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Author Topic: Convert to USB 3.0, Best practices?  (Read 4645 times)
mouse
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« on: February 21, 2013, 07:08:21 PM »
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In an effort to increase the upload speed of images from my CF and SD cards (large files from my D800) I am considering installing the components necessary to convert to USB 3.0.

I am using an ASUS P6TD-Deluxe motherboard (no onboard USB 3 connector).  Intel processor.  Running Win7/x64

I would purchase a PCI-e card with 2 external USB 3.0 ports and an internal 19 pin header.  Also convenient would be a front panel bracket with 2 USB ports and a cable which will connect with the 19 pin header on the PCI card.  To this I would attach a USB3 card reader.  I have discarded the idea of installing a front panel card reader because of the questionable reliability of these devices (as reported in several postings here on Pnet.)

QUESTIONS:

1.  Is my proposed hardware add-ons reasonable/workable?
2.  Assuming that USB 3.0 offers the potential of increased upload speed, to what degree will  the incremental speed depend on the generation of CF card being used?
3.  Are their some important specs I should be aware of when ordering the PCI to USB card?
4. Are their any important caveats when purchasing the card reader?

I will be most grateful for any advice and suggestions.
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elolaugesen
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2013, 12:01:47 PM »
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you will always be limited to the speed of the cards !!! 
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John.Murray
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2013, 01:39:57 PM »
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I'd recommend this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815256004

Besides the 2 rear panel ports it has the internal header.  Note that USB 3.0 allows for nearly 1 Amp of current draw, effectively doubling that over USB 2.0.  This card has a standard ATX power header installed ensuring full power delivery.
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mouse
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2013, 01:56:38 PM »
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you will always be limited to the speed of the cards !!! 


That makes sense.  However the question is: What cards will benefit from the switch to USB 3 and which cards are already at max possible speed with USB 2?
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Raw shooter
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2013, 02:39:17 PM »
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John,
Do you have any experience with this card and Windows Server 2008?  Tried their website without success.
TIA
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2013, 05:26:21 PM »
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I would purchase a PCI-e card with 2 external USB 3.0 ports and an internal 19 pin header.  Also convenient would be a front panel bracket with 2 USB ports and a cable which will connect with the 19 pin header on the PCI card.  To this I would attach a USB3 card reader.  I have discarded the idea of installing a front panel card reader because of the questionable reliability of these devices (as reported in several postings here on Pnet.)

QUESTIONS:

1.  Is my proposed hardware add-ons reasonable/workable?

2.  Assuming that USB 3.0 offers the potential of increased upload speed, to what degree will  the incremental speed depend on the generation of CF card being used?
3.  Are their some important specs I should be aware of when ordering the PCI to USB card?
4. Are their any important caveats when purchasing the card reader?

I will be most grateful for any advice and suggestions.

1.  There are reliable front panel USB 3.0 card readers.  There are many more which are not.  These are one of those products that allow smaller companies to market less than reliable products.  This company I reviewed here however has remained reliable across dozens of installs on USB 3.0 equipped boards.  I made that caveat because of what I'll say next:

2.  Yes, it all sounds "reasonable" but this is no guarantee the chipset on the new card will play nice with the chipsets and softwaree of the existing hardware.  Ideally it should, but realistically it's often hit and miss.  This is where recommendations come in handy.  Same for FW and other ports.  Contact the manufacturer of the device you're trying to use it with and ask them which adapter card or reader or whatever.. will work with their product.  Support forums will often reveal several possibilities.  I personally like SIIG adapter cards when adding on ports, but if someone else can tell you they've used a specific one with your MB I'd go with their choice.

3.  This is a bigger question than you may think, lots involved here.  I'd suggest you visit Rob Galbraith's site where he keeps track of card performance in different readers on different ports.
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mouse
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2013, 11:18:24 PM »
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Thanks Steve,

WOW, after looking at Rob Gailbraith's site one is completely confused.  In regard to write speed from card to computer: it seems that card manufacturer, type, capacity and the card reader itself all have a greater impact on speed than the choice of USB 3 or USB 2.  I'm baffled. Huh
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John.Murray
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2013, 12:49:44 AM »
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John,
Do you have any experience with this card and Windows Server 2008?  Tried their website without success.
TIA

I'm assuming you mean Server 2008R2/Win7 ?  I'm not sure that you'll find any USB 3.0 support for Server 2008, as it was an interim release between Vista and Win7 (closest to Vista SP1, but still some differences, Server 2008 was the last supporting 32-bit)

In any case the card works fine with Win7/Server2008R2 and Win8/Server 2012 (all 64bit)
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2013, 06:41:09 AM »
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Thanks Steve,

WOW, after looking at Rob Gailbraith's site one is completely confused.  In regard to write speed from card to computer: it seems that card manufacturer, type, capacity and the card reader itself all have a greater impact on speed than the choice of USB 3 or USB 2.  I'm baffled. Huh
All that I can suggest if the information is that important to you, is to go over his site until it sinks in. 

