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Test Settings And Hardware

USB 3.0 Performance: Two Solutions From Asus And Gigabyte
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Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-870 (2.93 GHz, 8.0MB Cache)
CPU CoolerThermalright MUX-120
RAMKingston KHX2133C9D3T1K2/4GX (4.0GB)
DDR3-2133 at DDR3-1600 CAS 8-8-8-24
GraphicsXFX GeForce GTX 285 XXX Edition
670 MHz GPU, GDDR3-2500
OS Hard DriveWestern Digital Velociraptor WD3000HLFS, 300GB
10,000 RPM, SATA 3 Gb/s, 16MB cache
Test DriveSeagate 7200.12 ST3500418AS, 500GB
7,200 RPM, SATA 3 Gb/s, 16MB cache
USB 3.0 AdapterASMedia ASM1051 USB 3.0 to SATA 3 Gb/s
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerCorsair CMPSU-850HX 850W Modular
ATX12V v2.2, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GraphicsNvidia GeForce 190.62 WHQL
ChipsetIntel INF 9.1.1.1014
Benchmarks
h2benchw 3.13Sequential and Sustained Reads, Writes (KB/s)
Interface Bandwidth (MB/s), Access Times (ms)
IOMeter 2006.07.27Streaming Reads/Writes patterns (MB/s)
Database, File Server, Web Server, Workstation Patterns (IOPS)


Asus supplied the test drive for today’s benchmarks. A modified Vantec enclosure holds Seagate’s 7200.12 500GB drive and ASMedia’s new ASM1051 SATA-to-USB 3.0 adapter.

We have reservations concerning the use of such a mainstream drive to test an interface that is supposed to support 5.0 Gb/s transfers, yet even the USB 3.0 interface adapter is bandwidth-limited by its SATA 3.0 Gb/s backend. We hope faster devices will show up next year.

The NEC D720200F1 PCIe-to-USB 3.0 controller is common to both motherboards, shown below on the P7P55D-E Premium.

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Top Comments
  • 21 Hide
    amnotanoobie , December 10, 2009 5:53 AM
    Wow, transferring your por..... programs should be a lot faster now.
Other Comments
  • 1 Hide
    Lessqqmorepewpew , December 10, 2009 5:38 AM
    Great review. This waiting game sucks.
  • 21 Hide
    amnotanoobie , December 10, 2009 5:53 AM
    Wow, transferring your por..... programs should be a lot faster now.
  • -2 Hide
    playerone , December 10, 2009 6:36 AM
    This seems a bit dated, my two week old ASUS P6X58D Premium has Sata 6.0 and USB 3.0!
    Obviously waiting for a bit more mature drivers and more hardware...
  • 1 Hide
    Onyx2291 , December 10, 2009 6:37 AM
    Can't wait for it all to be standard.
  • 2 Hide
    staalkoppie , December 10, 2009 7:04 AM
    Pitty they'll only be available at the back for now....but good news nevertheless
  • 0 Hide
    liquidsnake718 , December 10, 2009 7:52 AM
    BAH.... Im waiting for an X58 with USB.3.0 AND 16x 16x SLI. I would not want to sacrifice the other slot for a 8x config....
  • -2 Hide
    Crashman , December 10, 2009 8:10 AM
    liquidsnake718BAH.... Im waiting for an X58 with USB.3.0 AND 16x 16x SLI. I would not want to sacrifice the other slot for a 8x config....


    Uh, d00d, 1366 CPU has 36 2.0 lanes, don't those X58 boards use the leftover four for USB3 and SATA6? I mean, c'mon, 16+16+4=36
  • 2 Hide
    bujuki , December 10, 2009 9:17 AM
    I've been waiting to see how USB 3 performs. However, if you may it's better to test the CPU utilization comparison between all connectors as well. Still, thanks for the great review. b^^d
  • -1 Hide
    anamaniac , December 10, 2009 10:56 AM
    Honestly, with USB 3.0, I don't see any reason at all for eSATA anymore.
    I just want a 80GB Intel x18-m with a USB 3.0 port. Who the hell wants a slow 64GB flash drive?

