The 2-Port USB 3.0 Adapter Model TU3-H2PIE from TRENDnet is a PCI Express add-on card that gives your current system the boost of almost double the transfer speeds using USB 3.0 with a simple addition of this card and the USB 3.0 host controller.
Ease of Use, Performance: 23/25
Look & Feel: 23/25
How much I enjoy 23/25
TRENDnet adds their bid for USB 3.0 in an adapter or add-on PCI Express card to boost your transfer rates for any computer with an available PCI Express slot. USB 3.0 is the newest standard for USB that increases transfer rates using an additional set of wires inside the new USB cable.
USB 3.0 has been out for a little while and companies are starting to manufacture motherboards and laptops with USB 3.0 but until they are more fully saturating the market you can upgrade with a simple add on card. Installing a PCI Express card is simple and with a new host controller and the new set of communication lines USB 3.0 almost doubles the transfer rates between a computer and storage devices.
The TRENDnet USB 3.0 Adapter adds two USB 3.0 connections onto your desktop computer using the PCI-Express slot on your motherboard as well as power from a common Molex connection. The USB 3.0 card adds the two USB 3.0 connections while only giving up one slot and needing the extra boost of power that is common inside tower computers.
The TRENDnet USB 3.0 Adapter comes with the card itself, a Quick Installation Manual and a CD with drivers and more instructions to help with installation. Installation is as easy as installing the drivers and USB 3.0 host controller then powering down and installing the card.
You have to use a Molex 5 volt power connection to add more voltage to the adapter as the USB 3.0 also gives extra power over the connection that was missing from the previous USB standard. With USB 3.0 you can often run external hard drives without having to externally power them as opposed to always needing external power with USB 2.0.
Installing the TRENDnet PCI-E adapter is simple, just install the drivers and USB 3.0 host controller from the CD and then install the card. You will have to make sure that you have an extra 5 volt connection internally for your system but this is usually not a problem.
I installed the card in my system and compared the transfer rates between this card and a previous PCI-E adapter I received for a previous review and had very close results. The card transfers data at an average speed of 52 megabytes per second using USB 3.0 and about 30 megabytes per second with USB 2.0.
Both the SIIG and the TRENDnet USB 3.0 adapters performed at almost exactly the same rates for transferring data to an external drive and also received about the same scores for benchmarks tests. I ran Futuremark’s PCMark Vantage tests for both cards and had very similar results for them using the USB 3.0 adapter and an external USB 3.0 hard drive enclosure.
The USB 3.0 card performs comparably with other cards on the market as well so this card works just as good as any other cards without much difference. The card is easy to install and simple to use, just plug your USB 2.0 or 3.0 cable in and your ready to go.
The TRENDnet USB 3.0 adapter is an easy solution to upgrading your system to the better USB 3.0 standard with its faster transfer rates. The reason to go the route of the better transfer speeds are very apparent when using an external drive to read and write data.
The newer USB 3.0 standard not only provides more power but also has better power management than the USB 2.0 standard due to better use of the various features. Devices can start an idle state instead of just the computer and devices can now communicate information like latency for better power management.
USB 3.0 is a new standard but has proven itself as a better and faster one that not only does allow for faster transfers of data but allows better and more power to devices like drives and hubs. These types of external devices will undoubtedly be the reason for wanting USB 3.0 connectivity, faster speeds being the best reason.
The TRENDnet PCI-E Adapter for better USB 3.0 transfer rates is available from several online sellers including Amazon and Newegg for about $40. I highly recommend the TRENDnet 2-Port USB 3.0 Adapter if you need better transfer rates in an easy to install adapter card that is readily available at several websites.