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In my laptop (a Lenovo y470 ) there are three USB ports. One of those is USB 3.0 others are USB 2.0 . I do not know which one is what. When I copy data from my External HDD it transfers at 38MB/s from all of the USB ports. (Which is a good speed for USB 2 transfers, but to low for USB 3).

I used the device manager to confirm that I have one USB 3.0 port.

enter image description here

Is there a way a can figure out which port is 3.0 ?

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Is your external HDD a USB 2.0 or 3.0 one? –  Journeyman Geek Jan 1 '12 at 14:42
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7 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

According the tech specs

Left side: two USB 3.0 ports, external monitor (VGA DB-15, HDMI), ethernet (RJ-45)

Right side: one USB 2.0 port and one eSATA/USB combo port

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They're BLUE!

I believe USB-3 ports should be colored differently (blue)

The use of blue pantone thermoplastics in USB 3.0 connectors is recommended on systems with a mix of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. For certification, the USB-IF does require that the user be able to clearly and easily distinguish between a USB 3.0 and a USB 2.0 port on a system; however, it is left to the system implementer on how to accomplish this.

(my emphasis)

Also, just because your Computer contains a USB 3 controller doesn't mean it necessarily is presented externally

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Yup. Powered ports are yellow, USB3 are blue on lenovos –  Journeyman Geek Jan 1 '12 at 14:42
I found blue usb port in my laptop :) Thanks. Would you please care to elaborate Also, just because your Computer contains a USB 3 controller doesn't mean it necessarily is presented externally ? –  Rakesh Juyal Jan 1 '12 at 16:13
This means that although the motherboard is capable of processing USB3.0 signal, a physical port might not be installed (usually, it's the case with desktops). –  dnbrv Jan 1 '12 at 16:46
@Rakesh: Sometimes a USB controller exists for internal devices (such as a laptop's webcam). –  grawity Jan 2 '12 at 8:35
Yep. This is the best answer. They are almost always colored differently. One exception are modern Macs, as one port can support both USB 2.0 and 3.0. –  Josiah Oct 3 '12 at 17:24
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On my HP laptop, USB 3.0 ports logo/symbol have an "SS" (for Super Speed). USB 2.0 ports only have the typical USB symbol with no "SS".

See the following image: http://www.usr.com/education/periphimg/USB-connectors-edu.png

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I realize that your question goes to Lenovo laptop, but for completeness I'd like to mention that on Dell T3600 the ports labeled with SS and a USB icon are USB 3.0 ports. Ports with just the USB icon are USB 2.0 ports.

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Most devices that are USB 3.0 compatible will display a message whenever it is plugged into a USB 2.0 port, indicating that the transfer rate would be much faster if plugged into a different USB port. When you don't get the message in some of the USB ports, that is an indication that the port is 3.0 as opposed to those displaying the message, which are 2.0

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The message will depend on which OS and version you are running. –  That Brazilian Guy Dec 14 '13 at 1:11
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Some of the identifications for a USB 3.0

  • The USB 3.0 insert port has 5 leads (the USB 2.0 has only 4)

  • Some of them are named as SS with the USB symbol, means 'Super Speed'

  • The inserts may be colored with blue sometimes

Comparison picture: enter image description here

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USB 3.0 connectors actually have 9 contacts (4 + 5) or 11 (for devices that provide power) –  RedGrittyBrick Sep 20 '13 at 11:04
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For the USB ports on my Dell laptop, the USB 2.0 ports have a USB symbol which is colored white. The 3.0 pots have a USB symbol which is colored red and have "SS" to the left side of the symbol.

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