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

Rampage V Extreme / U3.1

Asus 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 3.1

Asus 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.

MSRPETA
RAMPAGE V EXTREME/U3.1$5192/27
X99-PRO/USB 3.1$3392/27
X99-DELUXE/U3.1$4093/3
SABERTOOTH Z97 MARK 1/USB 3.1$2593/3
Z97-DELUXE/USB 3.1$2993/3
Z97-PRO (Wi-Fi AC)/USB 3.1$2293/3
X99-A/USB 3.1$2793/10
Z97-A/USB 3.1$1593/10
USB 3.1 PCIe Cards$393/10

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 / U3.1

To 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.
    Reply
  • 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!
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • BulkZerker
    If you need so much speed from your -externals- perhaps your building it wrong.
    Reply
  • canadianvice
    I like the new connector. I hope it takes off - wouldn't it be nice to have one standard for all your devices?

    Of course, that's likely to never happen, but one can hope.
    Just like this Apple Pay Google Pay Samsung Pay stupidity. Standardize it - it's all for the same market anyway.
    Reply
  • cmi86
    Does it still interfere with bluetooth ? If so I don't care.
    Reply
  • WFang
    USB type C is NOT Smaller!!
    "USB Type-C (left) is larger than Lightning (center) or micro USB (right), but the increased size and sturdiness will make it a better replacement for the ports it wants to supplant."
    from arstechnica.com http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/01/usb-3-1-and-type-c-the-only-stuff-at-ces-that-everyone-is-going-to-use/
    Reply
  • Ji_Yong_L
    USB 3.1 is very exciting, as you can send data, power and display signal through the same cable at the same time. You could power and drive a monitor with just one cable from your computer.

    When it's implemented in TV's, you can have media sticks (like the Chromecast) that no longer need a separate cable for power. Just stick it in the TV and go!
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    2X the speed over USB 3.0 (to fuel the next gen performance which I need for external devices!)

    Oh Jesus, WHAT "next gen performance"? Can you even afford a decently sized external SSD and if yes, why would you buy it over a mechanical drive at this point? And wouldn't 500-600 MB/s that the current USB 3.0 can max out at be enough for it?

    Reversible Plug (finally!!)

    Oh yes, I think that's the best innovation in the last 5 years. A reversible USB plug! What a huge deal!

    100A power (enough to charge even a laptop)

    OK, so I can now charge my laptop from my desktop... what's the point?

    Maintain the ubiquitous-ness one expects so its available in all mobos unlike DOA Thunderbolt.

    That's the only valid thing out of your list. Though one could, you know, simple stay with USB 3.0 and get the same effect.

    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!

    And your demands were answered! You're now free to spend more money on speed and features you don't really need! :D What a time to be alive!

    If you need so much speed from your -externals- perhaps your building it wrong.

    Not necessarily, I like my external drives, though as I stated above, the current USB 3.0 standard satisfies everything people can actually afford at this point and in the near future.

    USB type C is NOT Smaller!! "USB Type-C (left) is larger than Lightning (center) or micro USB (right), but the increased size and sturdiness will make it a better replacement for the ports it wants to supplant."

    Perhaps I should have specified what it is smaller than. A Type A USB, that is. Which is why Nokia's new tablet is using Type C - it fits on thin devices, unlike the Type A we use in laptops and desktops.

    USB 3.1 is very exciting, as you can send data, power and display signal through the same cable at the same time. You could power and drive a monitor with just one cable from your computer.

    Pretty sure the whole daisy-chain concept failed to excite people with Thunderbolt already. It's just not worth paying so much extra for...

    When it's implemented in TV's, you can have media sticks (like the Chromecast) that no longer need a separate cable for power. Just stick it in the TV and go!

    ... and neither is this. Modern TVs have at least two USBs on the back for that purpose.

    Look guys. The bottom line is: innovation is great and I approve of both USB Type C and 3.1 a lot. They just aren't the features worth paying for yet. I expect ultrabooks and tablets to get Type C (and not necessarily even with 3.0 speeds by the way!) in the near future (that's what it was designed for), but you'll need adapters. USB 3.1 will make its way to desktops but it won't really give you any advantage over USB 3.0. When the latter came out, you could instantly (or at least soon enough) grab a USB 3.0 enabled hard drive and acquire 4-5x the transfer speed (essentially maxing out any HDD's available bandwidth, which resulted in ludicrous slowdowns of the OS installed on an HDD when you were copying large files from it to an external USB 3.0 HDD) of your USB 2.0 extHDD.

    But what are you going to do with USB 3.1? Starve for a few months and get an M.2 Samsung SSD with 3D stacked NAND in a USB 3.1 enclosure just to prove the point? Charge your laptop from the desktop instead of using the dedicated charger? Go ahead, waste your money. I'll just buy an add-in PCIe card when and if it's really required. So far I don't see a reason.
    Reply
  • holt8137
    @amk-aka-Phantom : just because you think reversible plug isn't a big deal doesn't mean it's a fact for everyone. I can't wait until my portable devices all use Type C connectors. And I have no doubt lots of other people are eagerly awaiting it's wide-spread adoption. Also, you keep blabbing on about how expensive it is and any USB 3.1 early adopters are going to be broke and starving. Again, maybe you would be but that doesn't mean everyone can't afford it. If someone has the extra cash to spend on such things, more power to them.

    Point is..... you spew all this BS as if it were all fact. The only real fact I took from anything you wrote is you're opinionated, have a thick skull, and seem to be under the impression everything you think, feel, and say are the cold, hard, facts of life. Good day Sir!
    Reply