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Tag Archives: USB 3.0

Targus USB 3.0 Dual Video Adapter Reviewed. Verdict: Silky Smooth Video in HD and Beyond

For people with all-in-ones, small form factor PCs and laptops, if they want an additional screen (or two), the best bet is an external video adapter which works work well for PCs lacking the space for an additional video card inside. Granted, some of these machines come with a HDMI jack but even with that, you only get two displays at most. The Targus USB 3.0 Dual Video Adapter is worth checking out if you want scalability. It simply needs one USB 3.0 port and has both DVI and HDMI to drive resolution up to 2048×1152 which is good display up to 24″. Should you want to further expand desktop estate, you can always get another one. USB 3.0 has plenty of bandwidth for applications like this. The Targus employs the DisplayLink DL-3900 chipset as it’s the only one in the DL-3xxx series to boast dual head output.

Installation on Windows PCs is very easy and the adapter even gets HDCP 2.0 certification for Blu-ray and iTunes movies alike. The USB 3.0 video adapter can also carry 16-bit 48kHz 5.1 surround audio through its HDMI port. Another big plus is the DisplayLink USB video chipset being able to offload all of the heavy lifting of HD video playback and 3D rendering to the GPU. During Everything USB’s tests, the Targus adapter is actually able to render 3D game graphics as capable as the system’s main GPU.

The USB cable, tethered to the adapter however, is strangely short and stuttering with 24p playback was noted. Despite the caveats, the Targus works well for most users and sells for about $99, making it reasonably priced by most accounts. Anyone looking to add monitors to their notebook or desktop computer for increased productivity will want to give this adapter a closer look. That is assuming USB 3.0 port is available.

[Targus USB 3.0 Dual Video Adapter Review @ Everything USB]

Seagate GoFlex Desk 4TB USB 3.0 Drive Reviewed. Verdict: Colossal Speed.

We were already huge fans of Seagate’s line of GoFlex External Hard Drives but they are now first to cross the 4TB barrier with their Seagate GoFlex Desk. For the uninitiated, the GoFlex line of drives allow for buying one drive with a specific connector (USB, FireWire, eSATA) and the ability to accessorize with each of the other types. FireWire at home and eSATA at the office, or just carry the connector with you if you don’t have a heterogeneous situation to solve. The large volume of the latest drive may appeal to many walks of life charged with toting the massive amounts of data that the GoFlex Desk 4TB enables. The interchangeable interface feature means that you can support the fastest possible manipulation of that data. Working with VMs or DB backups isn’t trivial with regards to size. Moving data on that scale can be downright glacial with older transfer protocols.

Seagate’s USB 3.0 connector has clocked some amazing speeds during tests and the USB 3.0 to SATA converter that runs the GoFlex Desk looks like it might work for other SATA drives in a pinch too. That’s a nice piece of added value but your mileage may vary. There are some possible problems working with data past 2TB, so do your research. Make sure you know which protocol you can use and where. You’ll also want to spend some time checking your OS’s support for 2TB+ drives. Older operating systems may require patching if they will even work at all. We’d check out this article for details about the speed and compatibility if you are planning a trip 4TB into outer space.

[Seagate Desk GoFlex 4TB Review @ Everything USB]

HighPoint RocketU 1144A 4-port USB 3.0 Card Reviewed. Verdict: 20Gbps Bandwidth at Your Disposal

The best you’ll do on most modern desktop computers for USB 3.0 ports today is one or two at most. Yet many PCs don’t even come with a USB 3.0 port. To take advantage of the speedy SuperSpeed USB external storage and flash drives out there, desktop PC users don’t necessarily have to be looking to buy a brand-new rig to get additional USB 3.0 ports. Many motherboards have an x4 PCI Express slot tucked away inside that goes unused. HighPoint has a 4-port USB 3.0 PCI Express 2.0 card that pops into that forlorn slot and that provides a much needed USB 3.0 upgrade for a desktop PC.

