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USB3.1 & higher on a Thinkpad T440p

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:40 pm
by Peter Linu
I have recently read about the new USB standard.
Will it/they be installable on a Thinkpad T440p?

Re: USB3.1 & higher on a Thinkpad T440p

Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:52 am
by w0qj
All users make do with whatever USB ports they have on their computer; these are not user-upgradable.

ie: Your T440p came with USB 3.0 ports, and unfortunately cannot "upgrade" these.

Re: USB3.1 & higher on a Thinkpad T440p

Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:41 pm
by Peter Linu
Thanx for your answer. Pity. I wanted to pimp my lappie to the max.

Re: USB3.1 & higher on a Thinkpad T440p

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:37 am
by w0qj
If you are on the market for a new notebook computer, IMHO, now is the time to future-proof your computer.
Ideally your computer would have two (2x) USB 3.0 ports, and also two (2x) USB-C ports.

~USB 3.0 ports: this would be go-to (dare I suggest the default choice) for computer accessories (USB thumbstick, etc.) for years to come.
(Just last night, I did transfer from external USB 3.0 HDD enclosure to USB 3.0 thumbstick, so two USB 3.0 ports is the minimum.
No USB connection for my USB mouse while doing doing this transfer by the way!)
~Personally, I suspect that the number of USB 3.0 ports may be cut to just one (1) USB 3.0 ports in the future. Which is not nearly enough.

~USB-C ports: for your smartphone connection in the near future, perhaps a dedicated (expensive) HDD/SSD USB-C connection, etc.
And that's the point: expensive connections.

Therefore USB 3.0 ports would be used for years to come.

Re: USB3.1 & higher on a Thinkpad T440p

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:25 am
by Peter Linu
Dear W0qj,
Thanks for your input. I can deal with USB 3.0 only no matter how mundane it is!

Re: USB3.1 & higher on a Thinkpad T440p

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:00 pm
by axur-delmeria
I see two issues exist when attempting to add USB3.1 on old laptops:

1. Bandwidth -- the Asmedia ASM1142 USB 3.1 controller chip used in most cards requires a PCIe Gen2 x2 or PCIe Gen3 x1 link. Unless there's a slot in the T440p that has accessible PCIe lanes that aren't BIOS-whitelisted, it's already dead in the water.

2. Power -- desktop USB 3.1 PCIe cards have an optional SATA power connector; pretty sure it's going to be necessary in a laptop, if the DC-in jack found in some Expresscard USB 3.0 cards is any indication.

Re: USB3.1 & higher on a Thinkpad T440p

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:38 am
by WarhawkCZ
Gentlemen, (and ladies), USB is mess these days.
FYI:

USB3.0 = USB 3.1 gen 1 (5Gbps) -> Renamed due to marketing
USB3.1 gen 2 (10Gbps) -> Difficult to get even for new laptops.

USB-C -> Description of the physical connector. Nothing else. USB-C connector can host typically these functions:
  • USB3.0 (3.1 Gen 1)
  • USB3.1 gen 2
  • Thunderbolt (proprietary IP 40Gbps)
  • Power Delivery (charging cellphones)
  • Power delivery (chargin the laptop through the USB-C connector)
  • Display port alternate mode (some wires in the USB-C cables switch to Display Port mode, remaining wires may support e.g. USB2.0
If you're buying a laptop with USB-C, it is important to know which functions are supported. I bought Swift 3 for my GF. However, the laptop comes in so many variants which seem to be identical but they are not (glossy screen, thickness, ports arrangement, processor generation etc. etc.). The version I bought (Swift 3 Pro SF514-56) supports practically only USB3.1 gen 1 on the USB-C connector. This makes it quite useless.

Re: USB3.1 & higher on a Thinkpad T440p

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:06 pm
by axur-delmeria
WarhawkCZ,

The ASM1142 I mentioned earlier is a USB 3.1 Gen2 Host Controller: http://www.asmedia.com.tw/eng/e_show_pr ... _index=175

Re: USB3.1 & higher on a Thinkpad T440p

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:08 pm
by WarhawkCZ
axur-delmeria wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:06 pm
WarhawkCZ,

The ASM1142 I mentioned earlier is a USB 3.1 Gen2 Host Controller: http://www.asmedia.com.tw/eng/e_show_pr ... _index=175
I am sorry, I read it quickly at work :) 8)

Re: USB3.1 & higher on a Thinkpad T440p

Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:32 am
by axur-delmeria
WarhawkCZ wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:08 pm
I am sorry, I read it quickly at work :) 8)
No problem. I do agree that USB 3.1 is a mess. Thunderbolt too.