Using USB Hubs

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Dachande663, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. Dachande663 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    #1
    Hi all, I'm looking at getting a MBP (baseline model) come June and I had a few questions about using USB and more specifically hubs.
    I currently have two external hard-drives used for media storage, printer, keyboard and mouse and occasionally ipod/phone connected my PC.

    I understand that the MBP only has two USB 2.0 ports however. If I were to use a USB hub would I notice any appreciable drop in speed? It would be good as I could simply plug the hub into the laptop and have k/m, hdds etc connected, but would the hard-drives need a dedicated connection?

    Anyone who has a set-up like this or who can offer suggestions, I'm open to ideas. Thanks.
     
  2. DarkHeraldMage macrumors 6502a

    DarkHeraldMage

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #2
    The hub shouldn't slow it down at all. I'm assuming you're getting the 15" since the 17" MBP has 3 USB ports. And the externals you're plugging in won't need a dedicated port - hub is fine.
     
  3. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    #3
    Not really. However, be sure to plug in the AC adapter that came with the hub since the hard drives like lots of power.
     
  4. DarkHeraldMage macrumors 6502a

    DarkHeraldMage

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    #4
    What do you mean? Just about any external drive has it's own power cord and doesn't pull through USB.
     
  5. EvanLugh macrumors 68000

    EvanLugh

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    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    Developer land
    #5
    newappleboy

    Actually, a lot of hubs are powered through the USB port. Either way you shouldn't notice a drop in speed, perhaps put the most needed to the mac and run the printer off the hub. Again, either way shouldn't make a difference.

    EDIT: 6502 :)
     
  6. Dachande663 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    #6
    Both external drives have their own power adaptors and I'd naturally use a powered hub for things like the ipod. Thanks for the comments, seems this is the way to go.
     
  7. lowf macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    #7
    2 Drives not working... ?

    I have 2 (SATA) hard drives in external cases (3.5in). My mac recognizes each one separately if I plug directly into the computer, but when I plug them into my usb hub it sometimes doesn't recognize either, sometimes just one, never both.

    From the posts above it sounds like other people have 2 hard drives working from a USB hub. Do you think mine is not working because of the hub or the HD cases?

    My USB hub and external cases are both made by "Azio".. never heard of the brand, just bought it from a local computer store. The hub and HD's all have their own external power adapter.
     
  8. DarkHeraldMage macrumors 6502a

    DarkHeraldMage

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    #8
    I would say the problem is the hub. If your computer recognizes the drives individually, it's the hub. Was there any software that came with it? I can't imagine that there was, but perhaps. My recommendation would simply be to get a different hub. Even one that doesn't require it's own power supply. I just got a nice $15 one (can't remember the brand) for my Airport Extreme Base Station so I could have both my Time Machine and iTunes drives on the network instead of connected to my laptop. Good stuff. Just look around and you'll find something.
     
  9. nomar383 macrumors 65816

    nomar383

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    #9
    I've noticed a HUGE depreciation in speed on my USB hub from day one. However, I don't have a powered one, would that help any?
     
  10. DarkHeraldMage macrumors 6502a

    DarkHeraldMage

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    #10
    I doubt it, though I can't say for certain. Are you sure your hub is USB 2.0 and not the older USB version of 1.1? That would definitely cause a speed decrease.
     
  11. nomar383 macrumors 65816

    nomar383

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    #11
    The box says 2.0, I only bought it a few months ago, and it is only good for keyboard/mouse, but no iPod or HDs.
     
  12. lowf macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    #12
    Thanks for the reply, does anyone have a suggestion of a good USB hub to use?

    If I get a non-powered hub, would I be able to use it for a mouse / keyboard / ipod still (and the two hard drives)? I am planning to plug the hub directly into my laptop for now, I don't own the Airport Extreme Base yet.
     
  13. Jestered macrumors 6502

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    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #13
    Cheap hubs don't work very well. I bought a cheap one and could not get my airdisks to show my two drives. It would show one at a time, sometimes, but never both. I went to the Apple store and bought a belkin hub and have never had another problem with it.

    Also, remember that a USB hub is only as fast as its slowest device. So, do not plug in a USB 1.1 device into the hub if you have USB 2 devices also connected. If you are going to use both USB 1 & 2 devices, you will be better off getting two hubs (one for USB 1 devices and one for USB 2 devices).
     
  14. nomar383 macrumors 65816

    nomar383

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    #14
    I had no idea! I've been using a combination of 1.1 and 2.0 devices on the hub, so you think I should try it with all 2.0 devices?
     
  15. Jestered macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #15
    Absolutely, you will find out real fast if that is what is slowing down your devices or not. Not many people realize this, and I am sure there are going to be people that chime in disagreeing with me, but a USB hub is only as fast as the slowest connected device.
     

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