ASUS USB 3.1 Performance Review

Introduction and Test Setup

ASUS Z97-A USB 3.1


We recently noticed the introduction of USB 3.1 on the ASUS X99 Sabertooth and with its promise of 10Gb/s speeds it was something that definitely piqued our interest. We were too impatient to wait around on storage manufacturers to come up with a USB 3.1 device, but luckily for us the bods at ASUS have just the ticket. A USB 3.1 enclosure that supports a couple of mSATA drives. Even though the enclosure itself isn't going to be available to the public, we had to get a taste of what the future had in store.

With an upgrade of their Z97-A motherboard also on the market it seemed like the perfect opportunity to discover what benefits USB 3.1 will have to those of us who rely upon removable storage. So although we're not strictly reviewing anything other than the technology, if we're interested we know you will be. Asus have stuck with the USB type A slot due to it being backward compatible and most importantly stackable so it doesn't create a dead zone on the I/O of the motherboard.

Test Setup

Because this technology is in its infancy there isn't anything we have to hand that we can test it with. For the purpose of demonstration though ASUS have had their R&D Department knock up a USB 3.1 enclosure that has two mSATA drives in RAID. So we need to make it clear that this isn't something you can buy - you can buy the motherboards, just not the drive - but it's a perfect proof of concept and will help saturate the USB 3.1 bandwidth enough to see if there are any benefits to this technology. And, perhaps more importantly, if hitherto unreleased hardware will be worth waiting for.

ASUS Z97-A USB 3.1
ASUS USB 3.1 Enclosure
Intel Core i7-4790K
nVidia GTX780Ti
Corsair Vengeance Pro 2400
Corsair AX760i
Corsair Neutron GTX
Corsair H105
Custom Corsair 540 Air
Windows 7 x64  

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Most Recent Comments

26-03-2015, 09:18:20

One word. ImpressiveQuote

26-03-2015, 09:41:32

IMO i think its a smart move to put USB 3.1 on a lower end board, to see how it sells and if it sells good then they might put it onto the ROG boards.

Very good review TTL but that's normal you always do Very good reviews Quote

26-03-2015, 09:46:05

480Mbps was USB 2.0Quote

26-03-2015, 13:19:45

Zigga zig ahhh.Quote

26-03-2015, 13:42:14

Rather amazing. I loved how even with turbo off, nearly the whole time it was still faster than any sata 3 alternative. Then turning it on was not even close. Though i'm sure with the maturity of the actual drives and sticks themselves progresses we should see more consistent and overall speed increases.Quote

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