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Can I Add USB 3.0 To My Motherboard?

Thursday, April 11th, 2013 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals, System Tune-Up Help
 
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Rahul from Rajasthan writes:

I enjoy your daily newsletter and find them quite informative. I want to know if there’s some way I can install a USB 3.0 card on my Asus P5KPL-AM/PS motherboard running Windows XP Service Pack 3. Warm regards.

Answer:

A USB 3.0 card is an expansion card you place in your computer which will offer USB 3.0 ports. USB 3.0 is significantly faster than 2.0 (over 10x faster), and is fantastic for external hard drives and storage devices. I’ve got some good news for you – from looking at the specifications for your motherboard, you may be able to add one. You will have to do some work before buying a card to verify you have the necessary port. 

Start by opening your PC’s case and removing the side access panel screws to look down at the motherboard. Your motherboard should match the picture below and have two PCI and one PCI Express x1 slots. Look to see if the PCI Express x1 slot is empty (does not have a card in it already).

If the port is empty, you’ll need to purchase a USB 3.0 expansion card with a PCI Express x1 (PCIe x1) connection port. Make sure the card lists Windows XP as supported by the drivers, as some cards will only support Windows Vista and higher. Once you have the card, simply remove any protective plate covering the case slot behind the PCI Express x1 port and slide the card down until it’s firmly seated into the port.

Screw the card down into the rear of the case then reattach the side panel. Turn the computer on and follow the directions provided with the expansion card to install the drivers. Reboot the computer once the drivers are installed then enjoy your new USB 3.0 ports.

-Tim

P.S. Shameless plug but WorldStart has USB 3.0 expansions card available by clicking here. They make a great upgrade to a desktop computer and only take about 15 minutes to install. You can use your USB 3.0 ports for high speed USB 3.0 devices and your existing USB 2.0 ports for slower devices like mice and keyboards.

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One Response to “Can I Add USB 3.0 To My Motherboard?”

  1. John Leeuwis says:

    I purchased a USB3 port upgrade and installed in PCI-E. The power light comes on but when I insert USB3 external portable hard disk , the light goes out and nothing happens. Any suggestions? My motherboard is
    ASUS P5G41C-M LX. The BIOS does not support USB3 – is this the problem?

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