Usb 3 hub and connectivity problems

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by cool11, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. cool11, Mar 31, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014

    cool11 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2006
    I just bought my new rmbp 15' late 2013.
    It is the first time I can use usb3 hub and usb3 devices. I had usb3 devices in the past but with my older mbp I used them with usb2 speeds.

    The problem is that I face some strange disconnects with my seagate external usb3 hard disk, that I never had with my older mbp, although I connected it in usb2 hub port.

    So, when I connect the external hard disk directly to rmbp, everything is fine.
    When I connect it through my new usb 3 hub, sometimes it does not connect at all, and other times it connects but after a few minutes disconnect.

    In the same new usb3 hub, I have connected other devices (usb flash disks, mouse infrared transmiters, etc) with no problem, everything worked fine with my rmbp.

    I also have an usb3 extension cable for use with usb3 hub, as I had a usb2 cable extension with my older usb2 hub.
    This usb3 hub, is powered directly with it's own power plug.
    Seagate has it's own power plug.

    So, is this a problem of the usb3 hub?
    I thought of power problem. But why other devices work? I also disconnected everything else from this usb3 hub. The external hard disk had the same problem.

    I want you to help me to find out where the problem is.
    With just two usb3 ports in rmbp, it is inevitable that a mac user will use usb3 hub.
    Is it a power problem? Is the usb3 hub faulty? Or it is a problematic usb3 handling by retina macbook pro and mavericks?
    Where is the problem?
  2. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Which Hub is it? What you explain sounds like the behavior of many USB3 hubs of a few years ago. A Mac needs full compliance with the USB3 spec, and some hubs don't comply. Those are the ones that don't support drives well, especially sleep modes. Other components, like keyboards, work well because they are USB2 or don't use the full USB3 feature set. Most current USB hubs have been updated to comply with the specs.
  3. cool11, Mar 31, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014

    cool11 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2006
    I throw the box, and as I can see there is no brand name on it.
    It is not completely 'unknown', I remember I read some reviews before the purchase.
    But...this happened about a year ago!
    So, maybe you are right about what you say about usb 3 compliance.
    On the other hand, how is it possible a usb3 hub to be a 'usb3' device, without compliance? I mean, besides any quality matters, isn't it supposed that a 'usb3' device is a 'usb3' device? Is it possible for example to support only some of the usb3 regulations?

    I managed to find some information about the hub, in a document I had kept:
    " Compliant to USB 3.0 Specification Revision 1.0". As I saw, I purchase it in autumn 2012.
    Is it ok or not?

    How can I be protected in order to buy something that really works well with mac?
    Every device today mentions about mac compatibility, it is so common. And then?
  4. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    There was much discussion perhaps a year or two ago. Several were complaining that the Mac was not working with USB3 hubs. It was found that the hubs were not tested with a Mac, nor tested thoroughly. There is no organization that certifies these, so its a wild west out there, especially with no name brands. A vendor can pretty much say what he wants and its buyer beware. Of course those that want to stay in business, will want their product to work without issues.

    It turned out that most were using a certain chipset, soldering them into their enclosure, and selling them. That chipset had a firmware flaw that Windose systems could care less about. Current brands like Plugable, Anker, Benkin, probably others use the updated chipset. Look for Mac compatible as those should have been tested with a Mac.
  5. cool11 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2006
    VIA VL812 Chipset works well with macs?

    I am thinking of this one from Anker
    they tell
    " Mac OS X Lion 10.7.4 users should upgrade to Mountain Lion 10.8.2 or later to avoid unstable connections. This hub's firmware has been actively updated for Mac compatibility."
    I have mavericks, so is it ok, right?
    (listed in amazon in November '12)

    (on the other side, this one from Anker too,
    mentions "For Mac users: The hub is not compatible with Mac OS, please consider carefully before buying.")
    (listed in amazon in April '13 !!! )


    So, is it a safe choice the
  6. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    VL 812-B2 + v9081 firmware, yes. Make sure that the cable from your Mac to the hub gets good reviews on or similar sites. AFAIK, USB 3.0 uses frequencies in the GHz range, so that cables need the best possible shielding (double shielded) and should not be longer than necessary.
  7. cool11 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2006
    I bought it one year ago, and I am pleased, generally speaking.
    But I wonder if there is any way to update it to a newer firmware, if this is possible. For eliminating possible problems.
    Usb hubs like theses ones (anker), can be updated or not?

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