Do you need more USB ports on your computer? If so, you may be wondering what the best USB 3.0 expansion card is for your needs. There are a lot of different options available on the market, and it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. In this blog post, we will discuss the best USB 3.0 expansion cards available and help you decide which one is right for you!
Here Are The Top 3 USB 3.0 Expansion Card To Check At A Glance If You Are In A Hurry:
Top 10 Best USB 3.0 Expansion Card Reviewed
Buying Guide For The Best USB 3.0 Expansion Card
1. Will this USB3 Card work (and be detected) in your machine?
This is probably the most important thing to consider: whether or not your machine even supports USB 3.0 cards. Older machines may only support USB 2.0 devices; while many new laptops and PCs no longer feature PCI or PCI-E slots, instead opting for more modern connection types like M.2 (used by Intel’s SSD 750), mSATA (used mostly by small form factor SSDs), or NGFF (newer version of mSATA).
If this is the case, your USB3 card will be useless to you – and if your computer doesn’t even have an available PCI-E slot (the common expansion manual for most desktop computers), it might not be worth buying a USB 3.0 card at all.
2. How much bandwidth does this external expansion card actually provide?
This goes hand in hand with the previous consideration: if your internal hard drive is capable of saturating your machine’s existing internal data bus (where all the information is transferred between different devices inside), then spending extra money on a USB3 Card won’t improve performance or transfer speeds. As such, the biggest bottleneck when transferring large amounts of data over USB 3.0 connections is still going to be your internal hard drive.
Now, if you have a solid-state drive in your computer (be it an SSD or NVMe), then that is where this USB 3.0 card becomes important: with the proper controller chipset inside, even large amounts of data can be transferred in a matter of seconds – and chances are that your external hard drive is going to be a lot faster than your internal one!
3. How much does this USB 3.0 expansion card cost?
Remember, there’s more to good performance with high bandwidth connections than simply buying the right kind of connector. In fact, the real bottleneck for most people who buy these cards won’t be transfer speeds at all! Instead, folks tend to complain about things like latency when using external devices over USB 3.0 connections: that is, they say it is much slower than USB 2.0 or even FireWire!
As such, if your machine already has a good internal hard drive (with enough bandwidth to not be the bottleneck), and your computer does not need additional PCI slots for other devices, then perhaps buying an external hard drive enclosure for one of your existing drives will be a cheaper alternative.
4. What adapters/converters do you need?
Just like with USB 2.0 and earlier versions (and Thunderbolt and FireWire before them), by far the biggest source of confusion when buying these expansion cards is knowing exactly what type of connectors to expect on both ends – especially since there are several types of connectors that look alike but are not compatible with each other!
If you plan on adding extra storage through an external hard drive enclosure or something similar, then chances are good that you’ll need to convert the SATA data channels on your PCI card to a different connector – most likely USB 3.0 Micro-B! These types of cards usually include either one or two adapters in the box; if not, any hardware store should have them available for cheap.
Some SATA expansion cards will require additional power connections from the PSU – these look like your typical motherboard power cables but lack the large L-shaped portion at the end. If your power supply does not have these (or if you need more than what it has), then be sure to buy one with the proper cable length and connections!
5. Where do I buy it?
If you don’t want to wade through the hundreds of options out there, here are a few that you can check out right away:
Inateck FE2005 USB 3.0 4-Port PCI Express card ($8) Pros: cheap, four ports, no drivers required for Mac / Linux! Cons: only two ports have proper power connectors to support bus-powered hard drive enclosures – the other two may not be enough for high-performance models.
3 Benefits Of USB 3.0 Expansion Card
1. Faster Transfer Speeds
By default, most PCs and laptops only have one or two USB 3.0 ports, which means any additional devices you connect will run at the outdated 480 Mbps transfer speed of USB 2.0 even if they are designed for faster rates in mind! Fortunately, by using a USB 3.0 Expansion Card you are able to transfer data at speeds of up to 5 gigabits-per-second which is 10 times the speed of USB 2.0!
2. External Power Supply
USB 3.0 ports can provide up to 900mA current whereas USB 2.0 provides only 500mA current which means that most devices require an external power supply when connected through your computer’s internal parts, not the expansion card! The added benefit here is that it saves you time and money by requiring just one power supply for all the USB devices you use rather than multiple adaptors for each individual device.
3. Upgradability & Future Proofing
As technology evolves, so do the requirements needed to use new and upcoming devices and your computer will quickly become obsolete if it can’t keep up. When you use a USB 3.0 Expansion Card to connect your USB devices, this gives you the option to quickly and easily swap out the card as needed without having to replace them all at once which saves you time and money in the long run!
We hope that this article was helpful in finding the best USB 3.0 Expansion Card for your needs. With so many products on the market, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you. We’ve tried to make the process a little easier by providing our top three picks and letting you know what we think are the most important factors to consider when making your decision. So, which card did you decide on? Let us know in the comments below.