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USB 3.1 (Type C) front I/O panels in the works? - Page 2

post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by XNine View Post

I wasn't talking about rear IO speaker ports, I'm taking about the mobo header for a speaker that beeps while posting...

One, you need to be more specific.

Two, why on earth did you bring that into this discussion? Again, you are comparing apples and kumquats.
Quote:
Originally Posted by XNine View Post

...How about FireWire? Or eSATA? PS/2? While we're at it, how about IDE? There's plenty of people who still use those, but is it the way the market and industry is moving? No.

There's a point when supporting dated technology becomes a disadvantage. And when new technology arrives, it's never a guarantee that it will work out. Look at FireWire. FireWire never saw the success it was hoping for. Maybe USB type C won't either. So far, there's little market share for it.

There's pros and cons to everything, the only way to move forward is to weigh them and see what's best.

Again, lousy analogies. IDE was around for a long time. eSATA is still around although USB 3.1 Gen 2 has supplanted it in speed. PS/2 and Firewire had pretty good runs. We aren't talking about outdated technology here; we are talking about promising, new technology.

No technology lasts forever. Just because certain technology has become outdated doesn't mean new technology will never fly. A lot of perfectly good new technology dies before having a chance because manufacturers are loath to take a chance on it, waiting for someone else to introduce it first.

You are being very short sighted ruling out Type C.
Edited by Lady Fitzgerald - 6/12/16 at 12:03pm
     
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post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaeos View Post

Thanks for your (amazingly swift) reply! Now maybe I'm missing a key piece of information, but given my understanding of the situation, it seems like CaseLabs would be in a great position to roll out USB 3.1 ahead of the general market?

If you are able to have your own USB 3.1 (gen2 - which is the new naming convention, confusingly) TypeC kits made, its good you aren't dependent on waiting for larger 3rd party suppliers. On the user end, I'm guessing that many users interested in CaseLabs (like those in this very board ) are enthusiasts more likely to adopt USB3.1 / TypeC early or at least see an option for it on a case as a benefit. It seems strange that you were given flack for dropping USB2.0 connectors in the past, especially as 3.0 were backwards compatible. Likewise, USB3.1 (or even Thunderbolt) is backwards compatible with 3.0/2.0 devices, so users are only gaining options not losing them. Though I admit there may be some edge cases out there, but perhaps it could be handled with that famous CaseLabs customization? A la carte parts/accessories for the current USB3.0 I/O kits could remain available, at least for a time, alongside new ones for USB3.1 TypeC? If you have manufacturing capabilities, perhaps you could even offer USB-A to USB-C adapters that are electrically 3.1 compliant, so no one could say they couldn't use their A devices from the start? Sure, people could also buy them from Amazon and whatnot, but my cursory search revealed a mishmash of suspect quality products - typical for such cables and adapters - so if the price was anywhere near reasonable, I imagine users would be happy to pick up a pack of adapters from you guaranteed to be electrically 3.1 compliant.

Given the current rate of adoption, I anticipate that there will be a wider expansion of USB3.1 TypeC over the remainder of this year and into 2017. Adoption seems to be growing considerably in all sectors, from mobile (for instance, the Nexus 5x and 6P Android phones, as well as those by OnePlus, and several tablets. This year's models will probably bring even more, thanks to the additional charging benefits 3.1 offers and TypeC makes it easy to plug in. GSMArena is full of upcoming phones/devices using TypeC, especially for flagships and those trying to do away with the 3.5mm headset jack, saving precious mm with TypeC), to laptop (Laptops from Razer, Asus, MSI, Sager/Clevo and the like seem to offer a few ports, not to mention Thunderbolt. Even some more traditional brands like Dell XPS now offer at least one port. ) to even the desktop PC case world (EVGA's inclusion on their new, pre-order case line reminded me to make this thread). When Thunderbolt 3 powered docks and external GPU (or other hardware) enclosures make a wider debut, that will continue to bolster the connector.

The general market probably moves a lot slower overall, but with all of these developments among enthusiast products, but it seems that those designed for niche populations are already arriving for sale. I would suppose most of CaseLabs user base would be happy to see USB3.1 TypeC(gen2) as an option available on new cases as well as accessories for retrofit. Thanks!

Edit: Whoops, I actually typed this on a tab with just yesterday's reply, so for context I hadn't seen the additional discussion.

Thank you for your constructive and thoughtful response. The great thing about OCN is that we can have these open discussions.