The only downside to cards like this for some users is that the computer has to be opened up, which could void warranties. The HighPoint RocketU has 4 discrete ASMedia ASM1024U controllers integrated giving each USB 3.0 port full 5Gbps bandwidth. That means each port has access to the highest potential USB 3.0 speeds. Theoretically, this particular card offers a total of 20Gbps of data throughput. It has out-of-the-box support for both Windows and Linux; Mac Pro users looking for Snow Leopard or Lion support will have to check out the Mac version of the RocketU card. During everyday use, Everything USB found the ports are a bit too close together for multiple flash drives to use at once, but the card is still impressive. Read all the details in the full review.

[HighPoint RocketU 4-port USB 3.0 Card Review @ Everything USB]

Corsair Flash Voyager GT 3.0 Flash Drive Reviewed. Verdict: Ho-hum

Corsair’s Flash Voyager GT line used to be the bee’s knees of ultra performant flash drives. Their SLC based 8GB Voyager GT from 5 years ago sat at the top of the USB 2.0 food chain for a long time. Sullied only by releasing an MLC based successor in 16GB (much slower than the 8GB) Voyager GT owned the land speed record nearly maxing out USB 2.0′s 40MB/s bus speeds. Fast forward to present day with USB 3.0 well at hand and the latest Corsair Flash Voyager GT 3.0 arrives, not with a roar but with a whimper. Boasting almost only above average read and write speeds for placing it just above the middle of the road at 135MB/s and 83MB/s respectively.

While this is certainly faster than most of the junk flash drives you will find on most shelves, Corsair is an enthusiast drive maker and has to be held to higher standards. They are currently leading the pack with their Force SSD and Revo drives, they should show flash drives some more love. Mediocre USB 3.0 speeds aside, all the other time tested features of the Corsair Voyager line remain. The durable rubber coating still seems protective enough to survive multiple trips through the dryer without a glitch. It’s still too big to share close quarters with other USB devices but it’s not supposed to be compact and cheap, it’s supposed to be big, fast and spacious for very demanding users. To get a full report on where its speed compares to other market devices as well as form and function head to Everything USB.

[Corsair Flash Voyager GT 3.0 Flash Drive @ Everything USB]

Hitachi Touro 3TB USB 3.0 Drive Reviewed, Verdict: Superior Real World Performance.

Hitachi has rolled out a few external hard drives that boast business class speed in a consumer form factor. While not as sleek as some other available externals, the Hitachi Touro 3TB USB 3.0 is big enough and fast enough to justify the missing sleek. It does seem to be much improved over the previous versions and many of the aesthetic concerns are explained by the need to dissipate heat on this caliber of drive. The high platter count and 7200-rpm spindle speed require design concerns that supersede fashion.

The Hitachi Touro also tops out most charts for single drive read and write performance. There are better performing drives out there but not at this price point. Besides being a genuinely good buy, the drive shows above average performance with small files. Tiny files, which are what most average users deal with pose a big challenge for hard drives. This drive shows signs of having been tweaked with extra cache to make it handle real world file use much better as opposed to artificially created large test files. If you are in the market for a beefy external drive of the USB 3.0 variety, you can get more details in a review at Everything USB.

[Hitachi Touro USB 3.0 Drive Review @ Everything USB].

SIIG USB 3.0 Card, Hub Upgrade Kit Reviewed. Verdict: Good not Great.

If you plan on getting one or two USB 3.0 devices, then you need to shop for an USB 3.0 add-on card. SIIG has a USB 3.0 card kit that is worth checking out. The biggest draw of the kit is the included 5.25 and 3.5″ hub bay. This gives you all the function of a USB 3.0 hub, providing 4 fully powered ports on the front of your computer. Buying long USB 3.0 cables and a hub just to be able to use another USB 3.0 card gets expensive fast. SuperSpeed peripherals aren’t readily available yet nor cheap so this kit definitely offers some advantages for the all-in-one purchase.

The only major caveat of this setup is in some of the cheaper choices that could affect performance. USB 3.0 requires a huge data path, one that many manufacturers struggle to fully enable. The SIIG card only has a PCI Express x1 lane while other cards have opted for an x4. The front facing hub draws power hassle-free from the internal power connectors of your system but all 4 of the USB 3.0 ports have to share 1 connection to the card. These choices could affect “intense use” performance. Everything USB’s review has some detailed findings on what you can expect out of this card for casual and intense use alike. General opinion is that it’s more than capable but might not be all that you’d expect for the price tag.

