Why Review Another Bay Mount USB Port?
Chris Oh's review of the Antec Easy-USB inspired me.
A USB port in the front of the case can be essential for some of us. The front access port can be a quick place to plug in a digital camera, a portable MP3 player or a joystick without having to pull the case out from under the desk and fumble around looking for the USB port.
I read Chris's article and was quite tempted to order one of the Easy-USBs except that I had a few issues with it. One issue was that it took up a 5.25" bay. Not a big deal, but why an entire 5.25" bay? Of course, the Easy USB can adapt that 5.25" bay to a 3.5" bay, and for some, having an extra 3.5" bay can be helpful. But if the Antec was made to fit in a 3.5" bay to begin with, then the user could have the choice to install the Easy USB in either a 5.25" bay or a 3.5" bay.
Another issue I took with the Antec unit was that the port was not powered. If you're going to move a USB port to the front of the case, you might as well tap off of a 5V lead off of the power supply so you're not pulling 5V through the motherboard for bus powered devices. If I wanted additional power for bus-powered devices, then I might as well buy a powered USB hub and put it on my desk, thus completely eliminating the need for the Easy-USB altogether!
I put off buying the Easy-USB for the time being.
One day, I was trying to help out a fellow computer user that was having problems with supplying enough power through the board for a bus-powered USB device. He wanted to use the front USB port on his Antec case, but the motherboard apparently wasn't supplying enough power. He had a power USB hub on his desk, but didn't like the additional clutter. It was then pointed out to us that he could have powered USB in the front of his case with the aid of a $29 device AND have the ability to plug in four different devices without having to use a hub. WHOA! Cool!
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