As I sit here, I have a USB3 Flash Drive in my hand. It's a Verbatim, 32 GB.
The plastic insert is indeed Blue instead of the old familiar Black.
It's a snug fit, into a standard USB2 socket, but it does fit and it powers right up, with no problem.
I also have a 1TB External Toshiba, USB3, Hard DRIVE. It also has the blue insert in the plug and it also fits nicely in a USB2 socket and plays nicely. So, for now at least, the only difference I'm seeing with the USB3 devices is that they really are FAST when plugged into a USB3 port.
From now on, I refuse to buy any USB device that is NOT USB3. I added four USB3 ports to my old desktop PC, by putting in a PCI card with four USB3 ports on it.
Note though if you have an older MB then adding a USB3 PCI card (especially if it's a PCI-E EXPRESS card) won't buy you anything like the full USB 3 speed -- the native computer BUS SPEED could be too slow -- you probably won't get a lot faster speed than a decent USB 2 speed -- so for older MB's I wouldn't recommend the USB 3 pci upgrade.
If your MB is not too old then the upgrade is worth while - but you really do need a proper FULL PCI-X card instead of the PCI-E EXPRESS junk which ARE in any case slower. A full PCI-X card is hard to find but you might be able to "cannabalize" one off an older server which is being replaced as companies start introducing Windows 2012 server systems. - Try your I.T dept at work if you work in a largish shop. So to re-iterate -- get a FULL PCI-X card rather than a PCI-E EXPRESS one for the USB3 addition.
(Note - PCI-X not bog standard PCI).
Another piece of advice -- avoid the "el cheapo" varieties -- to get anything like decent performance you need this thing to be powered (5V) so get one that can be powered by the PC with a "Molex" connector from the PSU. If you only rely on bus powering you will get very RANDOM performance -- especially if you attach a USB 3 Hub (even if the HUB itself is mains powered). !!!!/
A USB3 device though plugged into a USB 2 port will probably perform better than a standard USB 2 device since it will EASILY run at full USB 2 speed so even if you don't have any USB 3 ports it's still worth buying USB 3 devices compared with the USB 2 ones.
(Adapter cables will soon appear for mini / new USB 3 connectors ===>standard connector).
Last edited by jimbo45; 08 Dec 2013 at 05:04.
Building your own Windows desktop today with handpicked components is less difficult than building a Lincoln log cabin with Lego blocks, imo... Do that, and you can avoid 100% of this non-standard stuff clipping your pocketbook and your good sense.
I think USB is "OK" in that I think it's better than Firewire (but who knows where Fw might have gone had Apple not held on to it for so long as a license-only tech?)--but it's strictly cpu-powered, remember--which is fine if you aren't doing anything else with your cpu cycles... The faster the USB performance is, the more cpu cycles it sucks up. By contrast, today's commonplace Intel and AMD IDE/ACHI/RAID controllers are on a par with SCSI in that they generally use less than 5% of the cpu even when running at full speed. This leaves your cpu cycles available for other things that you might consider more important. I much prefer that to USB drives for that reason.
Also, we certainly don't need to plug our mice and keyboards into USB 3.0 slots, right? Talk about overkill....!