2011 iMac and USB 3.0 questions

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bungiefan89, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. bungiefan89 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 5, 2011
    #1
    I have a 2011 27" iMac and an external hard drive that connects to my iMac with a USB 3.0 cable.

    Of course, my 2011 27" iMac only has USB 2.0 ports, which bottlenecks me with USB 2.0 speeds ... but I am holding on to hope that I can get better speeds without investing in an expensive Firewire or Thunderbolt external hard drive.

    Google searches have left me frustrated. They say things like, "an adapter for USB 3.0 to Firewire 800 will only yield USB 2.0 speeds," or, "USB 3.0 cords and Thunderbolt ports are incompatible and no adapter will work."

    With my current setup, are there any adapters I could buy that could get me anything faster than USB 2.0 speeds? Or is my only solution to buy a different external hard drive case with Firewire 800 or Thunderbolt connections?

    On a side note ... has anybody had any luck upgrading an iMac's USB 2.0 ports to USB 3.0 ports?
     
  2. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

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    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #2
  3. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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  4. bungiefan89 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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  5. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Location:
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #5
    if $76 is too much, there are really no meaningful solutions available to you. there are still Fire Wire 800 drives offered for sale, but you will find they carry a serious premium over their USB 3 only counterparts. and at this point even the cheapest slow hard drive is faster than FW 800 so you are still limiting yourself by not using USB 3/eSATA/Thunderbolt.

    as to Ethernet, there are a thousand different ways to make use of that, but they are all, in some way, a server. and will certainly cost more than $76.

    things constantly change, especially at Apple. you have a 5 year old computer. a computer that is functionally constrained as a feature of it's design. what had you done before than no longer works for you?
     
  6. bungiefan89 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Thank you for educating me, for that was the main purpose of making this thread! :D

    Yes, I know I sound too stingy on pricing, but this is where many years of being used to finding cheap alternatives and work-arounds and difficulty finding work gainful employment have left me.

    What I've done before is what I will still use: plugging my 3 HDDs (one with USB 3, two with USB 2) into my computer whenever I need to use Time Machine or back up 300-400 GB worth of computer games. Some years ago, I downloaded a 30-day trial of Windows 7 that I use through Bootcamp to play computer games on my iMac. I can insert slmgr -rearm at the end of the trial into an elevated command prompt up to 4 times to reset the trial, giving me 120 days to use Windows 7 effectively for free. This setup forces me to back up my games every 120 days or so (downloading them would be very tedious) but wiping the Windows partition so frequently also serves as the best form of virus protection! Of course, this whole setup demands I rely on those USB 2 speeds to back up dozens of games, some of which weigh in at 40 or 50 GB or more, and using something faster would make this process easier.

    You know, since at least one of my two Thunderbolt ports often goes unused and the USB 3 HDD pulls double duty as my Time Machine and game backup, a $76 investment for more speed there might be worth my while ... I'll give it some more thought, but ultimately I want to thank you for letting me know all this! :)
     
  7. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Location:
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #7

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