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E-tail availability in two weeks

ASUS started shipping the first motherboards with support for the USB 3.0 and 6Gbps SATA interfaces two months ago at the beginning of November. The first mobos were targeted at enthusiasts, but soon made their way into the mainstream. Gigabyte followed suit, and shipped seven new motherboards with support for the new interfaces as well.

At that time, ASUS told DailyTech that it was developing a PCIe adapter for all of its motherboard customers who wanted to upgrade to the new standards. The U3S6 card would plug into a PCIe x4 or x8 connector and add two USB 3.0 and two 6Gbps SATA ports to an ASUS system. 

The company has now informed us that development and testing on the new U3S6 card has finished, and mass production has started. It will begin shipping to the channel next week, with e-tail availability expected for two weeks from now. Best of all, the U3S6 card will go on sale with a retail price of only $30.

Although ASUS has only officially validated the add-in card on their motherboards, there should be no problems encountered by customers wishing to use the adapter card on motherboards made by other brands, since the U3S6 complies fully with the PCIe specifications.

There will be plenty of new devices available soon over the next few months, including Crucial's superfast C300 RealSSD and Super Talent's USB 3.0 flash drive. If you need more USB 3.0 ports, a new hub using VIA's Hub Controller may be an option.

Live updates from CES are available via Twitter.

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Good Stuff
By RaistlinZ on 1/7/2010 10:00:10 PM , Rating: 3
This is an excellent option for people who want USB 3.0 and SATA 6G functionality without having to pay for/upgrade to premium motherboards. And $30.00 is a pretty reasonable price point. Although it might suck for Crossfire/SLI users who already have both PCI-E slots being used.

RE: Good Stuff
By chizow on 1/7/2010 10:28:13 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, this is a great option at a great price point for those who already own an X58 or P55 chipset but missed out on the wave of "revisions" that offered onboard SATA 6/USB 3 support.

The best option would obviously still be native chipset support from Intel but its obvious they have no such plans to do so until Sandy Bridge chipsets at the earliest. There's really no reason why Intel can't support SATA 6/USB 3, P55 already supports the necessary internal bandwidth, its really just Intel dragging its feet probably as an effort to manage future revenue streams.

Also, this drive fits nicely into P55 systems that have x16 or x8/x8 for graphics and that additional x4 slot which is branded in many systems for PhysX. Someone might opt to use that slot for this card instead, which is similar to the implementation of many of the refreshed boards. They integrate a SATA 6/USB 3 controller but remove the x4 PCIe since the controller is using that bandwidth to the P55 PCH.

RE: Good Stuff
By therealnickdanger on 1/8/2010 8:26:33 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, I was lamenting the fact that I would have to build a new system to get SATA 6Gbps, but now I'm doing my happy dance!

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