Need more USB!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by RichL, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. RichL macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    I didn't foresee a USB (or lack of USB port) problem but some posts got me thinking. My USB devices on my PC all fit with their own slot because I have about 8 of them total but 15" MBPs only have 2.

    My devices are as follows:
    -USB Mouse
    -USB Keyboard
    -Internal-turned-external Hard Drive
    -Digital Camera Cable
    -iPod cable

    The USB Mouse/Keyboard can be fit into one port using this Y device I saw and most likely will have to buy. The Digi-cam/iPod don't always have to be plugged in obviously. My problem is that without buying a wireless mouse and keyboard OR hooking my External HD to my router I'm gonna have to disconnect one or the other to plug in my Digi-cam or iPod.

    What option is the cheapest o_O? I could:
    -Buy Bluetooth keyboard/mouse (expensive)
    -Buy Media Storage ready router (since I need a new router anyway..but the media routers I've seen seem like junk)
    -Buy a USB port hub type deal (does this work well with laptops? Under-power issues?)

    Long post. Advice please :p

    -Rich L.
  2. Osarkon macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2006
    Just get a usb hub?

    Power wise some will run mostly well just off the power of the laptop, whereas if you're going to be using it for more demanding things then some hubs provide mains power.
  3. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    One USB port will not give enough power if you buy an unpowered USB hub to allow you to use your camera, hard drive and iPod.

    So if you do buy a USB hub get a powered one.

    Also, I thought you were getting a MBP - I work fine with the trackpad and keyboard.
  4. Jasoco macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2006
    I agree. Just get a hub. Then you can have everything hooked to it and just plug one thing in.
  5. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Get a powered USB Hub, I have one that also has Firewire and it works great.
  6. RichL thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    That sounds hawt. Who makes the one you bought?

    Kilamite: I have faith in the keyboard and track pad but at my workstation I'd prefer an external setup. Especially for gaming :p
  7. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    I suggest moving the external drive to a Firewire enclosure - it'll be faster and you'll free up one of the USB ports. And yes, a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard would work great to free up a couple of USB ports (especially for a laptop that you'll be taking with you), but a USB keyboard/mouse would work fine in an unpowered hub if you don't want to spend that much.

    In any case, get an unpowered USB hub for your other needs - try to reserve one of the MBP's USB ports for when you really need it. Your camera can run off its own power if the hub can't supply enough power, and the iPod should charge ok.

    I have an unpowered four port hub with a PDA, USB printer and multicard reader attached. I don't have any issues with the devices failing.

    Another option is to get a monitor with a built in hub. At work, I have a 20" Dell with a built in powered 4 port USB hub.
  8. iPhil macrumors 68040


    Since you said one of devices is ext. hard drive thru usb needs more power.. so i would look @ a/c powered usb hubs unless the drive is ext. powered..

    Each device going thru a non-powered hub splits the power from that 1 source so 1 on-board usb puts out avg. 5-8 watts of power..

    So on that non-power usb hub splits that 8 watts over the devices that are plugged into the hub @ the time ..
  9. RichL thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    I forgot to specify about the HD. It is powered actually.
  10. iPhil macrumors 68040


    Then i would look for a 4 or 6 port usb hub non-powered and plug the drive into the computer directly
  11. Jestered macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    If you are not going to have the hard drive connected directly to the computer, you will need to get more than one USB hub. If you have a USB1 device connected to a hub, all devices on the hub will run at USB1 speeds. So if you have the keyboard connected to the hub and also the external drive, the external drive is going to be very slow. When using USB hubs you should always segregate devices depending on USB speed of the devices. The iPod, camera and external hard drive would be on one hub and all USB1 devices on another.
  12. iPhil macrumors 68040



    The hub will figure out which 'speed' to run @ for each device ..

    So if the usb port is 2.0 and you plug a usb 1.1 hub and run 2.0 devices and 1.1 devices thru the same hub.. -- 1.1 devices will run @ 1.1 speeds and 2.0 will run @ 2.0 speeds
  13. Jestered macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    No they won't. Devices on most all hubs can only be as fast as the slowest device.
  14. RichL thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
  15. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    A USB 1.1 hub will run all devices at 1.1 even if they are 2.0 devices.

    Keyboards and mice are commonly USB 1.1

    If it's an Apple keyboard however, run the mouse off the Keyboard's extra USB port. It's not good for anything else, that needs power or USB 2.0.
  16. XheartcoreboyX macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2007
    Why dont you just get a usb express card/it costs more than a usb hub/ but its very much more portable...thats what im getting probably for my future mbp...:rolleyes:
  17. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    I just bought a Belkin USB hub from BestBuy, 7 port, USB 2.0.

    I have my wacom, nulooq navigator, and printer plugged into it, all USB 1.1 devices.

    Both a flash drive and an external drive are the exact same transfer up and down speed when plugged into the hub, and plugged into the front of my Mac Pro.

    So, even with the 1.1 devices, it still ran at it's regular 2.0 speed.
  18. EvryDayImShufln macrumors 65816


    Sep 18, 2006
    I have a 4 USB port hub and it works great, however it is fed through an AC adapter so it doesn't need to leech through my computer (however this seems pretty useless to me). Anyway just get a big hub
  19. iBunny macrumors 65816

    Apr 15, 2004
    I Bought a D-Link 4 Port Powered USB 2.0 Hub. Its Great.

    I have my iPod, External HDD, Mouse, and Printer hooked up with it.

    This allows the other USB port on my MBP to be used for quick use things such as thumb drives, and digi cam hookups
  20. techlover828 macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2007
    just buy a powered usb hub, unless you need portability, which I don't think you specified
  21. NYRngrs24 macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2007
    I just bought a Belkin 7port usb hub that is powered for $11 on

    check it out. i didnt read all the post, but i saw someone mention firewire is faster. firewire a, is slower than USB 2.0. not by much, but it is slower. Firewire b is faster than USB 2.0
  22. john2006wright macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2007
    thanks for all the info guys, has helped me decide to get a powered usb hub.
  23. RichL thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    How do you tell if you have firewire a or b? I didn't even know there were two different kinds.
  24. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    firewire a is theoretically slower then USB by 80 MBs'. However, firewire usually wins out in actuality.
  25. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    Firewire 400 is faster than USB 2.0 more often than not. there are a few reasons for this. USB uses your processor so it has to go though a longer pipeline and it also uses burst of data instead of a steady stream. FW needs a chip at both ends for it to work, which is part of why its more expensive and once its up to speed, you'll get a consistent high data transfer rate.

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