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USB Expansion Cards - Inateck Vs Startech

VirtualRealityOasisVirtualRealityOasis Posts: 91 Poster of the Week

If you don't want to watch the video, that's cool. Here's a summary;

Over the past few weeks I've been testing the Inateck PCI-E USB expansion card as it was the most commonly talked about card in the community and the original card recommended by Oculus.

I was testing the card with a four sensor setup. I found the card very problematic, I experience blue screen of deaths reporting WDF_Violation despite trying numerous configurations, different slots and drivers.

I even tested using two Inateck cards. At times this worked but as soon as I reset my machine it would be unreliable again.

I eventually stumbled across an official Oculus blog talking about the hardware required for four sensor setups.

In the blog they recommended the use of USB expansion cards that have multiple controllers on board (The Inateck card has seven USB ports but only uses one on board controller).

Oculus recommended two cards, the RocketU 1144d and the Startech dual & quad controller card. The Startech was priced at £86 which was cheaper than the £109 RocketU.

I ended up ditching my two Inateck cards and testing the quad controller Startech card. The Startech card is much larger and only has four USB slots but has a dedicated controller for each slot.

I've been using the Startech card in my system for over a week now and have experienced no disconnecting issues or system crashes at all. I have four sensors plugged into the Startech and the Rift plugged straight into my motherboard.

If you're looking for a USB PCI-E expansion card that plays nice with the Rift I would recommend the Startech card. Here's a link where you can pick one up (affiliate link) - http://amzn.to/2tDy3Ej

TL:DR - The Inateck card caused me problems. Would recommend Startech card.

www.youtube.com/virtualrealityoasis

Comments

  • VirtualRealityOasisVirtualRealityOasis Posts: 91 Poster of the Week
    I've had reports from the (awesome) community that the Inateck 4 port USB card works fine and that I should have tested that card and not the 7 port cards. I have not personally tested it myself but if you want to pick one up the link is here - http://amzn.to/2uiveJk
    www.youtube.com/virtualrealityoasis
  • dburnedburne Posts: 1,621
    Project 2501
    I have been running the Innatek 7 port card since getting my Rift in Jan, no issue at all so far with it. Have two sensors and the headset plugged into it.
    Don

    EVGA X-79 Dark MB | I7 [email protected] GHz | EVGA 2080Ti FTW3 Ultra |16GB Corsair Platinum 2133MHz | Warthog Throttle | VKB Gunfighter Pro/MCG Pro grip | Crosswind Pedals |
  • VirtualRealityOasisVirtualRealityOasis Posts: 91 Poster of the Week
    dburne said:
    I have been running the Innatek 7 port card since getting my Rift in Jan, no issue at all so far with it. Have two sensors and the headset plugged into it.
    I think the issues come when trying to run 4 sensors on that card.
    www.youtube.com/virtualrealityoasis
  • elbofforelboffor Posts: 2,571 Valuable Player
    Its totes all about the 4 port inatech card.
    I run 2 for aĺl 4 sensors and my hmd.

    This is my forum signature.
    There are many others like it, but this is mine.
  • cleanupdisccleanupdisc Posts: 210
    Nexus 6
    edited July 2017
    I bought an expansion cable from startech that plugs into the motherboard. Is this one ok and just as good as a pcie? Please take a look and let me know what you think about the cord...

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0066KP06M/ref=oh_aui_i_sh_in_o2_img?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  • nalex66nalex66 Posts: 4,127 Power Poster
    I bought an expansion cable from startech that plugs into the motherboard. Is this one ok and just as good as a pcie? Please take a look and let me know what you think about the cord...

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0066KP06M/ref=oh_aui_i_sh_in_o2_img?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    That will run on one of the existing USB controllers in your system, so if you're getting poor USB performance on your current USB ports, this won't increase your capacity. It's useful if your case doesn't have front USB 3 ports, because it plugs into the spot on your motherboard where the front ports would plug in.

