Why do newer MOBO's have so few USB ports? How to cope?

Buttoneer

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Arguably could have posted this in a number of different forums but I'll ask here since it's a mobo problem.

I have a mini ITX Gigabyte Z370N-Wifi motherboard and it has 'only' six USB ports. These are currently occupied my;

1 x Oculus rift headset
2x Corsair K70 keyboard
1x Logitech G5 mouse
1x Monitor connection (for monitor as a hub)
1x XBox Elite controller
2 x Oculus rift sensors
1x Apple cable
1x Corsair H1500 headset
1x Syder mionitor calibrator

You'll realise I ran out of ports a long way back so I'm using the monitor for the two Oculus sensors and Apple cable while the Spyder just isn't currentl;y used. The headset is plugged in at the front of the case. Ugh.

Wireless kit always needs a cable so this doesn't seem to be an answer or is it?

All this stuff used to fit on my old Z97 based board!

Can anyone suggest ideas for shifting the balance? The mobo does have an unused USB C port but don't think its a USB PD. There are few peripherals currently able to take advantage of it anyway but if I can stick a hub on that without having to add power from another source it helps to cut wires too. But does the USB-C have to be USB PD to make that work? Don't suppose I can use it for the oculus bits?
 

defaultluser

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You bought a MiniITX motherboard. They have limited back-plate space compared to full-sized boards.

Full-sized ATX boards start with 8, and go up to 12.

You reap what you sow. If you want smaller, it comes with less expansion options.

Just add a hub to your fastest USB port. The USB-C port should be fine, it has twice the bandwidth of any other port.

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=14909

Also, doesn't your case have front USB3 ports as well? Those won't take up a port you're using like your monitor, there's dedicated headers on the motherboard. See F_USB30

Gigabyte-Z370N-WiFi-Layout.jpg
 
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Buttoneer

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My Z97 was mini ITX too but had eight ports only three years ago. The headset is already on the front port - that's what I'd really llike to stop using for anything except occasional stuff - thumb drives, card readers etc.

I had thought about using the USB 2.0 header with an adaptor like this and mounting the XBox adapter inside the case. That's a bit helpful. The 2x USB keeyboard is the most annoying factor though. It's a great keyboard and cost plenty so don't want to lose it but it's extravagant to use two ports for it. Wouldn't be so bad if it had a hub too.

That superspeed is quite pretty though and maybe worth a try if some of the kit will run on an unpowered hub.
 

defaultluser

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I don't know what you're smoking man. That $20 7-port USB-C to USB 3.0 hub I linked you to is powered.

If you're worried about power consumption, your biggest POWER consumers are:

1 x Oculus rift headset
1x Monitor connection (for monitor as a hub)
2 x Oculus rift sensors
1x Apple cable
1x Corsair H1500 headset

Hook these to your six rear ports to get the best power they can. Then hook the rest of your peripherals to the hub. Enjoy.
 

ReaperX22

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Should've considered a different board maybe?

https://www.asus.com/au/Motherboards/ROG-STRIX-Z370-I-GAMING/ has 7 type A's and one Type c which could be split out into a hub very easily. Plus the USB 3 standard and new header.

I would have to argue against defaultIuser as the I/O-plate size doesn't change when you go from ITX to full ATX. It's the same standard.

https://www.asus.com/au/Motherboards/Z87IPRO/ - this is the board in my sig. Has 10 USB ports on the back and still has everything else including wifi, optical out, DVI, HDMI, Display Port, Reset CMOS/bios flashback.

There's room, just depends how you use it.
 

craigdt

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I would agree with your overall contention.

When I was looking into the X299 platform, it was lucky if I could find an ASUS offering with 6 rear USB slots.
I'd expect at least 8 from a HEDT board.

Anyways, I feel your pain.

But the above powered hub should be sufficient, right?
 

pendragon1

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there is some other option taking the room for the ports? wifi, extra nic etc. you can only jam so much on itx and people want everything so...
 

777

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You bought a MiniITX motherboard. They have limited back-plate space compared to full-sized boards.

Full-sized ATX boards start with 8, and go up to 12.

You reap what you sow. If you want smaller, it comes with less expansion options.
ITX and ATX back plates have spacial differences?
 

