USB 3.0: Things you should know

Posted: July 31, 2011 in All Categories, Firmware, Gadgets, hardware, Tech Encore
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USB 3.0 devices are coming in thick and fast, ranging from external storage devices to media servers. Just getting one of these devices is not going to be enough to enjoy the significant increase in transfer speeds. Before investing in a USB 3.0 device, it is essential to have compatibility at the other end—namely, desktop and/or laptop.

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I have put together a quick guide that lists the available upgrade options for the computer and then we round it off with some of USB 3.0 device that may be worthy of purchase.

Express card

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This is by far the cheapest and quickest way to add USB 3.0 compatibility to your existing system. D-Link has PCIe riser card for desktop computers and an Express card for latops, with both of these offering two USB 3.0 ports.

The PCIe card for desktops can be had for Rs. 2,799 and the Express card for laptops is going for Rs 3,699.

Motherboard swap

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The option to add native USB 3.0 support is only available for desktop computers, while laptop users will just have to save and buy a model with such support.

Getting a new motherboard is not going to be cheap, like the one pictured here from ASUS is selling for Rs 7,145.

This cost can go even higher as getting a new motherboard may also require getting a new central processor and memory modules, depending how old the rig in question is.

Pendrives

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Transcend is selling a couple of USB 3.0 pen drives with decent storage capacities at an affordable price. The 8GB version of Transcend Jet Flash 700 is selling for Rs. 660 and the 16GB model is yours for Rs 1,099.

Portable hard-drives

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Hitachi is offering quite an attractive package with its Touro series of external hard-drives. These USB 3.0 complaint hard-drives come in 500GB and 700GB models and in addition offer 3GB of online storage space.

The Touro Mobile Pro 500GB model has a suggested retail price of Rs 4,408 and the 750GB model’s SRP is Rs 5,309.

External desktop drives

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While these drives are portable, they are likely going to stay put on your desktop. These drives are the mother of all external storage devices with the capacity of a data warehouse and need for an additional power source.

MyBook from Western Digital is a 3.5-inch external drive with capacity to house two terabytes of data. This one is retailing for Rs 4,900 and is backed-up by three years of warranty.

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