Is it me... or are there not enough USB ports?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by tshort, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. tshort macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2007
    I want more USB ports! I don't like using a USB hub because it requires a wall wart, and I've used the APC Back-UPS ES 720 (which can shut off outlets based on the current draw from a master outlet) which can cause problems when a PC or Mac go to sleep (especially harddisks!).

    This us what I had on my PowerMac:
    * UPS
    * Keyboard + Mouse
    * Printer
    * USB Speakers (great because no power supply needed, and don't have to remember to turn it off!)
    * External HD
    * iPod Dock

    And I had to use a USB hub... whos' with me? Who wants more USB ports on their Macs?
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Just get a hub - you have more peripherals than the average user.

    The APC unit should not arbitrarily be shutting off power to outlets, that is a different problem you should address.
  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    I do agree though that the desktops need more USB ports.
  4. cfs macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2008
    can you use the cheap USB connectors you can get for pc's or do you need specific Apple ones?

    Sorry not helping with the original post but I am now curiouse.

  5. Sir Tony macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2007
  6. hempcamp macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Between this and all the MBA criticism, I'm beginning to wonder what all these cool USB devices people must have that require so many darned ports!

  7. PcBgone macrumors 6502


    Feb 3, 2008
    Heh, I got 2 printers, a cell phone, a camera, and 2 hard drives. Im just switching from pcs to macs(will get my wifes macbook monday, and then my imac will come in about a month or two). I have been just sharing these things through the two pcs, but Im gonna connect them to a hub onto my new time capsule when it gets here and then have everything on the network. My usb hub has 7 ports, and I hope its enough for awhile:)
  8. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    I certainly wouldn't complain. It's ironic; Apple virtually created the USB port, and even though it's blasphemously mainstream now, they won't put more than five on one computer. The Mac Mini has more than the iMac, for crying out loud! But you can go into any computer store (or my high school, which uses craptastic XP and Ubuntu machines...) and see seven or more USB ports. No one with any inkling of what they want about computers will be buying these worthless things, and those who do buy them will never need these ports!

    More USB. Now. Like... nine on the Mac Pro, two up front. Six on the iMac. Four/five on the Mini. Oh, and the wired keyboard needs to be a eighteen port hub. I mean, what are they doing with all of that space at the top anymore? :p
  9. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2007
    MD & ATL,GA
    my old PC had 7!!:eek:

    Honestly, apart from firewire and stuff, i use 2 ports, keyboard, and printer. but, i have the third port hooked up to a belkin hub, and connected to that is my camera usb thing, phone, extra usb a to b, and a 4th one open, i can live with just 3, but i have all my wires to my peripherals connected so that i don't have to pull em out to connect my phone, its just there within reach.
  10. iPhil macrumors 68040


    How 'bout this gadget to solve your usb port problems.. :eek: :cool:
  11. samh004 macrumors 68020


    Mar 1, 2004
    Nice, but the topic starter wouldn't like it because it requires an outlet. Not like you have them around your computer anyway.
  12. quactaur macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2007
    Hubs are a pretty shoddy excuse for not having enough ports, if you plug more than one device into a hub then bandwidth gets shared. I definitely agree that macs need more ports though.
  13. tshort thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2007
    It's a matter of power usage...

    Most hubs use a simple transformer "wall wart", an EXTREMELY inneficient way to convert power. It is always drawing power.

    The APC UPS does not arbitrarily shut off power... it only shuts off power to selected outlets when the master outlet lowers its draw. So, when a computer goes to sleep or shuts off, the other outlets shut off. this has caused problems when I use the outlet for external drives, as there is a slight delay when the controlled outlet is turned back on, and time for the drive to spin up. The computer believes you have disconnected the drive "unsafely".

    To prevent such a situation, I basically have to lower the threshold of the APC so that when it sleeps, it does not drop below the threshold (the iMac is too efficient in this regard) or disable sleep on the iMac.

    This is the APC model I refer to:

    Refer to the documentation regarding Master/Control outlets.
  14. tshort thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2007
    At least you can add a USB card to the Mac Pro...

    In the case of the MacPro/PowerMac G5, you can add a PCI card that supports additional USB ports. I had that until I needed the card in my Linux server...
  15. theLimit macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2007
    up tha holler, acrost tha crick
    That's definitely more USB peripherals than the average person uses.

    I use two on my Mac mini. One for the keyboard, which I plug my mouse into, and one for my iPod dock, which doesn't need to be a permanent connection anyway.

    I use two out of the six on my PC. One for the keyboard/mouse, and one for an external HDD that I access from multiple machines so I need it to be constantly on.

