USB 3.0 Accessories Thread

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by macduke, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. macduke, Jun 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012

    macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    This thread is all about USB 3.0 and accessories that take advantage of the new specification and super speed! USB 3.0 runs at about half the speed of a single Thunderbolt channel, but with the high cost of TB accessories right now and the fact that most devices don't yet saturate 3.0 (except for maybe high-end SSD RAID 0 configs), USB 3.0 brings value and speed right now!

    So go forth and search! I'm subscribed to this post, so I'll try to update the list as we go.

    USB 3.0 Accessories

    Card Readers

    Lexar Media Inc. Dual Slot USB 3.0 Reader Professional – $37.37

    Hoodman Ruggedized Raw Steel Superspeed USB 3.0 UDMA – $49.95

    Kingston MobileLite G3 USB 3.0 Card Reader – $11.74

    Transcend USB 3.0 Multi Card Reader – $17.49

    Kingston's USB 3.0 Media Reader – $23.74

    PixelFlash USB 3.0 Compact Flash Memory Card Reader – $18.95

    GYMLE USB 2.0/3.0 Super Speed Professional Multiple Memory Card Reader – $13.98

    Docks for Multiple Port Types

    Toshiba Dynadock U3.0 Universal USB Connect Docking Station – $149.99

    Ports: 4 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DVI, 1 x line-in mic, 1 x line-out headphone, 3 x line-out 5.1 audio (info via this tech document)


    Akitio 3.5" USB 3.0 – $41.94


    eSATA Vantec NexStar eSATA to USB 3.0 Adapter – $19.99

    BYTECC SuperSpeed USB 3.0 to eSATA 3Gbs Adapter – $19.99

    Mukii ZIO-Q050U3-BK USB3.0 to eSATA Dongle
    – $21.99

    Newer Technology eSATA to USB 3.0 Adapter – $24.99

    Ethernet (Gigabit)

    Toshiba Dynadock U3.0 Universal USB Connect Docking Station – $149.99 // This is the same dock as listed above in the Dock section, but listed here because it's the only gigabit ethernet port we've seen listed that runs on USB 3.0.

    Flash Drives (Speedy)

    There are many models to choose from. I tried to narrow it down based on reviews and top speed since the reason to get the USB 3.0 version is for speed. Too bad many of these drives seem bulkier and uglier than many of the 2.0 drives I've owned. Also note that many of these come in alternate sizes.

    Mushkin Enhanced Ventura Pro 32GB – $42.99 // Read: 120MB/s Write: 70MB/s

    ADATA N005 Pro 64GB – $89.99 // Read: 180MB/s Write: 90MB/s

    Patriot Supersonic Magnum 64GB – $89.99 // Read: 200MB/s Write: 120MB/s

    Kingston HyperX DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 128GB
    – $237.99 // Read: 225MB/s Write: 135MB/s

    Transcend JetFlash 780 8GB – $17.99 // Read: 100MB/s Write: 20MB/s

    Sony 16GB Micro Vault USM-Q – $29.99 // Read: 120MB/s Write: Unknown

    Lexar JumpDrive Triton 16GB – $46.99 // Read: 145MB/s Write: 110MB/s

    Verbatim Store 'n' Go 32GB – $53.35 // Read: 120MB/s Write: 70MB/s

    Super Talent RAIDDrive 128 GB – $426.34 // Read: 300MB/s (firmware upgrade to 370MB/s) Write: 160MB/s

    Hard Drives (Desktop)

    Western Digital My Book Essential 1TB – $99.99

    Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk 3TB – $149.99

    BUFFALO DriveStation Axis 3TB
    – $184.99

    Verbatim Store n Save 2TB – $129.99

    Hitachi 1TB Touro Desk DX3 – $89.00

    Iomega 1TB eGo Charcoal – $129.00

    LaCie Minimus 2TB – $139.00

    LaCie 2TB LaCie d2 Quadra – $196.00

    Hard Drives (Portable)

    Western Digital 320GB My Passport Essential
    – $64.95

    Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 500GB Ultra-Portable – $79.99

    BUFFALO 500GB Black External Hard Drive – $81.99

    ADATA DashDrive Durable Series HD710 1TB Black Water & Shock Proof – $119.99

    Western Digital My Passport 2TB – $199.99

    TOSHIBA Canvio 1TB – $99.99

    LaCie Rikiki 500GB – $82.95

    LaCie 500GB F.A. Porsche Designed – $94.00

    LaCie Rugged Mini 500GB – $94.95

    Seagate 1TB FreeAgent GoFlex – $94.99 * I have owned this for around 8 months and recommend it.

