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Windows 7: Advice on USB 3.0 hub?

22 Oct 2018   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
Advice on USB 3.0 hub?

I am using a couple of cheap generic 4-port USB 3.0 hubs at the moment (one port failed on one of them after a few months, so that one's a three-port hub now). I am wondering if I can do better and, being no wiser after 45 minutes on Amazon, would appreciate some technical (rather than purchase) advice.

The hubs (neither is a/c powered) are used to connect external USB 3.0 HDDs to the PC: two of those HDDs, a/c powered, I connect directly to the PC's USB ports; two others (bus-powered), due to limited ports on the PC, have to be connected via the USB hub. These external HDDs (my PC only has SSDs) constantly supply very large amounts of data - Ortho4XP terrain data if that means anything to anyone reading this! - to my PC whilst running X-Plane 11.

I assume great read performance is key here? Would I always get better external HDD performance by buying a powered (plug in) hub, rather than one that takes its power from the PC? I notice that one of the hubs in particular will not always run the external drives - they can click noisily if I boot up with them connected to it, so I avoid that and use the other one (also bus-powered, as I say), which runs the external HDDs OK, but maybe I am missing out by using such a basic one. Or perhaps, in practice, I would see no difference in X-Plane at all if I upgraded?

(If anyone does have specific recommendations, that would also be helpful (all hubs have their share of one-star reviews on Amazon and elsewhere of course, which is off-putting).. but any hub I buy, like the one I have, must have individual switches for each port).


My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2018   #2

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player, OpenVPN

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2018   #3
Vineet Garg

Windows 7 Ultimate x32 With Sp1 + Vista Ultimate x32 with Sp1 & Sp2 !!

Hi All,
@martinlest : Sir,
1. I would like to see Asus H97I-PLUS Motherboard Specifications.
H97I-PLUS | Motherboards | ASUS Global

2.Additionally, I would like to see Official Devices Compatibility Report for the mother board
I think it may include endorsements, Don't know! Still i think it may be helpful some ways.

Thanks & Regards. ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Oct 2018   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit

Hi Vineet. I am not sure what you are asking me to do. If you want to see the M/B specifications, they are freely available online. I don't understand what you are asking me to do in the second point either. Is there information I can give about the M/B that isn't available online?

The PC in question is a small format one and I doubt that, with all the stuff I have in there now (massive CPU fan/cooler, too) that there is space to add anything more, even if there is a slot free for a USB card (4 slots would be enough in fact). What I will try is to juggle things so that all the external HDDs connect directly to the PC's USB 3.0 ports, rather than via a hub.. I rarely need all four connected at the same time.

Does an a/c powered hub positively affect the read/write performance of a drive to which it is connected though, as opposed to a bus-powered hub? I can't quite see how it could (but this isn't really 'my area', so....)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2018   #5
Vineet Garg

Windows 7 Ultimate x32 With Sp1 + Vista Ultimate x32 with Sp1 & Sp2 !!

Hi All,
@martinlest : Sir,
I will be back with some useful suggestions in one or two days.

Thanks & Regards. ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2018   #6

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)

You are always better off getting a powered USB hub, rather than one which draws its power from the USB port it is plugged into. Many external hard drives do not have their own power source; they draw their power from the USB port. Therefore, a powered USB hub is essential for ensuring that your hard drive and other USB devices are able to draw enough power to work well.

In order for it to be true USB3, every part must be USB3 - the computer port it is plugged into, the USB cable connecting the hub to the computer, the USB cable connecting the device to the hub, and the device itself.

A USB3 device is supposed to be backward compatible with a USB2 port; but this is not always the case. I have a USB3 flash drive which won't work when I plug it into a USB2 port. If you want to make sure that your USB device is compatible with everything, get USB2. If you want the increased speed that USB3 offers, get USB3, and then make sure that every part of the connection is USB3.

I purchased a couple of USB3 extension cables on Ebay, but they didn't work for data. (They worked for charging my phone.) Therefore, get your USB3 cables from a reputable source, one which you believe will sell good-quality cables, and one which will let you return it if it is bad. I trust what is sold at I also trust what is sold at a big-name computer reseller, such as Best Buy.

I have never had a bad USB2 cable; but I have had a couple of bad USB3 cables. I believe this is due to the more stringent requirements for USB3 than for USB2. In other words, it is easier to make a good USB2 cable than a good USB3 cable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2018   #7
Vineet Garg

Windows 7 Ultimate x32 With Sp1 + Vista Ultimate x32 with Sp1 & Sp2 !!

Hi All.
Greets, @martinlest : Sir,

1. Good stuff from sir mrjimphelps.

2. The first question is why do you need a usb hub at all ? You are having 6 advanced USB 3.0 ( USB 3.1, Blue, 4 external, 2 internal ) & 6 USB 2.0 ( 4 external, 2 internal ) ports!

