USB 2.0 5-port PCI Host Card Review
Reviewed by: Bosco
Reviewed on: April 11, 2002
Looking for USB speeds up to 480Mbps and backwards compatibility. Then you have found USB 2.0! Firewire provides great speeds of up to 400Mbps. But, there are very few firewire products on the market. It just seams that almost everything these days has USB 1.1 and more recently USB 2.0 compatibility. Today we are looking at a USB 2.0 host card from XPCGEAR.COM. Which provides 5 USB ports that support USB 2.0 specifications to your computer.
- Compliant with USB Specification Revision 2.0
- Data transfer rate can be 1.5/12/480Mbps
- Compliant with OHCI Specification for USB Rev 1.0a
- Downstream port can handle high speed (480Mbps), Full-speed (12Mbps) and low-speed (1.5Mbps)
- 32-bit 33Mhz host interface compliant to PCI Specification release 2.2
- Support PCI-Bus Power Management Interface Specification release 1.1
- Support up to 127 devices
- Support devices hot-swap and wake-up
- Support Win98&SE/ME/2000
Installation of this USB 2.0 card is very strait forward. Find an open PCI slot and remove the slot cover from the case. Insert the card into the PCI slot until fully seated and screw into place. Once the hardware is installed its time to move on to the software driver. When you turn your computer back on Windows will automatically detect the device and install the proper driver. You might have to go to the Windows Update site for the proper driver. Depending on how long ago you last updated you Windows installation. Thats it, installed, done!
After installation you will have one internal and four external ports that will support USB 2.0 specifications. The internal USB port can be use to plug in front panel USB ports that support USB 2.0. This USB card is also backward compatible with all USB 1.1 products. Just to note, USB 1.1 products will not run any faster when plugged into a USB 2.0 host card. They will run at there default speed of 12Mbps. Now on to some testing.
Using SiSoftware Sandra File System Benchmark I was able to run a few tests on this card. I am using a 5.25” external enclosure that supports USB 2.0. Inside this enclosure I used a 3.6GB hard drive that is ATA/33. It's the only drive I had available during testing. Running the benchmark on a Windows XP computer, with the drive plugged into a USB 1.1 port yielded a drive index score of 954. That same drive plugged into one of the USB 2.0 ports on this card in the same computer returned a score of 7910. Thats over an 800% improvement in USB 2.0 compared to USB 1.1 with this drive.
Great card for all your USB 2.0 as well as USB 1.1 products. I tried this card with a handfull of USB 1.1 products. These included a few gampads, a joystick, printer, scanner and a zip drive. All of which worked without a single problem. Just plug and GO!
Easy installation and setup!
I would like to thank XPCGear.com for sending us this product to review!