    Seagate 500GB GoFlex Turbo (7200RPM) – $99.95

    Buffalo 1TB MiniStation Stealth – $113.71

    Hard Drives (RAID Arrays)

    Buffalo 2TB DriveStation Duo

    Newer Techn Guardian MAXimus Enclosure Q 2-Drive RAID 1 & Two 1TB Hard Drive Kit – $314.90

    LaCie 2TB 2big – $315.00

    OWC 6 TB Mercury Elite-AL Pro Quad Interface External Dual Drive Array with RAID 0 – $529.00

    Hard Drives (SSD)

    Transcend 64 GB 1.8" (4.57 cm) Portable SSD – $89.99 // Read: 260MB/s Write: 110MB/s

    Transcend 128 GB 1.8" (4.57 cm) Portable SSD – $139.95 // Read: 260MB/s Write: 200MB/s

    Iomega External SSD 64GB
    – $139 // Read: 265MB/s Write: 215MB/s

    OWC 256GB m4 SSD 2.5" & Mercury Elite Pro Mini Combo Interface Case
    – $254.99 // Read: 500MB/s Write: 260MB/s

    OWC 720GB Vertex 3 2.5" SSD & Mercury Elite Pro Mini Combo Interface Case – $712 // Read: 550MB/s Write: 520MB/s

    Verbatim Store 'n' Go 64 GB External SSD – $184.64 // Read: 160MB/s Write: 120MB/s

    Hubs – USB 3.0 to 3.0/2.0

    Uspeed USB 3.0 7 port Hub with USB 3.0 Cable and Power Adapter
    – $49.98

    Aluratek 4-Port USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Hub – $39.99

    IOGEAR SuperSpeed USB 3.0 4-Port Hub – $36.45

    D-Link 4-Port SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Hub – $45.24


    NewerTech Universal Drive Adapter – $29.99

    Syba USB 3.0 to SATA Device Adapter Cable with AC Adapter – $25.87

    Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Upgrade Cable USB 3.0 – $22.97

    Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 Hub

    WIFI Gigabit 802.11ac

  2. theSeb, Jun 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012

    theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Even better:,news-38812.html


    Not necessary. Optical Drives just barely saturate USB 2 at full speed so USB 2 is more than sufficient. It's not worth it if you're paying a premium for a USB 3 version.

    I am planning to get myself one of these:

    Host Interface:
    eSATA x 1
    FireWire 800 x 2
    FireWire 400 x 1
    USB 3.0 x 1

    Interface Transfer Rate:
    eSATA: up to 3Gbits/s
    FireWire 800: up to 800Mbits/s
    FireWire 400: up to 400Mbits/s
    USB 3.0: up to 5Gbits/s

    RAID Function:
    Supports RAID 0, 1, Spanning, JBOD
    Automatically online fast disk rebuilding
    Automatic disk failure detection
    Hot swappable disks
    USB 3.0 & eSATA do not support JBOD

    What's nice about USB 3 is that you can get a fairly cheap 2.5" USB 3 enclosure and easily add a SSD to your iMac without taking it apart.

    I also like these things if you're looking for extra storage for your MBA
  3. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago

    One thing I'm not short on is storage....I have a new Pegasus R4 in addition to a 3TB TC which now is only backing up my MBP and MBA...I'm not actually jumping on the retina this year...but there will be plenty of USB 3 accessories coming out for the new MBP.
  4. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    I am kicking myself for not ordering one before the prices jumped up with the flooding. Unfortunately the prices have not returned to their previous levels and I was expecting to be ordering my sandy bridge mac pro last night, which would have taken care of my fast storage needs.
  5. Richdmoore macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    Troutdale, OR
    This would make a great addition to the 2011 iMacs that have not been updated to USB 3 (or for those of us with other legacy thunderbolt equipment).

    I hope that someone steps up and makes a simple box with 2 thunderbolt ports (1 in/1 out) for daisy chaining (many of the 2011 models only have 1 thunderbolt port), and 2 or more USB 3.0 ports.

    Only thing I have heard is a couple of "dock" type hubs, but they are very expensive, and include unnecessary (for me) ports such as speaker and mic jacks, Ethernet jacks, etc.
  6. Diode macrumors 68020


    Apr 15, 2004
    Washington DC
  7. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    When I got my new camera, I got this USB 3 cf card reader from Hoodman.

    RAW Steel

  8. JasonH42 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2010

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  9. JasonH42 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2010
    This is cool too, Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex USB 3.0 Upgrade Cable.

