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Overlord66

USB 3.0 Card for N54L

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schoondoggy

If your two main requirements for a USB3 card for the MicroServer are:

1. 2 x USB3.0 rear external ports (no front or internal ports)

2. No auxiliary power required

 

The best choice is the Plugable PCI Express to SuperSpeed USB 3.0 2-Port Expansion Card [link].

 

Compared to the WD card, the Plugable has the following advantages:

1. It uses the latest NEC/Renesas chip, the uPD720202 [vs the WD's uPD720200]. The new chip is faster, and uses less power. The lower power usage is apparently what encouraged Plugable to drop the Molex from this updated card. Users of the WD card should note that it almost certainly does not meet USB3 spec of 5V @900mA for both ports (when used in a LowProfile x1 slot; ie, the MicroServers). (I am inclined to believe this newer Plugable card does, since they were aware of the requirement, and justified the presence of the Molex on the original version of their card (though it was only needed for high power-draw usage).

 

2. Plugable appears to have knowledgable and sincere support staff. They do understand the USB technology and market. They are quick to update their products with the latest technology.

 

3. It is less expensive.

I have heard good things about Pluggable's other products, this one looks good as well. I was concerned about power with the WD card as well, I have had no issues, but I seldom drive two devices from it. You kind of lost me on the, 'when used in a LowProfile x1 slot; ie, the MicroServers' what does low profile have to do with power?

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UhClem

I have heard good things about Pluggable's other products, this one looks good as well. I was concerned about power with the WD card as well, I have had no issues, but I seldom drive two devices from it. You kind of lost me on the, 'when used in a LowProfile x1 slot; ie, the MicroServers' what does low profile have to do with power?

Apparently, the PCIe spec for power consumption of a x1 card is lower (10W vs 25W) if it is a low-profile card. I found that in the Wikipedia article on PCI_Express (under Power), and verified it in the referenced PCI-SIG document.

 

I don't own the Plugable card. They do make good stuff. If their card is installed and set up properly, it will be as fast or faster than any other Renesas-based card.

Edited by UhClem

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jmwills

And for $19.95......it's worth it already.

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ikon

Apparently, the PCIe spec for power consumption of a x1 card is lower (10W vs 25W) if it is a low-profile card. I found that in the Wikipedia article on PCI_Express (under Power), and verified it in the referenced PCI-SIG document.

 

OK, now that is a seriously interesting bit of trivia. Thanks.

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schoondoggy

Slide 20 covers power for PCIe cards;

http://www.pcisig.com/developers/main/training_materials/get_document?doc_id=6d37ec2f8543fc1f9d8ace6264d08b469f57e5f1

and USB 3.0 specs, section 11.4.2;

http://www.usb.org/developers/docs/

2 USB 3.0 ports at spec would be 9w. Leaving 1w for power consumption by the board.

I see most boards give a spec of 1A per port, which would consume the entire 10w budget, but 900ma is the spec.

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UhClem

Some of that 10W will be from current supplied on the 3.3v pins; that will be used by the 72020x, etc.. I doubt that any unused 3.3v current can be utilized for the 5v@900ma (x2) needs. I suspect that the 5v supplied for USB3 power will all be derived from the 12v pins. My question is how efficient/sophisticated/expensive can the voltage regulation components be on a consumer PC board? (I studied EE almost 50 years ago; wasn't good at it. But going 12vDC->5vDC was a real horror show back then.)

Edited by UhClem

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ikon

50 years ago, yeah, it was a pain. Today, the solid state regulators are very sophisticated, and yet still cheap, at least for low power applications.

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cskenney

While I enjoy the discussion about the power usage and how it is derived we are starting to get a little off track.

 

It appears the Plugable USB3 card shows promise.  I guess we need to see if anyone buys one and provides feedback to this topic of their experience.

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RyansP

Hi all.  I recently joined this forum due to jumping on the N54 deal over at Newegg a couple days ago.  So I've been going through posts and came across this discussion on USB 3.0 cards.  At the time I ordered the N54, Newegg was offering a USB 3 card to go with it for $15: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=16-115-105&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Keywords=proliant#scrollFullInfo.  Not knowing anything about compatability, performance, etc. I jumped on this "combo".  None of you seem to mention this HighPoint card though, so now I'm worried it'll either be incompatible, or just a garbage card.  Anyone ever use the card I bought?

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ikon

You should be good to go. HighPoint makes good stuff. I imagine that card will be at least as good as the WD one. Not many have bought that card because, when not discounted, it's quite a bit more expensive.

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