By the way – about USB controllers

My PC is built into a tower case from Chieftec. This case offers also external ports for USB 3 among other things. Internally, these ports are connected to the mainboard.

However, I also installed an internal memory card reader from Chieftec, which also uses USB 3 and offers a 4× USB hub. This means that the only internal USB 3 port on the mainboard is occupied. In order to be able to use the external USB connections, I bought an additional controller for PCI-Express, which offers two external USB connections and two more internal connections. The connections in the housing can also be supplied via this.

So far so good – but there was a strange effect when I tried to use a Velleman K8055N: as soon as the connection was established in the software, the software stopped working. This effect did not occur using the connections of the mainboard itself. The USB connections of the memory card reader were not a problem either.

Then I remembered: many years ago I had similar problems with USB 3. At that time it was a controller with a VIA chipset that I used for an older Socket 775 board without USB 3 ports onboard. The new PCI Express card also uses a VIA chip, specifically a VIA VL805, which is used by many manufacturers of USB cards. It seems that this chip is not compatible with all end devices.

SupaGeek USB 3 CardTo confirm this theory I got a card using a chip by Renesas. This card provides one internal USB 3 connection and in addition four external USB 3 ports and one USB-C port.

And indeed: with this card also the Vellemann K8055N works without any issues. For Windows 10 there are also no additional drivers needed – the card will be detected and supported automatically.

Verdict

Even in 2021 not every device will always work properly on every USB port, because manufacturers do not always implement standards correct. If you have problems with additional controller cards, try to replace the card with a model with a different chipset that is not from VIA. Renesas seems to be much more reliable here.

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