How useful/essential is USB 3.0?

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I'm putting together a system on a tight budget and I'm sure
about what I need or want regarding most of the features except
for USB 3. It seems to me that most USB hardware don't use even
USB 2.0 to its full capacity. The exception is perhaps an
external HDD which I've never used so far.

So, to those of you who have USB 3.0, do you find that it gives
you a significant advantage over 2.0 in everyday use?

Re: How useful/essential is USB 3.0?

On 7/31/2011 8:49 AM, Pimpom wrote:
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As I see it, the principle advantage of USB is its ubiquity.  It will be
a couple of years (at least) before USB3 has that sort of range.

Still, though, a USB3 external drive should be markedly faster than the
USB2 counterparts, so for some applications there is an immediate payoff.

You can get USB3 motherboards + processor for about $160, so that's not
far off from the entry-level price on less-equipped boards.

Re: How useful/essential is USB 3.0?

On 7/31/2011 9:49 AM, Pimpom wrote:
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I don't have USB 3.0 in a system now although my upcoming build with a
Zotac Z68ITX-A-E will certainly have it.

Standards like USB are meant to be forward-looking. When each comes out
there is little or no use for them. When USB 1.0 first appeared in a
computer there was almost nothing on the market to use it. "USB? What is
USB. I'm happy with my serial and parallel port. Who needs USB?"

When USB 2.0 appeared on computers, most people would have been served just
as well by their old version ports but eventually the market grew into the
new standard. The same thing will happen with USB 3.0 -- right now there
aren't all that many devices which can take advantage of it but give it a
year or two and there will be many.

If you plan on keeping your computer for a few years and hope that it will
remain really useful over its life then taking new standards into account
is the practical thing to do.

Re: How useful/essential is USB 3.0?


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I have USB 3.0 on two systems. In one it's port is built into the
motherboard and for the other I added a PCIe adaptor. I do incremental
backups to external drives and the USB 3.0 is much faster when writing
large (one gig and up) files. The adaptor is a very inexpensive way to
go if your proposed MB doesn't have the capability.

Re: How useful/essential is USB 3.0?

On Sun, 31 Jul 2011 10:56:20 -0700, wrote:
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I've a couple USB2-only docking stations.  USB mem stickwise, a newer
Duron build gets around x3 faster than my 8-yr-old AMD socket 756.
That's tops 10-30M/s.  Those docking stations, they're effectively
giving them away on periodic sales ($15 for Rosewill dock/ps
ESATA/USB2).  USB3 HD caddies for takeover prices could be soon - a
card like yours is already here, reasonably priced.

How much faster?

Re: How useful/essential is USB 3.0?

Pimpom wrote:
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Thanks for the replies, everyone and sorry about the late
response from my side. My ISP went down for several hours just
after I finished reading Grinder's post.

So the consensus is that USB 3 is not very useful now, but will
most likely be in a couple of years. I'm hampered by the fact
that I live in a remote part of India where local prices are high
and choices are severely limited. Online shops are just starting
to take off in India and the choices they offer are also limited.
I'll see if I can get a USB 3 mobo within my budget with all the
other features I want. These are -

At least 785 chipset, preferably 880G
2 PCI slots
At least one PS/2 port, preferably two
One PCI-E x16 - may not be used, certainly not SLI/Crossfire
HDMI not essential

Re: How useful/essential is USB 3.0?

Pimpom wrote:
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At the current time, USB3 is implemented by soldering a separate
NEC USB3 chip to the motherboard.

Soon, a new generation of motherboards will be available, where
the USB3 is offered by the Southbridge, so it doesn't cost
anything extra to offer USB3. Only the price of the connector
on the back of the computer will be (slightly) different.

In the interim, if you buy a non-USB3 motherboard, for about
$25 USD you can buy a PCI Express x1 card with the NEC USB3
chip on it. So if you really need it, you can get USB3 this

The best deal, a while ago, was the Asus U3S6 card. It was
also $25, but not only did it have a USB3 chip on it, it also
had a SATA III chip offering 6Gbit/sec ports. That was a limited
time offer, and that particular card uses an x4 slot or larger.
I wouldn't bother searching for this, because this was only
a good thing to have, when it was introduced. A regular USB3
card is good enough now.

Maybe, in two years time, a card like that will be $10, and
more affordable.


Re: How useful/essential is USB 3.0?

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You can get a USB expansion card for just a few pounds, so don't worry about
it until you have a device that requires it.

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