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Sequential Transfer Graphs

USB 3.0 To The Front Panel: ASRock Leads The Way

The most difficult part of testing ASRock’s front-panel USB 3.0 implementation has little to do with the interface, but is instead caused by our drives. After a few days of testing, our fastest test drive failed. After a couple more days of testing, our second-fastest drive suddenly slowed compared to previous runs. While we know that writing all the cells on an SSD slows its performance (due to the need to erase before rewriting), it puzzles us that the drive would behave well through a dozen complete overwrites, and then slow down. The performance after the slowdown was consistent however, so we pressed on by retesting all configurations yet again.

ASRock’s 890FX motherboard gets nearly the same performance as our X58 reference build, while ASRock’s X58/PCIe bridge pathway falls only slightly behind. The best news is that front-panel performance mirrors rear-panel performance, proving the effectiveness of the ASRock/Intel front-panel port design.

Repeat what we said about read performance for writes, though the write transfer charts make it easier to see how ASRock’s P55 solution falls behind.

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