    The PCIe cards add one or more USB controllers so you actually get more USB capacity added to your system.
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    My Oculus Medium sketchbook thread, and my Oculus Medium Gallery
  • cleanupdisccleanupdisc Posts: 210
    Nexus 6
    edited July 2017
    nalex66 said:
    I bought an expansion cable from startech that plugs into the motherboard. Is this one ok and just as good as a pcie? Please take a look and let me know what you think about the cord...

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0066KP06M/ref=oh_aui_i_sh_in_o2_img?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    That will run on one of the existing USB controllers in your system, so if you're getting poor USB performance on your current USB ports, this won't increase your capacity. It's useful if your case doesn't have front USB 3 ports, because it plugs into the spot on your motherboard where the front ports would plug in.

    The PCIe cards add one or more USB controllers so you actually get more USB capacity added to your system.

    Thanks. Ya i only have 2 front facing usb 2.0, so since that is part of the front usbs i should be good. My pc is a z97 pc mate that has two usb 3.0 in the back. That should be enough for my rift which just arrived today but i went ahead and bought that cable as well. If i have any issues that i think revolve around bandwidth, if i get a third sensor i guess ill just buy a pcie card if need be. I should be good though! 

    O and one more point. I plug the rift usb into 3.0 and the sensor into 3.0, but what other device is recommended for usb 3.0? Since oculus recommends 3? Is it the second sensor that comes with my touch controller? Should i try that touch controller in a usb 2.0 slot before i install the expansion cable? Thank you... whats your guys setup?

    My pc is a rx 480, i7 4790k, 16gb of ram, and a 7200rpm ssd hybrid. :) I want to upgrade to amd vega in September!!!
  • nalex66nalex66 Posts: 4,127 Power Poster
    edited July 2017
    Yeah, the third USB3 they mention is for the second sensor. The sensors can run on USB2, but they go into a low-bandwidth mode that isn't as accurate.

    Your front USB3 ports will probably run though a controller that is also controlling other USB ports on the system (could be the two on the back). Anyway, see how it goes, and you can consider an add-on card if you need it.

    I'm currently running 2 sensors and the Rift on USB3 ports without issue, but I have a 3rd sensor on order. I'll see how that runs on USB3 (they recommend USB2 for the third sensor because most systems will be running out of bandwidth). I may go ahead and add a PCIe card if my system can't handle everything on USB3.

    Edit: What happened to the post I was responding to!?
    i7 5820K @ 4.25 GHz | EVGA GTX 1080 SC | Gigabyte GA-X99-UD4 | Corsair DDR4 3000 32 GB | Corsair HX 750W
    Corsair Hydro H100i | Samsung SSDs: 860 Evo 1 TB, 850 Evo 1 TB, 840 Evo 1 TB | Seagate BarraCuda HDD 3 TB
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  • cleanupdisccleanupdisc Posts: 210
    Nexus 6
    nalex66 said:
    Yeah, the third USB3 they mention is for the second sensor. The sensors can run on USB2, but they go into a low-bandwidth mode that isn't as accurate.

    Your front USB3 ports will probably run though a controller that is also controlling other USB ports on the system (could be the two on the back). Anyway, see how it goes, and you can consider an add-on card if you need it.

    I'm currently running 2 sensors and the Rift on USB3 ports without issue, but I have a 3rd sensor on order. I'll see how that runs on USB3 (they recommend USB2 for the third sensor because most systems will be running out of bandwidth). I may go ahead and add a PCIe card if my system can't handle everything on USB3.

    Edit: What happened to the post I was responding to!?

    Im not sure lol. But thanks for responding to my disappeared post haha!!!
  • Atticus_MaytrapAtticus_Maytrap Posts: 3
    NerveGear
    thanks for the advice mate, really good to know. My mobo is a little on the older side (2013) and had incompatible USB3.0 slots, so i purchased an 4 slot Inateck 3.0 PCIe card to get on that 3.0 train and its not been a great experience. Only keeping 2 of my 3 sensors plugged into - as recommended - but the tracking has been spotty AF. The Startech card seems to be the way to go, especially since i plan to add a 4th sensor just for shits and giggles.

