Skip to main content

USB 3.0 To The Front Panel: ASRock Leads The Way

Keeping Up With The Dells

It has been exactly one year since we sent off a series of emails asking motherboard manufacturers to get serious about standardizing front-panel USB 3.0. Our logic was that if nobody could agree on an industry standard, proprietary standards developed by various large-scale system builders would damage the custom-built and small reseller market.

While we received several responses about how it might be difficult to get any new connector standardized quickly by the USB-IF, we would have just as easily settled for any properly-functioning system, regardless of official sanctioning.

ASRock was the first to step up to the plate with a connector that, according to our sources at the firm, was an Intel design still pending approval. Regardless of who developed the connector, ASRock was the first to implement it, and deserves at least that much credit.

The big question we asked was “how well does it work?” To find out, we grabbed three motherboards to represent Socket AM3, LGA 1156, and LGA 1366. Then we threw them on our test bench.

  • Thank you ASRock for bringing USB3.0 front header on your motherboards! Now i can expect a much nicer set-up in my case in an upcoming build...
    Reply
  • takeapieandrun
    New standards = competition = win for us
    Reply
  • razor512
    Now all they need to do is lead the way with a standardized case connector.
    Reply
  • darthvidor
    I sure hope the standard connector comes out before this gets out of hand.
    Reply
  • 117killer117
    Hopefully some other motherboard manufacturers catch on.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    razor512Now all they need to do is lead the way with a standardized case connector.darthvidorI sure hope the standard connector comes out before this gets out of hand.You're looking at it, Page 1 photo. Other motherboard manufacturers are already using this same connector as mentioned in the article, so it should only be a matter of a few months before case manufacturers follow suit.
    Reply
  • ASRock responds to pleas? Maybe someone could plead for dual-gigabit-ethernet equipped SOC-chipped (atom? i3?) 6x sata2 motherboards, too. It's impossible to build your one-machine-to-rule them all firewall-server-htpc in a small form factor currently!
    Reply
  • liquidsnake718
    Yeah i remember reading reports that Intel dithed USB 3.0 about 6 months ago in favor of the mb and new CPU research (P66, 67). Surprisingly they sold this tech or the design to ASROCK. Im sure they will eventually come around to implimenting this for ALL future motherboards.

    So would old cases be able to use this since it is just a connector?
    Reply
  • Crashman
    liquidsnake718Yeah i remember reading reports that Intel dithed USB 3.0 about 6 months ago in favor of the mb and new CPU research (P66, 67). Surprisingly they sold this tech or the design to ASROCK. Im sure they will eventually come around to implimenting this for ALL future motherboards. So would old cases be able to use this since it is just a connector?Revised cases could use it, if they had the new cable and connector. Remember that USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 are not cross-compatible, they use separate signal pins and share only power and ground with each other.
    Reply
  • mauller07
    They should have kept the board like the 890gx extreme 3 without all the legacy rubbish like floppy or pata, when looking at the boar layouts in comparison this extreme 4 just looks messy
    Reply