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USB 2.0 Time to Upgrade?

Techstination feature for Thursday, May 30, 2002

Hopping on a faster bus. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. No, we're not talking about some new kind of mass transit. It's the USB or universal serial bus port on your PC. The little rectangular ports that are used to attach all kinds of devices... printers, PDAs and digital cameras for instance. Many new PCs are starting to include what is called USB 2.0, so should you buy a card to upgrade the computer you have now? At Adaptec, Joel Lardizabal says the chief reason to consider it, is speed...

"The new version, is 40 times faster than its predecessor, USB 1.1. Forty times faster means you can move data at up to 480 megabits per second. And what that lets you do is connect high speed devices like hard drives, CD-RWs and high speed scanners."

Adaptec's 4 port USB 2.0 card sells for about 50 dollars and it makes a futuristic looking hub as well integrated into desktop picture frame. The new standard can save you time...

"With USB 1.1 CD-RW it would take you normally about 18 to 20 minutes to burn a CD. But if you had a USB 2.0 CD-RW, that would take you only about 4 minutes."

But the new, higher speed ports won't do you much good unless you are using devices made for them. Your old USB printer or CD burner won't work any faster. So the advice is... there's no need to upgrade until you're adding new USB 2.0 capable devices. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.