Macs With USB 3 PortsRecently, Apple unveiled the 2nd-generation of USB 3 Mac revisions across it's laptop line. That includes the high-end Retina Display MacBook Pro on down to new lower-priced MacBook Air's with USB 3 interfaces as well. All MacBooks include DUAL USB 3 ports - one on each side for all models. More recently, Apple shipped a new Mac Mini with four USB 3 ports. After some delays, SuperSpeed updates to the Slim USB 3 iMac lineup finally started shipping in volume as well.
|USB3 Air MacBook||USB3 Pro MacBook||USB3 Retina MacBook|
|USB 3 MacBook Air
$999 11.6" Display
|USB 3 MacBook Pro 13"
Dual USB3 Speed Ports
|USB 3 Retina Display MacBook
New .71" Ultra-Thin NoteBook
Looks like the market for Mac compatible USB 3 Drives and other SuperSpeed Apple accessories is finally taking off. I'll be doing major updates to this site to present the best-in-class USB 3 gadgets for Mac users in the year ahead.
Apple USB 3 Super Speed AccessoriesApple and Intel seemed to be deliberately dragging their heels on USB 3 support for several years. It wasn't for lack of currently shipping USB 3 peripherals. So Why The Delays? Does Apple lack cutting-edge innovation? Is Intel Corp incapable of desiging and delivering state of the art USB3 integrated circuits? It seemed they prefer something more proprietary like ThunderBolt to get established first, before the inevitable USB3 rollout You see, ThunderBolt is something more patentable, something they hold more intellectual property and liscensing rights over, something they can profit more directly from with per-port licensing. So, priority one was to get ThunderBolt Mac ports on MacBook Pro, Air, Mac Mini and iMac models. Built-in USB3 ports in the Mac didn't happen until mid 2012 as Ivy-Bridge chipset Macs were released.
USB 3 SuperSpeed Accessories For MacThe USB 3 spec was finalized in 2009. Chipsets are now being manufactured and implemented in nearly all new computer logic boards in both the Apple and Windows PC markets. Many SuperSpeed peripherals are in thier 2nd generation. On the Windows side of things USB 3 support is becoming ubiquitous, with a growing number of USB3 peripherals. There's a nice selection of USB 3 products available - with more on the way.
USB 3 Is Backwards Compatible With USB 1.1 & 2.0 Speed Peripherals
As Apple finally delivers USB 3 support across it's laptop and desktop lineup, they will continue to work with your existing USB 2.0 and 1.1 Mac add-ons. Current USB keyboards, mice, printers, backup hard drives, portable speakers, HD TV Tuner sticks, Digital Cameras still work at thier slower speeds while a new era of high-speed USB 3 peripherals reach the market.
New USB 3 SuperSpeed Cables, Hubs, Connectors and Adapters
Better. Faster. The new USB 3 specifications will have the same sized Type A cable connector as USB 1.1 and 2.0. At first glance the 'A' cable looks identical, but inside there are 5 additional pins that USB3 cables will detect to handle the higher signaling rates.
At the device end new 'B' size plugs as seen below will become common, as well as a new mini USB 3 plug standard for gizmos like digital cameras and other small form-factor devices.
Note The New *Shape* Of The Device-End Connector
How Fast Is 3.0 Universal Serial Bus Technology?
The very first iMac introduced Universal Serial Bus spec 1.1 to the masses. It was 12MB per second, which was fine for 'slow' devices like Apple keyboards, mice and printers. But then along came USB 2.0 - at potentially 480MB per second, it was literally FOURTY TIMES FASTER - a huge leap forward.
While still not optimized for HD camcorders and video (FireWire 400 - 800 has excelled at that) - USB 2.0 was important for OS X hard drive backups, flash-drives, high-resolution scanners and All-In-Ones. USB 2.0 was also important for QuickTime video capture and Mac HDTV tuners which demanded more bandwidth.
USB 3 will get even more elbow room with rip snortin' 4.8Gbps SuperSpeed - A TENFOLD leap! USB3 also has refinements for lower CPU utilization, reduced device polling, and smarter, better power management. USB3 also supports BIDIRECTIONAL data transfers - a significant advance over USB2's one-way, uni-directional model.
Why USB 3? - What Gizmo For Mac Needs 4.8Gbps Bandwidth?
In 2013 and Beyond: USB 3 peripherals for Mac will again be TEN TIMES faster than USB 2.0 - Apple friendly HD DV USB3 camcorders, High-Definiton USB 3 HDTV tuners for Mac, as well as bandwidth hungry flash memory based Mac SSD - Solid State backup drives in particular will demand and make fantastic use of version 3.0 super-speed advantages. Faster syncing of next generation USB3 enabled iPods or iPhones will benefit as new models adopt this new interface standard.