The Gigabyte USB 4-port/2-port bracket panel 12CR1-1UB030-51/R (or – 21/R) is one really difficult to find motherboard accessory. Almost no shops carried this item. I could find this item on sale online, even then they too are usually out of stock.
One day, while walking around MidValley Kuala Lumpur, I decided to pop in to the IT center not expecting to find this accessory. God must have heard me, ‘coz I actually found it in the one and only shop selling just accessories only. They have quite a number of the Gigabyte 2-port USB 2.0 12CR1-1UB030-51/R, but not the 4-port USB 2.0 12CR1-1UB030-21/R, though they had one last piece of the 3-port version, which I decided to grab it. Costing about RM25, it would be much cheaper than getting it online.
I would prefer to use the Gigabyte USB bracket than using the PCI cards or using a USB hub for expanding the number of USB ports because the bracket will plug in directly to the Gigabyte motherboard rather than having to go through some PCI card hardware or USB hub circuitry to gain the connectivity. Besides, my Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H motherboard could support up to 10 USB ports so why not try to use as much of its USB capability without sacrificing the limited PCI slot availability or having to share the motherboard port by using USB hub. In addition, at RM25 it is also much cheaper than a PCI card USB port expansion which went for something like RM70 or so.
Installing the USB bracket was not too difficult; save for one of the USB pin connector which was rather odd and wouldn’t fit onto the motherboard USB pin connector. I had to rewire the pin assignment and separately plug in the black wire onto the motherboard USB pin which was used for grounding. [update 2011: one of the IT guys helped me out on this, he heated up a tiny little wire with his lighter, poke the heated wire into the plastic and burn a tiny hole through, re-fitted the wire assignment in the correct order and voila! Perfect fit onto the motherboard USB pins!]
This USB bracket pin assignment is standardized in format and so should work for other brands of motherboard as long as the motherboard could support additional port expansion and there are available USB pin slot for expanding the number of USB ports.
With the USB bracket in place, I now have up to 9 USB ports to plug in my USB devices. Just only one port shy from using up the full 10 USB port capability of the Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H motherboard. Not too bad, should be more than enough for me.