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Can an extension cable bottleneck or slow down a usb drive's speeds?

Lets say you have the misfortune of USB 3 ports only on the back of your computer, out of reach without either pulling your entire computer or desk out of the way to get to it. If I were to purchase a USB 3 cable to bring access to the front, would it be slower than just plugging the drive into the port directly? I would also like to know how it applies to USB 2 ports with a USB 2 cable.
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  1. thesuperguy said:
    Lets say you have the misfortune of USB 3 ports only on the back of your computer, out of reach without either pulling your entire computer or desk out of the way to get to it. If I were to purchase a USB 3 cable to bring access to the front, would it be slower than just plugging the drive into the port directly? I would also like to know how it applies to USB 2 ports with a USB 2 cable.


    It will be fine. You'll see no impact at all with that distance.
  2. I would also like to ask about USB 3 controllers. I've noticed with 2 motherboards that speeds can differ between controllers. I have a drive capable of 100 MBps read and on motherboard 1, it reached 95 MBps which is very reasonable. On the other hand, motherboard 2 would reach only 85 MBps which is still somewhat reasonable but it without a doubt doesn't feel as great as the controller on motherboard 1. What is peculiar though is that controller 2 supposedly supports up to 5 gbps which is the USB 3 threshold, but it clearly doesn't run as fast as the first controller. In case it matters, the first controller is the Asmedia® ASM1042 whereas the second controller is the RENESAS UPD720202. I cannot do any tests with controller number 1 because I sold that board. Is there a way to help up the speeds of my current controller?
  3. Best answer
    Quote:
    Lets say you have the misfortune of USB 3 ports only on the back of your computer, out of reach without either pulling your entire computer or desk out of the way to get to it. If I were to purchase a USB 3 cable to bring access to the front, would it be slower than just plugging the drive into the port directly? I would also like to know how it applies to USB 2 ports with a USB 2 cable.


    I think, and this is just my opinion, that some USB cables are made to be short intentionally because the anemic 500 mA current limit of USB 2.0 would be cut even further by a somewhat longer cable. Although USB 3.0 has up to 900 mA, a USB 3.0 device may not always be plugged into a USB 3.0 port, it could be USB 2.0 and a USB powered HDD will struggle to get enough power from a 2.0 port through a long cable.

    Bottom line - I would not do it with a USB powered HDD because of potential damage issues and possible loss of important data. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB#USB_3.0

    Yogi
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