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usb 2.0 with usb 1.1

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chris newman
usb 2.0 with usb 1.1
on Nov 11, 2005 at 6:58:57 pm

i just bought an imac g5. my question deals with how usb 2.0 and 1.1 work together. the last i read, if you have a usb 1.1 device plugged into a bus (hub, additional usb ports on the computer), even if you have other usb 2.0 ports, they all slow to the lowest common denomonator (usb 1.1). i obviously want to take advantage of the speed of 2.0 but i have a printer and a scanner the are 1.1 and i don't want to buy new ones.

can anyone tell me how they interact together and what my limitations are or aren't? (i have a usb 2.0 external hard drive but i don't know of that speed will be bumped down to 1.1 with my printer and scanner also hooked up).

i plan on getting a 4 port usb 2.0 hub and i'll also have the usb ports that come on the imac (it's not the brand new one, it's a 17" 2ghz model).

thanks for your help


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Mark Sloan
Re: usb 2.0 with usb 1.1
on Nov 14, 2005 at 3:36:00 pm

Technically the spec is a bit stranger than that... It is if those devices on the same port are all talking to your computer at once that you get the slowdown. Now, if your mouse is 2.0 compliant, but only has the 12MBps speed, then you should be fine. USB is a weird spec in that way, but you should try testing it to see. I have used a USB 2.0 HD while using USB 1.1 devices even and while much slower than FireWire, it was fast enough for my file transfers. If you are doing something like video editing though, USB 2.0 spec really isn't the greatest anyway. You will only notice the problem if you have a lot of USB 1.1 stuff working while trying to capture because you might get a dropped frame here and there, but if your buffer is big enough, you should be fine.


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