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View Full Version : USB Hubs: drawbacks?


Tuork
10-06-07, 09:19 PM
I have somewhat of a weird question...

I have a laptop (see sig) which I hook up to my 20" monitor, speakers, G15 and MX1000, as well as an external HDD (which I don't use that often - mostly for backup). I sometimes also plug in a webcam for the random video chat with my sister.

Right now I have the MX connected to the G15, and the G15 to the USB port on my computer. Another port on my computer alternates between HDD and webcam.

My question is this:
If I were to use a USB hub to make all the wiring look nicer (as well as not having to plug in/out various cables), would I experience drawbacks in performance from my various devices?

From what I remember from my computer architecture classes, the USB controller is run by the northbridge, and any USB device is connected in series to said controller. Am I wrong to assume that at the end of the day performance would be the same?

Thanks for your input!

Shamrock
10-06-07, 10:01 PM
I have alot of trouble with my Logitech G25 racing wheel, with my D Link hub. Occasionally (like once a night) it will stop working, and shut off. The wheel, not the hub.

CaptNKILL
10-07-07, 02:04 AM
I think it can screw with the way devices are detected and labeled in windows.

I know when I hook up a few controllers with a USB hub everything is different than when I plug them into the system directly.

jeffmd
10-07-07, 08:24 AM
uhmm...no.. unless the hub itself is bad, it won't screw up anything. However if the hub does not have its own power supply, it won't be able to run any devices which draw power from the usb port. USB however, is sort of like a power outlet, and can be split many times. The devices are designed to talk along the same connections in a well mannered form. The only performance hog on your usb line would be your video camera.

Monolyth
10-07-07, 09:16 AM
uhmm...no.. unless the hub itself is bad, it won't screw up anything. However if the hub does not have its own power supply, it won't be able to run any devices which draw power from the usb port. USB however, is sort of like a power outlet, and can be split many times. The devices are designed to talk along the same connections in a well mannered form. The only performance hog on your usb line would be your video camera.

Yeah, and also keep in mind that you must keep 2.0 & 1.1 devices on separate controllers otherwise it will automatically use 1.1 if you have 1.1 devices on there.

I've occasionally run into an issue with cruddy USB controllers not properly supplying power to things like my keyboard or mouse, but it's rare.

Jon
10-07-07, 10:39 AM
The bandwidth on a usb hub is shared. So for example if I connect my external usb hard disc to a hub with my keyboard, mouse and ipod my transfer rate is <20mb/s. However if I connect it to a port on its own I get 32mb/s.

Windows has settings for bandwidth sharing of usb devices but I couldn't be bothered to try changing mine.

jolle
10-07-07, 02:55 PM
I noticed a drawback on the one I bought..
IT HAS A FRIGGIN SUPERNOVA CLASS LED ON IT!..
So basicly I have this supernova in my bedroom, cycling through alot of colors, and it keeps shining when I turn the computer off..
fast and dirty (no pun intended) solution, put a sock on it..
Looking into a more permanent solution with duct tape later on.

jeffmd
10-07-07, 04:15 PM
lol..I get tired of all my electronics having bright LEDs. I bought a mini-desktop case for my Media PC, and it had a blue light that had a lens that would refract the light into a lazer, so it would burn out your retinas when you sat down on the couch. I used some brown cellophane wrapping from a snack packaging to kill it down some. Ditto with my last pcmcia wifi card, it had not one but TWO bright green LEDs that would flash on and off regardless of traffic.

I actually decided to move the power light connection to the 2nd HD light in my new p180b case so with the door closed, you couldn't see any lights, but I could open the door to check if the pc was on if I need. Originally the power light is uncovered but the 2 HD lights are covered by the door.

Still.. my wifi hub has a fair amount of lights, and my new broadband/IP phone has even more lights. I keep my large WoW collectors edition box infront of it so I can get some sleep. ^^

Tuork
10-07-07, 06:21 PM
The bandwidth on a usb hub is shared. So for example if I connect my external usb hard disc to a hub with my keyboard, mouse and ipod my transfer rate is <20mb/s. However if I connect it to a port on its own I get 32mb/s.

Windows has settings for bandwidth sharing of usb devices but I couldn't be bothered to try changing mine.

Ah, so the bandwidth is in fact divided by the devices.. hmm.. that could be a drawback for the external harddrive, although I don't really use it much, so I don't really care. It would make everything much more organizaed.

I'll think about it some more.

Shamrock
10-07-07, 11:22 PM
Just a small tidbit I left out. My D Link Hub is self powered. And the only thing on it, is my Logitech wheel.

supra
10-07-07, 11:26 PM
edit: woops posted wrong thread lol argh im so tired

Jon
10-09-07, 04:26 PM
Ah, so the bandwidth is in fact divided by the devices.. hmm.. that could be a drawback for the external harddrive, although I don't really use it much, so I don't really care. It would make everything much more organizaed.

I'll think about it some more.

Yeah, its not an even divide either... some devices get say 30% bandwidth whilst others get 10%.