Why no USB 3.0 support for the AirPort Extreme?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jgorinac, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. jgorinac macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2011
    After reading many complains on the time campuses dieing right outside of warranty, I have considered using the Airport Extreme base station as a "time capsule". Didn't apple just remodel these thing? Why no USB 3.0? Because its wireless backup? Sorry if it's a dumb question, just wondering if it would have made a difference.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Apple just unveiled Macs with USB 3, give them time to update their router as well.
  3. DeaconGraves macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    They only remodeled the airport express (which I believe only allows shared printing through its USB port), not the extreme.

    I wouldn't be shocked if the next extreme model had USB 3.0.
  4. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    What's the point of having USB 3.0 on a router when you're going to be throttled by the throughput? I can see them implementing it when they implement 802.11ac, but that's probably not going to be relatively soon.
  5. harrisonw1998 macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2011
    Apple updated the express's form factor, but the extreme hasn't been updated yet. Its surely coming....
  6. dhartung02 macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2007
    Little Rock, AR
    Do you think we will see USB 3 in new ACD's this year?
  7. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    Because the AEBS is based on a Marvel (ARM) chipset so integrating USB 3.0 isn't a trivial things.
  8. parish macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2009
    Wilts., UK
    But the AEBS is also a 4-port Gigabit Ethernet switch so by having a USB3 port would enable you to connect a USB3 disk to it and connect your USB2 Mac by Ethernet and get approx twice the throughput of a USB2 disk connected directly to the Mac which is a big deal when backing up a couple of hundred GBs of data :)
  9. 0000757 macrumors 68040

    Dec 16, 2011
    The Thunderbolt Display will obviously receive USB 3.0, closer to when a majority of the models (if not all) all support USB 3.0. Currently only the laptops support 3.0. When the Mini and/or Pro update with USB 3.0, I would expect the Thunderbolt Display to launch alongside it.
  10. osplo macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2008
    I thought the same.

    Unfortunately, the new model was launched this week and it is still USB 2.

    I would have upgraded mine...
  11. freediverx macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2006
    USB2 operates at a theoretical maximum speed of 480 megabits per second, while USB3 is significantly faster at up to 5 gigabits per second. The wireless-N specification has a theoretical maximum speed of 300 megabits per second.

    Therefore, USB3 would be pointless on a wifi device.

  12. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Except that the new routers are 802.11ac which has a theoretical 866mbps, which is faster than USB2.0. With that said, by the time you add in wifi overhead and encryption one generally only gets "half" the speed which puts it in the realm of USB2.0 still.

    I will also point out that wireless N is actually capable of 600mbps if used with 4 antennas. Apple gear have a max of 3, so if you pair a previous gen Airport Extreme with a Macbook Pro you get 450mbps.
  13. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Don't forget it's not just a Wi-Fi device either - Gigabit Ethernet clients could benefit from USB 3 drives also.
  14. sergiobaschi macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2012
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    The CPU within the Extreme can't read the disk fast enough to use the USB 3-bandwith. The device's top speed is about 30 MB/s - I'm on my iPhone now, but check out the English Wikipedia page for the Airport Extreme for exact numbers.
  15. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    I think they just kept USB2 for marketing, With all the complaints and discussions being posted, the Extreme is in the news a lot. News is advertising :)

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