How to find out if the USB connection to external device is using USB3 or USB2


New Member
I connect an external device that supports USB3.0 to an USB3.0 port on the computer/mother board using an USB 3.0 cable. I can see in the device manager that there are (intel) drivers that support USB3.0. The external device (WD mypassport) advertises USB 3.0 support.
Is there a way to find out in windows 7 (home premium) if the actual usb connection is really using USB3.0 or if it is falling back into USB2?
Is the transmission speed in the USB connection the only hint about what is happening in the USB connection. That is, a higher speed means that USB 3.0 is really being used?


Honorable Member
The only thing I can offer for this is that if you connect a USB 3.0 device to a USB 2.0 port, you should get a message that this device could perform faster if connected to a USB 3.0 port and no message appears if both are USB 3.0.

You could also run a benchmark test of the drive. This tool works wel.

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New Member
Thanks pbcopter
The reason I am asking this question is that I am having a strange behaviour with my usb3 ports (dell xps 8500 with intel drivers). If I connect my wd passport (usb3-device) to a usb2 port, I get the message that "this device could perform.....". If I connect the usb3-device to a usb3 port, the usb3-device is not recognized at all.
If I connect a usb2-device to an usb3-port, the usb2-device is immediatly recognized (no problems here). Now if I connect my usb3-device to the other (twin) usb3-port, the usb3-device is recognized (usb2-dev in one port and usb3-dev in the other). Now I may remove the usb2-device from the usb3 port and and usb3-dev that is left is still recognized. It seems that I am getting more or less the same speed (30 MB/s) regardless if I am using usb2 or usb3 port.
It seems that the usb2 devices are "activating" the usb3 looks strange!

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