that manual but I think the 6360 is similar to the performa 630 and that model also has a HD in a far location from the mother board. It may not be possible to run an IDE cable to that drive from a PCI card? If any 6360 users can help clarify this, please email me. Thanks.

11/20/2002 Does the iPod work with the Sonnet Trio?: Matt wants to know if the iPod will work on a Sonnet Trio card. The Sonnet Trio has USB, Firewire, and IDE buses.

[I have been searching the web for a few days now and your site seems to have the most information available for what I am looking for yet the one question I have still goes unanswered. Will the Trio work with iPods. If you happen to know this would you let me know or where I can find out a definite answer to my question?

Thanks -matt]

That’s a good question? I am pretty sure the iPod works with just a FireWire card so I see no reason why it shouldn't work with this trio card. The big issue is power use. You should check with sonnet to see if they have an auxiliary power input on the card to handle powering drives like the iPod over the firewire bus. If not then plugging in the iPod may cause the Mac to go into over current and the power supply will hopefully shut down before any damage is caused!

I checked Sonnets tech page on the trio and found this

FireWire Port Power

  • 12 Watts/port (12V at 1A)
  • Each port can provide power to or draw power from attached devices as needed

Power Management

  • Power is closely regulated throughout Tempo Trio, so devices drawing different, specific voltages on the FireWire and USB busses are delivered optimal levels at all times

I did not see and place to plug in a power cable like what a HD uses so I am not sure how they are getting their extra power. The PCI bus does support 15W max and Sonnet says they support 12W so I would check the power usage of the iPod to make sure.

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This page last updated 12/09/2002