USB 2 & 3 Interchangeable?

  johnincrete 17:03 26 Sep 2013

I need to buy a new external hard drive for backups. Many say they are USB 3.0. Will they work on a standard USB 2 socket in my computer?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:24 26 Sep 2013

Yes usb 3 is backward compatible

so if plugged into a usb2 port it will work ok but run at the slower speed of USB2

  johnincrete 10:13 27 Sep 2013

I have seen that you can fit a USB 3 card to a (something - I cant remember) slot but I do not have a spare one on my old computer. I used to backup to an external drive, leaving it running overnight. So I guess I will have to but the new external drive and suffer the relatively slow speed on USB2 Thanks for the help

  spuds 10:26 27 Sep 2013

Not sure how this fairs nowadays, when USB 1 went to USB 2, I queried this with Belkin regarding their cables. The technical person that I was talking to, stated that "as a domestic user, I would not see or notice much difference"?.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:05 27 Sep 2013
  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:12 27 Sep 2013


You can definitely see the difference between 1.1 and 2 40x faster now three is lightning compared to 2.

USB 1.0 and 1.1: the first commercial versions supported a maximum data rate of 12 Mbps

USB 2.0: the current version supports a theoretical maximum rate of 480 Mbps

USB 3.0: the standard supports up to 4.8 Gbps

  spuds 11:32 27 Sep 2013

Fruit Bat - Quite a big improvement then, the information from your link is very interesting. How would it fair, fitting a USB3 4 port card to an much older motherboard. I seem to recall fitting a USB2 4 port card to the machine I am presently using, when USB2 became available. Would it work with USB3, or would there be any problems or restrictions?.

Apologies to johnincrete for hijacking the thread.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:44 27 Sep 2013

The motherboard must have a PCI or PCI express slot

My machine is 8 and a half years old and has both so how old are you talking?

  spuds 12:11 27 Sep 2013

About the same age (8) or a little less, with PCI slots. Not sure about the 'Express' bit though.

Just had a look at Amazon, and a eLife Store USB3 4 port at £9.97 delivered might fit my bill as a try out for 'normal' basic use. Seems to have some good/fair reviews?.

Would fitting a USB3 as a replacement to USB1/2 on printers make a difference or problem (drivers etc).

Now to find out what the 5 other computers plus 1 laptop have. Any ideas for checking, without having to physically check individual cards?.

Apologies again to johnincrete.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:46 27 Sep 2013

Siw portable an be loaed on a USB drive and when plugged in and run will show you everything on your machine (Hardware - motherboard will show slots)

The laptop will need an express slot see here

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:39 27 Sep 2013

John may wish to consider buying a hard drive caddy with an esata port and if he has a spare sata port on the mother board can connect through to the drive that way.

see here

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