USB 2.0 vs USB 3.0

USB 3.0, the latest version of USB (Universal Serial Bus), provides better speed and more efficient power management than USB 2.0. USB 3.0 is backward compatible with USB 2.0 devices; however, data transfer speeds are limited to USB 2.0 levels when these devices inter-operate.


Comparison chart

  USB 2.0 USB 3.0
  1014-4 1014-5
Released April 2000 November 2008
Speed High Speed or HS, 480 Mbps (Megabits per second) 10 times faster than USB 2.0. Super Speed or SS, 4.8 Gbps (Giga bits per second)
Signaling Method Polling mechanism i.e can either send or receive data (Half duplex) Asynchronous mechanism i.e. can send and receive data simultaneously (Full duplex)
Price For a similar product, the USB 2.0 version is generally less expensive than it’s USB 3.0 version. For a similar product, the USB 3.0 version is generally more expensive than it’s USB 2.0 version.
Power Usage Up to 500 mA Up to 900 mA. Allows better power efficiency with less power for idle states. Can power more devices from one hub.
Number of wires within the cable 4 9
Standard-A Connectors Grey in color Blue in color
Standard-B Connectors Smaller in size Extra space for more wires
Max Cable length 5 meters 3 meters