It’s really crazy to think that it’s been over 16 years now since USB 1.0 was released. Even looking back to USB 2.0 in April of 2000 it’s been 12 years that we have been living with that 60 MB/s theoretical speed. I can’t even imagine how many hours, days, maybe even weeks; I have spent waiting for files to transfer in those 16 years. When USB 3.0 was introduced in 2008 I literally couldn’t wait for the day I would finally be able to fully take advantage of the speeds that USB 3.0 brought to the table. Today for the first time I can say that I am taking full advantage. I’m going invite you all in to see what I am using to do this.
Written by: Wes
Pictures by: Wes
Product Provided by: Kingston, Trendnet, IOSafe, and Asus
What I am using
You are only as strong as the weakest link in a chain and in the case of USB 3.0 you are only as fast as the slowest link. Because of that you have to make sure you are running USB 3.0 across the board. In my case the biggest problem I had was my current case doesn’t support USB 3.0 with its front panel connections. This means if I wanted to use my motherboards USB 3.0 connections I would have to climb back behind my desk each time. I did this a few times with time sensitive file transfers but as a whole this isn’t something I would do every day.
I decided I would have to go with a powered USB 3.0 hub to run on my desk to give myself easy access to the ports as needed. After looking around at the hubs available I went with Trendnet’s TU3-H4, I wanted a hub that was powered and had all of the ports facing forward in a package that would fit well on my desk without being in the way. With the hub hooked up I finally had access to my motherboards high speed ports, but what would I use on them?
My USB usage is broken down into three things. Charging, low speed devices (mouse, keyboard, and webcam), and file storage. Going with USB 3.0 would only really be helpful with charging and file transfers, and I really only needed to find USB 3.0 devices for file transfers. For me it’s important to have portable storage, a backup storage device, and of course I have my collection of SD cards from all of our camera equipment and video cameras.
Although SD card performance isn’t anywhere near SSD’s you can still see an improvement when switching to USB 3.0 when using high speed cards. Considering how many times in a day that I am pulling files off of an SD card it was very important to find a USB 3.0 card reader. Of course my last three readers didn’t hold up to my use, so it was also important that any reader I went with be of the highest quality. We ended up going with two devices from Kingston, one for office only use and a second for on the go. The models are the Kingston USB 3.0 Media Reader (FCR-HS3) and MobileLite G3 USB 3.0 Reader(FCR-MLG3), Kingston’s entire lineup of USB 3.0 card readers.
For our backup device we went with the IOSafe Rugged Portable that we recently covered. It fit my needs for capacity and speed and went well and above on actually protection of your data. Perfect for backing up files while on the go.
For a flash drive I wanted something portable but still very durable. Capacity was also important as there are a lot of times that I use a flash drive to setup our test benches with programs and all of their drivers. I went with Kingston once again with their 64Gb DataTraveler HyperX 3.0. Even in its smallest capacity it is large enough to get the job done and fits the bill for durability and speed as well.
Of course we won’t know how all of these devices worked out until we put them to the test.