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I need some more USB 3.0 sockets above the two I had on the back of my machine. This PCIe board provides 4 more and is plug and play with Windows 7. The board set up automatically and was absolutely no problem to install.

You will need a Molex power cable spare as it draws more power than the PCIe bus can supply. Most power supplies in modern computers will have these but it is worth checking first. Splitter Molex cables are available on Amazon for several suppliers.
This is an excellent and inexpensive solution if your mother board has few or no USB 3.0 sockets. The board is easily fitted by anyone who is familiar with PC building or repairing.
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on 30 December 2013
I've been using this card for just over 3 months now and I'm very pleased with its performance.

A few things worth mentioning:

- this card requires extra power from your motherboard, there is a 4pin male Molex connector on the card.

you will need a spare 4pin Molex cable from your computer's internal power supply; in my case I also needed an extension cable as the lead would not reach the installed card. I got this: (search Amazon for) 'Akasa AK-CBPW02-30 4pin Molex PSU Cable Extension - 30cm'.

- there are several drivers supplied on a mini CD-ROM (3 inch disc), so you'll need a tray loading drive if you want to access them from the disc (or read on for details of web site).

it wasn't clear which driver was needed but after a bit of searching I discovered you'll need to run the Setup.exe in the VL800 folder.

The card is a VL800 produced by VIA Labs, which is also where you can find the latest drivers: search Google for 'vl800 driver via labs', most likely the second Google result; scroll to the bottom of that result to the last red table, the current download is titled 'VIA_XHCI_Driver_V4.30A_AP.zip' (this may have been updated to a newer version since this review has been written).

I have tried this card in Windows 7 and at the time Windows would not automatically find a driver online so I needed to use the one from either the CD-ROM or the web site.

I have also tried the card in Windows 8.1; Windows tried to automatically install its own driver from the internet but I prefer to use (and would recommend), the manufacturers driver from the web site as mentioned above.

- Also as this card increases the read/write rate of file transfers you will most likely need to disable any real-time antivirus software temporarily before starting a large backup. I discovered that my anti-virus software was causing files to become corrupt (most likely due to the increase in speed of file transfers). In Windows Defender this option can be found under the Settings menu (first option on left) once disabled backup performance is also increased dramatically.

I'd also recommend 'FreeFileSync' which is free backup/synchronisation software, this has an option to compare for 'file content' to be absolutely certain your backup is safe.

So as long as you have some experience of installing cards, cables, and software drivers I'd happily recommend this card, it's very reasonably priced (I paid £11.97), and there is a noticeable difference in file transfers compared to USB2.
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on 29 December 2013
This product is ideally aimed at two groups, people who have USB on their newer motherboards but need more ports (given the limited number of devices that are actually USB compatible as of time of writing this I doubt that is the case) or more likely for computers new enough to have PCI express mini expansion ports but not new enough to have built in USB 3.0 support.

I bought this due to the latter and it's done the job.

Positives:
Makes use of PCIe micro ports (i.e. not your graphics card) which tend to be free unless you have specifically bought a PCIe sound card or Network Interface Card.
Adds 4 more USB ports - it would be incredibly difficult to fit many more ports into the available space

Negatives:
Having to power by a MOLEX connector to the back of your case is a pain in terms of cable management. Providing MOLEX extension cable would have been a great help as the computer I was working on has already used all available PSU Molex connectors for fans, hard drives, and dvd drive. This means I've had to doing some 'creative' (read: nasty) cable management to provide power to this card.
The cables plugged into this feel a little 'sticky' i.e. it's not a smooth finish as the USB ports built into the motherboard.

Overall I would recommend this product for anyone looking to either expand their existing USB 3.0 access or move into the USB 3.0 market on an older board.
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on 24 May 2013
I bought the card as it was the least expensive USB3 card I could find on Amazon and in local stores. Installed on 64-bit windows 8. The card was automatically detected and driver's installed by windows 8 itself. plugged on my USB2.0 card reader, the card slots were detected instantly. Transferred pictures from a 2G compact flash card, it went reliably and fast. However the speed is limited by the USB2 interface of the card reader. More importantly the card reader won't recognize a new 16GB SD card. I then bought an USB 3 card reader off amazon. The card reader and the 16GB card were instantly detected. I am really amazed by the transfer speed. Not only fast, the transfer speed is very reliable. I would highly recommend people to upgrade USB2 to USB3, as the price if no longer a problem.

I was a little disappointed when I discovered the card is using the VIA chip, instead of NEC's as I initially expected. but I guess it was unrealistic given the price. Once I started using this card, I am totally satisfied. To be fair, I haven't tested the writing speed as it is really not a concern for my use. I transferred 2GB files to the SD card once, and did not encounter any problem. A nice thing about Win8 is it shows the transfer rates and plots.

