Question 3.2 USB Motherboard with 3.0 USB Case


Jan 18, 2023
my motherboard support Front USB 3.2 Gen 1 header but my case support 3.0 USB, can i connect them ?


As USB port specs changed over the last couple years, the names changed, too. So now ALL USB 3 newer systems are called USB 3.2 with a Genn suffix. The original USB 3 now is called USB 3.2 Gen1, and it is spec'd to operate up to 5 Gb/s. What was called USB 3.1 at one time now is USB 3.2 Gen2, and it operates up to 10 Gb/s. Both of these use the same mobo header type which actually contains 2 USB 3.2 ports (to feed two sockets), but have slightly different socket designs for the case front (or back) where you plug in devices (see below). The next up the line is USB 3.2 Gen 2x2, and it can operate up to 20 Gb/s. It uses a DIFFERENT mobo header called Type E, and it MUST use the smaller Type C socket and connectors. This port is designed and wired differently so that it contains only one such port in the header.

Regarding external sockets and connectors, the basic type called Type A looks just like the ones for USB2 BUT they contain five more contacts. So Type A connectors of USB2 and USB 3.2 systems can be plugged in interchangeably, but performance at USB 3.2 speeds only happens if all the components match. To help you keep things straight, most commonly the sockets and the connectors that plug in are BLUE for USB 3.2 systems. There is a new smaller socket / connector system called Type C. This connector system can perform up to the 20 Gb/s speed of USB 3.2 Gen2x2, whereas the older Type A system is spec'd only up to 5 Gb/s. You CAN use the Type A sockets and connectors on a Gen2 port, but you may NOT get that full 10 Gb/s speed that way, so it is strongly recommended that you use Type C for a Gen2 system. For the Gen2x2 port, you MUST use the Type C - Type A has no hope of reaching those speeds.

Looking at your mobo's manual, OP, we see that it has USB2 and USB 3.2 sockets, the latter in both Gen1 and Gen2 versions, including one Gen 2x2 rear socket. On the REAR panel are 8 sockets: two USB2, one USB 3.2 Gen1 Type A, four USB 3.2 Gen2 Type A, and one USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type C. Regarding the additional mobo headers for more ports (see manual p. 1-1 to 1-3) there is one of the new Type E headers (item 8) but interestingly it is rated for the Gen1 version, not the Gen 2x2 normally used with this header type. Then there's a typical Gen1 header (item 9) right next to that. On the bottom edge there are two USB2 headers (item 10). Your case will have come with some headers of several types in the front, with cables from them to plug into mobo headers. Since the connectors and mobo headers all are different, there is no confusion about which can plug in where. Typically TWO USB2 sockets older Type A) are fed by ONE USB2 cable to plug into one of those headers. Similarly, TWO USB 3.2 Gen1 sockets (Type A or C) are fed by one USB 3.2 cable. A single USB 3.2 Type C socket may be fed by a cable ending in the Type E connector for that mobo socket, but many cases do NOT have such a cable.

So, what you get to use on your CASE front is set by the types of sockets and cables that come pre-installed in your case. But the mobo headers for USB3.2 to feed those ports are only rated as Gen1, so irrespective of the sockets your case has, the performance of these will be limited to 5 Gb/s. From the REAR panel you have two USB2 sockets, one USB 3.2 Gen1 Type A, four USB 3.2 Gen2 Type A sockets, and one USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type C socket. Note that the USB 3.2 Gen2 sockets are only Type A so you may not get 10 Gb.s performance from these, but you may.
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