    I wish we could agree on a stanard already. I like USB, so let's just scrap IDE, SATA, eSATA, PCI (not PCIe), analog audio cables completely already. Well, that or miniDisplayPort.
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , December 10, 2009 12:16 PM
    Thanks for explaining how USB 3.0 fits into the grand scheme of things.
  • 1 Hide
    coolkev99 , December 10, 2009 12:42 PM
    Looks like I'll stick to using esata for a while longer. Not too thrilled with the early implimentations.
  • 9 Hide
    thackstonns , December 10, 2009 12:48 PM
    Cant you build 2 computers with the same motherboards, and then run a network through usb 3.0. Run raid in both with ssd, and then fully test bandwidth? That way you are maxing out the spec?
  • 0 Hide
    cah027 , December 10, 2009 1:35 PM
    I'm With Thackstonns on this one. Would have been nice to have done a more in depth look and used raided SSD's. See if you can max out the interface with enough of them. Is that possible?
  • -1 Hide
    playerone , December 10, 2009 2:03 PM
    Quote:
    BAH.... Im waiting for an X58 with USB.3.0 AND 16x 16x SLI. I would not want to sacrifice the other slot for a 8x config....



    ? ? ?

    ASUS P6X58D-Premium has 16x16x8x with USB.3.0 & SATA.6G/s, I have had mine for two weeks and loving it.
    It does tripple LSI or Crossfire.

    Running it with I7-920 and 6gb of Patriot 2000 mhz cl8

    On the Back Panel there is 4 USB2.0 2 USB3.0 (backward compatable) Inside 2 USB2.0 hdr, 6 SATA-3.0 and 2-SATA-6.0 as well as a E-SATA hdr
  • 0 Hide
    tecmo34 , December 10, 2009 3:20 PM
    With having an e-SATA external hard drive, I see no quick need to upgrade to USB3.0, as their is little performance difference. I'm waiting more for the performance increase overall with the SATA-3.0 hard drives, at which point I'll upgrade my motherboard.
  • 1 Hide
    Crashman , December 10, 2009 3:46 PM
    thackstonnsCant you build 2 computers with the same motherboards, and then run a network through usb 3.0. Run raid in both with ssd, and then fully test bandwidth? That way you are maxing out the spec?


    That would be great if the hardware to connect the two had been available. It's certainly something to look for, now that you've suggested it!

    cah027Would have been nice to have done a more in depth look and used raided SSD's. See if you can max out the interface with enough of them. Is that possible?


    It's possible if you send two SSD's in a 3.5" internal bay adapter that has a built-in RAID controller. Of course, this could be problematic still since the USB 3.0 adapter provides only SATA 3.0 Gb/s (we've also been told that it's limitted to 180MB/s on current firmware). But other than the lack of hardware...
  • -1 Hide
    scryer_360 , December 10, 2009 3:57 PM
    Although its good to see the hardware in the wild, I don't yet see any reason to buy something for USB 3.0 and SATA 6GB/s.

    Yes there is some future proofing, but as I think it was mentioned at the beginning of the article, it will be years before we see a significant number of USB 3.0 and SATA 6GB/s devices on the market, and maybe even longer before we see storage with the ability to use all that bandwidth.

    Certainly it will take aeons for traditional hdds to utilize all that speed, but ssd's might be able to do that in a few years, right?
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , December 10, 2009 4:50 PM
    scryer_360Although its good to see the hardware in the wild, I don't yet see any reason to buy something for USB 3.0 and SATA 6GB/s.Yes there is some future proofing, but as I think it was mentioned at the beginning of the article, it will be years before we see a significant number of USB 3.0 and SATA 6GB/s devices on the market, and maybe even longer before we see storage with the ability to use all that bandwidth.Certainly it will take aeons for traditional hdds to utilize all that speed, but ssd's might be able to do that in a few years, right?


    SSD's could probably do that now if they applied 24-way parallelism to the internal controller and the fastest available chips.
  • -1 Hide
    sylvia648 , December 10, 2009 6:59 PM
    Sounds good, but on the "Throughput, Streaming, And Interface Performance" page you have a mix up of letters "Regarding write speeds, Gigabyte’s eSATA controller looks a little better while Asus’ USB 3.0 implementation looks a little worse in IOMeter. USB 2.0 performance remains relatively pathetic, so eSATA and UBS 3.0 will both give you a substantial performance boost."
  • -1 Hide
    sylvia648 , December 10, 2009 7:01 PM
    Crap posted before I was done, but anyway the mistake is that you stated it as "UBS 3.0" and not USB 3.0. Tiny error.
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