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Like many laptops, mine has 2 USB 2.0 ports. I'm looking to purchase a USB hub for my peripheral devices. I'm also planning on purchasing a laptop cooler with two USB powered fans, which connects to a USB port but can extend the plug, so it doesn't use one up. (Sorry for the poor description; see the link for a picture.)

My questions are these: Can one plug 'too many' peripherals into a USB port? Can I plug my fans into a port, then the hub into the fans, then my keyboard and mouse, mic, and webcam into the extender..? Is it possible to draw too much power from a port? Secondly, will a USB hub affect the performance of any of my devices? I'm mostly worried about my mouse and keyboard. I like wired mice because I've noticed some lag in my Bluetooth mouse.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Can one plug 'too many' peripherals into a USB port?

Most definitely. There is always a power limitation somewhere.

In general, most USB ports provide 500mA (500 milliamps) of power output per port. I'd check the peripherals you are plugging in for the required power draw of each and total it up.

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+1. That said, it's unlikely to affect performance of something like a keyboard; either it'll work or it won't. –  Shinrai Feb 17 '11 at 23:10
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girr.org/mac_stuff/usb_stuff.html to add a reference. Beat me @JohnT :) –  KronoS Feb 17 '11 at 23:11
    
Thank you @KronoS :) –  John T Feb 17 '11 at 23:11
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Yes, too may devices can overload the usb ports, Buy a hub that comes with a power supply of its own.

example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817364017

Package Contents One (1) 13-Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hub One (1) USB 2.0 cable One (1) AC power adapter

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I would go for a powered-hub every time, especially where you have fans and the like running from them. Also bear in mind that the more power you draw from the laptop the hotter it will get (although I accept vs CPU / GPU this is neglible)! –  Joel Mansford Feb 17 '11 at 23:25
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