Question Why is a USB 2.0 port (instead of USB 3.x) still installed in a current, new (on the market) notebook from 2022?

Colif

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  • it seems the main reason is cost
  • handy for backwards compatibility too.
  • not so much on laptops but extra internal headers on desktops can be used for AIO, they don't need USB 3.

they are free
They are free ports:- Technically, USB 3.0 contains pins for both USB 2.0 & 3.0 port. In other words, a single USB 3.0 port contains both ports at the same time (in theory). To make that happen, you need to have two controllers, a USB 2.0 controller (called EHCI), as well as the USB 3.0 controllers (Called XHCI). The USB 2.0 pins in the port are served using the EHCI, while the USB 3.0 pins are served using the XHCI. Usually, the EHCI can support many USB 2.0 ports (up to 16), while the XHCI supports only a couple of USB 3.0 ports (around 4). So manufacturers can give you additional USB 2.0 ports at virtual no additional cost by taken advantage of the EHCI controller that’s already there.

they come with USB 3

over time they will probably be replaced by USB 4 but only due to space on a laptop, not because the ability is lost.
 
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Kletoss

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it seems the main reason is cost
So, well, a USB port (much) more expensive than a USB 3 one? That it is sensible to use such?

handy for backwards compatibility too.
USB 3.x is not?

not so much on laptops but extra internal headers on desktops can be used for AIO, they don't need USB 3.
What is a header? But USB 3 hard drives need USB 3 (to use their best speeds).

Many thanks for the links also.

That actually sounds quite plausible. So there still is a need (questionable perhaps only at how many) for 2.0 today obviously. And so actually (unfortunately) no reason get upset, but...it somehow does not feel that great. USB 2.0. Well, well.

Many thanks!
 

Colif

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i don't think the cost of the functionality of USB 2 costs a great deal or might come as part of the chips that control USB3. So they get it for free, and add the ports for very little extra cost.

a header is a slot on motherboard you can attach certain cables to. there is one for all the front panel connections on case, for instance. USB ports on front of case use them to connect to motherboard. MIght not exist so much in laptops.

USB 3 is backwards compatible, yes,
Despite the compatibility, there are certain cases where an older device won’t work well on a USB 3.0 devices, so having one or two USB 2.0 port on your computer can still come in handy in those rare cases.
 

Kletoss

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OK, so there at least is a sense of providing USB 2 ports. Well, well, OK.

So I really need a USB 3.xx HUB for that Notebook above to get more USB 3.x ports for my USB 3.0 drives. Could you recommend one?

Does such a HUB limit the speed (somewhen, when running two, three, etc. drives at the same time)? Respectively is there (important) difference in quality between them so one should consider this?

And so not the port itself is the thing where savings are made, but the controller and such.
 

Colif

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Kletoss

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Thank you very much for the links. Why a powered one? Because of that (https://superuser.com/questions/437429/does-a-usb-hub-affect-performance) (?):
With a powered hub, each device will get the power it needs, while with an unpowered hub, all devices share whatever power the host USB port can put out. So, there is that to consider as well.
Well, I should have invested the money rather in the notebook instead of a USB HUB.
 

Karadjgne

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USB2.0 is used because of bandwidth. Mouse, keyboard, many other plug in or add on equipment uses so little actual data that USB3.0 or higher is of no benefit whatsoever and requires more from the motherboard and ports than is necessary. Usb3.2+2 might be great for external storage, but absolutely useless for a mouse. It's not cost effective to try and reinvent the wheel for ports that'll never see the use, as that Notepad is already limited in other senses.

The main purpose of the Notebooks, Notepads etc is portability. It's intended purpose is office type stuff on the go, where any additional storage will be cloud based and transfers will be via Wi-Fi. It's really not designed to be hooked up to anything, although the ports make it possible in a limited way, for stuff like external mouse's or keyboards.

You got cellphones, then notepads, then laptops, then desktops in order, from totally mobile to totally non mobile. The further away from non-mobile you get, the less dependant on a port you get.
 
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Almost all data transfers in modern PC's are conducted across PCIe lanes including USB controllers, but CPU's and chipsets have a limited number of them to go around. Since USB3+ uses so much more bandwidth than USB2 the ports will consume more PCIe lanes for a similar number of sockets - assuming they're not sharing bandwidth among them. It makes sense that Mfr's would want the lanes to go around so that naturally limits how many they give to USB. And since not everyone uses all their ports for high-bandwidth devices (mice/keyboards/many USB sticks work perfectly well off USB2) they'd like to give as many lanes as possible to drives (NVME/SATA) and PCIe slots...into which we can plug an adapter to equip more USB3 ports if we have need of them.

That said, I believe there are motherboards optimized for more USB ports with on-board controllers that consume PCIe lane(s) and fewer high-bandwidth PCIe sockets or even SATA ports. And PCIe gen 4 brought us boards with more USB 3 sockets too. Haven't bothered to check PCIe gen 5 capable motherboards.
 
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Kletoss

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Okay, all that sounds pretty plausible, many thanks.

If I understood / calculated correctly - thanks again for the links Colif - there would not be a loss of speed if I would run two USB 3.0 hard drives, e.g. 10 TB to 20 TB WD Elements and / or MyBook(s) at the same time plugged in in the USB HUB. And may be a little loss if I would run three of such drives at the same time. And there would not be any other disadvantage. Is that right?
 

Kletoss

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Yes, but programs are constantly being adapted to new circumstances, to new requirements why not hardware too (at least after five years or so? The progress just keeps going.
 
Yes, but programs are constantly being adapted to new circumstances, to new requirements why not hardware too (at least after five years or so? The progress just keeps going.
Well as per what Colif said in the first reply

To cut cost on things that would make the notebook more price reasonable for whatever reason the company deals with to cut costs or its just the layout that have been made for the board itself, sometimes about compability for older devices because not all device is compatible with backward compatible devices. It's not even bad having 2.0 on a notebook, if you got a Type C. So yeah, it's all up to the company and the designer to deal with final product.
 
I will say as well, some devices seem to need usb 2.0. Case in point, I've had times where I've worked on a printer that was connected via usb. Would not print when connected to usb 3.0. Plug into a 2.0 port and it was happy as a lark. I don't understand why since usb 3 should be backward compatible, but that was what made the device happy, so that's what I went with.
 

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