The Difference Between USB 2.0 vs 3.0

The Difference Between USB 2.0 vs 3.0

The Difference Between USB 2.0 vs 3.0

There are some principal differences between USB (Universal Serial Bus) 2.0 vs 3.0. The difference not only relates to size but also in some other areas including the speed, rate of transfer and bandwidth. When you compare USB 2.0 vs 3.0 speed, you find that USB 3.0 has greater speed and a higher efficiency power management vis-à-vis USB 2.0. 

The principal difference between USB 2.0 vs 3.0 runs as follows:

Colour Difference: Visually, they are different. While USB 2.0 has a black “block” inside the USB port, USB 3.0 has a blue “block” inside the USB port.

Rate of Data Transfer: The rate at which data from USB 2.0 is transferred differs from that of USB 3.0. The transfer speed of USB 2.0 is 480 Mbps (Megabits per second). But this is 4,800 Mbps with the USB 3.0. You find the difference between USB 2.0 speed as against USB 3.0 speed.  

Backward Compatibility: When a USB 2.0 drive is connected to a USB 3.0 port, the function of the drive will be normal and fully compatible. 

Power Consumption Pattern: USB 3.0 provides up to 900 mA current while USB 2.0 can provide only up to  500 mA current, whereas USB 3.0 is capable of providing up to 900 mA current. 

Higher Bandwidth: USB 2.0 is basically a single-way path or route of communication to receive or transmit data over the same pathway. If you are using USB 3.0, the route or path will be two with one for sending data and the other for receiving data. This enables your USB 3.0 to receive and send data at a single time or simultaneously.

What are the USB data transfer rates and specifications?

Depending upon the type, the USB data transfer rates and specifications vary from each other. There are different data transfer rates for the USBs depending upon their types. This is given below: 

USB 1.0: This is a low-speed one. The transfer rate of this type of USB is 1.5 Mbps (Megabits per second). 

USB 1.1: It is a full-speed one with 12 Mbps. 

USB 2.0: This is high-speed. It has 480 Mbps. 

USB 3.0: The speed is considered super with 5 Gbps. 

USB 3.1 (the latest version) has a very high speed of 10 Gbps. 

What’s the maximum typical speed possible with a USB 2.0

The maximum typical speed possible with a USB 2.0 is as follows:

  • It uses 1-millisecond frames 
  • In 480 Mb/s High-Speed mode, they are divided into eight micro-frames. 
  • Bulk packet to the maximum level of speed is 512 Bytes.

What is USB 2.0 write speed?

The write speed will occur at 12 Mbps when your USB 2.0 is connected to USB 1.1. This is despite the fact that the capacity to transfer data of USB 2.0 is 480 Mbps.

Is USB 2.0 very slow?

No, it is not very slow. However, the speed is certainly low as compared to USB 3.0. If you consider USB 2.0 singly or as a single entity in the domain of USBs, the speed is comparatively much slower that the higher versions. 

Is USB 2.0 or 3.0 better?

USB 3.0 is an improved version. USB 2.0 was introduced in 2000, some 22 years ago. USB 3.0 was introduced in 2008. Over the last two decades, there has been a massive technological improvement. 

As a result, the shortcomings of USB 2.0 were made up while creating USB 3.0. Currently, a large number of high-end motherboards are replacing USB 2.0 with USB 3.0. The data transfer rate of USB 3.0 is 10 times more than that of USB 2.0. Here, you find that USB 3.0 is certainly better than USB 2.0. It is always advisable that you go for USB 3.0 rather than USB 2.0. 

Is USB 2.0 still good?

Yes, it is still good to use this type of USB. But USB 3.0 will ultimately replace USB 2.0. USB 2.0 is still good to use as it can be used in a USB 3.0 port. But you will face a problem. The problem is that even after porting, the data transfer rate of your USB 2.0 cannot improve. Your USB 2.0 will function normally after porting but the data transfer rate will remain at the standard or original speed of USB 2.0. You cannot gain much mileage.  

Why is USB 2.0 still used?

USB 2.0 is still used as its speed in data transfer may not be as high as USB 3.0 but it creates no complication in the system you use (your Personal computer). If your PC does not have the latest system upgradation, the USB 3.0 may not adjust to it thus creating complications. On the other hand, if you use USB 2.0, you may not gain as much speed as USB 3.0 but your PC will not get disrupted. It will function normally without creating any technological complications that may arise in the case of USB 3.0. 

The reasons why USB 2.0 is still in use are as follows:

  • With some particular installation media like Cough Windows 7 Cough, the USB 3.0 ports can cause installation problems. With some installations, only the USB 2.0 drivers can be installed.
  • If you are using USB 3.0, you require a large amount of bandwidth. This may create congestion in your present PCI-E lanes. Since USB 2.0 has lower bandwidth, you may not face any problems with your system or PC. 
  • The use of USB 2.0 will permit you to use more devices but USB 3.0 will not allow this. 

Is USB 3.0 and 2.0 the same?

The purpose and functionality of both the USBs are the same but there is a difference regarding data transfer speed. Technically, both types of USBs may be the same but they vary when the issue of packet transfer is concerned. Large data and packets can be sent through dedicated routes in a much easier and faster manner if you are using USB 3.0. 


USB 3.0 will certainly facilitate you in many areas of your functionality. But USB 2.0 can still be used as almost all PCs or systems will support it. This may not be the case with USB 3.0. You require an upgraded version of the system or PC. Besides, you also have to pay a much higher price to buy USB 3.0. USB 2.0 is much cheaper than USB 3.0. Hence, the choice is yours.

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