Question What are the pros and cons of installing a 3.5" multi-card reader on a PC rather than getting a usb one?


Jun 21, 2022
Hello, I have a Transcend Information USB 3.0 Card Reader (TS-RDF5R). For unknown reason, it only works on one of the USB ports at the front of my desktop PC. Even so, sometimes it got disconnected and reconnected perhaps due to loose condition. I am considering to buy an internal 3.5" multi-card reader. What are the pros and cons of getting a 3.5" vs a portable one?

Tech Junky

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2022
It's always connected directly to the mobo and won't have a USB port / cable that can fail or be finicky. Depending on which reader you get it might even be faster if you have the faster header to connect it to.

If you get a reader that's max speed is 10gbps you're only bottleneck would be the cards themselves. Things like UHS-II would become an option if speed is the goal as well.
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Senior member
Nov 6, 2013
Assuming that you have

A) The necessary mounting spot inside your case to hold the reader, AND
B) The necessary connector on your motherboard to connect it to, AND
C) You don't need to take the reader with you anywhere..

Then, internal cards are ALMOST always perform better, than anything external

The only possible exception to this might be if you could find an external reader that has a USB-C connector, then it would most likely exceed, or at least match, the performance of an internal reader..

However, if you have a desktop pc case with loose/malfunctioning USB ports, they can normally be replaced without too much trouble...most are attached to the front panel via 2 small screws or possibly hot-glued on. If you want/need the cables, I have several extra ones that you can have for the cost of postage only :)

But FYI, most all internal readers are still connected through USB, it's just a better, more reliable one, which is a 19 pin mobo connector.