Comparing USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 - The
"I'm looking around Christmas time
at giving gifts of things like scanners, memory readers, etc., all of
which have USB connections. For a while there were only 1.1 connections on
devices and 1.1 hubs, etc. Now there are both. The question I have is:
- USB Scanner:
- If I give someone a USB 2.0 Scanner,
am I going to force him to upgrade a machine that's 2 years old to
be able to use it or can I simply buy an adapter cable?
- Answer: Not a Cable. If
they have a USB 1.1 port, they can use the USB 2.0 Scanner @ USB
1.1 speeds. Or possibly a USB 2.0 PCI Card + Upgrade to Win2000 or
WinXP for USB 2.0 speeds. If they have Win98, they can still enjoy
USB 2.0 @ USB 1.1 Speeds. Currently even USB 2.0 Scanners do not
fully utilize the USB 2.0 speed.
According to www.formfactors.org,
Front Panel I/O: "The USB 2.0 connector is the same as
USB 1.1 connector. The USB 2.0 specification defines a new
high-speed transfer rate of 480 Mb/sec., a 40x increase from the
- As for USB 2.0 External HD's, we
have not tested one yet and therefore do not know for sure. They
would probably come closer to appreciating a USB 2.0 connection
than current USB 2.0 Scanners. In time, that too will change as
USB 2.0 Devices become plentiful. Right now, Vendors appear to be
able to minimize the obsolescence effect of new Technology as we
grow into USB 2.0 from USB 1.1.
- USB Ports Full:
- If all the user's USB 1.1 Ports
are filled and he decides to put in a USB hub, should he buy a USB
2.0 hub and then use the above adapter cable to plug into a 1.1
port on the computer?
- Answer: That's suppose to
be the beauty of USB Connectivity - USB 2.0 maintains backwards
compatibility with USB 1.1 as far as the interface for Plug-N-Play
Devices. Transfer Rates
(Throughput) will only be as fast as the slowest Device. Very
soon, USB 2.0 will be the only USB Devices available for purchase.
So anything you buy should be geared towards the newer and faster
spec as long as it's affordable - And ROI (Return On Investment)
can be justified.
- USB Upgrade:
- I understand that eventually we
will all have to upgrade to USB 2.0, but the question is can we
get by, by resorting to the above strategies until we are ready to
- Answer: Yes! The O/S may
become the limiting factor. The other limiting factor will be
determined by the age of the PC. If it can run Win98, expect USB
1.1 performance. If the User has a PC capable of running Win2000
or WinXP, they can then take full advantage of USB 2.0 Speeds.
According to Microsoft, USB 2.0
support will only be available for Win2000 & WinXP flavors.
"Microsoft will not provide USB 2.0 support for the
Windows 9x platform or Windows NT 4.0."
With that said, since this is a
part of the WDM Driver Model which is also
supported on Win98SE & WinMe, USB 2.0 support should also
work. Anyone tried it yet and how will you know your Device
actually works @ USB 2.0 Speeds? Feeling Lucky?
2.0 and Windows.
We have addressed this @ our BuildOrBuy
Meetings and we will continue to do so as needed. GB