Newbie question here: If USB 3.0 becomes the norm sometime in the next year or so, will it make present motherboards obsolete? Can USB be upgraded with circuitry on a plug-in (PCI?) card, or is it handled with on-board chips? I'm looking at a fairly expensive build and would like to get a nice mobo that would be reasonably for a current for a year or two!
if it does become standard then you'll just add a PCI or PCI-e card into the machine. Same way we used to to get USB2.0 into an old machine.
^agreed, and to add your USB3.0 device should be backward compatible as well. However, i think there was talk of making it a different type port.
USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 are cross-compatible. USB 1.1 I'm not sure about.
EDIT: To clarify - USB3.0 devices will work in USB 2.0 ports but at USB2.0 speeds. USB 2.0 devices will work in USB 3.0 ports at USB 2.0 speeds.