Is 4 USB ports enough ???

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Jay9495, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Jay9495 macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2011
    Melbourne Australia
    Hey all, just wondering to all the iMac users, is 4 USB ports enough ? If not, does anyone have a USB hub that they recommend (USB 3.0) ?

    Thanks in advance
  2. aerok macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2011
    4 ports would not be enough for me at all! I don't mind USB 2 for a lot devices so any hubs works with me.
  3. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I don't have a hub to recommend, but I know my dad uses a mouse, keyboard, printer, scanner, time machine drive, and sometimes uses a USB drive or iPod too.

    That's between 5-7 devices. I would say 4 is downright ridiculous in 2012.
  4. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    How many USB devices do you intend to connect to? Only you can answer this question for yourself.

    4 is plenty enough for me. I only use 3 at all times: UPS, External sound card, and a MIDI keyboard. The fourth will be there if I ever need an external drive.

    I would have to disagree. A lot of things can now be just done over the air and wirelessly rather than a direct connection thanks to more support for wifi and bluetooth enabled devices.

    Keyboards? Mice? All bluetooth standard on all iMacs since 2011. And ever since iCloud and iTunes Wifi sync were introduced, I've stopped connecting my iOS devices directly to my machine. As for my multi-function printer, that's wifi. My backup drive is Time Capsule over wifi as well. Lacie sells alternative wifi enabled Time Machine drives too I think.
  5. Ddyracer macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2009
    Yeah, having to unplug devices is really not fun. We need four more and a HDMI port. Just put it on the left side next to the lonely power which you can't even see anyway.

    USB hub takes up space, money.
  6. aerok macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2011
    Wouldn't be so bad if the iMac could read more cards than just the SD card. 4 is definatly way too low for most people.
  7. andy.barron macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2006
    Bedford, England
    lets face it 4 is too many? Most devices if data should be FW, & the rest wifi
  8. aerok macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2011
    If I understood right, you are saying that 4 is enough because you should use firewire and wifi instead?

    If so, well here is why I need more than 4 USB, I won't use firewire as it is slowly disapearing.

    Wacom Tablet
    CF Card reader
    2 External HD
    1 External Bluray
    Mechanical Wired Keyboard
    Wired mouse (I just prefer it)

    That's already 7, and I always need 1 or 2 free to plug in USB keys once in a while or plug in the gamepad for gaming.
  9. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    You don't have to, but it is an alternative and increasingly popular solution.

    I just listed 7 devices as well that I connect to in my earlier post, and I am only connecting 3 of them via USB. In the end it just depends on what technologies you are utilizing and what you care to spend money on. I personally hate cables so I try to get wireless devices whenever I can, and in my case, 4 USB ports is perfectly enough for my 7 device setup.

    You said you prefer wired mice, so that's just your choice. And the 2 external drive you have can be switched over to the two Thunderbolt ports on the iMac instead if you so wish to invest in it.
  10. skyenet macrumors regular


    Jun 26, 2012
    Near Glasgow - Scotland
    I have just bought a Uspeed 7 port USB 3.0 Hub for when I get my new iMac. Once connected that will give me 10 USB 3.0 ports, and two of the devices I will plug into it are Iomega Minimax Hard Drives which have 3 USB 2.0 ports each. Plus I have one Powered USB 2.0 7 port Hub (mainly used for all my External USB 2.0 Drives). That should be more than enough USB ports for me :cool:

    Most of my devices are USB 2.0 but recently I have bought a USB 3.0 Multi Card Reader and a two USB 3.0 Hard Drives. I will be using the two Thunderbolt ports for two external monitors

    While I use many wireless and wifi devices I still use a lot of USB devices.

