Replace usb 2.0 with 3.0

Whether you’re sporting an older computer system without a solitary USB 3.0 port or you’d choose to expand also and boost the roster of USB 3.0 ports on your newer computer, we’re below to assist. Read on as we outline how to fill in all the USB goodness you crave via back, front, and situation ports.

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Why Do I Want To Do This?

If you currently have a USB 3.0 port or two on your computer, you deserve to pretty a lot skip this section: you currently know exactly how great USB 3.0 is and you’re here for even more. If you’re reasoning about upgrading an older computer system to support USB 3.0 you can not realize just how many kind of enhancements USB 3.0 offers over USB 2.0.

The most obvious advantage is the increase in speed. The maximum theoretical speed of USB 3.0 is ten times much faster than USB 2.0. Even as soon as USB 3.0 relations don’t hit the theoretical limit they are still staggeringly quicker than USB 2.0 connections. During the disk cloning process we employed in our article How to Upgrade Your Existing Hard Drive in Under an Hour, for instance, we were able to clone a 120GB SSD over a USB 3.0 link in a mere 15 minutes however the very same clone process over a USB 2.0 link took approximately an hour. Same hardware, very same disk size, various USB ports and requirements.

In enhancement to considerably boosting the speed, the USB 3.0 standard presented better bandwidth management (USB 3.0 gadgets and relationships usage two omnidirectional paths rather of the one-way interaction accessible with USB 2.0), much better power administration, improved bus utilization (which equates to quicker at-prepared times when new tools are included to the organize computer), among various other minor but welcome improvements.

Note: This tutorial will cover the upgrade process for desktop computers. This tutorial will certainly not cover the upgrade procedure for lappeak computer systems as laptops are challenging to upgrade to USB 3.0. While tbelow are, in reality, USB 3.0 expansion cards for laptops with growth card slots, those cards perform poorly, consume huge quantities of power, and are generally not worth the hassle.

If you have actually a lapheight that has actually a USB 3.0 port or 2 and you wish to expand also upon that we would certainly encourage you to inspect out The HTG Guide to Purchasing the Perfect USB Hub for Your Needs. The outside powered USB 3.0 hubs found therein are a wonderful method to expand also the port capacity of a USB 3.0 capable lappeak.

What Do I Need?

Generally we have a reduced and dry list of the hardware you need for a given tutorial. This tutorial is slightly different in that there are several methods you deserve to go about upgrading computers both old and brand-new to assistance USB 3.0. Rather than list off eextremely potential combination of hardware add-ons and their permutations, we’re going to highlight 2 incredibly widespread upgrade paths.

For the functions of this guide we upgraded 2 computers with numerous different USB 3.0 related upqualities to showcase the various upgrade paths you have the right to take. Depfinishing on your requirements you have the right to mix and also enhance the hardware we used in the two equipments to achieve your preferred outcome.

The first computer system has actually a dated motherboard (purchased in mid-2006) that has actually neither USB 3.0 ports on the earlier port panel nor USB 3.0 pin headers on the board itself. The second computer system has actually a modern motherboard (purchased in late 2013) that attributes both USB 3.0 ports on the back port panel as well as USB 3.0 pin headers on the motherboard to assistance USB 3.0 ports on the front of the instance and/or using expansion bay hubs.


Here are the hardware components we offered in the process of upgrading both computer systems.

The initially two pieces of hardware are expansion cards that must be put right into an open up PCI-E slot in your computer system to feature. The third item in the list is a bay growth that enables you to rotate an unoffered 5.25″ drive bay into a USB hub and also media card reader.

Tbelow are two important considerations when purchasing a USB 3.0 expansion card. Let’s take a moment to look at the hardware specifics to ensure you pick the best card for your demands.

First, you constantly want to purchase a card that has a power connector of some type (some cards have an older molex 4-pin power jack and also frequently come with a molex-to-SATA adapter and some have a SATA power adapter onboard). You need to never purchase a USB 3.0 growth card that lacks a power adapter as the PCI growth slot cannot supply enough power to fulfill the needs of a fully loaded USB 3.0 card. In the photograph below you deserve to watch the molex power port, the 4-pin/milky white port on the right, on the HooToo-PC002.


2nd, if you should affix the USB 3.0 ports on your case or on any kind of kind of bay growth (prefer the Rosewill version detailed here) you will certainly either require a totally free header on your motherboard or you will certainly need a USB card through a 19-pin header that can accept an inner USB 3.0 male cable. Aget, referencing the over photo, you have the right to watch the header in blue on the left hand also side.

Now let’s take a look at the actual process to highlight once you would desire to use each piece of hardware by walking you with the upgrade procedure for the two computers.

