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back to article USB 3.0-sporting devices start to appear... sort of

USB 3.0 hasn't yet been fully completed but it's implementation could come more quickly than its predecessor's did. Vendors are already starting to prepare their computer hardware for the new bus standard. Today, for example, we saw an upcoming Asus notebook with a pair of USB 3.0 ports. Well, sort of. The ports are actually …

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Gates Horns

Another reason to get Vista?

USB 3 looks like being a success. Everyone who's used USB 2 knows they want extra speed and 3 has plenty.

But don't think Microsoft is going to be bringing out a service pack for Windows XP with USB 3 drivers. It won't.

So look out for the Vista USB 3 driver support adverts from Microsoft any day now.

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@Stuart

That's a pretty tenuous reason to bash MS, XP will get support for it. Tell you what, instead of just standing up and going "you know, I said they'd leave support out of XP 5 months ago" if a story about XP + USB 3.0 incompatibility breaks, how about you stand up and say "sorry I was an idiot, I let my inability for rational thought cloud my judgement and assumed MS wouldn't support XP" when they do add it to XP.

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Stop

USB 3.0 <> Vista

Going to Vista, which is a painfully slow OS compared to XP, in order to get faster USB ports, is pretty oxymoronic.

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@Shakje

I don't know... MS bashing aside - I'm tempted to side with Stuart on this one.

Microsoft NEVER released USB2 drivers / device support for Windows 98... EVER... the manufacturers had to do their own drivers... this is why under windows 98 the USB2 device names vary so much from manufacturer to manufacturer (e.g. high speed USB etc etc) - there was no standard device name / device support, since the manufacturers all had to develop their own extensions....

Microsoft only produced drivers/support/updates related to the USB2 release on their most recent offerings in each category of use at the time (Windows XP for desktops, Windows 2000 for servers)

Do you honestly have reason to expect different when the time rolls around for USB3 support to be implemented that MS will do differently?

So depending on WHEN USB3 comes out, the probability is that support will only be implemented by MS for Vista (on the desktop) and then... either Server 2003 or Vista server (to cover the server market)

Oh and don't you be thinking you'll just install that windows server 2003 update on your XP machine (if USB3 comes out soon enough) if history holds it will be part of a service pack, so tied to server 2003.

That's not to say you won't have USB3 support on XP - it will just be provided by manufacturers and so will be non-standard and therefore somehow not as integrated as the MS provision.

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b
Thumb Up

coool

go USB3!

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Silver badge
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SP7

I experimented in the heady days of Win98 & Win2K with USB on NT4.0

It works fine.

It's likely 3rd party patches will exist. After all 8 years ago Linux driver support was not as good as today.

The connector arrangement looks very very unreliable. I predict that it will be rubbish.

The whole master/slave concept of USB is too limiting. We should have had firewire instead of USB2.0. It should have stuck at 1.1 and stayed something for Keyboards and Joysticks like it was designed.

Firewire allows Peer to peer (USB doesn't) and even the original 400Mbps firewire is in practice faster than USB 2.0

The same cable on Firewire can connect scanner or two laptops.

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Bronze badge

@Jamie

If there ever is going to be USB3 driver for Windows Server 2003, it will also work on Windows XP 64bit. Surprise, this version of Windows XP is from the same codebase as Windows Server 2003 (and different than Windows XP).

But it does not really matter. I very much doubt USB3 will provide significant performance benefits - the bottleneck will simply shift to somewhere else, e.g. controler, bus or hub. If it's not already there.

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Gates Horns

@Bronek

It should work yes, it doesnt mean it will - there's always the chance they'll put a check in looking for Server 2003... if it goes that way even.

It's the same way you can't install a windows 2003 service pack on ANY XP system - not even a 64 bit one!

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Stop

@ Mage

Firewire vs USB2? Are you naive enough to actually believe that something that looks and sounds and functions like a good design could actually be one? Only a leftist open source freak would believe that. The rest of us, the cynical bastards, know that bad is the new good and go watch some more Big Brother and buy another Vista laptop because they're cheap and besides not doing so would be making a political statement.

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JC

@ you silly geeks, it doesn't matter

There is no need for MS to "support" USB3 in XP. Like any other piece of hardware you'd buy that came after XP so you needed to install a driver, so too you would with the USB3 controller. It would show up in Device Manager as a USB port the same as always and be used just fine.

@ Shakje, what an embarrassing position you took calling someone else an idiot when you too, had it wrong. By the way, any customer is entitled to display their opinion about the producer of a product they bought, whether that be a toaster oven, a cow, or an operating system. If you want to use some random labeling of it like bash, it makes less sense than the person who provoked your statement. People are in fact entitled to express negativity and ultimately nothing in this world would never be fixed if it weren't the case.

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Unhappy

Never mind all that

Will it operate at the stated speed or will this new 4.7Gb/s wonderplug operate at a more likely 1Gb/s*

*On a good day, wind behind you etc...

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Anonymous Coward

5Gbps

Where's this nonsence about 4.7Gbps coming from? The signalling data rate of USB 3.0 will start at 5 Gbps - data is 10b8b encoded effectively immediately dropping this to 4 Gbps, and protocol and hardware overhead probably dropping this to around 3 Gbps of real usable data bandwidth.

You have to state some speed, and the signalling data rate is the most definitive - it's really stretching it a bit far to moan about real data throughput not reaching the signalling data rate - pretty much like moaning about rainy days taking out of the year the days which you can enjoy going outside...

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The bottleneck

As other have mentioned, USB2.0's 480Mbps is in practice slower that FireWire's 400Mbps, essentially due to hellacious protocol and SW overhead. Unless USB3.0 introduces a new controller (ala EHCI) _and_ some seriously redone protocols, expect 4Gbps to be a "speed of light" (Guaranteed not to exceed) number. And pray for enough controllers that you are not sharing one between your storage array and your mouse. :-)

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Nice idea

I have to admit, thats a huge amount of bandwidth, but what devices will actually support it?

and i have to say i wish we would pick a standard and stick with it. for gods sake firewire always seems to perform better and has more potential... so why bother with usb?!

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