Enough USB ports on iMac?

dlmart2

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 2, 2007
669
1
I have the 2011 iMac w/ 4 USB ports. Has anyone else run out of USB ports? Can you recommend a good USB Hub to expand the number of ports?
 

iSayuSay

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2011
3,254
385
For a desktop computer, 4 USB ports is not enough. I got a Toshiba USB Hub for laptop for around $7 .. works just fine.

It is said a USB hub with dedicated power would be better, but my suggestion is you should use USB hub for device which use low powered USB, I use my hub for printer, scanner, xbox wired, iPod and flash drive sometimes.

While the iMac's USB port can be used for more "important" with high speed needed such as Time Machine backup, external HDDs
 
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tommy060289

macrumors regular
Jun 20, 2011
137
0
What about a keyboard with USB ports on. I know the apple wired one dies but I'm guessing they don't do wireless ones with USB ports due to power drain!

And for the record. I think 4 is plenty. I have a printer/scanner/fax all in one which is wireless but could use USB if wanted. For hard drives I also have option of FireWire of thunderbolt and I also have an iPod dock which is in a USB port:)
 
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Dresevski

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2011
266
0
Minnesnowda
I think 4 is plenty, honestly. I have couple of flash drives that are plugged in on and off along with iPhone and iPods. It's not hard to reach around the back and unplug something or plug it in. How much do you think you'll need to access multiple data storage devices while using a majority of the other slots? There are certainly aluminum USB hubs that match nicely to the iMac but for my all-in-one it's not worth it!
 
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sbb155

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2005
495
5
consider a powered usb hub
i agree, 4 not enough
also consider a few extension cables, so you can plug in the front
 
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Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
5,948
2,437
California, United States
For a desktop computer, 4 USB ports is not enough. I got a Toshiba USB Hub for laptop for around $7 .. works just fine.

It is said a USB hub with dedicated power would be better, but my suggestion is you should use USB hub for device which use low powered USB, I use my hub for printer, scanner, xbox wired, iPod and flash drive sometimes.

While the iMac's USB port can be used for more "important" with high speed needed such as Time Machine backup, external HDDs
I think 4 USB is just right. I have all mine used up but have no need for more. Seriously, with everything going wireless, the number of interface ports are becoming a thing of the past.

I wouldn't be surprised if the number of ports began to shrink in the future, because of Thunderbolt daisychaining and an increasing number of wireless peripherpals hitting the market.
 
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marsmissions

macrumors 6502
Jan 5, 2010
347
0
Washington, US
I think 4 is plenty. I use one for my iPad dock, one for my apple keyboard, one for my card reader, and if I need to connect anything else I usually just connect it to my keyboard.

I use a the firewire port for my backup drive, and my printer is wireless.
 
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monaarts

macrumors 65816
Jan 16, 2010
1,164
50
Kennesaw, GA
It depends on what you have and what you will use it for... 4 is more than enough for me personally, because of my setup. I have a wifi printers so no USB there, I have a 2tb NAS (used for things like application installers and other files I don't use often) so no USB there... The only things i have plugged in are a 2tb drive (for my iTunes library and time machine backups) and a cord for my iPad and iPhones. :)
 
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iSayuSay

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2011
3,254
385
I think 4 USB is just right. I have all mine used up but have no need for more. Seriously, with everything going wireless, the number of interface ports are becoming a thing of the past.

I wouldn't be surprised if the number of ports began to shrink in the future, because of Thunderbolt daisychaining and an increasing number of wireless peripherpals hitting the market.
Yeah, assuming you use keyboard, trackpad or mouse from Apple. I don't use MagicMouse due to its drawbacks (you know what I mean) .. so a humble Logitech G500 wired USB mouse eat one of my precious USB port.

Surely right, USB ports could be diminished in the future, being less and less standard. Theoretically 1 port of Thunderbolt is enough for multiple device due to daisy chaining feature. But it's not actually that practical

Let's say we're gonna daisy chaining these: iMac --> External HDD --> Thunderbolt display --> External SSD

How if we're gonna need External HDD disconnected? Can it be unplugged without disconnecting display and SSD first? And that could be annoying since you could do the same thing without hassle or annoyance if only you have multiple Thunderbolt port.

It's a serial connections, right? While using USB hub, you can actually manage connections in parallel method.
 
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obsidian1200

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2010
359
0
Albuquerque, NM
For me personally, I never found myself needing more than the 4 USB ports that were on my iMac (technically, with the keyboard, it had 5 ports). One port went to the keyboard, one of the keyboard ports hosted the mouse, and the other port would occasionally host a flash drive or SD card reader. For the remaining 3 ports on the iMac itself, one always hosted my external HDD, and another hosted my iPod/iPhone cable. I always had a least 1 port open with the old iMac.

I guess if you need to have a bunch of peripherals connected to your iMac at once, then the 4 USB ports won't cut it... but, for my uses, I find it hard to imagine purposefully using all 4 ports at once.
 