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Upgrading an Older Computer

The initially computer system we’re upgrading is an old machine that’s still going solid. We recently transplanted the motherboard from it’s original situation (a media facility COMPUTER case) right into a new mid-tower case. The new instance sports a USB 3.0 port constructed appropriate into the front port panel but, alas, the circa-2006 motherboard doesn’t assistance USB 3.0 and also has no 19-pin header for the case cable to plug right into.


That need to come as no surpclimb as the motherboard precedes the initially USB 3.0 compliant motherboards by about 4 years. The board, as you’d intend, also lacks any type of rear USB 3.0 ports (and doesn’t have extremely many USB 2.0 ports for that matter) which makes it a perfect candidate for a USB growth card via a 19-pin header. If you have actually a computer system with an older motherboard yet a newer instance through USB 3.0 ports, an development card with a header port, favor the HooToo HT-PC002, is a must if you ever before desire to obtain that instance port up and also running.


Card in hand it’s time to crack open the situation and also gain to work. The photograph over mirrors the empty PCI-E slot we’ll use for the brand-new card. Installing a new PCI card is just one of the easiest computer upgrade work this side of plugging in a brand-new stick of RAM, however you still must handle every little thing carefully. Make certain to follow standard electrostatic security guidelines prefer wearing rubber soled shoes on a non-conductive surchallenge (wool socks and also a shag rug is a negative idea), save the computer system case plugged right into a grounded outlet (however turned off) so that you can usage the instance itself as a grounded discharge suggest for any charge on your body, and also leave the card in the electrostatic shipping bag until you’ve grounded yourself and also you’re ready to install it.

Installation is a breeze. Remove the slot guard from the case (the perforated piece of metal that protects the opening when a card is not inserted; checked out white and also at left in the image above). Gently insert the development card and also secure the metal bracket to the case via the exact same screw that previously organized in the slot guard. Plug in the power cable and the internal USB 3.0 male cable. The resulting configuration have to look prefer this.


Close the instance and boot up the computer system. USB growth cards through pin headers on them almost constantly require additional vehicle drivers to interchallenge with the motherboard. Load the drivers from the consisted of CD or downfill them from the manufacturer’s website to finish the installation procedure.

Your older motherboard currently sports USB 3.0 ports on the ago and interfaces through any kind of USB 3.0 ports on the instance by means of the header on the USB card.

Expanding a Newer Computer

In the previous area we added USB 3.0 use to a computer that had no capacity for USB 3.0. In this section we’re broadening the USB 3.0 capabilities of a computer that already has USB 3.0 assistance. The motherboard in our second computer system is a late 2013 gaming-oriented motherboard that has both USB 3.0 ports on the ago and a USB 3.0 header on the board.


The upgrade path on this specific machine is focused on adding even more USB 3.0 ports to the back and widening the use of the case by replacing an old USB 2.0 hub/card reader (viewed in the photo above) with a front drive bay via a new USB 3.0 reader.

As with in the previous section you’ll need to open the instance, situate an empty PCI-E slot, and also, of course, obey the same rules for protecting your computer system from electrostatic discharge. As the PCI-E slot and the process for insertion is the same, you might referral the photos in the previous section.

Unchoose the previous card, but, the HooToo HT-PC001 does not have actually an onboard pin header for an inner USB 3.0 cable; you’ll only be forced to hook up a single cable, the molex power cable, to the card.


Instead we’ll plug the USB cable from the Rosewill hub straight right into the motherboard, as checked out in the photo above. In addition to plugging in the USB 3.0 cable, the Rosewill hub likewise has actually USB 2.0 ports and an eSATA port. The cable for the eSATA port deserve to be plugged right into a continuous SATA port on your motherboard (if you have a port to spare) and permits you to hook up HDD docks and also some external difficult drives straight to your hub for SATA-speed transfers. The USB 2.0 cable sindicate needs to be placed into a USB 2.0 header on your motherboard; USB 2.0 ports are 9-pin ports that look choose the smaller sibling of the 19-pin port we simply plugged the USB 3.0 cable right into.

Once all the correct ports have actually been hooked up, it’s time to put the case back together and admire our handy job-related.


The old dying USB 2.0 hub is gone, the brand-new one is installed, and we have actually an additional 4 ports on the back of the machine. Not a poor rerotate on much less than ten minutes worth of time and under $50 in parts.

Unlike the previous upgrade where we mounted a new USB 3.0 host, this time approximately we ssuggest included even more USB 3.0 usability to a maker that already had it; no driver installation required.

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That’s all tbelow is to it! The hardest component of the whole USB 3.0 upgrade process is ssuggest taking the time to number out what hardware you need. You’ll spfinish even more time checking the specs on your motherboard and picking the proper hardware than you will certainly actually installing the growth card and/or USB 3.0 hub in your machine.