After today’s earlier leak regarding the specifications of of the upcoming HP Microserver G8 range, one question was asked.
“Does it have any USB 3.0 ports?”
The leaked specs only confirmed 7 USB ports, but did not specify if they were USB2 or USB3, or a mix of the two.
Now USB3 is very important in the Microserver realm. Many organisations would use these as a backup host, and then copy a backup off it to a USB disk. Home users can also use USB3 disks for relatively quick expansion of software RAID, or push USB disks through a hypervisor and present them to a VM, possibly for running a torrent storage drive rather than on the Machine-local RAID array.
The issue with USB 2.0 is transfer speed, namely that it lacks enough of it. To copy 3TB of backup archives to an external drive over USB2 can take 8-10 hours or more as you can only maintain around a 20-25MB/sec transfer rate. USB3 takes that to under 3 hours and can maintain well over 65MB/sec copy speeds.
So yes, after poking around the interwebs and receiving information from a trusted source familiar with the upcoming Microserver models, I can indeed confirm the following USB port configuration.
- FRONT: Two USB 2.0 ports.
- REAR: Four USB 3.0 ports.
- INTERNAL: One USB 2.0 port.
The USB 3.0 ports will be provided by an NEC/Renesas chip, widely known for it’s compatibility with USB 3.0 devices. The Intel ‘Cougar Point’ C204 chipset in the Microserver G8 does not support USB 3.0, so it requires an add-on chip on the motherboard.
I can also confirm that the units will not be bootable from the USB 3.0 ports either. But we think when most people were only hoping for 2 USB 3.0 ports, to be getting four is a massive bonus. I’m sure lots of people out in the Microserver universe will be happy to know that USB 3.0 is definitely in.