Apple Compatible USB 3.X Hardware

Welcome to - A site dedicated to covering the best USB 3 Mac accessories and advancements of the USB computer hardware scene on the Macintosh platform. No other website gives such an exclusive focused take on new developments.

Only more geeky Apple types really care about the evolving USB standard. For most consumers, they just plug in their USB devices into their Macs and get on with life. Without Steve Jobs showmanship, no one's really selling the benefits of USB 3.X to the masses.

Mac Laptops With USB 3.0 Ports

Over time, Apple has rolled out the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Mac revisions across it's laptop, then desktop products. That includes the high-end Retina Display MacBook Pro on down to new lower-priced MacBook Air's with USB 3.0 interfaces as well. Recent MacBooks include DUAL USB 3.0 ports - one on each side for all models - as well as ThunderBolt connectivity.
USB3 Pro MacBookUSB3 Air MacBookUSB3 Retina MacBook
USB 3 MacBook Pro 13"

Dual USB3 Speed Ports
USB 3 MacBook Air

11.6" Display
USB 3 Retina 15" MacBook

New .71" Ultra-Thin NoteBook

More recently, Apple shipped a new Mac Mini with four USB 3 ports. After some delays, SuperSpeed updates to the Slim USB 3 iMac and Mac Pro cylinder lineup with both USB 3.0 and ThunderBolt 2 finally started shipping in volume as well.

With the rollout of USB 3.0 SuperSpeed across all models of Apple Macintosh systems, it looks like deeper consumer interest in the market for Mac compatible USB 3 Drives and other SuperSpeed Apple accessories has finally taking off.

Apple USB 3 Super Speed Accessories

Apple 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 Mac

The 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.

Mac USB3 Hub

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
Mac USB 3 Cables

How Fast Is 3.0 Universal Serial Bus Technology?

SuperSpeed USB from USB IF on Vimeo.

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.