USB 3.0 Performance: Two Solutions From Asus And Gigabyte

Transfer Diagrams

After noticing little to no performance difference in P55 native-controller performance with the Asus and Gigabyte boards, we decided to represent the chipset’s SATA and USB 2.0 controllers only once to simplify data charts. Asus and Gigabyte also use the same USB 3.0 controller, although different PCIe implementations require consideration of both. Gigabyte also offers eSATA, which is one of the technologies USB 3.0 is intended to replace, so the performance of its JMB362 eSATA controller is also compared.

Sequential Reads are limited by hard drive performance for all but the USB 2.0 interface in today’s test configuration. A faster drive in the Asus-supplied USB 3.0 kit would have likely improved this situation.

Sequential write tests may prove more revealing. Gigabyte’s implementation of the NEC USB 3.0 controller mimics that of the P55 chipset’s native SATA, while its first-generation PCIe-to-eSATA controller appears limited to around a 125 MB/s peak. Similarly, Asus’ USB 3.0 implementation falls to around 122 MB/s peak. Potential write-speed shortfalls of both third-party controllers are almost hidden by the performance of the 500GB Seagate 7200.12 hard drive.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • Lessqqmorepewpew
    Great review. This waiting game sucks.
  • amnotanoobie
    Wow, transferring your por..... programs should be a lot faster now.
  • playerone
    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...
  • Onyx2291
    Can't wait for it all to be standard.
  • staalkoppie
    Pitty they'll only be available at the back for now....but good news nevertheless
  • liquidsnake718
    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....
  • Crashman
    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
  • bujuki
    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
  • anamaniac
    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.
  • JohnnyLucky
    Thanks for explaining how USB 3.0 fits into the grand scheme of things.