I only have pci slots - can I get USB 3.0 on my PC

I only have pci slots and one slot for the graphics card on my motherboard

I want to connect a usb 3.0 device to it.

What cables/adapters would work ?
44 answers Last reply
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  1. PCI bus is 2.133 Gbit/s
    USB 3.0 is 5 Gbit/s
    I think you'd need a new motherboard with built-in usb ports or a spare pci express slot.
  2. I dont have a PCI Express card slot
  3. tracker45 said:
    I dont have a PCI Express card slot

    Aha, PCI only cards are more expensive around $50bucks and I wouldn't worry to much about the difference in bus speeds. Most USB devices don't ever reach their theoretical speed limits let alone the speed of the bus. Just don't expect to plug in a high performance USB3 SSD drive and get max performance out of it.

  4. USB 3.0 devices will work in the older usb ports but at that ports speed. While they do make pci usb 3 cards you wont get full usb 3 speeds on a pci bus.
  5. so what performance is usb 2.0 ?

    and hat performance is usb 3.0 when on a PCI card ?

    is the difference worth it, and what is the difference ?
  6. Yes there's a noticeable difference between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, for eg if you have a flash memory connected to USB 2.0, read and write speed may not exceed 10 MB/s, where USB 3.0 speed will be in the range of 90-100 MB/s or faster depending on the drive.
    Check if you have a PCIE X1 slot, most old mobos have PCIE X1 slots, if you don't have then you need a new board.
  7. No, my question is , what is the performance of USB 3.0 on a pci card ?
  8. Given that card has 2 usb 3.0 ports, I'd guess the performance at 1 Gbit/s compared to about 0.5 Gbit/s with a usb 2.0 port.

    To get the full 5 Gbit/s you'd need pci-express (or onboard usb3, which I think technically uses the pci express bus)
  9. this maybe very far off but what are your specs?

    i am wondering if you have an AMD rig that you may be able to get a motherboard with USB 3 for slightly more than the $50 it will cost you for a PCI card . . .
  10. amd x4 640

    4gb ram

    N68S3+ Ver. 6.x


    What motherboard could I swap it to , without reinstalling the OS ?
  11. oh wait thats not usb 3
  12. but with that gigabyte one, do i have to reinstall my os
  13. That Biostar one has no onboard usb3, but at least it has a pci-express x1 slot. However, what video card do you have? if it takes up two slots, you won't be able to put a usb3.0 board in that x1 slot. I'm not familiar with what changes actually force an os reinstall, but I think you'll at least need to re-activate with *any* motherboard change.
  14. okay. but that biostar one is very similar, maybe I wouldn't have to reinstall
  15. It's not as similar as you might think. Your old one has chipset "NVIDIA MCP68S", the new one has chipset "AMD 760G / SB710"
  16. tracker45 said:
    okay. but that biostar one is very similar, maybe I wouldn't have to reinstall

    if you can, "go for broke" and get the best you can. that athlon x4 is still a decent enough chip and when you can upgrade, getting a good board will allow you to get any AMD cpu.

    now you *may* be able to contact M$ and tell them you needed to get another motherboard, they *might* help you re-activate windows at no additional cost. i cannot tell you it is a sure thing but it does happen.

    good luck :)
  17. Does reinstalling my Os mean I lose my personal data and have to reinstll my programs, games, put my files back on the computer etc.

    After I have backed it all up ?
  18. you have a good chance that the OS would just need the motherboard/chipset drivers. so you won't need to re-install anything.
  19. So before I swap the mobo, remove the drivers

    put in mobo

    install drivers

    Is that it ?
  20. What could you possibly be running in a USB 3.0 port that would justify a whole MB upgrade?
  21. tracker45 said:
    No, my question is , what is the performance of USB 3.0 on a pci card ?

    Someone already answered this. 2.1 gb/s max as opposed to the 5 gb/s that it could normally run. These numbers are theoretical of course as no device is nearly that fast.
  22. tracker45 said:
    So before I swap the mobo, remove the drivers

    put in mobo

    install drivers

    Is that it ?

