What is SuperSpeed USB 3.0?
SuperSpeed USB 3.0 is the next advancement in USB technology. (USB stands for Universal Serial Bus.) Most of your computer peripherals are probably operating via USB 2.0 (if you haven't updated in a while, they may be using USB 1.1). As with most things computer technology related, an advancement typically mean making it faster.
Naturally, this gets computer peripherals manufacturers very excited because they love it when technology makes their products work faster. So there have been many manufacturers jumping on the 3.0 bandwagon, and you'll be sure to see this increase as time goes on.
How much faster is USB 3.0?
SuperSpeed USB 3.0 is said to be 10 times faster than USB 2.0. Maximum USB 2.0 speeds are 480MBps, and USB 3.0 speeds are said to reach 4.8GBps. Even though it's unlikely that computer peripherals will reach the max in either standard, the improvement in speed between the two standards is quite vast.
What will USB 3.0 be good for?
Anything that requires fast transfer speeds will benefit from the new standard. Storage devices and webcams, in particular, will reap the profits because they require speedy transfer speeds for optimal operation.
USB 3.0 is also engineered to provide more power to devices while they're being used. This has many potential advances, including faster charging times for devices that use USB for charging.
Do I need a new computer if I have USB 3.0 devices?
No. Your SuperSpeed devices will work in USB 2.0 ports if it says they are backward compatible (and most, if not all, have been engineered so that they are). In order to get that extra boost of speed, however, your computer must have USB 3.0 ports.
Will my old computer peripherals still work if I have USB 3.0 ports?
Yes, your USB 2.0 devices should work when they are plugged into USB 3.0 ports.