Hardware question


R

rfdjr1

Okay, not related to Windows 7 but I figure there's enough brainpower here to
answer my question. My desktop computer has two USB 3.0 connections along with
several USB 2.0. It's an ASUS P6X58D Premium motherboard.

I have an open slot which I'd like to put a USB card into to give me more USB
connections. If I buy a card that is USB 3.0, will the mother board recognize it
as such and allow it to run as a 3.0? I'm thinking probably but I want to make
sure. Thanks.
 
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V

VanguardLH

rfdjr1 said:
My desktop computer has two USB 3.0 connections along with
several USB 2.0. It's an ASUS P6X58D Premium motherboard.

I have an open slot which I'd like to put a USB card into to give me more USB
connections. If I buy a card that is USB 3.0, will the mother board recognize it
as such and allow it to run as a 3.0? I'm thinking probably but I want to make
sure.
Google still works:

https://www.google.com/search?q=usb 3 device manager

which found:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/usbcoreblog/archive/2012/06/27/how-to-determine-whether-a-usb-3-0-device-is-operating-at-superspeed.aspx

When you go into Device Manager (devmgmt.msc), do you already see your
USB-3 controllers listed under the USB controllers category?

The above article also notes using Microsoft's USBview to look at the
controllers to see if any report "Super" for bandwidth speed.

If you want to find out if a host controller properly reports its
attributes to the OS, you should inquire with the product's maker. For
example, for the http://www.koutech.com/proddetail.asp?linenumber=539
you can submit a pre-sales inquiry using the contacts listed at
http://www.koutech.com/support.asp. If you phone them, I suspect you'll
need to be adept at interpreting Engrish.
 
P

Paul

Okay, not related to Windows 7 but I figure there's enough brainpower here to
answer my question. My desktop computer has two USB 3.0 connections along with
several USB 2.0. It's an ASUS P6X58D Premium motherboard.

I have an open slot which I'd like to put a USB card into to give me more USB
connections. If I buy a card that is USB 3.0, will the mother board recognize it
as such and allow it to run as a 3.0? I'm thinking probably but I want to make
sure. Thanks.
I think this is a fair assumption, as far as the motherboard
BIOS is concerned.

The only thing to watch in buying a card, is at least one
brand initially came with pretty bad drivers. There are perhaps
five or more different brands of USB3 chips on the cards.
Try Googling on "Etron USB3" before you buy one, just
to see how well their drivers currently work. That's
the only brand issue that comes to mind for a Google.

This one uses a NEC chip, and is pretty cheap.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815166026

The first few reviews for that one, aren't very encouraging.

One with an Etron on it, is even cheaper. The reviewers who
cared to benchmark it, it doesn't seem to offer blistering
performance.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815124105

They make quads as well. There are four port chips available,
and there is a NEC one on here. The connectors on this one,
are too close together. And they did that, so the card would
fit in a low profile computer.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815158354

Read all the reviews, to get some idea how well these
work in general. There seem to be some common themes, in
terms of performance issues.

*******

Your motherboard design does make a difference. Not all
PCI Express x1 slots are created equal. Some are Rev. 1.1
slots (250MB/sec lane). Some are Rev. 2.0 (500MB/sec lane).
Only the latter type, allow the above cards to work at
maximum speed (estimated to be 336MB/sec with a favorable
wind at your back). For usage with backup hard drive,
this is not usually an issue (hard drives are too slow).
But if you use a Blackmagic Shuttle video capture box,
the 250MB/sec slot may not allow the USB3 Shuttle to capture
video at max resolution. So for high performance applications,
more investigation is required. For casual "I want more than
30MB/sec" situations, either type of motherboard slot
will do that for you. Give more than 30MB/sec, as long
as the connection doesn't flake out.

If you wish to test whether that makes a difference, test
the new USB3 card in a x1 slot. Then plug it into the
Rev. 2.0 video card x16 slot. And repeat your benchmarks.
Not every motherboard has extra x16 slots, but some do,
and they tend to have higher bandwidth lanes (the 500MB/sec
or higher, kind).

