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norman16
Posts: 14
Member Since: ‎04-01-2011
Message 1 of 11 (553 Views)
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upgrading to USB 3

I have a Pavilion a1720n desktop computer that uses Vista home premium OS. It has USB and USB2 ports. I plan to purchase a USB 3 external hard drive, thinking  that my next computer will have USB 3 capability. In the meantime, is my a1720n computer capable of being upgraded to USB 3? And if so, how easy is it to do? Norman

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pepe999
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Re: upgrading to USB 3


norman16 wrote:

I have a Pavilion a1720n desktop computer that uses Vista home premium OS. It has USB and USB2 ports. I plan to purchase a USB 3 external hard drive, thinking  that my next computer will have USB 3 capability. In the meantime, is my a1720n computer capable of being upgraded to USB 3? And if so, how easy is it to do? Norman


Hi,

USB 3 is backward compatible with USB 2 so you may use a USB 3 external hard drive on a pc with USB 2. It will work as a USB 2 drive but because the pc doesn't support USB 3, it wouldn't work at the USB 3 speed anyway.

The best way to use USB 3 drives is to buy a USB 3 supported computer. The main thing is that the motherboard has to support it. If not (computers with USB 2 can't achieve USB 3 speed) , the drive will always work as a USB 2 one..

USB 3 connection is supported in the latest Intel Sandy Bridge or AMD A-X Fusion computers..

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Huggi
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Message 3 of 11 (545 Views)

Re: upgrading to USB 3

Another option is to buy a PCI or PCIe card that allows USB3. Here's an example off eBay: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-PCI-E-Express-USB-3-0-4-Port-Card-Super-Speed-5Gb-s-/150601052134?pt=...
By my knowledge, they have the USB controller on the card so even if the mobo doesn't support USB3, it'll give your desktop USB3 capability.

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norman16
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Message 4 of 11 (540 Views)

Re: upgrading to USB 3

Thanks, I had wondered if these cards would work. It's worth a shot at only $15! Have you tried it? The e-bay site also shows how to install the card. Do you know if it needs software for it to work in the computer ? Norman

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pepe999
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Message 5 of 11 (527 Views)

Re: upgrading to USB 3


norman16 wrote:

Thanks, I had wondered if these cards would work. It's worth a shot at only $15! Have you tried it? The e-bay site also shows how to install the card. Do you know if it needs software for it to work in the computer ? Norman


No additional software is necessary. The operating system is going to take care of it. 

I'm not sure about the pci usb 3 cards. I don't think it will transfer data at 5Gbps when SATA II computers support max 3Gbps. 

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Huggi
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Message 6 of 11 (521 Views)

Re: upgrading to USB 3

Ah yes, bottlenecking. That's good point. If you have a SATA2 port hard drive, then your transfer speed will be limited to 3Gb/s max. Therefore, your USB3 will never reach its 5Gb/s potential unless you're transferring from one external USB3 drive to another external USB3 drive. If you have a SATA3 hard drive or SSD and motherboard, then it won't be a problem.
One thing to note is that a conventional HDD can't saturate 5Gb/s. They're not fast enough so you're not going to hit 5Gb/s anyway. Well, maybe those new 15,000rpm drives might but they're quite rare...

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pepe999
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Message 7 of 11 (517 Views)

Re: upgrading to USB 3


Huggi wrote:

Ah yes, bottlenecking. That's good point. If you have a SATA2 port hard drive, then your transfer speed will be limited to 3Gb/s max. Therefore, your USB3 will never reach its 5Gb/s potential unless you're transferring from one external USB3 drive to another external USB3 drive. If you have a SATA3 hard drive or SSD and motherboard, then it won't be a problem.
One thing to note is that a conventional HDD can't saturate 5Gb/s. They're not fast enough so you're not going to hit 5Gb/s anyway. Well, maybe those new 15,000rpm drives might but they're quite rare...


That's right. You may get the full potential with some SSDs at the higher read/write speed. SATA 6.0 drives can reach the write speed up to 510MBps and the write one s bit less 480MBps. It depends on a particular product and manufacturer. SATA 6.0 solid hard drives can't never reach those speeds with the moving platters so even a USB 3 hard drive won't be much faster than a SATA II one..

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norman16
Posts: 14
Member Since: ‎04-01-2011
Message 8 of 11 (500 Views)

Re: upgrading to USB 3

Thanks for the replies. I checked my hard drive. It is a Hitachi HDT725032VLA380. According to the specification, it has a SATA 3.0 GB/s interface. I don't fully understand all the messages, but I gather that adding in a USB 3.0 adaptor might be worth while, but it won't reach 5.0 GB/s with my system. Do you think it is worth while trying to install a USB 3.0 adaptor with my system? If so, can yoiu point me to a place which shows how to install one? Thanks again, Norman

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Huggi
Posts: 12
Member Since: ‎01-17-2012
Message 9 of 11 (492 Views)

Re: upgrading to USB 3

I think it's still worthwhile since you will get a speed increase over USB 2.0 (which is only 480Mb/s). And as for installation, it's pretty straightfoward if you're getting a PCIe card. Just open up your computer and plug it into the relevant PCI Express slot (usually the slots closer to the CPU are faster). If you are still wary of doing it wrong, just post a picture of the motherboard and the card you're getting and I'll see if I can help.

 

Oh, by the way, please don't confuse "GB/s" with "Gb/s".
GB = gigabyte
Gb = gigabit

8b (bits) = 1B (byte)
So USB 3's 5Gb/s is actually only ~625MB/s. It's just tech speak to try and confuse people to think it's faster than it actually is :smileyindifferent:

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norman16
Posts: 14
Member Since: ‎04-01-2011
Message 10 of 11 (484 Views)

Re: upgrading to USB 3

OK. I have not yet bought a PCI card, so it may take a while to get back to you for installation help. I am so grateful for your assistance. norman
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