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How does one reconfigure their USB ports to SuperSpeed USB 3.0?

2775 Views 20 Replies Latest reply: Nov 5, 2013 10:10 AM by babowa RSS
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hughrodgers Calculating status...
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Nov 1, 2013 6:47 AM

I didn't know this was a thing, but my ports are set to HiSpeed USB 2.0 and obviously a 2.0 device was the first USB device plugged into the ports when I got my new iMac last November.. so they're configured to 2.0 speed and not 3.0

 

Any way to reset them and start again?

 

Thanks!

iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.5)
  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,760 points)

    I'm not aware of any reconfiguring you would need to do. The port will automatically select the speed for the device that is plugged in.

     

    Have you plugged in a USB 3 device with  a USB 3 cable?

     

    Note: If you have two or more devices plugged into the same USB port the type of the first device in the chain will determine if the port is 2 or 3. Always plug the USB 3 device first.

     

    But this only applies to multiple devices. If you have only one device plugged in the port will be whatever that device is.

     

    Message was edited by: Frank Caggiano

  • MartinR Level 6 Level 6 (14,560 points)

    Note: If you have two or more devices plugged into the same USB port the type of the first device in the chain will determine if the port is 2 or 3.

     

    When you daisy-chain or hub multiple USB (or FW) devices, the slowest device in the chain will limit the entire chain regardless of the connection order.

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,760 points)
    When you daisy-chain or hub multiple USB (or FW) devices, the slowest device in the chain will limit the entire chain regardless of the connection order.

     

    Interesting, seems this from Apple Using USB 3 devices on Mac computers FAQ  contradicts that.

     

    Specifically these:

    How do I get the best performance from the USB 3 ports?
    The first device you plug in will configure the port, so always connect USB 3 capable hubs or devices first.

    #What happens if I plug in a USB 2 device into the USB 3 port first?
    If you plug in a USB 2 hub first, all devices connected or "daisy-chained" to that hub will operate up to the maximum transfer rate of USB 2 speed (480 Mbps).

    Do you know from personal experience that this is wrong? If so you need to contact Apple (use the Full Host Bar) and have then change it.

     

    regards

  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (59,150 points)

    So, if you do the second, are you screwed, since Apple's not supplied a way to reconfigure the USB 3 port back to an USB 3 capability?

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,760 points)

    I read it has just referring to the current configuration. if you unplug everything and then plug in the USB 3 device first (or alone) the port will run at USB 3 speed.

  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (59,150 points)

    But, that seems to contradict the first item; i.e., The first device you plug in will configure the port, so always connect USB 3 capable hubs or devices first. Maybe I'm misreading it and they're really saying is that the first device determines the configuration, so if there's a mixture, the first determines the bus speed and configuring isn't any permanent thing like a firmware update.

    27" i7 iMac SL, MLion, OS X Mavericks (10.9), G4 450 MP w/Leopard, 9.2.2
  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,760 points)

    No it doesn't if you read them both as only affecting the current configuration, which seems the most likely scenario.

     

    If you plug in a USB 2 device followed by a USB 3 device the port is configured for USB 2 speed. If you then reverse them USB 3 followed by USB 2 the port is configured for USB 3. Configurations can be dynamic.

     

    I'm not seeing any problem with this. Is your experience different?

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (22,060 points)

    What about if the port is simply (older) USB 2? Only the newer Macs have USB 3 ports (my mid 2010 has USB 2).

     

    I'm wondering if that was the question originally posed, then there is nothing that can be done as they are part of the logic board and anything USB 3 plugged in will be backwards compatible, but only run at USB 2 speed - is that correct?

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,760 points)
    What about if the port is simply (older) USB 2?

     

    Then none of this applies as the Apple Tech note is obviously headed Using USB 3 devices on Mac computers FAQ .

     

    The OP referred to

    got my new iMac last November

     

    late 2012 iMac's came with USB 3.  However it is possible even though the OP got the system then it was an earlier model with USB 2.

     

    Of course if the system only has USB 2 ports there is no way to turn then into USB 3's

     

    Until the OP comes back there isn;t much else  to say.

     

    regards

  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (59,150 points)

    Frank Caggiano wrote:

    I'm not seeing any problem with this. Is your experience different?

    No. I don't have a machine with USB 3 ports, but was trying to get my head around the tech note. If the configuration is dynamic, then it should say so. I'd write it differently to remove all confusion. That said, you're probably right in that what goes in first determines the configuration.

    27" i7 iMac SL, MLion, OS X Mavericks (10.9), G4 450 MP w/Leopard, 9.2.2
  • MartinR Level 6 Level 6 (14,560 points)

    Interesting, seems this from Apple Using USB 3 devices on Mac computers FAQ contradicts that.  Specifically these:

     

    Actually, those specific quotes don't contradict my earlier statement.  But I dug into the question anyway and learned something new about USB 3.0.

     

    If a USB 3 device is the first device in the daisy chain, it will operate at USB 3 speeds even if later devices in the chain are USB 2 or USB 1.x.  (Of course, the host controller must be USB 3 and the cable has to be USB3.)

     

    This is a change I was not aware of.  But then, I don't use USB for high speed drives, being a FireWire - eSATA - Thunderbolt guy myself.

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,760 points)

    Of course they do.

     

    You're earlier post said that if there was any USB 2 device attached to a port all devices would run at USB 3 speed regardless of the placement of the device.

    When you daisy-chain or hub multiple USB (or FW) devices, the slowest device in the chain will limit the entire chain regardless of the connection order.

    (emphases added)

     

    That, as the tech note from Apple shows and as your subsequent research has found, is wrong. The order matters and you will get USB 3 speed as long as there are no USB 2 devices between the USB 3 device and the port.

     

    regards

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,760 points)

    The late 2012 iMac's were released starting at the end of October.

     

    When you bought your iMac what model did you think you were getting? What did Apple represent that as? What does your order show? I ask because if you were ordering what you though was a new late 2012 iMac you might have a case to take  to Apple.

     

    Just recently in another thread a user thought they were getting one of the new Mac Book Pro's only to discover the system had Mountain Lion on it and not Mavericks. Turned out to be an old system in the pipeline and he is now getting the correct system from Apple.

     

    Of course your situation is different in the time that has past. Don't think after all this time you could get the correct machine but looking into it would be worth your time. Might be some compensation from Apple.

     

    regards

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