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groberts

Identify USB port types

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I have just puchased a refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad laptop for  dedicated astrophtography use.  Outwardly it looks very good but I'm concerned about the USB ports.  It was advertised as 2xUSB 2.0 and 2xUSB3.0 ports but visual inspection shows they're all black coloured i.e. no blue ones as per USB3.0 convention. 

I have looked at the Device Manager  and there's something about USB 3.0 there but it's not clear to me if that confirms any of the ports are USB 3.0?  Finally, however, two of the are ports are labelled with the little USB 3-wire symbol and the letters SS. Resorting to Google it seems to that the SS does denote these are in fact usb 3.0 ports and perhaps being an older computer are not colour coded i.e. blue.

Can anybody please provide advice on these USB ports + in particular if I have, as advertised, 2xUSB3.0 and 2xUSB3.0 ports?  Moreover, if these SS marked ports are USB 3.0 are they likely to cause any problems working with any modern USB 3.0 specced equipment e.g. astro cameras?

Graham 

    

IMG_20200717_132838391 (Medium).jpg

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, groberts said:

Can anybody please provide advice on these USB ports + in particular if I have, as advertised, 2xUSB3.0 and 2xUSB3.0 ports?  Moreover, if these SS marked ports are USB 3.0 are they likely to cause any problems working with any modern USB 3.0 specced equipment e.g. astro cameras?

As you mentioned, the SS is the key. If you have two with this, they should be USB3 (this is backed up by the additional device manager items)

I have an older laptop that has some USB3 ports (not blue) marked with SS and these have been fine for two different USB3 cameras running high frame rate and also long exposure.

As with all astro stuff though... best to test it all out.

Edited by geeklee

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Which Lenovo is it, I have a t420 (all usb2) and a t430 (2 usb3, 1 usb2 and 1 powered usb2)

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OK that puts my mind at rest - presumbly pre-colour coding then.

It's a T440p ThinkPad 500Gb SSD +15 RAM bought from Microdream, who so far have been good.  As I said, it looks great but as we all know,  with astrophotography USB cables and ports cane often be the weak link and I was conerned I'd bought a pup. 

Now to start the task of installing the many programs needed!

Many thanks, Graham

 

    

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16 minutes ago, groberts said:

OK that puts my mind at rest - presumbly pre-colour coding then.

It's a T440p ThinkPad 500Gb SSD +15 RAM bought from Microdream, who so far have been good.  As I said, it looks great but as we all know,  with astrophotography USB cables and ports cane often be the weak link and I was conerned I'd bought a pup. 

Now to start the task of installing the many programs needed!

Many thanks, Graham

 

    

I have a laptop from 2015 which doesn't have the colour-coding, but the USB 3.0 ports are definitely 3.0, confirmed by the faster hard drive transfer speeds etc. An easy way to test it would be to compare hard drive transfer speeds between the ports.

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Ah why didn't I think of that?  Great thanks Lee - I wonder what powered means? 

Of course I appreciate what it says but aren't all USB ports powered or unpowered and, in practical terms, what's the difference - I've nver seen that before except when using hubs?  

Graham 

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1 minute ago, groberts said:

Ah why didn't I think of that?  Great thanks Lee - I wonder what powered means? 

Of course I appreciate what it says but aren't all USB ports powered or unpowered and, in practical terms, what's the difference - I've nver seen that before except when using hubs?  

Graham 

I imagine a powered port can handle devices requiring more current e.g. hard drives, phone charging etc.

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1 minute ago, SyedT said:

I have a laptop from 2015 which doesn't have the colour-coding, but the USB 3.0 ports are definitely 3.0, confirmed by the faster hard drive transfer speeds etc. An easy way to test it would be to compare hard drive transfer speeds between the ports.

I think all looks good now (see above) but I'll take a look at that too - just to be sure!

The funny thing is, my existing astro laptop a Samsung is way back from 2012 and that is colour coded.

Graham

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The blue colour coding for USB3 is only a recommendation and not a requirement. From the 531 page 😲 USB 3.0 Specification document from 2011 

Quote

5.3.1.3 USB 3.0 Standard-A Connector Color Coding
Since both the USB 2.0 Standard-A and USB 3.0 Standard-A receptacles may co-exist on a host, color coding is recommended for the USB 3.0 Standard-A connector (receptacle and plug) housings to help users distinguish it from the USB 2.0 Standard-A connector.

Blue (Pantone 300C) is the recommended color for the USB 3.0 Standard-A receptacle and plug plastic housings. When the recommended color is used, connector manufacturers and system integrators should make sure that the blue-colored receptacle housing is visible to users.

Alan

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2 hours ago, groberts said:

Ah why didn't I think of that?  Great thanks Lee - I wonder what powered means? 

Graham 

worth checking the device handbook but powered may mean that one specific port can provide power to charge a device when the laptop is shut down. Useful to charge your phone for example.

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