RayF10
1 Copper

XPS 7100 USB 3.0 difficult at best - any success stories out there?

I have a couple of external disk drives that are native USB 3.0 that also work in my XPS7100's USB 2.0 ports.  I want to add a USB 3.0 card to my system and have been having issues with sourcing the proper components.  I purchased a Transcend expansion card that happens to require power from the system.  It has a 4 pin male and a 15 pin SATA female socket.  The only extra power cables coming out of the power supply are both 6 pin female.  I have not been able to find any power cable adapter that has a 6 pin male connector.  Has anyone either found such a cable, or has successfully installed any brand of USB 3.0 expansion card in a 7100???

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BorderReiver2
1 Copper

RE: XPS 7100 USB 3.0 difficult at best - any success stories out there?

I'd also be interested to hear if anyone has had any success adding USB 3.0 ports to their XPS 7100.  I am toying wit the idea in order to speed up data transfer.  I see that Dell have a PCI card for £45 on their site.  However, it would seem that much cheaper version are widely available.  Are any of these other makes reliable?

Not being that technical, can anyone explain what is the difference between the PCI and the PCI Express version of these cards?  Which one should I go for?

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RayF10
1 Copper

RE: XPS 7100 USB 3.0 difficult at best - any success stories out there?

The Transcend card did indeed work.  The documentation had me scrounging for the power cable which is only needed IF you intend to attach a powerless drive to the card.  I have 2 Seagate disks with their own power attached, and they are working just fine.  I believe that the difference between PCI and PCIe has more to do with the physical size than anything else.  Most PCIe cards will fit in PCI slots, but not the reverse...

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BorderReiver2
1 Copper

RE: XPS 7100 USB 3.0 difficult at best - any success stories out there?

RayF10, many thanks for the prompt response.  It gives me a bit more to go on.  At the moment I do not have any specific device in mind, but I was thinking in terms of a USB 3.0 portable hard drive.  If they are anything like my USB 2.0 version, they do not have a separate power supply.  If the PCI(e) card needs a power supply, I just hope that there is an obvious spare one available inside the case when I open it up.

Cheers.

BR

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rdunnill
5 Osmium

RE: XPS 7100 USB 3.0 difficult at best - any success stories out there?

I'd also be interested to hear if anyone has had any success adding USB 3.0 ports to their XPS 7100.

I swapped in a motherboard with native USB 3.0 and SATA 3 support. 

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BorderReiver2
1 Copper

RE: XPS 7100 USB 3.0 difficult at best - any success stories out there?

I think that's probably a bit beyond my capability.  Besides it sounds like an expensive option.

Thanks for the reply anyway.

BR

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BorderReiver2
1 Copper

RE: XPS 7100 USB 3.0 difficult at best - any success stories out there?

Well, with just a little trepidation, I persevered and bought an Inateck KTU3FR-2O2I PCI card, watched the video about how to fit it and hoped for the best.  Having managed to identify a suitable power lead, the trickiest part was probably unhooking and rerouting it so that it could reach the PCI board as the supplied connection lead was a bit too short.

As instructed, I download the USB 3.0 drivers from the Inateck site and seemed to be on the home straight.  The new USB 3.0 ports accepted a USB 2.0 flash drive and worked fine, with about the same speed as the USB 2.0 ports.

Today I received my first USB 3.0 flash drive in the post and attempted to see the fruits of my labour.  Disaster! Panic!  What have I done wrong?  I couldn't get it to work.  However, despite the flash drive saying it was compatible with USB 2.0, I couldn't get it to work with them either.

I took the drive to a computer repair shop and asked them if they could test it.  They had the same result, so I bought another USB 3.0 flash drive from them.

I can report success!  A quick test showed the new flash drive working at ~9.3 MB/s in a USB 2.0 port and at 15.2 MB/s in the USB 3.0 port.  Not a massive difference, but it probably depends upon the speed rating of the flash drive.

My next task will be to fit the Anker AI220 2 port front panel hub so that I do not have to crawl round the back of the machine.  I'll let you know how I got on ...

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BorderReiver2
1 Copper

RE: XPS 7100 USB 3.0 difficult at best - any success stories out there?

I can report that I have also successfully fitted the Ianker AI220 2-Port front panel USB3.0 hub so that I have easier access to the new USB 3.0 functionality.  I managed to fit it in to the flexi-bay, next to two existing USB 2.0 ports.  Unfortunately, one could only get screws into one side of the hub, but it seems sturdy enough.  It is not quite square but, since it is hidden behind a cover, that is not a problem. 

I did have initial concerns that the speed obtained from the new hub was not as fast as the ports on the PCI card.  Indeed, it was not even as fast as that obtained from the USB 2.0 ports.  However, Ianker support were very helpful in responding to my queries and further testing showed that the speed was as quick.

Whilst I am on a roll, I think that I might upgrade the memory next ...

BorderReiver2
1 Copper

RE: XPS 7100 USB 3.0 difficult at best - any success stories out there?

As a final post on this thread, I have managed to successfully upgrade the memory.  All appears to be working well.

For anyone that may be interested, I carried out some tests. At the two extremes:

A USB2 flash drive in a USB2 port gave me a transfer rate of ~2.5MB/s.
A USB3 portable hard drive in the new USB3 port gave me ~69MB/s.

So I feel that the exercise was worth while.

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BALLBAG
1 Copper

RE: XPS 7100 USB 3.0 difficult at best - any success stories out there?

hi there just come across your thread could you tell me where you plugged your anker a1220 front panel hub on your dell studio xps as there is not a 20 pin socket cheers andy

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