As is often the case, the truth is a little complicated. Few boutique case manufacturers even offer front panel support because it is ungodly expensive in low volumes. We’re one of the very few that do and always have, but we’ve taken our licks for it too, because of cost. It’s just the reality of what we have to work with.

We did, in fact offer 2.0 support on the larger cases until just over a year ago when demand for it finally died out. It took a long time to get 3.0 support and we were never able to get “mixed” panels because they were simply weren’t available to us. Frustrating? Yes, of course, but at the time, we had no other viable options. In addition, I really wanted a solution that was backward compatible so we could offer it as an upgrade to current cases owners. Most large case manufacturers have no such concerns. Whenever a new technology comes out, you’re SOL unless you buy a new case.

It was a long time coming, but we finally made the leap to tooling up and getting our cables made. I could be wrong, but I believe we are the only ones who do. There are however, high costs for the tooling as well as production commitments that have to be met. What tends to get lost sometimes is that there is a huge difference between making a few hundred vs making 10K units of anything. The high volume (A) drives down the unit cost of manufacturing and (B) provides a much broader base to amortize engineering & tooling expenses. For the big guys, the tooling costs are inconsequential. For us, they are quite significant. So when the question is posed “If a $80 case can have “X” feature, why can’t yours?”, it’s for the reasons stated above. Hopefully, we offset that by offering other features that have even more value wink.gif

There are a lot of things on the horizon: Type C USB, Thunderbolt, HDMI support, etc. Which ones to support and when? Will they be a passing fad with low adoption rates? At thousands of dollars, we can’t afford to retool every time a new technology is introduced, so we have to take a reasoned approach. There is also the consideration of backwards compatibility, so we have to take into account the existing form factor we have. While we can’t guarantee it, we’d like to be offer to offer the new panels as an upgrade if all possible.

It’s not like we’re holding back out of spite. I use our cases too smile.gif
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post #13 of 44
I think the USB Type C connector is a sure thing because its is independent of protocol - its so versatile supporting USB and Thunderbolt 3 - which also supports PCIe, USB, Displayport protocols, more power delivery too. See http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/207211-intels-thunderbolt-3-offers-usb-compatibility-at-full-thunderbolt-speed

The form factor replaces so many versions of connector -- micro USB, mini USB, mini displayport, that were created for smaller form factors compatible with phones and small form factor portables. THese connectors will are unlikely to ever be used again - it will always be Type C instead.

Google, Apple and Intel are behind it. The next-gen Intel processor Kaby Lake will have both USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3 integrated which will further accelerate adoption.

http://www.cnet.com/news/thunderbolt-3-and-usb-type-c-join-forces-for-one-port-to-rule-them-all/

There are already a full range of devices and adapters for Type C: http://www.computerworld.com/article/3042999/mobile-wireless/got-a-new-usb-c-device-19-accessories-that-will-help.html#slide11

Hp too. http://www.tomshardware.com/news/hp-spectre-usb-c-external-gpu,31547.html

People will want to connect these USB C portable devices to the front of the computer.

You should be able to develop a single dual Type C panel that will interface with the existing USB 3.0 headers, and the future USB 3.1 headers (as I understand it the wiring is the same).

I don't think thunderbolt is as important for the front panel as they would tend to be important for connecting displays, external GPUs, or other very high bandwidth devices (e.g., more than USB 3.0/3.1 delivers) that could just as easily be connected to the back panel, but certainly if you could build a type C connector panel that can support Thunderbolt 3 too that would be great. You could have the panel itself be identical but the wiring be substituted depending on whether one or both ports are thunderbolt (which also supports USB devices).

Also, the lack of Type A connectors could easily be addressed by connecting to a back panel Type A connector (which will probably be there for many years for backwards compatibility) or Type A hubs connected to the back panel type A or the front panel Type C to allow for easier access at the front.
post #14 of 44
If the front I/O panels had Type C connectors that had another connector behind them instead of a cable, one could use the length and type of cable needed. For example, one could use a longer Type A to Type C cable to pass through to the Type A USB3.1 Gen 2 connectors now found on the rear I/O panel of many MOBOs now. Later, when MOBOs come out with actual USB 3.1 Gen 2 headers, one could just swap the existing cable with a header cable, again choosing the most appropriate length.

Also, if you designed your front I/O panels to also be modular, one could pick and choose which ports they needed on that panel.
     