    Install MB, pray the storage controller is close enough that it still boots! If it does, then install some drivers and you are done. If not, you get to do a windows repair install!
  23. but if i need to do a windows repair install, will I still get to keep the programs on data on my PC ??
  24. and* data on my pc ?
  25. If you do it right, it will! :)

    Again, what is so important on USB 3.0. I can't think of a scenario where it could be worth this much hassle.
  26. How do I uninstall my current mobo drivers ?

    I need the USB 3.0 for a project I am doing.
  27. no need to uninstall your current drivers. it can cause problems if you try.

    install new motherboard.
    have the mother driver CD in the DVD drive when you boot.
    when/if you boot into windows it will want the drivers and "tell it" where they are at.
    plug and play!
  28. are you sure ?
  29. 98% sure . . . depends more on your technical ability
    this may help:
  30. After reading through this thread there seems to be at least one missing piece of information. Are you on windows 7?

    If you are not on 7, you are almost certainly going to have to re-install the OS. Vista and prior are not fault tolerant when it comes to a change in the chipset.

    If you are on 7, then you have a much better chance of success. I literally pulled an SSD out of my Alienware laptop and threw it in my newly built desktop and hit the power button and it successfully booted.

    What to expect:

    The first boot is going to take a long time. Depending on the speed of your HDD and the number of devices that have changed, it may seem as if your computer is not responding. Moving the SSD to the desktop, it took about 15 minutes for the computer to boot up the first time. If you are doing this on a HDD it will take longer, but the amout of devices that are going to be different is going to be significantly less than what my computer had to deal with so that will shorten the time required. Just be prepared to wait and maybe go have a beer while waiting.

    At the end of the first boot, Windows is not likely to ask you to install any drivers. When it sees the missing hardware, it is going to revert back to the available drivers it has and install the default set just as it would for a fresh install. You will need to then install the drivers the same way you would as if it was a fresh install. The chipset driver should be the very first one you install.

    Windows is going to deactivate. Microsoft has decided that the motherboard is the basic unit of the computer and a change in motherboard denotes a change in computer. Kind of sucks but it is better than the old system where they took a map of your whole system and applied incremental changes to determine if the system was different. With the current system, you can change any and all pieces of your computer with the exception of the MB. The old system was a crap shoot as to when you were going to hit the threshold.

    Where did you get your copy of Windows? If you purchased a full or upgrade retail copy of windows, then you have no problem. If you purchased an OEM version or your computer came with an OEM version pre-installed. You are going to have a problem. OEM version are one time licenses and may not be transferred to a new computer (as defined by the motherboard) and this is clearly spelled out in the EULA. Some people have claimed that they got an MS rep that unlocked it for them but you should fully expect to be denied an unlock on an OEM version. If you do have a retail copy, a quick call to MS will get it unlocked and then you just click on the activate button and you’re done.
    Continued use after pulling this off – you may not be happy with the performance, particularly boot times and memory usage, of your computer. Even if you uninstall all the unused drivers, there will be fragments and such left over that are going to drag on your computer. I put up with mine for about 3 weeks before I had had enough and wiped it and did a full re-install. Yours may not be as bad due to the lower quantity of changes, but be prepared for the worst.
  31. Hello , I am on windows 7.
  32. It's a retail disc in a box.
  33. Okay.If I wanted to do a fresh intall of windows 7, and add a new mobo

    what would I do ?

    replace the mobo, wipe c drive, then do it ?
  34. yes.
    install mobo
    boot from win7 DVD
    format C: in "advance settings" when it asks you where to install windows
    install as normal

    want a tutorial?
    Windows 7 - Clean Install Windows 7
  35. using an external dvd drive won't intefere with this will it ?
  36. its best to only have the hard drive you are installing window to connected.

    for some reason, forgot ATM, when you install with two or more drives connected, it may have problems booting if you disconnect one.
  37. thanks

    it worked

    I used sysprep, to wipe out my old drivers,

    Now I have usb 3. thanks.
  38. good job!
  39. I read that something called thunderbolt is faster than usb 3.0

    However, since all I want to do is transfer videos from my PC to a usb stick,
    Thunderbolt would be pointless for me ??
  40. a USB stick isn't what thunderbolt addresses, its for large amounts of data to be transferred to a hard disk . . and daisy chaining displays.
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