Components for Building Computers From Scratch/Usb Ports


My computer has Usb2 ports and USB3 ports. How can I tell which is which?. Do I need different cables/devices for each of them? Thanks for any help.Regards Jach  v 7k Moroni

Generally USB3 ports are colored blue, and may have the "USB SuperSpeed" logo next to them ( They will be backwards compatible with 2.0 devices, and generally 3.0 devices are backwards compatible with 2.0 ports as well. In these configurations, you will be limited by whatever is slower - the device or the port. So a 3.0 device on a 2.0 port will run at 2.0 speeds, or a 2.0 device on a 3.0 port will run at 2.0 speeds. This may or may not influence performance depending on what the device is meant to do, for example many newer flash-drives are designed for USB 3.0, but will not be significantly negatively impacted by running on USB 2.0 ports. By contrast, some high performance external hard-drives will absolutely benefit from USB 3.0.

As far as cabling, you can use USB 2.0 cabling, but USB 3.0 does specify somewhat different cabling for 3.0 devices (it has additional conductors), and with 3.0 devices on 3.0 ports you should rely on 3.0 cabling. Usually devices that need such cabling will include it however, so this is likely only a consideration if you're needing to replace or augment that cabling.

If you need further information, feel free to ask.


Components for Building Computers From Scratch

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.


I have been an enthusiast of PC's for many years, and can answer questions about the purchase/use of a new computer or the purchase, installation, and use of upgrades for existing computers. There probably isn't a whole lot related to the home computer that I haven't seen over the years.

15+ years of experience

©2017 All rights reserved.