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Topic Title: USB 3.0
Topic Summary: Can we have USB 3.0 with current motherboards?
Created On: 08/12/2009 03:28 AM
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 08/12/2009 03:28 AM
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ahxnguyen
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Technically, is it possible to design a USB 3.0 device off PCIE 2.0 interface? I hate to buy a new motherboard just to be able to enjoy the speed of USB 3.0.

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 08/12/2009 04:41 AM
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Xajel
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As for raw USB 3.0 speed, you will need at least PCIe 2.0 x2 slot, but if talking about real speed, then x1 slot will be enough if that slot brings you the full 500MB/s

at the end, PCIe x1 is head-2-head with USB3.0 speed so some manufacturers may go for PCIe x2 in order to remove this, and some may go for x1 duo to save cost and gain more popularity ( PCIe x1 is much wider availble than PCIe x2 )
 08/12/2009 05:40 AM
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Xajel
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I forget to say, AFAIK chip's manufacturer only designed a USB3-SATA controller, I never saw/heard of some PCIe-USB3 controller yet, they need to make one so card makers can make some PCIe cards...

any way, we still need some USB3 devices, and AFAIK; no company yet announced any device... not even some rumors around as they need some USB3 chips to work with and as whata I said I've only heard about USB3-SATA controller, so external HDD maybe the first wave of USB 3 products coming... duo tot he fact storage already faster than USB2 specially when talking about SSD and 7200RPM hdd's, but eSATA is moving too in this field and it's already available... maybe lake of power in eSATA is what slows it down but powered eSATA is already in the market by some mobo makers...

next we may see some other devices ( multimedia, networking, etc... ) the problem with USB 3.0 enabled devices now is that they will be little bit more expensive to make till more devices comes and production for chips/connectors/cables become more mature... the another problem that I think will slow down the move from USB2.0 to USB3.0 is the fact the most USB2.0 devices already have all the bandwidth they need and more from USB2.0, so moving to USB3.0 will not give them any positive performance ( I dont' know about latency, but if USB3 has less latency than USB2 then storage will be the key factor for spreading USB3 )
 08/15/2009 04:14 PM
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MU_Engineer
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Originally posted by: Xajel

I forget to say, AFAIK chip's manufacturer only designed a USB3-SATA controller, I never saw/heard of some PCIe-USB3 controller yet, they need to make one so card makers can make some PCIe cards...


The chips already exist. Here is one: NEC uPD720200 It is a USB 3.0 HBA that hooks onto a PCIe 2.0 bus.

any way, we still need some USB3 devices, and AFAIK; no company yet announced any device... not even some rumors around as they need some USB3 chips to work with and as whata I said I've only heard about USB3-SATA controller, so external HDD maybe the first wave of USB 3 products coming... duo tot he fact storage already faster than USB2 specially when talking about SSD and 7200RPM hdd's, but eSATA is moving too in this field and it's already available... maybe lake of power in eSATA is what slows it down but powered eSATA is already in the market by some mobo makers...

next we may see some other devices ( multimedia, networking, etc... ) the problem with USB 3.0 enabled devices now is that they will be little bit more expensive to make till more devices comes and production for chips/connectors/cables become more mature... the another problem that I think will slow down the move from USB2.0 to USB3.0 is the fact the most USB2.0 devices already have all the bandwidth they need and more from USB2.0, so moving to USB3.0 will not give them any positive performance ( I dont' know about latency, but if USB3 has less latency than USB2 then storage will be the key factor for spreading USB3 )


The initial USB 3.0 I/O chips are going to be expensive. NEC's HBA chip is supposed to cost about $15, to give you an idea. HDDs would probably be the first things to get upgraded to USB 3.0 as they are terribly bottlenecked by USB 2.0. I'd expect USB network devices to not be far behind. Most other peripherals don't use much bandwidth and would only upgrade when USB 3.0 ICs are not much more expensive than USB 2.0 ones and don't consume more power.

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 08/16/2009 02:06 AM
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Xajel
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Thanks MU_E for that chip I just heard of that, this will be nice..

looking at spec. that chip uses PCIe x1 and provides 2 USB 3 ports, I believe that the bandwidth is shared between these ports as PCIe x1 can't provide enough bandwidth for 2 full USB ports at SuperSpeed rates...

any way, looking at the chip digram, it looks like they went to the easy way, they just added a USB 3 PHY to the side of USB 2 PHY... I think they need more time to make USB2+3 PHY if that possible...
 08/17/2009 12:48 AM
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ahxnguyen
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Thank you, Xajel ang MU_Engineer. I'm really spoiled by speed of modern computing. My first hard drive was a 5-megabyte device. I've been filling up quickly 3 terabytes of HDD with video files.
Now I have to worry about compatibility of USB 3.0 and existing HDD and storage media. Visual experiences are indeed expensive.
Is it too early to be worried?

-------------------------
MSI DKS790GX mobo + Phenom II 550 X 2
Antec 180 case
Rosewill 700w
OCZ 1066 2 x 2 gig
2 x AMD 4770
Zerotherm Nirvana 120
ASUS 21.5 1920 x 1080
HP External DVD RW
USB keyboard and USB mouse
 08/17/2009 01:48 AM
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Xajel
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I think yes, as products will have a long way to be mature enough to be available and affordable... if you just want these products and can accept some $$ premium for USB 3, then you will have to wait too till some different products available to see if they managed to sequeez the bandwidth or not... supporting faster technologies doesn't always mean faster transfeer rate

so you can wait for both PCIe card ( or mobo ) and a nice external HDD
 08/17/2009 03:17 AM
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Overmind
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USB 3.0 will require a different chip because (among other reasons) it will provide higher current through the interface.

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