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SilverStone SST-EC03 USB 3.0 PCI-E Card E-mail
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Written by Marc Fructman   
Sunday, 27 November 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
SilverStone SST-EC03 USB 3.0 PCI-E Card
Closer Look: EC03 Exterior
Closer Look: Interior
Testing and Results
ATTO Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Tests
Everest Disk Benchmark
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

CrystalDiskMark 3.0 Tests

CrystalDiskMark 3.0 is a file transfer and operational bandwidth benchmark tool from Crystal Dew World that offers performance transfer speed results using sequential, 512KB random, and 4KB random samples. For our test results chart below, the 4KB 32-Queue Depth read and write performance was measured using a 1000MB space. CrystalDiskMark requires that an active partition be set on the drive being tested, and the S511 drive is formatted with NTFS. Benchmark Reviews uses CrystalDiskMark to illustrate operational IOPS performance with multiple threads. In addition to our other tests, this benchmark allows us to determine operational bandwidth under heavy load.

CrystalDiskMark_RocketRAID_2720_ADATA_S511_120GB.png

This is the Highpoint RocketRAID 2720 with the ADATA S511 using SATA III (SATA 6 Gbit/s interface). This sets the bar for the next set of tests.

CrystalDiskMark_SilverStone_TS07_USB_3.0_ADATA_S511_120GB.png

This is the ADATA S511 in the TS07 Enclosure using the onboard USB 3.0 from the SR-2 motherboard. We can see that USB 3.0 does not fare as well as SATA 3.0.

CrystalDiskMark_SilverStone_TS07_to_EC03_USB_3.0_ADATA_S511_120GB_003 (1).png

This is the ADATA S511 in the TS07 Enclosure using the SilverStone EC03 USB 3.0 PCI-E card. Read speeds are very slightly lower, and write speeds slightly higher for the SilverStone EC03.

CrystalDiskMark_EVGA_SR2_USB_3.0_ADATA_N004_60GB.png

This shows the original benchmark from the TS07 review: ADATA N004 Nobility using the onboard USB 3.0 of the EVGA SR-2. Read performance is close to the ADATA S511.

CrystalDiskMark_SilverStone_TS07_to_EC03_USB_3.0_ADATA_N004_60GB_002.png

This is the ADATA N004 Nobility using the SilverStone USB 3.0 Enclosure and then attaching directly to the SilverStone EC03. The scores are very close.



 

Comments 

 
# I'm glad I didn't waitWhyNotV2 2011-12-05 03:48
While the SilverStone USB 3.0 doesn't seem terrible, I'm glad I became a semi-early adopter and bought the SIIG 4-port USB 3.0 kit. It's worked very well for me this past year that I've had it and definitely isn't flimsy. The only issues I had with it was my original installation in that I forgot to plug the power in and it took me a few minutes to figure it out. The price I the SIIG was high (I got mine "on sale" for $54.95), but again, 4 ports (not that I've used more than 1 at a time), sturdier and 2 size bay compatibility.

I may pick up the Silverstone 3.0 for my wife's computer for the price...or wait :)
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# PCIe x1 slotkatnrica 2011-12-05 10:20
This article says:
"The EC03 card from SilverStone installs into a single lane PCI-E gen 2.0 slot..."

How many motherboards built before 2010 even have a "Gen2, 5.0Gbps" x1 PCIe slot? All (or nearly all) only have a Gen1 (2.5Gbps) x1 PCIe slot. Yes, the graphics x16 slot is Gen2 on a vast majority of motherboards, but not the x1 slots.
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# RE: PCIe x1 slotOlin Coles 2011-12-05 10:26
Before 2010? How about before 2007, which is when PCI-E 2.0 slots were all over the market and a standard for motherboards? I think you might be remembering the dates incorrectly. I remember Intel X38 motherboards having PCI-E 2.0 lanes back in early 2007.
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# RE: RE: PCIe x1 slotkatnrica 2011-12-05 10:46
Olin -- you are correct! I looked at the product briefs of the X38 and the P45 chipsets; yes both of those support multiple x1 lanes (6) at 500MB/s, which clearly means they are Gen2 capable. Sorry about that - I should have looked at these datasheets before I posted my question ;-)
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# RE: SilverStone SST-EC03 USB 3.0 PCI-E CardMugsy 2011-12-05 14:03
I'm wondering if there isn't a "technical" reason why most boards and adapters are limited to just TWO usb 3.0 ports and not more? ("WhyNot" above is the first report I've heard of a 4-port adapter, and it's pricey.) Even this particular adapter, while providing room for two more ports, requires a SECOND card to add them. That suggests one needs beefier hardware to support more than two usb 3.0 ports at once.

This also raises serious questions about an inability to use "hubs", "daisy-chaining" or other ways of expanding the number of ports when you run out.

Or... to paraphrase what Bill Gates once said about the PC: "640K should be enough for anybody"... or in this case, "two usb 3.0 ports should be enough for anybody"?
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# RE: RE: SilverStone SST-EC03 USB 3.0 PCI-E CardMack 2011-12-05 17:56
Intel has been lacking native support for USB 3.0. on their motherboards.
That seems to be a lot of the reason why these boards seem to only carry 2 onboard USB ports, as they are 3rd party solutions.
Intel's new 7X series chipsets do support USB 3.0.

A single PCI Express 2.0 ?lane? can provide 500MB/s in one direction (1000MB/s in both directions).
So, having a 4 port USB 3.0 solution that is plugged in to a single PCI-E slot, is not going to give you full bandwidth for each port. There's just not enough available bandwidth. That is why it might be better for engineers to spec a x4 PCI slot for 4 port USB 3.0
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# RE: RE: RE: SilverStone SST-EC03 USB 3.0 PCI-E CardMack 2011-12-05 17:59
Sorry typo, x4 PCI-E slot... would cover the necessary bandwidth.
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# RE: RE: RE: SilverStone SST-EC03 USB 3.0 PCI-E CardDavid Ramsey 2011-12-05 18:01
Everybody lacks native USB 3.0; not a single Intel or AMD chipset supports it. Anything that has USB 3.0 now relies on NEC or Renesas controller chips.

Dunno what AMD's excuse is. Intel said Light Peak, aka Thunderbolt, would obviate the need for it, but their latest X79 chipset doesn't have that, either.
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# Nice clean lookMax Power - usb3pcicard.com 2012-02-27 08:03
I like these kits because the usb 3 ports are located at the front of the pc. The cables aren't too obstructive inside the case either.
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