ASUS first to show off a combined USB3/6Gb SATA card

"ASUS' new U3S6 Card has been spottted, offering both the new high speed interfaces in one unit."

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ASUS first to show off a combined USB3/6Gb SATA card
ASUS U3S6 cardWhile Gigabyte may have been the first motherboard manufacturer to heavily feature USB3 and 6Gb/s SATA support across their range, ASUS doesn’t want to leave their users feeling left out. Because of this, I think they may have finally found an actual purpose for consumers to use their PCI-Express slots for something other than graphics cards.
When the standard was unveiled back in 2004, it was set to replace both of the aging PCI and AGP standards in one go, and while it has definitely replaced AGP, the replacement of PCI cards has been a slow transition, with the 16 year old interface still appearing even on the latest X58 motherboards.
I guess one of the reasons for PCI’s longevity would be its well established status, having been around since 1993. While the interface only offers 133MB/s of bandwidth shared between all devices on its parallel bus, this is often more than enough for the legacy cards which use it.
USB 3.0 and 6Gb/s SATA however, are completely different animals, and about as bandwidth hungry as they come. According to the official specifications, USB 3 runs at 5000 Mb/s, over 10 times faster than USB 2’s 480Mb/s speed. Add in 6Gbit/s SATA which runs at you guessed it….6 Gigabits a second, and you’re going to need a lot of bandwidth.
ASUS have designed a PCI-Express x4 card that combines both of these interfaces in one. This card is imaginatively called the U3S6, and features a PLX PEX8613 3-port/12-lane PCI-E 2.0 bridge chip, not unlike the ones found on some dual GPU graphics cards. The PLX chip helps provide the NEC USB 3.0 controller and the SATA 6Gb/s controller with the huge bandwidth that they need, splitting the 4 typically PCI Express 1.1 lanes into the two PCI-E 2.0 links the card needs to run at its best.
The U3S6 is a great idea and while ASUS have yet to announce a price or a release date, PC Stats seem to think the card will release at around $30. That price seems a bit optimistic to me but knowing ASUS they might just do it, which would offer great value when compared to Highpoints SATA 6 GB/s card, which should be on sale soon for about $60.
Things are certainly looking a lot better than I first thought for the early days of these two new interfaces, while there are very few USB3 peripherals or SATA 6Gb/s HDDs on the market today, the devices should be widespread once the ports go mainstream, appearing on all new motherboards with add-in cards like this to help those left behind…
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Most Recent Comments

25-10-2009, 18:50:27

Right guys after getting my T240's Ive fallen in love with Samsung screens so Im going to get a T220 or maybe a T240 for the shed now to replace the Asus monitor thats out there ATM.

The T220/T240 does not have wall mounts so needs a special bracket that fits where the base would and then goes up the back of the screen to give the the mounting points needed for a normal wall mount.

Like that one but some where in stock, anyone know of somewhere that has them? Really want to be buying the new screen this week so order on request isnt going to be good enough :(

25-10-2009, 19:04:05

That's been discontinued according to the internet.

Could you not just get something with a VESA mount as standard?

25-10-2009, 19:04:55

Could do but the T220 is under £130 @ Dabs...........

26-10-2009, 10:49:53


Just found that, have to say Im VERY tempted. May seem extreme for the shed but Im always out there working and need a good screen.

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