3. The official Parts Compatibility Report suggests these makes & models for usb hubs :

USB 3.0 linked USB hubs:


USB 2.0 linked USB hubs :

Dell 2408WFP(Monitor)
Z-tek ZE341

PCI-E Linked USB hubs :


4. Though this compatibility report is not the latest ( I mean to say better hubs are out there), first you have to take the decision what actually you opt for . As suggested by SNICK sir, PCI-E USB expansion cards would be the first choice but you can go for USB 3.0 linked USB hubs as well!
Besides, Asus maintains a compatibility record/studies with different types of equipments. So, once you decide what you need, you can directly contact Asus customer care mentioning your pc details. Prefer e-mail communication!

5. Why i say that the report is old because : the PCI-E Usb Expansion Card VANTEC UGT-PC345(U3) is PCI-E Second generation card while your specs are Third generation. Though the above product has four stars on Amazon & newegg, It commits the maximum theortical speed of 4-5GB per second while a PCI-E third generation card can just double the speed i.e. 8-10 GB per second.

6. Another thing when deciding over PCI-E USB expansion cards would be to take into account the no. of ports. For eg. the above VANTEC product provides 4 USB 3.0 ports but only two are external.

7. As for power supply : I would like to mention that the above VANTEC product comes with built-in 4-pin power connector for the power requirements. What it says in the manual :
Make sure to connect the 4-pin power connector to the system power
supply; (if your power supply is using SATA power, please use the
provided 4pin molex to SATA power converter cable) to provide
sufficient power to the USB devices.

8. Sorry, I forgot to mention ( PCI-E USB expansion card option ) :

(a) your MoBo has two PCI-E Expansion Slots :
1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16 mode)
1 x mini-PCIe
( I have some idea about the first one but i have to look into the other one. Your manual says that it allows you to install a Mini Pcie module. So, Probably, a compatible Mini Pcie USB expansion card can work with that. )

(b) To fix the PCI-E USB expansion card, you would need that the sufficient slot/lanes are available for it & not occupied already! Though the slot can be shared with multiple devices, it depends on the specs of the chosen PCI-E USB expansion card & other devices. Your PCI-E slot is x16. So i suppose it would be having 16 lanes, now it is left to the expansion card & other devices' needs. I know very little about it. For eg.

(c) I would like to mention that its installation may not be very straight forward & you should first refer the manuals of your MoBo & the chosen PCI-E Expansion Card.
( MoBo : )

(d) I don't intend to create a phobia or hype the things but it would always be better if you could test run the card & return it if it doesn't suit you.

To be contd. ...

Thanks & Regards. ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2018   #8
Vineet Garg

Windows 7 Ultimate x32 With Sp1 + Vista Ultimate x32 with Sp1 & Sp2 !!

To be contd. ...

9. PCI-E expansion slot can be used/shared only with/between different PCI-E devices : PCI-E Graphics card, PCI-E Ethernet card, PCI-E USB hub, etc. Having a look at the MoBo can exactly tell whether the slot is shared or not. Besides, you probably know whether you installed any PCI-E device on that.

10. Mini PCI-E slot seems to be backward in technology, Leave on it!

11. Its my own query whether PCI-E expansion slot provides any power to its attached PCI-E devices the way USB port does it for/to USB devices ? Then there will be two options to use bus power & if required switch to PCI-E Device's own power supply option. Seniors please help!

12. As for USB 3.0 linked USB hubs, modern devices come with both power options i.e. they can get power by/from the bus & if needed they can be powered by a/c as well.

13. You said that you have 2 external hard disks with their own a/c power supply option & they are plugged directly in the board USB ports. Obviously, the two hard disks would perform at their optimum. But I think the devices plugged in generic usb hubs are in more need of their own power supply.

14. Why don't you think to directly install usb card readers & not the USB hub(s) ? Your MoBo is advanced & there is a lot to explore. I am on & hope the same from you.

15. Running Products: Belarc Advisor may narrow down your work. But if you want to share the report with someone, you will need to edit/omit its sensitive/crucial parts like Product Keys!

16. You were mentioning that there is individual power switching buttons for each port on your generic usb hub. I think that is only possible with USB linked USB hub & not PCI-E USB Expansion Cards. Not sure!

17. As you are using SSD as internal disks, Make it an all true USB 3.0 ( as suggested by sir mrjimphelps )

18. Don't use peripherals of hp, Dell, Lenovo, etc. on other makes. For eg. hp products on dell laptops & dell products on hp laptops had issues.

Let us know about your options/choice & how we can help you with that.

Thanks & Regards. ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Advice on USB 3.0 hub?

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