Asus Turbocharges USB 3.0 With SCSI Technology

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Test Setup, CrystalDiskMark

Test Setup: We tested the Asmedia 1042's UASP capability using Asus' P8Z77V motherboard, along with a Thermaltake USB 3 enclosure and a USB 3.0 Boost Cable solution. Our primary hard drive was a 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black (32MB cache).

The Asus USB 3.0 Boost Cable is meant to power a 2.5" drive or SSD; the Thermaltake unit can handle a standard 3.5" HDD.  The initial test results Asus sent us leaned pretty heavily (though not solely) on ATTO performance. That's fine if you want a benchmark that uses highly compressible data algorithms, but we were interested in something a little more real-world.

We've included test results from CrystalDiskMark, PCMark 7, and a variety of real-world copy scenarios. For our storage devices, we picked three that seemed to bracket the sort of products end-users might be interested in. For an SSD, we used an Asus recommended Corsair Force 3 60GB, a VelociRaptor 1TB handled the high end of spinning disk performance, and a Caviar Green 1TB drive stood in for the millions of 5400 RPM external hard drives sold every year in the US.

In order to keep the graphs a bit more manageable, we used the HDD data for our real-world tests, but left them out of the synthetic CrystalDiskMark.

CrystalDiskmark: For CrystalDiskMark, we've decided to highlight just the SSD's performance. It's easier to parse the graph if you compare bar sets -- yellow to blue, and purple to green.

The Intel and Asmedia USB 3 controllers are well-matched in Normal mode -- and both leap ahead once UASP/Turbo modes are enabled. The Asmedia controller has a slim edge in the Sequential Read and 512K tests and a huge advantage in the 4KQ32 read test. The latter advantage is thanks to the parallelism we showed earlier -- commands can be processed independently from data flow and data streamed much more effectively as a result.

Intel's write performance drops off oddly here; Turbo Mode is slower than normal in certain cases. Real-world performance and other benchmarks don't show this discrepency, however, so we don't put too much weight on it here. Full UASP support gives the Asmedia controller better performance in the 4KQ32 test, but 4K performance drops off. Let's see how test results look in more representative scenarios.

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