USB 3.0 – Advantages and Disadvantages

USB 3.0 specifications were announced at the end of of 2008. USB 3.0 is upto 10x faster than USB 2.0 and can offer a max data transfer speed of upto 5Gbits/sec which roughly translates into 640MB/sec. USB 3.0 is fully comaptible with USB 2.0 but does not support older USB 1.1 devices. At first sight USB 3.0 connector seems no different from the USB 2.0 connector but the USB 3.0 Connector has 5 more connecting pins placed deep inside the connector cover. USB 2.0 can provide a maximum of 500mA power to the USB device while USB 3.0 can provide a maximum power of 900mA, which is important for portable hard drives. USB 3.0 also comes with better power saving features so your USB powered devices will consume less power when it is in idle mode.

USB 3.0 has certain advantages over USB 2.0 which are –

1) Faster Data Transfer Speed
2) Lower Power Consumption by the USB Devices
3) Higher Power Supplied to the USB Devices, especially useful for Portable HDD’s


As with any other new technology, USB 3.0 also has certain drawbacks which include –

1) The first batch of Motherboard’s which will be shipping with USB 3.0 will be costly but with the technology getting older price too will go down

2) USB 3.0 is incompatible with USB 1.1

3) USB 3.0 only supports a maximum cable length of 3 meters compared to 5 meters of USB 2.0

4) Another major disadvantage of USB 3.0 is that mobile phones and other gadgets which will use the Micro-B USB 3.0 connector will have a width of 12.25mm while the Micro-B USB 2.0 Connector is only 6.86mm wide

5) Currently there are no OS available in the market which supports USB 3.0 and even the upcoming version of Windows i.e. Windows 7 will not support USB 3.0 though Microsoft may add support for it later on via Windows Update

As you can see, currently USB 3.0 has more disadvantages than advantages but with time the disadvantages of USB 3.0 will reduce significantly which will help in making USB 3.0 mainstream.

Published by

Rajesh Pandey

Rajesh is a 19 year old nerd, currently pursuing B.Com Hons from Bhawanipore college in Kolkata, India. He loves everything tech, especially Android. You can follow him on twitter @ePandu or mail to him at [email protected]

  • advantages and disadvantages of USB 3.0 –

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • Saz

    Having faster external hard drives with USB 3 would be nice, I have a habbit of backing up my entire PC data on to an external drive each month.

  • bob

    man it is sooooo fast! like almost twice as fast!!!

    my friend he says that i am an idiot!!! but it really is faster than usb2

  • Izzy

    Although this is a tad bit late, I’d like to point out that numbers 4 and 5 were erroneous (Incorrect/false) since the start. The USB 3.0 Micro-B connector is essentially a USB Micro-B 2.0. cpnnector with an added port on the side. It is not thicker, so it will not be particularly harmful to cell phones. Since 2009, many Linux distributions supported USB 3.0, and there is now driver based implementations in current and legacy versions of windows. Your first downside is now no longer a downside, and the second and third listed downsides are not really deal0-reakers.