As USB 3.0 gains momentum, the number of ways you can add the high-speed connectivity to an existing system is also increasing. Latest is Active Media, who have outed a pair of reasonably low-cost cards – one ExpressCard, one PCIe – to add a couple of USB 3.0 ports to your laptop or desktop.
Since USB 3.0 peripherals stand a good chance of being more power-hungry than their USB 2.0 counterparts, both Active Media cards have a power-input to supply each of the two ports with sufficient juice. They’re also backward compatible with USB 2.0, of course, and capable of up to USB 3.0’s theoretical 4.8Gbits/sec bandwidth.
Right now you’ll struggle to find a huge range of device to actually plug in, but we’re seeing a few external hard-drives trickle through that take advantage of the speed boost. Both cards are available now from Amazon, priced at $35 for the internal PCIe card and $40 for the ExpressCard.