When Asus asked us if we'd be interested in a reviewing their new, high-end USB 3 implementation that offered better performance than anything available elsewhere, we were skeptical. Historically, USB performance has been a function of which controller (Intel, AMD, NEC, Texas Instruments, VIA, etc.) was used. Similarly, other types of products, like WiFi routers, have exceeded specified standard performance by using custom hardware. Companies like Linksys and D-Link for example, have offered enhanced operational modes, but only if you bought specific routers and wireless cards. But we digress.
Asus P8Z77-V Motherboard Ports
Asus claimed that while you did need certain USB controllers to take maximum advantage of this new USB 3 implementation, they'd built a solution that could accelerate transfer speeds on any third-party USB 3.0 (and even 2.0) controller. For external SSD setups, you won't need a specific brand of SSD or manufacturer either. SSDs from any of the major vendors would work. Hard drives are also supported, but the inherently lower speed of mechanical drives makes it more difficult for them to take advantage of the improved throughput.
Well, the ad copy looks good.
The new standard is called UASP -- USB Attached SCSI Protocol -- and we're here to tell you that it works. Current performance gains are modest, but that will improve as more high-end drives come to market. Here's how Asus offers improved throughput for all the USB controllers on its motherboards...