Let’s take a moment to look at the hardware specifics to ensure you pick the right card for your needs.First, you always want to purchase a card that includes a power connector of some sort (some cards have an older molex 4-pin power jack and typically come with a molex-to-SATA adapter and some have a SATA power adapter onboard).While there are, in fact, USB 3.0 expansion cards for laptops with expansion card slots, those cards perform poorly, consume large amounts of power, and are generally not worth the hassle.If you have a laptop that has a USB 3.0 port or two and you wish to expand upon that we would encourage you to check out The HTG Guide to Purchasing the Perfect USB Hub for Your Needs.Even when USB 3.0 connections don’t hit the theoretical limit they are still staggeringly faster than USB 2.0 connections.
Normally we have a cut and dry list of the hardware you need for a given tutorial.
If you already have a USB 3.0 port or two on your computer, you can pretty much skip this section: you already know how great USB 3.0 is and you’re here for more.
If you’re thinking about upgrading an older computer to support USB 3.0 you might not realize just how many improvements USB 3.0 offers over USB 2.0. The maximum theoretical speed of USB 3.0 is ten times faster than USB 2.0.
For the purposes of this guide we upgraded two computers with several different USB 3.0 related upgrades to showcase the different upgrade paths you can take.
Depending on your needs you can mix and match the hardware we used in the two machines to achieve your desired outcome.