Please note, this is not a low-profile card. I actually wanted it for my micro-server, but forgot about this factor. Anyway, it works a treat on my desktop, so not a problem.
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on 21 March 2012
The item differed from the illustration. The illustration appears to have a SATA power connector--though it could be something else--the one I was sent however, has a MOLEX connector. Ordinarily I wouldn't complain, but because I was expecting it to have SATA I needlessly ordered a SATA power splitter cable. I'm sure the splitter will come in handy, but it's currently redundant. I now face a further delay before I can use the card as I don't have a molex splitter--not a biggie but a further niggle none-the-less.

Obviously I haven't tested the card yet so I can't comment on performance or reliability, however I did pick this particular card because it's advertised as having a VLI (VIA Labs Inc) chipset--which mine does! I raise the point because prior to my purchase I did a little research on the various USB 3.0 chipsets. I'd heard nothing good about the NEC chipset and the Buffalo/Agere? chipset was out of my price range. VIA on the otherhand, seemed to be addressing any early adopter issues by regularly updating the drivers. One star off for the molex issue.
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on 5 October 2013
I installed this yesterday. It fitted reasonably well in a PCIE slot thouigh the backplate seemed just a fraction too high. However, I was able to get the screw in though it may be a problem for clip in card backplate holders. I started the PC and ran the mini CD installation disk. The card was recognised but announced through Device Manager that it was not working because it had no power. I rebooted but the card still did not work "VIA USB 3 Root Hub cannot start (Code 10) STATUS_DEVICE_POWER_FAILURE in Device Manager (Windows 8 which, according to the packaging, is supported. I refitted the Molex plug, the card LED was lit so decided to return it as DOA. However, on looking at the reviews I saw th ereview by I L Atkin and, after following hi sinstructions to download a revised driver from a rival manufacturer's web site the card sprag into life. It is at present providing transfer speeds of up to just over 100Mb/sec which is consistent with other users' experience and well below the claimed 5Gb/sec.
Because the item is "fulfilled by Amazon" it is not exchangeable for another the same - Amazon will only offer a refund and NOT replacement.
I was VERY concerned that a package marked as compatible with 64bit Windows 8 is suppled with a driver that is clearly NOT suitable for this.
It has a 2 year guarantee so I will monitor it carefully.
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on 9 January 2014
Bought this after reading reviews. Item arrived promptly and was well packaged. I took care opening the package after reading reviews that pointed out the risk in damaging the driver disk. I did not have a problem. Item easily fitted in about 5 mins total and driver installed perfectly. I got an immediate improvement as follows:
Randomly selected 1.75 Gb file transferred from USB 3 hard drive to USB 2 hard drive on USB 2 ports 165 seconds,
USB 3 hard drive to USB 2 hard drive on new USB 3 ports 90 seconds
USB 3 hard drive to second USB 3 hard drive on new USB 3 ports 15 seconds.
I now have both USB 3 hard drives and two USB 2 hard drives on the new USB 3 ports. A dramatic improvement on my set up for a low outlay. Since most USB hard drives currently available are of the USB 3 variety it makes sense buy the expansion card if you have an older PC without USB 3 if you want to make best use of external USB 3 storage.
I recommend checking inside your PC before purchase to make sure you have a spare Molex connector. I checked and found that I only had Sata connectors so I ordered a Sata to Molex adaptor at the same time. That saved me time and bother.
All in all a brilliant piece of kit.
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on 30 May 2013
Is this the best money spent on a PC 'gadget'/add-on? very close to it Yes. Previous reviews convinced me (thanks folks) and when it arrived quickly and then with a minimum, sorry zero, fuss installation it gave an older motherboard a new lease of life; who says you cant teach an old dog new tricks!

Seriously, went in a dream to the PC, wired up a molex connector to it (as per other reviews) and wow, the contents of my hard drive were safely and painlessly backed up. Four ports is the version I'd recommend, you could get the 2 port version but why...? Did I mention that as a result of this speed increase I bought another 2GB External hard drive.

I even bought another as a gift. The delivery was great, product quality is perfect, installation on Win Vista a dream and smile on the face when I don't need to spend all day waiting on ransfers/backups, perfect.

Downside: you are having a laugh - there are none in my opinion.

However each to their own and I would recommend you look, read and research other products but can guarantee you'll be back and you will buy this and the only real downside is you will have wasted 20 minutes of your life scouring Amazon to try to prove me wrong.
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on 13 June 2012
Installed the card without a hitch.
Connected the Molex connector from the power supply.
As the previous reviewer stated, downloaded and installed the latest drivers from VLI's site.
Connected my external USB3 and really impressed with file transfer speeds.
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on 27 July 2013
Good expansion card that allowed me to add 4 x USB 3.0 ports. Slots into a PCI and needs a 4-pin Molex type connector as stated in the technical description. There was some confusion in previous reviews but not sure they were all assocaited with the 4 port card. Wasn't sure that I was getting faster transfers at first because of the old PC I put this into but when compared to a USB 2.0 port and drive it was much faster.
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