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Old Dec 16th, 2002, 11:35 AM   #1
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Hi,

I've just learned of USB 2.0 on new external peripherals and it 'sounds' pretty good. I'd get FireWire anyday but that ups the cost a bit. I've read that on some PCs they have to upgrade their USB cards or something. What has to be done to a Mac?

What is required to utilize the 2.0 standard (ie. drivers, new software)? Do I have to upgrade hardware in my machine?

I guess first of all, can I get 2.0 performance out of my aging *sigh* stock Sawtooth-450?

I'm probably missing a couple questions regarding the topic but if you know what I'm asking please fill me in on what I need to know.

Thanks,
Griller
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Old Dec 16th, 2002, 01:15 PM   #2
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USB ports on every Mac support USB 2.0 throughput - providing Apple does. So far, Apple has not implanted support for USB 2.0, so speeds of plugged in USB 2.0 devices will work at USB 1.1 speeds.

Until Apple supports it...
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Old Dec 16th, 2002, 02:51 PM   #3
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Griller wrote:
"What is required to utilize the 2.0 standard (ie. drivers, new software)? Do I have to upgrade hardware in my machine?"

You'll need both hardware and software support. Since I've not heard of any support from Apple for USB 2.0, I'd *guess* you're out of luck for now.

Of course, all USB 2.0 devices can be hooked up to a USB 1.1 port, which means you can still use the devices, but it'll be slow.

Update: Google knows all; there are USB 2.0 PCI cards for the Mac (and they've been out for a while, too.
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Old Dec 16th, 2002, 03:07 PM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jfpoole:
Griller wrote:Update: Google knows all; there are USB 2.0 PCI cards for the Mac (and they've been out for a while, too.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Even those USB 2.0 supported cards do NOT add USB 2.0 speeds to Macs until Apple officially adds support to it.
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Old Dec 16th, 2002, 04:29 PM   #5
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Auuuugghh. Apple...

USB 2.0 sounded good to. Somewhere said that it boasts 40 x the throughput of 1.1, the suggested figure was a possible 480 Mbps (I guess that'd be dependant on several variables, ie. device, application, etc.)

Any idea what speeds a decent USB 1.1 external HD can throughput? I've notice some Maxtor models on sale recently.
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Old Dec 16th, 2002, 04:42 PM   #6
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Griller wrote:
"Any idea what speeds a decent USB 1.1 external HD can throughput? I've notice some Maxtor models on sale recently."

Bandwidth over USB 1.1 is 12Mbps, so you'll be limited to about 1-1.5MB/s, which is pretty slow.
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Old Dec 16th, 2002, 04:45 PM   #7
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Lars wrote:
"Even those USB 2.0 supported cards do NOT add USB 2.0 speeds to Macs until Apple officially adds support to it."

Really? After taking a look at the product page, I was left with the impression that you'd get USB 2.0 speeds (i.e., 480Mbps) if you use Orange Micro's card and drivers under OS X. I can't imaging any reasons why you'd have to wait for official Apple support.
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Old Dec 16th, 2002, 05:21 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jfpoole:
Lars wrote:
"Even those USB 2.0 supported cards do NOT add USB 2.0 speeds to Macs until Apple officially adds support to it."

Really? After taking a look at the product page, I was left with the impression that you'd get USB 2.0 speeds (i.e., 480Mbps) if you use Orange Micro's card and drivers under OS X. I can't imaging any reasons why you'd have to wait for official Apple support.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That PCI card, like all others, says "USB 2.0 under Mac OS X" because when Apple DOES implant USB 2.0 speeds and begins to support it, USB 2.0 speeds will be available under Mac OS X only, and not Mac OS 9. Orange Micro forgot to add that in. Look at all other Combo Cards or USB 2.0 speed-cards, like Keyspan's. They all note "USB 2.0 speeds when supported by Apple." The reason you need to wait for Apple to support USB 2.0 speeds, is because no G3/G4 regconizes USB 2.0 until Apple releases USB 2.0 drivers for it or revamps the USB ports on new model G4's to support USB 2.0 speeds.

I should also note that USB 2.0 speeds are NOT 480 Mbps -- FireWire is only 400 Mbps. USB 2.0 runs at 480 Mbits, slightly slower than FireWire.
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Old Dec 16th, 2002, 05:52 PM   #9
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Why bother........ FW peripherals are only very slightly more than USB 2 and waht externals are you looking at.
BTW your "aging 450" has lots of life left. What are you using it for??
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Old Dec 16th, 2002, 06:23 PM   #10
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Lars wrote:
"That PCI card, like all others, says "USB 2.0 under Mac OS X" because when Apple DOES implant USB 2.0 speeds and begins to support it, USB 2.0 speeds will be available under Mac OS X only, and not Mac OS 9."

Well, according to this, FirewireDirect's card has supported USB 2.0 speeds under Mac OS X for over a year. As I said, I can't see why you'd have to wait for Apple on this, since it's the sort of support a driver could enable.

Lars wrote:
"I should also note that USB 2.0 speeds are NOT 480 Mbps -- FireWire is only 400 Mbps. USB 2.0 runs at 480 Mbits, slightly slower than FireWire."

USB 2.0 runs at 480Mbps, and Firewire runs at 400Mbps; how is Firewire faster (remember, Mbps == millions of bits per second)?
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