    The USB devices I will be using with my iMac are:
    Multi Function Printer
    Card Reader
    Apple Old type charging/synch Cable
    Apple lightening charging/synch Cable
    2 x Iomega Minimax Hard Drives
    4 x Iomega Hard Drives
    2 x USB 3.0 Drives
    X-Plane USB Key
    Bamboo Tablet
    Logitech Web Cam
    Apple USB Superdrive
    USB Audio Adaptor
  11. MeFromHere macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2012
    USB hub takes up space and money inside the iMac too.
  12. randy98mtu macrumors 65816


    Mar 4, 2009
    I think 4 is too few. Especially with the optical drive removed. I have a printer and wired keyboard (always have trouble with wireless ones and like having the number pad.) I used to use firewire for hard drives, but frequently have trouble with the firewire for some reason and need to reset them too often. So I am going to switch to a USB 3.0 Time Machine drive. I also usually leave a dock (lightning) cable plugged in. So now all my ports are full and I have no place to plug in the optical drive they left out. My USB hub gave me trouble as often as firewire does. I may look into the Thunderbolt hubs next year.
  13. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    I find the flash card slot to be of marginal usefulness on the back, I would probably use a small USB multi-card format reader instead located on the desktop.

    Instead of the flash slot ... I would rather see a eSATA port on the back!
  14. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    4 is okay for most laptops because keyboard is integrated, (many/most have optical drives) trackpad instead of mice, and if generally used as a laptop is is frequently moved around (so it doesn't have to sit on your desk and act as a hub for all your peripherals--most people are not going to plug in a billion things because they will have to unplug them in the morning when they go to work).

    However, for the imac, 4 is definitely too few, there should be 6 in my opinion.
    It would not be illogical for a person to have, for example
    1. Keyboard
    2. Mouse
    At all times
    3. Printer
    4. USB Stick
    5. Portable hard drive
    6. Optical drives
    7. Ipod/Iphone/camera/etc.
    Some times (and because its sitting on your desk and never moving you are probably going to want to plug stuff in and forget about it - just plug your printer in and never worry about unpluging it).
  15. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Depends on your use. For me it wasn't enough:

    4 ext. USB HDs (Boot, Music, Photo/Video, Time Machine)
    1 printer -- arguably I could have used ethernet too
    1 USB Apple SuperDrive (must hook directly to iMac, not hub, even powered)
    1 Dock Connector cable
    1 Lightning cable
    1 USB Keyboard (also has 2 non-powered USB ports but like to keep those free for fast hook up of temporary devices)
  16. Jay9495 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2011
    Melbourne Australia
  17. BSoares macrumors regular

    Jun 22, 2012
    I hate that it only has 4. I ordered a USB 3.0 hub yesterday to add 7 ports as I have a lot more than 4 USB devices to connect.
  18. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
  19. name99 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2004
    Pretty much any USB3 hub these days should be fine. Check out Amazon or visit Frys or Best Buy.
    The main issue you should care about is whether you want a powered hub or not. Powered hubs are more expensive and have, duh, an extra power cable, but they are essential if you plan to connect more than one device which uses a substantial amount of power (eg scanners or bus-powered drives).
  20. pyzon macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2008
    You bought it with what it had fix it and moan on....sorry I mean move on.
  21. Jay9495 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2011
    Melbourne Australia
    Do any hubs work with Mac, or is there certain ones only ?
    Thanks :)
  22. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    From a technical standpoint, a 3.0 hub is a 3.0 hub. They all will work with anything with a USB 2 or 3 port. No drivers are required so compatibility isn't an issue. The difference is build quality.
  23. Jay9495 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2011
    Melbourne Australia
    That's what I thought, but when I messaged this guy about this hub:

    He said it isn't compatible with OS X


    And with this one:

    It says OS X won't get 3.0 speeds just 2.0 speeds ?? It's weird
  24. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    As above, it depends.

    2 is enough for me on my MBP when at a desk, my keyboard plugs into one of them, mouse plugs into the keyboard if i'm using a wired mouse, and that leaves one free for a USB stick or external hard drive that I occasionally use.

    I'm i'm not at a desk i don't use any.

    YMMV - it depends on how many peripherals you regularly use.
  25. Scrapula macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    I'll be using a powered 7 port USB 2.0 hub. My iPad, iPhone, iPod, Suunto Ambit, speakers, keyboard are all USB 2.0. I'll use the 3.0 for an external drive and an optical drive.

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