Old 10-12-2016, 03:27 PM   #1
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Default USB 2 vs. USB 3 Interface. Does it matter?

Does it matter if an interface is USB 3 vs. USB 2? Currently I have my UR28M connected to my USB 3 port. Is USB 2 enough speed or will USB 3 make a difference?

Thanks!
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Old 10-12-2016, 03:33 PM   #2
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According to the folk from RME, USB 3 will give you slightly lower latency than USB 2, if the driver has been developed for USB 3...

For channel count, it doesn't matter.
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Old 10-12-2016, 04:34 PM   #3
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Does it matter if an interface is USB 3 vs. USB 2? Currently I have my UR28M connected to my USB 3 port. Is USB 2 enough speed or will USB 3 make a difference?

Thanks!
I think you might be asking if connecting a USB 2 device will be better if it is connected to a USB 3 port. If the interface isn't specifically built for USB 3 (and it also has to have USB 3 drivers) then there will be no difference at all.

If that's not what you were asking, then we now return you to your normally scheduled broadcast.........
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Old 10-12-2016, 04:40 PM   #4
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USB 2 is enough, yes, but USB 3 if developed well by the manufacturor and supported by your computer will be slightly faster.
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Old 10-12-2016, 04:52 PM   #5
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Thanks guys!

So what would be significantly better for latency than USB 3? MDIO for Ethernet?

I'm on Win 7 and my board doesn't have Thunderbolt.
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Old 10-12-2016, 05:00 PM   #6
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Thanks guys!

So what would be significantly better for latency than USB 3? MDIO for Ethernet?

I'm on Win 7 and my board doesn't have Thunderbolt.
The quick answer is "it depends". For MDIO, your chokepoint is going to be your infrastructure like routers, switches and network cards. And cables and the length of their runs.

Firewire has better performance for latency than USB does, historically, but that depends a lot on chipsets and the interface and drivers, too.

USB 3 is better for roundtrip latency than USB 2 is because it's just faster- in fact, it's actually faster than firewire but the channel binding is different on USB 3, so it kind of evens out.

My advice: unless you're recording seriously high track number simultaneously (like > 16 tracks) you're probably going to be find with either USB or firewire- but remember that firewire is starting to go away now.
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Old 10-12-2016, 07:11 PM   #7
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I think you might be asking if connecting a USB 2 device will be better if it is connected to a USB 3 port. If the interface isn't specifically built for USB 3 (and it also has to have USB 3 drivers) then there will be no difference at all.
Unless it doesn't work...

Backwards compatibility isn't always present, I hear.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:35 AM   #8
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Unless it doesn't work...

Backwards compatibility isn't always present, I hear.
The standard for USB 3 chip makers is that they gracefully degrade when a USB 2 device is present. I've never seen a USB 2 device not work on a USB 3 port- they just don't "go" any faster when plugged in there.

I think you've heard wrong.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:24 AM   #9
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The standard for USB 3 chip makers is that they gracefully degrade when a USB 2 device is present. I've never seen a USB 2 device not work on a USB 3 port- they just don't "go" any faster when plugged in there.

I think you've heard wrong.
+1

Note that plugging a USB2 device into a USB3 hub will bring the entire hub down to USB2 speeds. For example, you have a 4-port USB3 hub, with a native USB3 audio i/f (e.g., Tascam US-20x20) attached to one port and a native USB2 MIDI keyboard/controller (e.g., Nektar P6) attached to another port in the same hub. The entire hub (all 4 ports) will operate no faster than USB2.
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Old 10-13-2016, 12:17 PM   #10
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+1

Note that plugging a USB2 device into a USB3 hub will bring the entire hub down to USB2 speeds. For example, you have a 4-port USB3 hub, with a native USB3 audio i/f (e.g., Tascam US-20x20) attached to one port and a native USB2 MIDI keyboard/controller (e.g., Nektar P6) attached to another port in the same hub. The entire hub (all 4 ports) will operate no faster than USB2.
A +1 right back at you on this one. That is correct. The same is true if you plug a USB 1.x device into a USB 2 port, and I'm fairly certain that USB 3 will do the same thing with a 1.1 device as well. (I don't know anyone that still has or uses something that old anymore, so I can't verify that)
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Old 10-14-2016, 01:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by prezbass View Post
The standard for USB 3 chip makers is that they gracefully degrade when a USB 2 device is present. I've never seen a USB 2 device not work on a USB 3 port- they just don't "go" any faster when plugged in there.

I think you've heard wrong.
I've seen several cases where an older RME interface didn't function correctly with USB 3 ports, but did with USB 2 on the same PC. The interface was detected, but crackling or unacceptable latency were present. In every case using another port solved it immediately without any reconfiguration. Every case was with Win 10 and brand new mainboards.
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