Asus Turbocharges USB 3.0 With SCSI Technology

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Performance Summary: UASP support is a great idea, particularly for someone building a desktop they plan to keep for a number of years. True, evaluated strictly in the short term, UASP might seem gimmicky. It only improves performance if you own a top-end mechanical external drive or intend to deploy external SSDs, and that's not something a lot of people are doing.

Look out past the next twelve months, however, and the entire situation changes. Microsoft is introducing a UASP driver of its own in Windows 8, which means the functionality will be built into the operating system rather than requiring a third-party driver. SSDs may never catch hard drives as far as absolute cost/GB -- there are too many difficulties associated with smaller process geometries -- but they'll still be cheaper in absolute terms. Even mechanical hard drives will get faster, even if the improvement is strictly incremental.

The Asus P8Z77-V Motherboard

The improved parallelism and SCSI protocol support will matter for mainstream products eventually, even if it doesn't make much difference right now. The final factor to consider, and the one that really ties the whole thing together, is whether a motherboard like the Asus P877V delivers this feature in a recommendable way. While this isn't a full motherboard review, we'd have to say that yes, it does.

Back in the 1990s, buying a motherboard for a feature that might not be useful for 2-4 years would've been an exercise in futility. Today, that's not the case. A desktop built in 2006-2007 can still handle everything a user of 2012 might throw at it, including games. Even if everyone goes gaga for tablets and ultrabooks in the next four years, there'll still be a place for desktops for content creators or as content servers and storage hubs. The P877V, with its four USB 3 ports, is nicely provisioned for the future.

If you don't have any need for higher-end storage today, you've got the option to upgrade in the future. The Turbo and UASP modes never hurt performance and you've got early access to a capability that's already been wrapped into future versions of Windows. That's a win, all the way around.

  • Improves USB 3 Performance
  • Wider support coming
  • Even non-UASP drives see benefit

  • Not hugely useful at the moment
  • Requires high-end external hardware to see full advantage.

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