|MSI Z77A-GD65 LGA1155 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Saturday, 07 April 2012|
Page 15 of 18
Intel Native USB 3.0
More than two years after SuperSpeed USB 3.0 was announced at the 2010 Comdex, Intel finally has native support for this standard built into the Z77 Express chipset. While motherboard vendors have previously had to use NEC or Renesas controllers to get USB 3.0 capability, four native ports are now available without any extra chips. This simplifies the board layout and keeps costs down.
USB 3.0 performance with storage devices has not proven as fast as you'd expect from the raw transfer rate defined in the USB 3.0 specification. Vendors like ASUS have applied their own tricks like "USB 3.0 Boost" to address this, but Intel says their native implementation will provide superior performance. I've previously tested ASUS' P9X79 WS motherboard with USB 3.0 with a Patriot Pyro SE SATA 6G SSD in a USB 3.0 dock, so I had those figures ready. I used the same AIDA64 disk benchmark to get read transfer rates for the MSI Z77A-GD65's USB 3.0, and the results are below-- the ASUS results are on the top and the MSI results are on the bottom.
Looks as if Intel's right: their USB 3.0 implementation shows a huge performance improvement, over 70% faster in linear reads, at a trivial cost in CPU utilization.
But there's more: check out Lucid Virtu MVP in the next section.