I had some time tonight so I thought I'd clarify. Please read what I've written slowly, as it's easy to get lost/confused. I'm being as precise as possible here (something review sites usually don't do).
First, take a look at the Corsair Carbide 400R case
. You can see from the photos on that page that the "bay" on the front of the case offers two USB 3.0 ports (blue) and a Firewire port.
Those two USB 3.0 ports are physically soldered on a small PCB that is enclosed by hard plastic. It is 100% proprietary. Here's a photo of it
. The other end of that cable is a female USB 3.0 header connector (specifically what you see here
). This end of the cable plugs into the male
USB 3.0 header on your motherboard.
The other connectors you see are AC97/HDAudio and IEEE1394 (Firewire) and aren't relevant to this discussion.
Pretty simple, right?
So what do you do if your motherboard lacks a USB 3.0 header? Three options:
1. Use the included adapter cable
(see cable at the top of the photo; here's
the review page it came from). This is also the same cable/product that Chrno
linked. So what is that adapter cable cable REALLY?
It's a cable that has a male USB 3.0 header
(which plugs into the female
USB 3.0 header cable that comes from the front panel) and two female USB 2.0 headers
(which go to the classic 9-pin male USB 2.0 headers on your motherboard
(shown in blue on the right)). It allows you to use the blue USB ports on your Carbide 400R case with a motherboard that lacks a USB 3.0 header on it (but you'll only get USB 2.0 speeds, obviously). Here is a photo of that adapter cable in use
2. Buy a motherboard that has a native (male) USB 3.0 header on it, and the case will "just work".
3. Buy a PCIe USB 3.0 card, such as the Silverstone EC03B-P
that has a (male) USB 3.0 header on it and plug the cable coming out of the PCB / front panel on your case into that.
And what do you do if you don't have a Corsair Carbide 400R case?
Option is #3 above is your only choice, unless
your case happens to have a similar front panel as the Carbide 400R -- specifically, it would need to have USB ports that go to a female
USB 3.0 header connector/end. Then you could use that adapter cable that comes with the Carbide 400R (or you can buy it separately), as shown in this picture again
Finally, I want to point readers to a major mistake
in the Guru3D review. The review mistakenly states TWICE, and I quote:
These could be used for LCS tubing, but are intended to route the front panel USB 3.0 connector cables towards the rear IO (where USB 3.0 connectors could be located).
Alternatively you can use a small cable extension and lead the cables towards the Rear IO USB 3.0 if that is your only option.
This is completely inaccurate on the part of Guru3D. "Rear IO" implies "rear I/O panel", as in backplane. The internal USB 3.0 header connector is not
on the external backplane of a motherboard; standard USB ports are
. There is no such adapter/cable that lets you accomplish what Guru3D describes
Instead, if all you have are standard USB 3.0 ports on the back of your motherboard (not internal headers), then a very simple male-to-female USB 3.0 extension cable
would do the trick (but has no relevancy to the front panel ports on your case).
I hope this helps clarify exactly what was being shown.
Remember: gender of connectors (on a cable and on a port) matter, so don't just go buying something off a site just because it says "converts USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 headers". --
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.