Asus Refreshes Motherboard Line With USB 3.1, But Just One Type-C Connector

Rampage V Extreme / U3.1Rampage V Extreme / U3.1Asus joins ASRock and MSI in bringing USB 3.1 to desktop motherboards.

Utilizing an ASMedia USB 3.1 controller, Asus is refreshing its X99 and Z97 motherboard lineups to support the USB 3.1 standard. In addition to the updated motherboards, Asus is also releasing a USB 3.1 controller card that can be bought separately to bring USB 3.1 performance and compatibility to older systems.

X99-A / USB 3.1X99-A / USB 3.1Asus CVP Joe Hsieh, had this to say: "As the world's number-one motherboard brand, we lead by providing the very latest technology for Asus customers to enjoy. We worked closely with ASMedia Technology Inc to maximize USB 3.1 performance on both Asus motherboards and our USB 3.1 Card products, ensuring that Asus customers enjoy the very fastest data transfers from the new standard."

A total of 12 new motherboards will come with USB 3.1 Type-A connector ports integrated on board, while two of the boards for the X99 market will also include the PCIe card featuring two USB 3.1 Type-A connectors.


There will be two PCI-E cards available; one will feature the USB 3.1 Type-A connectors, while the other card will feature a single USB 3.1 Type-C connector. The cards are expected to retail for $39 and will be compatible with all of Asus's LGA 1150 motherboards. Support for other motherboards was not mentioned.

Rampage V Extreme / U3.1Rampage V Extreme / U3.1To try and bring USB 3.1 support to a wider range of products as quickly as possible, both ASRock and Asus have opted to make use of PCI-E cards, but ASRock did not announce plans to sell the card separately. It is possible that the companies want to restrict the use of these cards to their own products so they have exclusive features others lack.

With the smaller, simpler Type-C connector, and the greatly increased bandwidth compared to USB 3.0, many companies are now rushing to try to be first to release a USB 3.1-compatible motherboard. Both MSI and ASRock have announced motherboards featuring USB 3.1, but they have yet to launch those products on the market.

According to the schedule, the estimated release for the first two Asus boards will be February 27, with the rest of its motherboards and the PCIe cards coming within two weeks thereafter. With the launch just four days away, MSI and ASRock will need to hurry if they want to beat Asus to market with USB 3.1.

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  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Good to see progress, but neither USB 3.1 nor USB Type C are anywhere near as exciting as USB 3.0 was. The latter freed external hard drives from bottleneck and allowed some pretty fast USB drives (SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0, everyone, if you ever get sick of other """USB 3.0""" drives struggling to reach 30 MB/s). What does USB 3.1 bring? Thunderbolt-like speeds... for what? How many of us can afford an external SSD, especially one that's bottlenecked by USB 3.0 speeds? What does Type C connector bring? "Hurr durr it's reversible" - iSheep praising Lightning mentality. The only really good think about it is that it's smaller, which will allow smartphones and tablets to be easily fitted with it. Hopefully I'll see an ultrabook from Asus sporting at least one USB 3.1 Type C this year. Otherwise this is boring. Props for creating a PCIe card with USB 3.1 though, not everybody wants to splurge on a new setup just for these ports even if they do need them.
  • Thudo
    What does USB 3.1 bring?
    - 2X the speed over USB 3.0 (to fuel the next gen performance which I need for external devices!)
    - Reversible Plug (finally!!)
    - 100A power (enough to charge even a laptop)
    - Maintain the ubiquitous-ness one expects so its available in all mobos unlike DOA Thunderbolt.

    USB3.0 was great at the time but its time to once more progress and grow up as I demand far more speed and sustainability from my externals, thanks!
  • MSgtGunny
    @Thudo, its not 100A power (that would require 00 gauge cables...) its 100 W and it does this by negotiating a higher voltage at a similar amount of amps as previously.