Paul
 
G

GTS-NJ

rfdjr1 said:
Okay, not related to Windows 7 but I figure there's enough brainpower here to
answer my question. My desktop computer has two USB 3.0 connections along with
several USB 2.0. It's an ASUS P6X58D Premium motherboard.

I have an open slot which I'd like to put a USB card into to give me more USB
connections. If I buy a card that is USB 3.0, will the mother board recognize it
as such and allow it to run as a 3.0? I'm thinking probably but I want to make
sure. Thanks.
To get to the point, Yes, once you install the manufacturer provided
driver.
 
P

pjp

To get to the point, Yes, once you install the manufacturer provided
driver.
Only thing I'd add is that the bus you're plugging card into must be
fast enough to handle USB3 thruput or it'll be limited to lowest common
denominator. Is PCI bus fast enough?
 
P

Paul

pjp said:
Only thing I'd add is that the bus you're plugging card into must be
fast enough to handle USB3 thruput or it'll be limited to lowest common
denominator. Is PCI bus fast enough?
Believe it or not, they do actually make bridged
USB3 cards for PCI machines. There is the PCI Express USB3
chip, and then a PCI Express to PCI bridge chip. The card
is more expensive because it has the two chips on it. And it
has a peak bandwidth of approximately 110MB/sec or so.

They don't make standalone USB3 chips for PCI. So the
bridged design is the next best solution.

A USB3 on PCI Express 1.1, can probably do 200MB/sec.

A USB3 on PCI Express 2.0, can do 336MB/sec (with the right
alternate driver protocol). I've not seen a benchmark yet,
that hits that number, and it is a theoretical calculation
that attempts to take overhead into account.

Paul
 
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P

Paul in Houston TX

Okay, not related to Windows 7 but I figure there's enough brainpower here to
answer my question. My desktop computer has two USB 3.0 connections along with
several USB 2.0. It's an ASUS P6X58D Premium motherboard.

I have an open slot which I'd like to put a USB card into to give me more USB
connections. If I buy a card that is USB 3.0, will the mother board recognize it
as such and allow it to run as a 3.0? I'm thinking probably but I want to make
sure. Thanks.
Yes. Thats an X58 board and has native 3.0, if enabled.
Do you really need more than 6 usb ports?
That board has four 2.0 and two 3.0 already.
Use the PciE slot, not the PCI slot.
Install the drivers that may come with the card.
 
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P

Paul

Paul said:
Yes. Thats an X58 board and has native 3.0, if enabled.
Do you really need more than 6 usb ports?
That board has four 2.0 and two 3.0 already.
Use the PciE slot, not the PCI slot.
Install the drivers that may come with the card.
The basic chipset is here. On the upper left of the ICH10/ICH10R,
it shows (12) USB2. For USB3, those come from an add-on chip
(non-native).

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b9/X58_Block_Diagram.png

You'd add the non-native USB3 like this. This is one way to do it.
But not the only way. You could also connect the NEC chip, to X58.
But that might be wasteful, and there might not be a clock signal
to do that with.

X58
|
ICH10 ---- PCI Express x1 --- NEC --- USB3 port1
--- USB3 port2

The USB port count is in the manual. The remaining (4) USB2
are unaccounted for, but they're sometimes used to connect
stuff on the motherboard.

P6X58D Premium specifications summary

NEC USB 3.0 controller
- 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (at back panel)
Intel ICH10R Southbridge
- 8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
(4 ports at midboard, 4 ports at back panel)

USB3 in that case is not native, because it isn't coming from ICH10R.
This usually has consequences for boot support. Booting just works
better, when USB3 is native. It has to do with how BIOS modules
get written.

*******

If adding a USB3 card, the slot on the motherboard can be
Rev.1.1 or Rev.2.0. That only matters, if you have an
application over USB3, that needs the max bandwidth
(like using the BlackMagic Shuttle USB3 video capture box).

That board has sufficient Express slots, for a person
to experiment with what could be Rev.1.1 slots or Rev.2
slots. The third video slot is most likely Rev.2, while
the top-most actual x1 slot is likely Rev.1.1. Asus doesn't
like to label their Rev.1.1 slots as such. They just remove
the Rev label altogether (just to make life difficult).

Paul
 

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