Fitting USB3 into a DELL PowerEdge R510 Server

USB3 is not supported natively within Windows Server 2008 (or Windows 7), and therefore Dell has always seemed reluctant to fit USB3 hardware into its Servers.

To make matters worse, most USB3 cards require some sort of SATA Power from the main board, and Dell does not provide these connectors inside the chassis either. So, fitting a PCI Express USB3 card is a tricky proposition.

Fortunately, StarTech offer several USB3 Cards that do not require any additional power from the board (save that provided by the PCI Express slot itself). However, be aware that if you are intending to connect an external Backup Drive to the card, you will need to ensure that the device itself is powered.

I chose the StarTech PEXUSB3S42 Card. It provides three external USB 3.0 Ports (another port sits inside), and was a breeze to install.

The first image (below) shows my R510 Server prior to fitting the Card, and the second shot shows the new card in place.

151007 Dell R510 - PCI Express Slots

160530 - PEXUSB3S42 USB3 Card (2)

For reasons explained above, it was neccesary to run the driver installation disk (provided in the box), and this resulted in a further reboot of the server.

My HP RDX Backup System is now connected to a much faster port and the backup times have reduced accordingly.

All in all, a successful upgrade.

PS, don’t forget to use a USB3 lead when connecting your External Drive, or you will still be running at USB2 speeds. 😉

160530 - PEXUSB3S42 USB3 Card (6)




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