    Designed to attach to Seagate external drives but actually you can use it to connect any bare SATA drive to a USB 3 port, and for only £$20-25.

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  10. JayMBP macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2011
    Surrey, BC
    I have beek using a Sandisk USB3.0 card reader via my hacked USB3.0 express card.

    USB3.0 card readers are must have for any photographer, amateur or pro, as today's digital camera produce enormous files. Once you taste the 90MB/s... there's no way in the world one would go back the the 2xMB/s of those USB2.0
  11. macduke thread starter macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    That's the cable that came with my 1TB GoFlex! I remembering picking that up right before the hard drive prices skyrocketed. Got the drive for about $80. I ended up buying a FireWire adapter so I could get more speed. Guess I'll have to dig out that 3.0 cable now! Thanks for reminding me about it. I'll be interested to run some benchmarks and see how much faster that drive is under USB 3.0. Bet the improvements are modest but still improvements. Wouldn't be surprised for it to bump from 75MB/s on FW up to around 100MB/s. It sure would be fun to hook an SSD up to that and see what happens!


    I updated the list with some of the suggestions so far. I really like the plugin design of the Kingston reader, but it doesn't support CF cards. So far I like the aesthetics of the Lexar reader the best. But I prefer the plugin style "thumb drive" look that is smaller. I've had a really great USB 2.0 one from PQI for years that has taken a ton of abuse. I'm always throwing it into different bags and it has never failed me. Just wish that the 18mp RAW files and 1080p video from my 7D transferred faster since I have a pile of pretty fast CF cards. Time to go research!
  12. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    I've bit the bullet and ordered the R4 yesterday. This is YOUR fault. I wanted at least 4 bays and RAID 5.
  13. uaecasher macrumors 65816


    Jan 29, 2009
    Stillwater, OK
    does anyone know if the GoFlex SATA adapter is 3.0 or 2.0?
  14. macduke thread starter macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Everything listed in the main post should be USB 3.0 (including the GoFlex, which I own).


    I've been updating the list with things I find but I'd like more help from the community. Please keep adding stuff guys! I've been looking for smaller flash drives (since many 3.0 ones are huge), and better looking accessories for things like hubs, etc. Guess we might just have to wait for Belkin and the like to come out with some better looking gear (at a higher price no doubt). Hopefully all the well-known Mac accessory makers out there with their superior designs will start rolling out USB 3.0 accessories over the coming weeks and months.

    Keep the submissions coming! I want this thread to become massive.
  15. uaecasher macrumors 65816


    Jan 29, 2009
    Stillwater, OK

    No, I meant of the SATA is 3.0 i.e the 6Gbps not the 3Gbps
  16. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    I can recommend the InXtron (was MacPower) SK-3500 Super-S3 SK3-SBU3OS (eSATA, FW800, USB3). This enclosure is also one of the best enclosures if you need a fast FW800 HDD (supports also FW800 daisy chaining). I use it together with a Western Digital 3 TB WD30EZRX. Make sure that you use the correct jumper settings because the enclosure supports "only" SATA-II, and the HDD uses SATA-III. Runs very cool and silent.

    I'm sure you can use one of the 4 TB drives (Hitachi) within this enclosure. Should be good for smaller HD video projects (1-2 hour(s) uncompressed 1080p, for example) or for really fast Time Machine backups.
  17. maxorific1 macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2008
    dumb question?

    OK so I ordered the new macbook pro retina as well as an external usb 3.0 hard drive. It is the silicon power A80 1 tb and it is usb 3.0. On their website it says that it only runs at USB 2.0 on macs. Would that just be because at the time of that being written, there weren't any 3.0 ports on macs? Or would an external usb 3.0 drive actually not work on a mac with the 3.0 port?? I need help because I don't want to be stuck with a drive that runs way slower than it should.:confused:
  18. uaecasher macrumors 65816


    Jan 29, 2009
    Stillwater, OK
    most probably that was written before wwdc
  19. undies1993 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 10, 2011
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    This came with my Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra Portable 1 TB hard drive. I am only getting the speeds in the picture that I have attached. Seems sluggish?

    Attached Files:

  20. undies1993 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 10, 2011
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
  21. maxorific1 macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2008
  22. CIA macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2003
    Any word on cheaper PCIe USB 3.0 cards for the Mac pro now that OSX seems to have some form of native support?
  23. DaveOZ macrumors regular

    May 13, 2008
    I'm about to buy one of thos Seagate Freeagent Goflex USB3 drives. Are you still seeing those speeds? I would expect it to be faster.

    Any advice on format? Is it ok to reformat to Mac OS Extended (Journaled)?

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