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Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
5,948
2,437
California, United States
Yeah, assuming you use keyboard, trackpad or mouse from Apple. I don't use MagicMouse due to its drawbacks (you know what I mean) .. so a humble Logitech G500 wired USB mouse eat one of my precious USB port.
Why would you need an Apple input device for your computer? Logitech is a real leader in wireless peripherals. I know because that's all I used to own before investing heavily in Apple. Also, bluetooth is a real popular wireless interface and since it just released a new version, I can only see the bluetooth market growing even bigger.

Surely right, USB ports could be diminished in the future, being less and less standard. Theoretically 1 port of Thunderbolt is enough for multiple device due to daisy chaining feature. But it's not actually that practical

Let's say we're gonna daisy chaining these: iMac --> External HDD --> Thunderbolt display --> External SSD

How if we're gonna need External HDD disconnected? Can it be unplugged without disconnecting display and SSD first? And that could be annoying since you could do the same thing without hassle or annoyance if only you have multiple Thunderbolt port.

It's a serial connections, right? While using USB hub, you can actually manage connections in parallel method.

That's a good counter point for daisy chaining. Breaking the link will cut of any device coming after it is inconvenient, especially when using multiple drives.

Yea, I don't see hubs going away, even when Thunderbolt starts to really take off. I bet we'll see a number of TB hubs in the market eventually. So I still think that the number of ports on Macs will either remain or shrink eventually, but that will keep hubs popular and marketable in the future.

I'm interested in seeing the new designed Mac Pro too. If it's as smaller as these rumors claim to be, then I'm guessing the number of ports will also take a hit as well.
 
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cocky jeremy

macrumors 601
Jul 12, 2008
4,291
1,793
Columbus, OH
I'd like 5-6 USB ports, but luckily USB hubs are fairly cheap. I'd rather Apple concentrate on getting USB 3 than offer more ports.
 
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cooky560

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2011
167
0
Around
I have a usb hub on my desk that connects to the iMac, having the ports there is more practical anyway
 
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dlmart2

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 2, 2007
669
1
Thanks for the responses.. I'm going to buy a powered USB hub
 
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jedolley

macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2009
1,780
6
IMO, a Desktop does not have enough USB ports if you have to either, A. use a USB hub, or B. Have to unplug a device from a port in order to use it for another device.

For me, 4 is not enough... I currently use my four ports for the following (Razer Mamba Wireless Receiver, External HDD, Wireless Headset Receiver, and USB hub). It would be better if I was solely using the Wireless Keyboard and Mouse, but I did not really like the Magic mouse.

I really like Bluetooth devices, but right now most Bluetooth devices are designed for mobile device, usually meaning smaller devices. I would love to replace my Wireless Headset (uses USB wireless dongle) and full size mouse with Bluetooth alternatives, but have not found acceptable replacements yet.
 
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pawtracks

macrumors regular
Dec 11, 2009
156
28
Seattle, WA
I like this one, gives me 7 extra ports

Edit: maybe they have redesigned this product (cheaper components) based on the negative Amazon reviews. I have had two attached to (2) iMacs at home for the past 4 years, not a single issue.
 
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OneMike

macrumors 603
Oct 19, 2005
5,643
1,560
4 ports is enough for me, but it depends on person.

My keyboard, mouse, iPhone, and printer are all wireless.

The only things I plug into USB are my external hard drive, Axiom and flash drive as needed.

In the past I've used up to 9 USB devices
 
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MacHamster68

macrumors 68040
Sep 17, 2009
3,251
3
4 usb ports are just not enough , today everything is usb and it will stay so for quiet some time , but as i did not want to clutter up my desk with cables all over the place , which actually contradicts having a all in one computer and then cluttering up the desk with cables and peripherals
there was for me only one choice , a wireless usb hub , all peripherals can stay somewhere else and my desk is free , no wires to see, no mess just the Mac on the desk , i know i am not a fan of wireless keyboards and mice and such things , but only because they need battery changing all to often , but that hub is mains powered and the sender receiver is powered by the usb port , works great for up to 5 meters , ok the manufacturer claims 10 meters , but i didn't want to store my peripherals that far away
and here it is

http://www.belkin.com/pressroom/releases/uploads/07_11_07WUSBHub.html
 
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fhall1

macrumors 68040
Dec 18, 2007
3,470
635
(Central) NY State of mind
I like this one, gives me 7 extra ports

Edit: maybe they have redesigned this product (cheaper components) based on the negative Amazon reviews. I have had two attached to (2) iMacs at home for the past 4 years, not a single issue.
That's the one I've had since March 2008...it's been a great hub for over 3 years....they must have really cheapened them or I just got really lucky.
 
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krazzix

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2010
119
113
Netherlands
I don't need many USB ports on my iMac:
- Wireless keyboard
- Wireless mouse
- Wireless printer
- Firewire HDD (Time Capsule would use no port at all)
- Wireless headset
- Wireless iPhone sync, powering it in my bedroom when i sleep

All i use now with USB is an USB stick, which leaves me having 4 free ports most of the time.
 
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