    This isn't counting temporary use items like flash drives or smaller HDDs, cameras, phones, memory card readers, PSP, game pad, usb headset, etc. Those things don't need a permanent connection and get unplugged when not in use.
  16. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    I guess the average person will be using a keyboard + mouse, printer, and 'occasional' stuff like a card reader/digital camera/ipod/etc. That gives you 1 or 2 free ports, depending on whether you leave the camera cable plugged in. An external hard disk is likely to be firewire.

    I tend to have a lot plugged in: kb/mouse, ipod, printer, camera, portable usb2 hard disk, usb flash drive, card reader. I just got a cheap, unpowered usb2 hub with a really short cable.

    Everything runs fine, and because the cable's so short it's neatly hidden behind the screen too. Speed shouldn't be an issue really - I'm pretty sure that each port on the back has a separate controller, so only the things plugged into the hub share bandwidth. Just keep stuff that you don't use at the same time plugged into it, or anything that doesn't use much bandwidth. Eg. I keep my ipod, card reader and camera cable plugged in to my hub - I never use them at the same time.
  17. rediffusion macrumors regular


    Jun 26, 2006
    Fairfield, CT
  18. Mark Morb macrumors regular

    Mark Morb

    Dec 19, 2007
    ^^^ If the USB ports where at the back and it had an SD card slot on it I'd be sold :)

    Still looking for a nice USB hub with integrated Card Reader :rolleyes:
  19. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    Apple created Firewire, Intel created USB. Although if you mean that Apple was the first to replace all legacy connectors with USB, then you'd be correct.

    As for not having enough ports, a functional USB 1.1 hub cost about $5 (and are often given away as swag) and a 2.0 cost $20. This all won't matter in a few years, as W-USB and UWB will make the concept of connecting perferrials to you comptuer foriegn. Actually, I'm in the process of obtaining an Airport Extreme Base Station (n) just so that I can take my HD off of my computer and access it remotely. As I have a PowerBook G4 667 (DVI) I have no built-in USB 2.0, only 1.1, but I have a MyBook (USB) 500GB, an External Superdrive, and an iPhone, and currently I can't use them all at the same time (as neither drive has USB passthrough) and I already use a 1.1 hub to connect my SoundSticks, Mighty Mouse, and Bluetooth Dongle (for my keyboard) through, and don't want another hub on my desk.

    In short, yes I feel like there should be more USB ports. I also feel that there should also be two headphone jacks, more Firewire ports, and DMS-59 (so that MacBook Pros can connect two external monitors, and MacPros can connect 4, out of the box.

  20. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601


    Nov 19, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    Does a camera have to be connected to the USB port at all times? I just connect mine when I am going to put my photos on my computer. That would free up a port right there. The same thing goes with the cell phone.
  21. anti-microsoft macrumors 68000

    Dec 15, 2006
    Edinburgh, Scotland
  22. hempcamp macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2007
    As with all things Apple, there's actually a reason for that. The mini was designed to BYOKDM -- bring your own keyboard, display and mouse. Being that many non-Apple keyboards don't have the 2 extra USB ports (1 for mouse, 1 for whatever), they built in more ports so as to not be too limited "right out of the box."

  23. takeabyteoutta macrumors 6502

    Jan 31, 2008
    USB's on the way out

    Bluetooth or network your printer fool. Firewire that external HD or get a Time Capsule. Pick up the wireless keyboard and mouse. What do you even need those 3 USB 2.0's for anyway? USB 3.0 isn't that far away btw.

    Theres also hubs that don't need a power supply.
  24. tshort thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2007
    I have two network laser printers. The printer attached via USB is an AIO that includes a scanner.
    I have a LaCie Quadra that uses FW800, but I have other drives as well. USB 2.0 and FW400/800 are faster than any network drive will be (OK, if you are connected via Gigabit Ethernet... maybe a network drive would be faster.)

    As far as keyboards go, I don't like the Apple Wireless keyboard because it doesn't have a numeric keypad built in, and has half-sized cursor keys. I don't like the Mighty Mouse because of the side buttons (I had to turn them off), and the scroll ball never seems to work right. I have a Microsoft Mouse (OH NO!) that works great. Most wireless mice are not BlueTooth, but require a USB dongle. As a quick example, on the, Apple store (you may need to filter on wireless), only 3 mice are bluetooth, the other 5 (plus 2 more keyboard/mouse combos) mice require a USB port.

    And they don't work with many devices. I have had numerous problems with passive USB hubs; they don't put out enough power. The most notorious are those devices that use USB for their power, such as SmartDisk Firelite series of portable hard drives, and I have an Intel QX3 Microscope that requires an actively powered USB port (not that I use it on my Mac).
  25. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    Get a Firewire External HD and a iPod firewire dock cable, then you can get rid of the USB hub.

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