    On another note, how far back do you set your rear sensors?
    My space is 3.3mx5.3m, front sensors on the shorter side  of that rectangle about 2.3m apart high up on wall pointing down. My first inclination was to simply put the 3rd in the middle at the back (ISO triangle config.), but then everyone said it works better off to the corner (right angled triangle config.).
    The only problem is that during the sensor setup i kept having to rotate the front sensors inwards and brining the rear sensor further and further along the wall to achieve what the oculus program calls a "viable setup".
    In the end i just skipped it and set it up as intended (ISO triangle) and it still works fine - the back edge of my guardian system now tracks perfectly as opposed to the spottiness experienced with just 2 front sensors.
    Why is the sensor setup so finniky with the sensor placement?
  • jimmyjelljimmyjell Posts: 4
    NerveGear
    That's good to hear, Need one, Anyone sends me the link where can I get the good discount. I also need a network device that can fix brother printer offline windows 10 issue. 

  • jimmyjelljimmyjell Posts: 4
    NerveGear
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  • jimmyjelljimmyjell Posts: 4
    NerveGear
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  • OmegaM4NOmegaM4N Posts: 237
    Nexus 6
    Inatech all the way, card is just flawless, well for me anyway, turned my wonky USB VR mobo into a VR monster. :)
  • Digikid1Digikid1 Posts: 1,383
    Project 2501
    The Startech is more expensive but thats because it is superior.  A dedicated bus for EACH port simply cannot be beat.
  • NijNij Posts: 275
    Nexus 6
    I've just got a new pc and i'm using a Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming motherboard so thought I may aswell get a card to give my sensors their own didicated usb's

    So I went for the inateck one first and I'd read not to install the drivers from inateck but to let windows install them, which I did and it seemed fine but everytime I launched oculus home it told me my drivers were out of date on the sensor device list and even reverting back to the inateck ones seem to get rid of the message but then it told me the following day the same thing so I decided to send it back and get the Startech card as wanted to plug all my sensors into usb 3 even though this is not advised but I've read people are doing this and it's fine

    Everything was great at first just using the windows drivers and all sensors hooked up to usb 3 and had no issues at all

    But now pretty much evereyday i'm facing the same problem and it's complete hit and miss, I'll boot up my pc and the renesas drivers are showing in device manager and everything is fine and then if I come to use my pc again or after a reboot, the drivers have just completely disappeared from device manager which means my sensors aren't even being picked up

    I've tried everything, took the card out and put it back in, removed all drivers and used the ones from startech and then removed them and used the windows ones again but it makes no difference, I've restarted my pc 4 times today and twice the drivers were there and twice they weren't so I'm at a total loss now what this could be and have contacted Startech for help as I really don't wanna send another one back and I've researched this and it seems i'm not the only one with this issue but god knows what it could be
    I was a believer!! I was a Kickstarter backer!! Now I shall reap the rewards!!! :D :D :D
  • Wobbler79Wobbler79 Posts: 3
    NerveGear
    edited September 17
    As an owner of the Startech 3.1 gen 1(5Gbps) 4xcontroller card (renesas controller are getting old as are their drivers), I have an issue that is most likely caused by it using some form old PCIe standard for communications, so It won't work with new MB/CPU properly. Startech support had no idea, why it sometimes would work, but only with 1 port of 4 on x399 AMD board, while on OLD (8+ years) MB it would work fine. Now days it's know that at least the AMD has some issues with some older PCIe cards.

    My Startech sata/raid expansion card works, but the controller on the card reports the PCIe bus information wrong, while it still works with full bandwidth (4 x raid 0).
  • ThmoasThmoas Posts: 274
    Nexus 6
    edited September 18
    I use 4 sensors, 3 USB3 and one on USB2.

    2 are on Inateck card USB3/2. 2 USB3 sensors + headset are on a USB3 powered hub which is attached to the single USB 3.1 port from a modern Asmedia controller on my mobo.

    This leaves the Intel chip free for all other devices (mouse/kb, steering wheel, joystick, charging stuff, external storage etc...). I like it like this because I can now attach whatever I want to the Intel chip without having to worry to break any of my Oculus stuff. This has my front ports attached, the ports on my display, etc...
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    NerveGear
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