Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Using all USB ports on a laptop

  1. #1

    Using all USB ports on a laptop


    Is it bad to use all USB ports on a laptop simultaneously? Thanks

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  2. #2


    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    I rarely do it myself. Kind of depends how bad you're loading the ports power wise. A pen drive barely uses anything while having 4 USB hard drives plugged in at the same time is a bit different. I personally wouldn't load all ports to the max at one time. A hard drive, mouse and pen drive should be no problem.

    The laptop should be designed to handle max power on all ports but at the very least it will put a heavy load on the 5v power bus and warm things up.
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  3. #3


    Austin TX metro area
    Posts : 640
    Windows 7 Pro 64bit [MS blue-disk set]


    One can purchase an AC-powered [for powering certain USB devices] 4-port or 7-port USB box. Laptop users can benefit from buying and using an external ac or usb powered notebook cooling assembly [having either one giant fan or twin fans].
    Addendum: I mention cooling assembly 'cause some, while taking up one laptop usb port, come with 4 extra usb ports. Lose one, gain three.
    Last edited by RolandJS; 02 Apr 2015 at 12:07.
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  4. #4


    Forever West
    Posts : 591
    WinVista, Win7, Win8.1, Win10, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17.1


    I have used all the USB ports on Notebooks at times but not constantly, most time a USB mouse and an External USB HDD that required 2 ports, one for power and data and the other for additional power. The MacBooks I've dealt with and mine have only 2 ports, rely upon Bluetooth for a mouse and a larger keyboard when desired.
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  5. #5


    Is it bad to use all USB ports on a laptop simultaneously? Thanks
    That extremely generalized question is impossible to answer with a specific answer. There are too many variables. To start, what is the current draw of the connected devices? And are all the notebook's USB ports powered via the same internal USB hub?

    As noted, a keyboard and mouse will present a tiny, almost negligible load. But external hard drives that don't have separate power supplies put a heavier load on the port - especially when first spinning up. A cooling pad with fans that get power via the USB port will put a heavier load on the port too.

    Ideally, every USB port on the notebook should be designed to support any single device. And by single, I don't mean a hub where multiple devices are then connected to the hub (unless, the hub has its own power supply). But not all notebooks are created equal and I would be leery of loading up a budget notebook.

    And for sure, the more devices you have powered through the notebook's USB ports WILL place a bigger demand on the battery and decrease battery run time. And demanding devices will also result in higher heat inside the notebook, always a concern with notebooks. For that reason alone, when it comes to cooling pads, I always recommend getting one that has its own power supply. Sadly, many have fans powered through the USB port, which seems a bit counterproductive to me.
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  6. #6


    Forever West
    Posts : 591
    WinVista, Win7, Win8.1, Win10, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17.1


    For that reason alone, when it comes to cooling pads, I always recommend getting one that has its own power supply. Sadly, many have fans powered through the USB port, which seems a bit counterproductive to me.
    Yeah, it is really amazing what is done in the name of portability.
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  7. #7


    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    Just get one of these:

    Click image for larger version
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  8. #8


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    I always replace the HDDs with SSD in my laptops. That reduces the heat too. On the first laptop where I did that I had used it for couple of years with the HDD and it always ran very hot. The heat pad (with wall power) helped some but not much. But when I switched the disk to a SSD, the heat problem disappeared.
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  9. #9


    Yeah, it is really amazing what is done in the name of portability.
    True, but then IMO, there is no such thing as a "desktop replacement" notebook! Or for that matter a good "gaming notebook". They can sure pack the horsepower in notebooks, but even full sized PC cases can be challenged to provide adequate cooling for "serious" gaming rigs.

    But your point is valid. Road warriors (the primary intended notebook users) needs portability in terms of the number of pieces and weight. You start adding cooling pads, external drives, portable routers, portable modems, portable printers, a mouse and cables, and you need a separate suitcase just for your notebook and accessories.

    I always replace the HDDs with SSD in my laptops.
    SSDs are the way to go.
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