24.5 Our Picks

USB 1.1 ports are ubiquitous on recent motherboards and systems. USB 2.0 ports are standard on chipsets, motherboards, and PCs designed after mid-2002, although low-end USB 1.1 PCs and motherboards were still being sold as of July 2003. Don't buy any new system or motherboard that does not provide native USB 2.0 ports.

The good news is that upgrading older systems to USB 2.0 is easy and inexpensive. We have used numerous USB port cards and hubs?everything from high-quality, name-brand components from Adaptec and ADS Technology to no-name Pacific Rim garbage. Our advice? Buying cheap USB port cards and hubs is a mistake. In our experience, name-brand components cost little more, are more reliable, and are much less likely to cause device conflicts.

For specific recommendations by brand and model, visit: http://www.hardwareguys.com/picks/usb.html.