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Transcend PCI Express Interface USB 3.0 Dual Expansion Card
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If you are not ready yet to switch out your motherboard, Transcend's USB 3.0 Expansion Card will allow you an opportunity to reap the benefits of USB 3.0 transfer speeds.
This easy-to-install card enables you to add USB 3.0 ports to any desktop computer with a PCI Express slot, delivering data transfer rates up to 10 times faster than Hi-Speed USB (USB 2.0) with optimized power efficiency.
The Expansion Card's PCI Express 2.0 x1 connection interface is compatible with virtually all current motherboards, and guarantees unrestricted two-way communication between your PC and any USB devices you plug into the card.
With two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, which have bandwidth up to 5Gb/s, Transcend's USB 3.0 Expansion Card is ideal for use with USB 3.0 high-capacity external storage devices, such as external hard drives and USB flash drives.
**The power provided by your computer’s PCI Express slot is insufficient to power USB 3.0 devices. Please ensure that the 4-pin (molex) power connector is connected to your PC power supply before connecting any devices.**
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Look up on the internet how to permanently remove previously installed drivers. You need to identify the correct C:\WINDOWS\inf\oem*. (XP location) files to delete as well as uninstalling from device manager. Just uninstalling the driver from the device manager dialogue is not enough. It will reinstall the old driver everytime the system boots up.
Also uninstall any previous NEC or Renesas utility software from the control panel->add remove programs option. The new utility software allows you to switch off disk power management.
The driver/firmware that was recommended for the Transend card is at [...] or search for "station-drivers upd720200" if this link is not allowed. I updated the firmware and installed the driver. It worked for me.
I now get 4 times speed increase over USB2 when plugged into my PCI express v1.0 slot. I would expect to get 8 times speed increase if my board had PCI express v2.0
I use a sharkoon USB 3.0 docking station.
Originally very frustrated but now happy. Should not have been this difficult.
My PC, bought about 18 months ago, is 100% SATA internally and thus is provided with a power supply fitted only with SATA connectors. Not having cause to venture inside before now, I was not aware of that this would be a problem. There is nothing MOLEX or even an old-style floppy power connector although I do have a spare SATA power connector available. Hence the card is currently unsuitable for me and, I guess, many PC owners. I bought mine from another supplier as Amazon were out of stock at the time and there was no warning about the additional power requirements, either in the technical information or in a user review available at the time it was ordered, although others have since added appropriate comments. It is made clear in the internal documentation that the power connection IS ESSENTIAL.
I have a laptop that provides for USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 and e-SATA and I had wished to be able to benefit from faster data transfer rates between the two machines and with each machine alone without needing to commit to a new PC that provides for one or both of the faster connection types. It may now be a consideration for the future.
Without the additional power provision, the card cannot obtain the required level of power via the PCIe-x1 slot and will provide USB 2.0 transfer rates at best. With the additional power provided, full speed is possible.
UPDATE @ 16-02-2011:
It is not clear from other reviewers' comments whether or not they have used the card with a USB 3.0 device. I most certainly have attempted to do so!
I have since located the required power adapter leads (SATA pass-through and SATA to Molex) to enable the card to be used. It and its relevant drivers (Win7) installed reasonably easily. The card appears to be 'working' as it appears in Device Manager as a valid USB controller and hub, but does not recognise a connected and previously formatted USB 3.0 drive and 'bongs' incessantly, recommending that the drive be formatted but is itself unable to do so. The same drive works perfectly well on my laptop at full USB 3.0 speed. A USB 2.0 drive connected to one of the card's 2 ports was IMMEDIATELY recognised and worked correctly. I now know that it is Transcend's driver that is at fault.
UPDATE @ 17-02-2011:
I have discovered via Transcend's Technical Support staff that there are combinations of the card with certain motherboards that are apparently incompatible with the supplied Transcend driver. If you own one of these cards and have experienced a failure for it to recognise USB 3.0 drives, there is a driver that should work. It is one written by NEC who originally designed the controller used by this card and can be requested if required. Using this driver, my USB 3.0 drive was instantly recognised and allowed transfer of 25GB of data in under 4 minutes.
As the card is now working well, I have upgraded my original 1-star rating to 4-stars, and would have given more but for the headaches that this card caused.
Complicated and annoying, it doesn't say you need a power plug free in the description!
Otherwise seems to work fine, not sure it is 10x faster but is quicker than USB 2.0
Lights up blue as well, pointless round the back of a pc but different....!
It was definitely worth getting, speeds on my WD External HDD are great. (And even better once I added the Molex power connector).
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I use a zalman power supply, and it has lots of extra sata connections and molex connectors available, the card required a...Read more