Ebernanut

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The 2x USB keeyboard is the most annoying factor though. It's a great keyboard and cost plenty so don't want to lose it but it's extravagant to use two ports for it.
Unless it's different than my K70 there is only one usb port required to make the KB work, connecting the second one just allows you to use the usb port on the back of the KB(presumably for a mouse).
 

777

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no but the board is a quarter of the size and you have to be able to fit all the things that people are clamoring for and there isn't enough room for everything, so compromises are made.
Asus ROG Strix Z370 ITX has 8 rear USB ports
Asus ROG Maximus X Hero ATX has 8 rear USB ports
 

defaultluser

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Asus ROG Strix Z370 ITX has 8 rear USB ports
Asus ROG Maximus X Hero ATX has 8 rear USB ports
And those compromise by only supporting a dual-display, a real concession for systems that might not use discrete graphics.

The Gigabyte adds a second HDMI port in exchange for the USB, supporting triple display without a hub.
 

777

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And those compromise by only supporting a dual-display, a real concession for systems that might not use discrete graphics.

The Gigabyte adds a second HDMI port in exchange for the USB, supporting triple display without a hub.
Manufacturers of high end motherboards sacrificing USB ports on the off chance that someone buying such a board might want to run triple displays off the iGPU, occasionally with extra DVI.
 

defaultluser

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Manufacturers of high end motherboards sacrificing USB ports on the off chance that someone buying such a board might want to run triple displays off the iGPU, occasionally with extra DVI.
Adding a capable powered USB 3 hub is $20.

Adding a video card with 4k capable triple digital outputs will cost you closer to $100, and take up your only expansion slot. One of the HDMI ports on the Gigabyte supports 2.0, which the HDMI on both Asus boards you linked are 1.4 only.

For people who are just getting office work done, I can tell you which I would pick. People connecting VR to their systems are a corner case.
 
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D

Deleted member 126051

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I was running out of rear USB ports on my rig.
And my onboard headers didn't like the adapter for the USB3 front ports on my case.
Luckily, my monitors (all three of them) have 2 USB ports apiece.
It COULD lead to cable clutter. But I'm pretty much set for now.
 

Buttoneer

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I don't know what you're smoking man. That $20 7-port USB-C to USB 3.0 hub I linked you to is powered.

If you're worried about power consumption, your biggest POWER consumers are:

1 x Oculus rift headset
1x Monitor connection (for monitor as a hub)
2 x Oculus rift sensors
1x Apple cable
1x Corsair H1500 headset

Hook these to your six rear ports to get the best power they can. Then hook the rest of your peripherals to the hub. Enjoy.
I'll give this a try though the monitor works well as a powered hub so happy to use that as if it's a main port.

Not so much worried about hub power consumption as the additional cable clutter which, as you can imagine, I already have a lot of. Plugged into the back of the PC they are routed out of the way. Less true of the monitor where a couple of the ports stick out of the side.

Most of the images of the linked hub don't show a power cable - and USB-C doesn't always need it, so not an unreasonable assumption that it doesn't have one having reviewed some of the pictures.

Unless it's different than my K70 there is only one usb port required to make the KB work, connecting the second one just allows you to use the usb port on the back of the KB(presumably for a mouse).
I don't have a USB port on mine. It's from 2014, K70 'Vengeance' I think and still working well so no real need to replace.
 

kirbyrj

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Look again on your keyboard. I have a K70 Vengeance and it's on the back right near where the cord comes in. Definitely don't need that one plugged in unless you're using it (which you aren't because you don't know its there :p ).
 

Buttoneer

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I'll take another look when I get home. Three and a half years and didn't know it was there.

Edit; It's not, there's a blanking plate. Perhaps mine is a different model. Definitely a K70 RGB and I thought it was a vengeance (no box now) but definitely no USB port.
 
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Sarra

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Some of the K70's use the second USB plug for the RGB or extra power if you're still using USB 2, and can be used with just the main data plug if it's USB 3.

I have an older K70 with a pass through, and a newer one without.

Personally, I only need one USB plug on my PC, since I'm using a hub. I have 12 USB ports on my back plate, two USB 2 ports on top of my case, two USB 3 ports on top of my case, and 4 more on the back of my case from USB expanders that plug into the headers, so I could plug all of my peripherals into my PC directly, though most of the time, I use my hub.

Oh... I guess my UPS is plugged in to it's own port, as well, so I use 2 of them.
 
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