Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Using the USB3 ports on X5000

This blog post is a short one, but I wanted to quickly cover off an annoyance on my AmigaOne X5000 and how I fixed it this week. Specifically I am talking about the non-working USB3 ports on the top of the case it came in...

The AmigaOne X5000 system (complete with included tower case) does not use the USB3 ports at the top of the case (the ones people generally want to quickly use with USB sticks, etc). Indeed, they are not even connected up inside the case!

This is because the X5000 motherboard does not support USB3 and lacks the connectors for it. It has USB2 ports on the back of the case that can be used instead.

On the original AmigaOne X1000 tower case, it had 2xUSB2 ports and 1xUSB3 ports on the top of the case. Only the USB2 ports could be used with the X1000, and the 1xUSB3 ports are not hooked up.

It was not such a big deal on the X1000 because it had those USB2 ports active on the top of the case.

I can hear people say, "just use a usb hub from the USB2 ports at the back". I do that already of course.

But I want to use the USB3 ports on the top of the case on the X5000 anyway.

Fortunately there is an easy and very cheap solution - thanks to a USB3 to USB2 converter cable, which I bought new on Ebay for $3 and free shipping. :-)

This is the cable, showing the male USB3 port end, to connect to the USB3 cable from the USB3 ports on the case.

FYI I did a similar thing on my AmigaOne A1222 system a while back too, as that case also had a similar problem.

As a small side track on the A1222, I am still busy working on AmigaOS 4 beta testing on the A1222 as an appointed AmigaOS4 beta tester, but unfortunately due to the NDA I can't discuss what I have been testing. I did do a significant chunk of new development testing over the previous weekend and I can also say that I am very glad AmigaOS4.1 development continues in 2019. I hope it continues for a long time to come!

Back to the topic at hand though - Here is the non-connected USB3 female cable end in the X5000 case, which is connected to the two USB3 ports on the top of the X5000 case:

On the X5000 motherboard, there is a spare unused USB2 header next to the onboard SATA ports:

I plugged in the USB2 end of the converter cable to the X5000 motherboard, and the male USB3 connector end to the female USB3 connector - which is connected to the USB3 ports.

And success! Working USB3 ports now on the X5000! Well, ok, they are really USB2 ports in terms of speed, etc. But they work now!

A quick upgrade, but for me it was totally worth it. I am really glad to now be able to use the top USB3 ports on the X5000 under AmigaOS4!


  1. I never understood why all of the dealers didn't install this. The US dealer Amiga on the Lake installed it from day one. Were the others too cheap to spend $5 to make customers happy?

    I'm always shocked when I compare the available options offered by Amiga on the Lake for X5000 purchases vs everybody else. Memory to the full 16GB and in matched pairs of sticks for full performance vs a single stick from Relec. Several mechanical and SSD hard drive options. A range of video cards including R290X which Aaron bought a couple hundred of for customers. A free recovery USB thumb drive with the OS and the Enhancer pack. All for the same base price as the others.

    They even include a SATA card to make up for the lousy design decision to only include 2 ports on the motherboard. And when they discovered that the sound card A-eon / Amigakit originally specified wasn't 100% compatible they sent free replacements.

    Customer service like this is why they are an Amiga dealer who is growing. They answer phones and emails. When I email Amigakit, it takes several attempts and usually 2 weeks before they respond - with an "oops" apology and another 2 week wait for any action.

    Sorry for the long rant. Such a simple thing as not connecting those easily accessible USB ports is just idiotic.

    1. I wish the USB3 converter cable was included with the X5000 from AmigaKit also. That was kind of the point I was making (in a round about way). I am aware of Amiga On The Lake and I am glad they are around in the Amiga marketplace. I wanted the X5000 boing ball case, which AOTL didn't offer with their system back then. Also, they didn't ship to Australia at the time I bought it. The exchange rate GBP > AUD is much more favourable than USD > AUD, which made AmigaKit considerably cheaper for me.

  2. It is good solution, works with every OS on X5000.
    But on my X1000 I use blue USB3.0 connectors with real PCI-e x1 USB3.0 adapter.

    AmigaOne X1000 (or X5000) with PCI-e rev 1.x cannot utilize full USB 3.0 speed (=500MB/s), but you can still reach 250 MB/s - which still much faster than original USB 2.0 (=60MB/s).

    Unfortunately, AmigaOS ( and MorphOS also) lacks USB 3.0 drivers, and this limits use of USB3.0 adapter to linux only. But for me it is still advantage.


    1. Didn't think to do on the X1000. I guess it had working usb2 ports on the top of the case so I wasn't so concerned about it. On the X5000 you need the converter to use ANY USB ports on top of the case as they are all USB3.

  3. Strange choice of putting the case, and not connecting USB headers. Happens to inexperienced system dealers :)

  4. Salut,

    Je viens de tomber sur ton blog concernant le connecteur USB 3 frontale, j'ai exactement le même tour Fractal design que toi

    J'ai la version 2.2 du X5040 et mon connecteur sur la carte mère est déjà utilisée par l'USB 2 frontale et sur ma partie frontale j'ai l'USB 2 ainsi qu'un connecteur USB 3.

    Comment as-tu fait pour avoir les deux connecteurs fonctionnels?

    Merci de ton aide.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.