Most people aren't so diligent.  They choose their cards based on the lowest price, what a friend tells them, some just buy the latest and greatest card at the best price.. which is mostly what I do, but I then run it buy Rob's site to make sure it doesn't have unexpected issues.  Oh, and it must say Sandisk on it.. Smiley  Some people believe it's better to have multiple smaller cards, in case one breaks they don't lose all their data, and others (like me) buys the biggest card available thinking the potential for loss with multiple small  cards is much greater than cards going bad. 

Just break it to the areas which are important to you and don't  let a salesman influence you.
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mouse
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2013, 05:36:14 PM »
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What really got to me in studying the Gailbraith site was the fact that upload speed (from card to computer) depended as much or more on card manufacturer and type and on the card reader used.  Differences observed between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, while noted occassionally, seemed random and inconsistent.  Makes one wonder if upgrading the computer to USB 3.0 is worth the trouble.

However it may make a bigger difference when using an external HDD with USB 3.0 interface; or such is the scuttlebut. Wink
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Raw shooter
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2013, 06:13:35 PM »
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I'm assuming you mean Server 2008R2/Win7 ?  I'm not sure that you'll find any USB 3.0 support for Server 2008, as it was an interim release between Vista and Win7 (closest to Vista SP1, but still some differences, Server 2008 was the last supporting 32-bit)

In any case the card works fine with Win7/Server2008R2 and Win8/Server 2012 (all 64bit)

Thanks John,  but yes, it was for regular old 32 bit Windows Server 2008.  I need that version for other software I must run (non photographic software).
Appreciate the response.  I've tried 2 different Windows 7 cards without success.  I'll be in Server 2012 soon enough - so I'll just backup over the network to my USB 3 workstation.  Not quite the same speed, as you would expect.  Thanks.
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Justan
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2013, 09:57:28 AM »
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I'm assuming you mean Server 2008R2/Win7 ?  I'm not sure that you'll find any USB 3.0 support for Server 2008, as it was an interim release between Vista and Win7 (closest to Vista SP1, but still some differences, Server 2008 was the last supporting 32-bit)

In any case the card works fine with Win7/Server2008R2 and Win8/Server 2012 (all 64bit)

I ran into an unsolvable problem trying to use a USB 3 series card in some 29xx series Dell servers dating from about 2009. In two instances cards from 2 manufacturers worked flawlessly on some, but in 2 other instances they did not.

Dell does not support these cards on the 29xx iteration of servers so they provided no support. I guess the key detail is if the manufacturer of the computer hardware does not support USB 3, it may or may not work.

I ended up using USB 2 on the machines that didnít support USB 3 and the hardware worked fine with that.
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bill t.
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« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2013, 01:55:27 PM »
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I used a Renasys USB 3.0 card for a couple years, plugged into a hi-perf PCI slot.  It consistently read large 30mb raw files at the rated CF card spead of 30MB/s, which was about twice as fast as I could get on the MB's USB 2 ports for the same CF card.  With USB 3.0 hard drives it would transfer files at about 65 megabytes/second during backup, versus about 25 for USB 2.  Same performance under Vista 64 and Win 7 64.

Upon returning from a hot day in the field, I kind of liked kicking back for a while with USB 2. 
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johnkiv
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« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2013, 07:42:50 AM »
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I have been looking at USB 3 pci cards to upgrade a Dell Studio xps 435T. i7 920, 2.67 GHz, win 7pro 64bit.

Some of the card  spcs say "host card" some do not.  I don't understand the difference, if any?

Will be using the card to hook up external hard drives for camera raw file archives, and card downloads.

Any recommendations and warnings welcome.

Thanks for the help, John
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2013, 06:36:02 AM »
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I have been looking at USB 3 pci cards to upgrade a Dell Studio xps 435T. i7 920, 2.67 GHz, win 7pro 64bit.

Some of the card  spcs say "host card" some do not.  I don't understand the difference, if any?

Will be using the card to hook up external hard drives for camera raw file archives, and card downloads.

Any recommendations and warnings welcome.

Thanks for the help, John
Before retiring my old computer I installed this USB 3.0 card and it worked flawlessly.  One thing to note is that the card does require a connector to the power supply so you need to make sure that there is one available (usually you can find a spare connection on the line to your hard drive which was how I plugged it in).
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