ADD USB3.0 PORT(s) to a LAPTOP WITHOUT "ExpressCard" - READ MY SOLUTION!

Has anyone of your laptops craved for USB3.0, yet missing "ExpressCard" slot 
normally required for that adapter (at present is popping up everywhere for 
$29-50, my fav is "PatriotMemory" brand)?

Brand new laptops sometimes come out w/o an ExpressCard slot - I can explan 
the reason but it's not a subject of this Article.
Here's my soilution which worked.

Disclaimers:
1) YOU WILL BLATANTLY VOID LAPTOP'S WARRANTY!  As of me, I never cared for 
warranties, electronics these days is cheap, reliable and I can fix most 
down to SMT formfactor, more importantly - many folks upgrade computer often 
before its warranty expires.  But beware, this procedure is like "surgery" 
on your latop.
2) You MUST HAVE ELCTRONICS KNOWLEDGE, fine fingers, grounding wristwrap 
(w/1Mohm resistor), no tools are necessary other than a fine screwdriver but 
sometimes it maybe needed for mechanical cutout in your computer housing.

Why would anyone consider such a dramatic upgrade?
If you xfer giant amounts of data, you will aprpeciate 3x speed jump with 
USB3 vs USB2 in practice, even with normal SATAII harddisks.
SATAIII is 6Gbps & theoretical bandwidth of USB3.0 is 4.8Gbps (or 5Gbps 
depending on who's talking).
Trust me I am using USB3 and anytime forced to drop down to USB2 with other 
computers, I wodner how we all lived w/o USB3!  It's great.

But a laptop w/o "ExpressCard" slot (to accept adapter) is probably locked 
out of this & some other great things (like FirewireC - 3.2Gbps, some 
wireless stuff, etc.)
What have I done?

I opened case, found 1 available (lucky!) mini-PCI-E slot, and installed 
this Circuit board:
Part# part# 1507880  from "GLOBAL AMERICAN INC.", website:
http://www.globalamericaninc.com

Link to this card:
www.globalamericaninc.com/p1507880/1507880_-_PCI-Express_Mini-Card_USB_3.0_SuperSpeed_Module/product_info.html

There're two components that must be installed unless you want to become an 
Electronic Assembler for several days:
a) This card itself  b) I/O module

Finally, your laptop probably has no opening (slot) in its plastic/metal 
housing to protrude this new port, I simply ditched two original USB2.0 
ports, and put these new USB3.0 ports there with some mechncial modification 
using a Dremel tool.
GOOD NEWS USB3.0 IS DOWNWARDS COMPATIBLE W/USB2.0 SO YOU'RE NOT LOSING 
USB2.0 PORTS  Better yet, is to make 2 new slots for these 2 new ports.
The only catch is your new port will do everything USB3 is supposed todo in 
terms of speed, but may not support USB3 specs for power sourcing - 0.9A at 
least, you may only get 0.5A as for older USB2.0 ports.
Depending on a laptop you may plug into or more likely solder/tap into some 
powersource on your powersupply without damaging motherboard or overload.
But there's a much better solution:
LEAVE IT ALONE.
Instead, whenever you need full 0.9A power from USB3.0 simply plug an extra 
cable into older USB2.0 for extra "juice" (power), you know what I mean - 
"Y" cable that's almost free or comes free with many external harddisk and I 
even made a couple for fun.  It's easy.

Finally, here's a solution if you do NOt have an empty Mini-PCI-E slot on 
your laptop motherboard.:
Sacrifice something else (unplug) which you either don't use daily or can 
use thru USB2.0.  E.g. remove WiFi/Wireless card - PLEASE BEFORE you call 
this action"insane", read the following:
Your WiFi card is likely to be old anyway, especially if you're missing 
ExpressCard slot,m what you do is you get a USB2.0 based NEW card which will 
support NEW standard liek 802.11N, Airport, etc.  It may stick outside your 
USB2.0 port, but hey - you get:
*) USB3.0
**) New Wireless Card

Nothing can be more painful to me than going to old USB2.0 since I did this 
modification for the old laptop.
The requirement is:

The card from 'Global American": will ONLY work with new/current 
MINI-PCI-EXPRESS slots, it's dimensions e.g. height must fit into your 
laptop.  Mine is a 17" CAD/Graphic Asus & HP laptops which have space.
You're dpoing it at own risk, you void warranty and you need skills.
If you have more money than skills, than don't do this craziness.
Just wait until a new Laptop or play with USB3 in a desktop.  For me - it 
wasn't all about money, it's simply fun to prove one can have USb3.0 in a 
laptopo which people say "is locked out of USB3.0 future".

====================
Stan Starinski
Web:      www.Interengineers.org  www.Nanoinfocenter.com   Currently OFF for
maintenance
Consulting Engineer (EE+ME, ECAD+MCAD [3D/2D]), R&D + Prototype,
Embedded/Firmware ["C" or ASM for Microcontrollers], computers).










0
Stan
6/20/2010 2:15:41 PM
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P.S. IEEE 802.11N was probably not a godo example.
But you get the idea:
Unplug less useful stuff & plug USB3 card instead.  The less useful stuff 
can be plugged thru USb2.0 later, and newer than you current stuff.

I know it looks like I am willing to do anything for USB3.
Yes - I pump enormous data between 2 laptops & RAID storage.
Because I liek to work outdoors o rmy own setting, so laptops do the work 
typical of a desktop workstations, with giant amoutns of data.

When it's time to pump data back to work network or backup, USB2.0 is simply 
too slow.
eSATA is not much better - and it requires power!  It's also not common, and 
SLOWER than USB3 tehoretically.

Practical tests ALSO proved USB3 is slightly faster or equal to eSATA, the 
bottlenecj however is no longer USB, eSATA or whatever protocol.

The Bottlenexk is now Harddisk itself - because SATA is 3Gbps while USB3 is 
4.8 or 5Gbps  (SATAIII is 6Gbps but it's still too new).

Until now what was happening is your Harddisk's 3Gbps was bumping against 
SATA/DMA-to-USB brdige (translator) chip, not only dealing with USB2 slow 
0.48Gbps speed but also this translation process (chip)!  The end result was 
not even 0.48Gbps but like 30-60Mbps, pretty slow.
USB3 removes at least oen bottleneck - protocol speed, itseld (it;'s not 
5Gbps).

What remains is the Bridge chip, but boy is it fast!  It's usually NEC USB3 
chip that most manufactures are licensing since a few months ago.
Make sure your USB3 card or PCI-E or whatever card is using this NEC chip.
Some Chinese vendors use a cheapo version that is less than perfect. 

0
Stan
6/20/2010 2:27:44 PM
"godo" should read:
"good'

There're other typos, as usual recently I am typing on a mobile device (tiny 
keyboard). 

0
Stan
6/20/2010 2:39:43 PM
SPAM! THREAD CLOSED! P.S. HOW IS YOUR VAGINA DOING? JUST FYI!
0
Kevin
6/20/2010 2:44:22 PM
Reply:

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