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post #15 of 44
Exactly - see this device which goes from usb header to type c port on pci adapter slot.

Do a google search for "19 PIN USB Header to USB 3.1 Type-C Adapter Cable USB3.0 to USB-C Card + Bracket" and you should see it - the link did not work.

In fact may be these components could be used directly in the Bullet cases with maybe just a tweak of the front metal cover plate.
Edited by awitko - 6/14/16 at 2:51pm
post #16 of 44
could just be my browser but that link for some reason just takes me to the storefront.

In any case, as for USB iterations to have implemented, while I wouldnt get up in arms since I am not your target demographic to begin with I do use USB 2.0 quite often when I am modding my m7 as USB 3.0 can be finicky. Im sure others will have different experiences however. Same thing applies when I use my wired 360 controller, doesnt seem to work with USB 3.0 that well but does PnP just fine under 2.0

Though on mine I have both, of which I use daily, 2.0 mainly for phone and controller as mentioned before, and 3.0 when I use my 2.0TB external

Dont know if its relevant at all, just my thoughts after reading the thread
    
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post #17 of 44
The link did go to the storefront when clicked within the post. Not sure why.

If you do a google search for "19 PIN USB Header to USB 3.1 Type-C Adapter Cable USB3.0 to USB-C Card + Bracket" you should see examples of what I am talking about.

I believe that will go from an internal usb 3.0 header to what they call an external Type C USB 3.1 - [which I believe is based on the renaming of USB 3.0 to be USB 3.1 gen 1].

I believe (though not sure) that that header probably could be plugged into a USB 3.1 gen 2 header and provide gen 2 functionality as long as the wiring supported the additional bandwidth.

I'm not sure what tooling cost would be for caselabs here, but it seems to be that they may be able to find the source of these components (wire and card) and combine that with a simple metal faceplate - they could have USB 3.1 Type C functionality on a faceplate fairly quickly and inexpensively.

Yes, and they might allow for modularity - similar cards for thunderbolt, and Type A so that people could mix and match (and eventually upgrade) 2 or 3 connectors on the faceplate.

I think maybe 2 Type C USB and a Type A USB (or three type C USB) may make sense today, but eventually one would replace the Type A with a Type C thunderbolt 3 connector.

I hope caselabs can make something like this work.
Edited by awitko - 6/14/16 at 3:43pm
post #18 of 44
I have an Asrock USB 3.1 panel that I payed about $60 dollars for when it was first released. See link below. The problem is that the SATA express cable that it came with is to short to reach my motherboard in my STH10. I looked everywhere for a longer cord, but SATA express cables are almost non existent. It is a very solidly built front panel. Very heavy aluminum, but I don't like that it uses a 5.25 inch drive bay. Regardless, my motherboard has rear USB 3.1 connections so it's only a minor inconvenience.
http://www.asrock.com/mb/spec/card.asp?Model=Front%20USB%203.1%20Panel
post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by awitko View Post

The link did go to the storefront when clicked within the post. Not sure why.

If you do a google search for "19 PIN USB Header to USB 3.1 Type-C Adapter Cable USB3.0 to USB-C Card + Bracket" you should see examples of what I am talking about.

I believe that will go from an internal usb 3.0 header to what they call an external Type C USB 3.1 - [which I believe is based on the renaming of USB 3.0 to be USB 3.1 gen 1].

I believe (though not sure) that that header probably could be plugged into a USB 3.1 gen 2 header and provide gen 2 functionality as long as the wiring supported the additional bandwidth.

I'm not sure what tooling cost would be for caselabs here, but it seems to be that they may be able to find the source of these components (wire and card) and combine that with a simple metal faceplate - they could have USB 3.1 Type C functionality on a faceplate fairly quickly and inexpensively.

Yes, and they might allow for modularity - similar cards for thunderbolt, and Type A so that people could mix and match (and eventually upgrade) 2 or 3 connectors on the faceplate.

I think maybe 2 Type C USB and a Type A USB (or three type C USB) may make sense today, but eventually one would replace the Type A with a Type C thunderbolt 3 connector.

I hope caselabs can make something like this work.

Why not just make one that plugs into the SATA express connection like the Asrock and Asus front panels. Almost all new motherboards have SATA express connectors that nobody uses. See my previous post.
post #20 of 44
Can the tiny Type C plugs be plugged in as firmly as the standard A connectors?
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