[SIIG USB 3.0 Card, Hub Kit Review - Everything USB]

Seagate GoFlex Slim Tiny Drive Review. Verdict: Thin Is In

Seagate has revised and shrunk its GoFlex portable storage down to a stylish new minimum. Now called Goflex Slim, The svelte drive – based on 7mm thick Momentus Thin 320GB – is barely bigger than a regular 9.5mm 2.5-inch notebook drive. Somehow, they’ve managed to maintain the GoFlex option on this newly miniaturized drive. The GoFlex system allows you to change out the connector to switch between USB 2.0, eSATA, USB 3.0, etc. They’ve also upgraded the software that comes pre-loaded onto the drive from Basic to Premium.

If you already have a GoFlex drive, your connector cables will still be compatible. Older model connectors will work but they might look a little bulky compared to this wafer thin drive. This latest model is about as thick as a #2 pencil and should travel well with or without a laptop adding no more size and weight than your average cell phone. The internal hard drive has been upgraded to 7200-rpm which should provide an appreciable increase in access time performance. Check out the detailed performance stats reviewed at Everything USB.

[ Seagate Goflex Slim 320GB Review @ Everything USB ]

Super Talent Express RC8 Reviewed – Verdict: SandForce Meets USB 3.0

By Paul McCollum

Super Talent has been picking up the slack in an otherwise quiet flash drive market. Once upon a time, we were handed almost weekly upgrades in both size and speed. Now it is almost exclusively Super Talent that thrills those of us who still seek the fastest and biggest flash drive. And they are lapping the competition yet again by releasing the Super Talent Express RC8 flash drive. Only slightly larger than a common flash drive, the RC8 comes in capacities up to 100 GB. The increased speed and storage gives your portable drive more abilities. You can use it to synchronize libraries of files like music, videos, ISOs and VMDKs. The software options to assist in moving your files from home, school and work are quite mature now and easy to use.

Their fastest drive to date, this slim portable packs the premium desktop class SandForce controller. This controller is the source of power for almost all of the fastest desktop SSD drives. Super Talent has a flotilla of flash drives that far outpace almost every drive on the market. Each of them manages to crank more speed out of mediocre MLC NAND using multi-channel controllers (mini RAID) and buffer memory. The RC8 is an upgraded version of their RAM Cache drive which allows the USB 3.0 bus to offload large chunks of small and large files quickly letting the drive shuttle the data to the MLC compressed or slightly after the fact. This results in greatly improved transfer rates over drives without a middle tier controller helping out. Real world and comparative results have been posted in a review at Everything USB.

[ Everything USB - Super Talent Express RC8 Flash Drive Review ]

Kingston HyperX Max Reviewed. Verdict: SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Marries SSD

By Paul McCollum

USB drives have become almost as much of a mainstay in the pockets of computer users as their car keys. While flash drives are more convenient they don’t offer the flexibility that comes along with an external drive for speed and capacity. Kingston’s latest release bridges the gap between pocket-able flash drive and performance drive speed and size. Its HyperX Max USB 3.0 SSD boasts some of the highest drive speeds available in a portable drive and is smaller than almost every other external class drive.

The latest generation USB 3.0 bridge coupled with a top of the line SSD controller (backed with 128MB RAM) paves way for massive data transfers. The 128GB capacity should be more than enough room for business and personal file storage without the space management issues of generally smaller thumb drives. The backward compatible USB 3.0 mini-connector will allow you to use it on older computers not yet blessed with SuperSpeed ports. In terms of real-world scenarios, nothing really comes close with its 200MB/s read and 164MB/s write speed. Unfortunately, almost nothing rivals the Kingston when it comes to price. The HyperX Max costs about $300 for the 128GB when you can get a speedy 90MB/s 1TB portable drive for under $100. It’s really up to you to decide whether or not the Kingston is cost effective. Check out full review at Everything USB to find details of how well the HyperX Max USB 3.0 SSD compared amongst a large sampling of other drives.

[Kingston HyperX USB 3.0 SSD @ Everything USB]