Thursday, December 6, 2012

USB 3.0 header adapters.

After a building a new computer, I often have various USB sticks and dongles that stick out the back of the case. I like to hide some of my USB devices. Operating systems like FreeNAS, OpenElec and ESXi can run and boot off USB sticks. Why waste a full drive when a 4-8GB stick is all you need. Furthermore, why have a USB stick dangling outside where other people can yank them; especially little children.

Well, the solution is USB headers. This post will cover two different types of USB 3.0 header adapters I got from Amazon.

I got a Y Cable:

and a dongle type header:

The Y cable comes in handy for those older cases that uses USB 3.0 passthrough instead of header connectors.

These use the 19/20 pin motherboard adapters for motherboards that support USB 3.0 headers.

Here, you can plug in a wireless keyboard/mouse dongle and hide them from view.

Here they are inside the case and in the motherboard.

You can plug in USB sticks. Wifi, bluetooth dongles, license keys (some software uses USB dongles for authentication). I am thinking of putting in a 7" USB display to fill up the side of my atx-case.

Here, you can have USB stick shown as a hidden boot disk.

The dongle is great in theory but on my motherboard, it takes up too much clearance. It covers up another USB header. Here the Y-cable works perfectly and now I have 10 USB 3.0 connections along with 6 USB 2.0

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