USB 1.0 VS USB 2.0 Cables...Is there really a difference?

Discussion in 'Ask a Technical Professional' started by mi1stormilst, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. mi1stormilst

    mi1stormilst Golden Member

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    Me and my friend are having quite the argument today regarding this issue and it would seem that there is very little information that we can find on-line. So far every site discussing the technical specifications do not specifically identify any physical differences between a 1.1 vs a 2.0 cable. Can anyone tell me what the physical differences are between the cables? Yes you can run either device with either cable...but I argue that connecting a USB 1.1 cable to a USB 2.0 device will cause it to operate as a 1.1 device...YES? NO? PROOF?

    http://www.usb.org/developers/usbfaq/#1b
     
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  3. mi1stormilst

    mi1stormilst Golden Member

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    Here is a fun link...warning PDF...still does not clearly answer the question...

    http://www.usb.org/developers/devclass_docs/cabcon10.pdf

    More linkage...

    http://www.everythingusb.com/usb2/faq.htm

    Notice the section 2nd to the last titled Do USB 1.1 cables work with USB 2.0 devices?

    Ideally, yes. USB 2.0 architecture uses the same cables and connectors as USB 1.1 compliant products. Unforunately, only 3 out of 11 cables on the market are certified as USB 1.1 compliant. You may run into the cables that cause problems connecting high-speed peripherals. To avoid negative user experience, most vendors include USB 2.0 compliant cables with their USB 2 PCI cards and peripherals.

    But it does not indicate if performance would be effected...why is this so difficult to answer?
     
  4. dmcowen674

    dmcowen674 No Lifer

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    1.0 USB only handled 11 meg throughput but to go to 480 meg throughput (USB 2.0)requires much better quality cable as well as shielding.

    So in a nutshell you can use an old pair of unshielded telephone wire for 1.0, that would not work for 2.0.
     
  5. mi1stormilst

    mi1stormilst Golden Member

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    So then there is a difference between a USB 1 and a USB 2 cable?
     
  6. AbsolutDealage

    AbsolutDealage Platinum Member

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    Maybe. If the USB 1.1 cable was made very cheaply, then it most likely will not work because of the unshielded cabling. The data will most likely get corrupted on the way down, then the errors are caught by the embedded CRC, and the USB will speed-step down to 1.1.

    If it is a well made 1.1 cable, you may be in luck. I wouldn't count on it though, as most companies will strive to drive down manufacturing costs, and would not shield the cable unless it was called for by the specification.
     
  7. kleinwl

    kleinwl Senior member

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    The same thing is true for Cat 3, 5, & 5e. They all are basically constructed the same, but the qualification for the cat 5e is much more rigerious, which eliminates poorly twisted pairs, low quality wire, etc.
     
  8. NeoPTLD

    NeoPTLD Platinum Member

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    How do we know its not marketing term to create a demand among those who already owns USB1.0 cable?
     
  9. Loki726

    Loki726 Senior member

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    someone try it out and see if you can get USB2 speeds on a 1.1 cable... I would bet that it wouldn't matter the same way you can use cat5 rated for 100mb for 1gb ethernet.

    As long as different cables have similar frequency responses (and I assume that they would since I doubt they are made of different materials) they should be able to transfer data at the same rate.
     
  10. Fullmetal Chocobo

    Fullmetal Chocobo Moderator<br>Distributed Computing
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    I'll dig around for the correct issue, but I remember seeing an article in Maximum PC about this, and there is a performance difference with the "certified" 2.0 cables compared to uncertified cables, as well as the 1.0 vs. 2.0 cables... I'll post it when I can get the citation.
    Tas.
     
  11. f95toli

    f95toli Golden Member

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    If I remember correctly the only difference between 100 Mb rated Cat5 and 1 Gb cable is the connector (hence you can upgrade an existing 100 Mb network to 1 Gb without re-wiring everything), if you try to use a standard Cat5e cable it MIGHT work but in larger networks you can run into all sorts of strange problems because the BER increases.
    Same thing with USB 1.1 and 2.0, it MIGHT work but there is no guarantee. From what I understand a USB 2.0 cable is basically a high-precision version of a 1.1 cable.


     
  12. aplefka

    aplefka Lifer

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    I'm sure there is a difference because most of the USB 1.1 wires I have seen seem much smaller in diameter than USB 2.0 cables. And when I say much, obviously they're both still thin wires, I'm just saying relatively speaking it's smaller.

    Then again I don't know much about this issue, just giving my two cents of experience.
     
  13. mi1stormilst

    mi1stormilst Golden Member

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    Still waiting for some "OFFICIAL" benchmarks or a reliable article...

    I can certainly agree that the two cables are similar but a USB 2.0 certified cable is physically different due to shielding, higher quality components, and more rigorous testing standards that it must pass. In other words if you buy a certified USB 2.0 cable your certainly going to reach the highest performance and compatibility possible. I read in the "OFFICIAL" USB standard docs that only 3 out of 10 USB 1.1 cables will actually work with a USB 2.0 device. Again "working" is not defined at USB 2.0 speeds just that it will "work"