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Last response: in Motherboards
July 27, 2011 7:11:47 AM

I have a friend and he has a mobo that doesnt support usb 3.0 and he has a 3.0 usb portable hard drive.
Can he just buy a usb 3.0 pcie card and put it in a mobo? Or would it be incompatible?

More about : usb question

July 27, 2011 8:14:31 AM

Yeah that should work
install card
install drivers
and you should be up and going with usb 3.0 speeds
Just make sure there is a free PciE x1 slot first lol
imtai said:
mobo that doesnt support usb 3.0

By that do you mean 3.0 is not on the board itself, if so you should be good
did it say this board cannot operate with usb 3.0, if it said that then im not sure
July 27, 2011 8:30:08 AM

*Does NOT have 3.0*
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July 27, 2011 8:34:51 AM

Well, your friend can just use USB 2.0 for the time being and upgrade to a USB 3.0 enabled motherboard instead. USB 3.0 enabled motherboards are already rolling out.

Unless he isn't planning on upgrading at all, then get the add-on card for now.
July 27, 2011 8:47:22 AM

imtai said:
*Does NOT have 3.0*

Ok yeah then you should be perfectly fine
a c 113 V Motherboard
July 27, 2011 2:33:11 PM

1) USB2 bus is 60MB/second
2) USB3 bus is 600MB/second
3) USB2 hard drive is usually about 32MB/second (slow interface chip)
4) USB3 hard drive interface speed is ???

My guess is that most USB3 hard drive interface chips will be at least as fast as the hard drive's maximum transfer speed which is usually about 120MB/second.

So how much difference would it make to have a USB3 hard drive run on USB2 instead of USB3?

In practice, not much difference.

Most smaller files would fall below USB2's 60MB/second speed. Since the maximum speed (on the outer edge) of the hard drive is about 120MB/second for larger files the worst case scenario is that it would be 2x slower on USB2 than USB3.

*USB3 thumb drives which use SSD technology are different. Within a year from now they will reach 600MB/second. One was just released at 280MB/second.
a c 715 V Motherboard
July 27, 2011 4:48:53 PM

You can indeed add a USB 'Card' to a non-USB 3.0 MOBO. The 'Card' you posted uses a PCIe x1 interface so your 'friends' MOBO MUST have a free PCIe slot {x1/x8/x16}.

IMO - IF both the MOBO and Portable HDD have an eSATA port then use that - it's free and supports ANY mechanical HDD speed. 'I' prefer to keep external drives off USB.

Keep in mind most PCIe x1 slots are shared so the speeds can vary from 350 MB/s to 500 MB/s.