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USB 3.0 hubs - a/c, or bus powered?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by martinlest, Oct 22, 2018.

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  1. martinlest

    martinlest Thread Starter

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    I am using a couple of cheap generic 4-port USB 3.0 hubs at the moment (one port failed on one of them after a few months, so that one's a three-port hub now). I am wondering if I can do better and, being no wiser after 45 minutes on Amazon, would appreciate some technical (rather than purchase) advice.

    The hubs (neither is a/c powered) are used to connect external USB 3.0 HDDs to the PC: two of those HDDs, a/c powered, I connect directly to the PC's USB ports; two others (USB bus-powered), due to limited ports on the PC, have to be connected via the USB hub. These external HDDs (my PC only has SSDs) constantly supply very large amounts of data - Ortho4XP terrain data if that means anything to anyone reading this! - to my PC whilst running X-Plane 11.

    I assume great read performance is key here? Would I always get better external HDD performance by buying a powered (plug in) hub, rather than one that takes its power from the PC? I notice that one of the hubs in particular will not always run the external drives - they can click noisily if I boot up with them connected to it, so I avoid that and use the other one (also bus-powered, as I say), which runs the external HDDs OK, but maybe I am missing out by using such a basic one. Or perhaps, in practice, I would see no difference in X-Plane at all if I upgraded?

    (If anyone does have specific recommendations, that would also be helpful (all hubs have their share of one-star reviews on Amazon and elsewhere of course, which is off-putting).. but any hub I buy, like the one I have, must have individual switches for each port).

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
  2. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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  3. martinlest

    martinlest Thread Starter

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    It's a small form (Thermaltake) case - I only have SSDs as internal drives. Not sure there'd be room for an HDD.. a lot of space is used up by the CPU cooler and fan..

    The hub you link to doesn't seem to have switches (a must for my use, as I say)?
     
  4. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    What need would there be for a switch? Do you mean to switch on individual ports?
     
  5. martinlest

    martinlest Thread Starter

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    Yes, each port needs a switch, like on all the hubs I have at the moment. Many hubs have this, but I can't find a version of the hub you linked to with switches in this way,
     
  6. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    That is just an example of what you need. I do not see why you would need a switch however if you want one, then get a hub with a switch. Each device you plug in should have it's own ON/OFF switch however if not, you could simply unplug.
    You do understand that usb type drives are NOT designed for continuous duty correct? Unless the enclosure has a fan [which most do not] the drive is designed to switch ON and make a backup, then OFF. Some more modern type external drives will shut themselves OFF or go into sleep mode. I just got a WD external drive that does this.
     
  7. tecknurd

    tecknurd

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    USB storage is OK but it gets expensive and hard to manage which one has the data. Hooking many to a hub decreases performance because USB is a bus based connection. You may need to step up to a DAS. If need to access data from different computers a NAS will be a better option. Synology or Drobo are good brands.
     
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