So what do I do if I need more USB ports?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MK25toLife, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. MK25toLife macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #1
    I just ordered an iMac and I will definitely need more USB ports, right now on my PC I am using 8 slots (no lie). I guess I'm going to have to sacrifice some aesthetics b/c I'll have this big bulky USB expansion thing coming out of the back right? Does anyone have any ideas on how I should work this out?
     
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #2
    There are all shapes and sizes of USB hubs. from svelte to porky.

    But definitely get one - a USB 2.0 model - if possible it should have its own AC power source.
     
  3. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #3
    Good advice.
     
  4. jalagl macrumors 6502a

    jalagl

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2003
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    #4
    Make sure you get a nice USB2. I bought a no-name brand 4-port hub from Fry's for something like $10-15, and I kept loosing connections to the different things I had plugged in. I dumped it and bought a D-Link 7-port Hub, and it works like a charm. Both were powered hubs.

    You can get it from amazon for about $30.
     
  5. stuff99 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 11, 2007
    #5
    would splitting a usb via a hub slow down the transfer speeds?
     
  6. AutumnSkyline macrumors regular

    AutumnSkyline

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    #6
    I don't think it should throttle down the speeds, but if it does, then plug the items you are going to be transferring media to/from directly into the computer, and unplug something that isn't necessarily in use (I am using the old keyboard on my iMac and I have a printer cable plugged into a USB 1, and the mouse in the other. On the back, I have the keyboard, my iPod dock, and my Camera cord, but I dont need my iPod dock plugged in all of the time, nor do I need the camera cord plugged in all the time. When not in use, I put everything in ziplock bags to avoid any tangly mess in the drawer
     
  7. RRK macrumors 6502

    RRK

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
    Location:
    USA/Ohio/Columbus
    #7
    If you are worried about the USB hub looking bad with the simple, all in one iMac, then I think the 8+ peripherals you have attached to it may already have ruined that simple look. ;)
     
  8. RichardI macrumors 6502a

    RichardI

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Location:
    Southern Ontario, Canada
    #8

    No, it won't.

    Rich :cool:
     
  9. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #9
    WOW! 8 USB devices. Does this include keyboard and mouse.

    With Macs, Apple generally encourages using wireless/bluetooth as much as possible to minimize the reliance on USB. If you're willing to spend some extra money, you can greatly reduce USB clutter. Here's a couple of suggestions.

    1. Buy a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse set.

    2. Buy the Airport Extreme router and plug your printers and hard drives to it. You'll need a hub at that location.

    3. The iMac's USB ports would be for temporary items such as camcorders, cameras, and thumb drives. Although I could see that a scanner would be permanently connected (a remote scanner would be inconvenient).

    I understand that not everyone can take advantage of these tips, but even if you go BT keyboard/mouse, you greatly reduce the clutter on your desk.

    ft
     
  10. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #10
    What are the 8 devices?

    I'm guessing
    Keyboard
    Mouse
    Printer
    Scanner
    iPod
    Digital Camera
    PDA/Phone
    Media card reader
    possibly replace any one of the above with an external Hard Drive...

    Am I close?

    On a Mac the mouse and keyboard only take up one USB slot since the keyboard has another USB slot for your mouse... or even better yet, you can go wireless for those with the built in bluetooth...

    You can pick up an Airport Express to take care of the printer and now you have a network printer available to all your computers...

    Depending on your iPod generation you might be able to sync/charge via Firewire, or if you have an external HD you can upgrade to a firewire enclosure for around $30, maybe less now, I haven't looked in awhile.

    That should be enough to get the 8 into 5 (even have one left over if you can get a wireless KB and mouse, and upgrade at least one peripheral to FireWire).

    If we knew the types of peripherals and aesthetics are more important than cost I'm sure we could come up with a solution to free up USB ports on your iMac and possibly even enhance your setup at the same time...

    To be fair this may not be true. If you plug in a bunch of hard drives to a single hub and then try to do large file copies to all the HDs simultaneously, then, yes, you will see a throughput drop. But the vast majority of USB devices (printers, keyboards, mice, digital cameras, etc) are either low data rate or only brief periods of high data rates combined with long downtimes. These will not show a significant drop in throughput on a hub since it is unlikely that they will all be doing large simultaneous transfers.
     
  11. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    #11
    I use one of these and it works great. I love that it has a port at the top, very convenient. And it looks pretty good next to the iMac.
    There's also a larger version, but that's in silver.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. ascender macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    #12
    I've got one of those and its a great piece of kit.
     
  13. colorspace macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    #13
    Another option

    If three more USB jacks are enough (4 if you count the hard drive connection), you might want to consider buying one of these drive enclosures:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer Technology/FWU2MSV2SW/

    Good solution for additional USB&FW ports and it fits nicely under iMacs. MORE importantly you can have a backup drive - which is what some of your ports are being used for now.
     
  14. swordfish5736 macrumors 68000

    swordfish5736

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    Cesspool
  15. l33r0y macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #15
    If your going to buy an external hub, make sure it IS powered (i.e. has a transformer).

    There is little point in using unpowered hubs, unless the deviced your connecting are themselves powered externally - which rules out iPods, some scanners, keyboards, mice, PDA/Phone, media card readers which get their power from the USB hub (or use the USB to recharge).

    A TomTom GPS device, printers & most digital cameras will be fine as they have their own seperate power supply and do NOT recharge when connected to a computer.

    It's a bit of a minefield, with many USB devices not advertising how much current they use from the USB hub - so my advice is to buy a POWERED USB hub so you don't run into problems.
     
  16. l33r0y macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #16
    That is almost the PERFECT device. All that is missing is FW800 and a gigabit network port and a NAS system built in!
     
  17. MK25toLife thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #17
    The 8 aren't what you're thinking they are, most of it has to do with my music equipment.

    1. Midi Keyboard
    2. MPC
    3. Sound Module
    4. Mouse
    5. Pro Tools Key Lock
    6. Keyboard
    7. Can't remember
    8. Can't remember

    I'll fill out the last two when I get home, I'm at work right now.

    The thing is I use a media card reader for my camera, I switch my ipod cable with my mpc cable b/c I'm out of room, I use firewire for my external hard drive, and I don't even have a printer, so realistically I really need at least 13 slots
     
  18. Notron J. Antro macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    #18
    I bought a belkin 7 port usb hub from newegg for substantially less than the $59 I saw it at Compusa...

    It's been working well for me so far and its actually designed so you can stack two easily. That would give you 14 usb ports.
     
  19. Notron J. Antro macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    #19

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