I have several older computers that I use occasionally for projects from running Kodi to using one as a OBD scan tool.
Many people simply toss their old electronics but not me, I guess I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to electronics. I am always finding a use for them in someway.
One of these old computer was a Desktop PC I built a few years ago and was a nice PC at the time.
It still is a good PC using a Quad Core Athlon x4 and 4 GB of RAM.
While not top of the line compared to a newly built PC today it still can get a job done.
One of the things I do with old PC and other electronics is load Kodi on them To stream video. Kodi is a lot of fun and if you dont know what it is read here.
I wanted the desktop to be in a corner of my garage with a good set of speakers and to also play music along with a 32 inch old flat screen for a monitor.
There was no Ethernet Cat 5/6 run to the location so it would have to be wireless.
On top of this the setup location had a lot of wireless signals at 2.4 Ghz so using 802.11ac in the 5 GHz range was going to be the best bet.
I ordered the Alfa AWUS036ACH Dual Band 802.11ac USB 3.0 WiFi Dongle from Amazon. Read Review Here.
Almost as soon as it came in I remembered that the old desktop was USB 2.0.
USB 3.0 is backward compatible with USB 2.0 so it would still work the problem is the speed of USB 3.0 and 802.11ac would never be reached.
This is simply because USB 2.0 has transfer rate of 480Mbps while USB 3.0 transfers at 5Gbs.
I still set the computer up with the Etekcity USB 3.0 dongle but as thought it would bottleneck.
Everything still ran and would stream fine. But when I copied a large file and would have to wait it bothered me that I could be running that much faster.
So I started looking for a PCI Express USB 3.0 expansion card to add to the old PC and speed things up.
The one I decided on was the ORICO USB 3.0 PCI Expansion Express Card.
It was reasonably priced and had mostly good reviews.
There are two USB 3.0 ports. Other versions have more USB slots if needed.
It does need power from the power supply so be sure to have an extra power plug.
Installing it was easy as the old PC didn’t have any other expansion cards.
I had a Windows 10 install on the PC and it automatically recognized the PCI card. I still installed the drivers to be sure they where correct.
The Alfa AWUS036ACH USB 3.0 dongle and the USB 3.0 PCI card work flawless together.
The speed has also improved but I need to upgrade the router since it seems to lock up with high speed transfers and multiple connections.
So far I am more than happy with the purchase and I will update this post as I upgrade or things change.
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Read More Reviews Here On Amazon
Orico PCIe to USB 3.0 SuperSpeed 5-Port PCI Express Expansion Card, Mini PCI-E USB 3.0 Hub Controller Adapter with Internal USB 3.0 20-PIN Connector [Include with A 4pin to 15pin cable]