Print 43 comment(s) - last by blowfish.. on Feb 4 at 12:24 AM

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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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RE: Not bad, not great
By Mitch101 on 1/8/2010 9:16:38 AM , Rating: 2
What is esthetically unpleasant to me is that external 3.5" drives still need a power brick. I do wish is that they could get enough current down the USB so my 3.5" external drives wouldn't need to have the power adapter any more but I guess that will be USB 4.0.

RE: Not bad, not great
By ebaycj on 1/8/2010 11:29:37 AM , Rating: 2
That will not happen unless the cable spec is changed drastically.

RE: Not bad, not great
By Ryanman on 1/8/2010 11:04:35 PM , Rating: 2
Some manufacturers make it so you can just use 2 USB ports. I wish every external drive had this option, as I have more ports than I know what to do with.

RE: Not bad, not great
By fatedtodie on 1/13/2010 2:48:45 PM , Rating: 2
For laptop drives this is easy.

For desktop drives that require more power this is not so easy.

The "2 usb" drives are all laptop drives.

So it has nothing to do with the manufacturer, it has to do with what the specs of USB support, and they do not support a fullsize hard drive.

RE: Not bad, not great
By chizow on 1/8/2010 11:21:38 PM , Rating: 2
USB 3.0 does increase power delivery through the port, from 100mA per unit to 150mA per unit. Configured devices will also be able to draw up to 6 units of power, so 900mA of power. Is your external 3.5" drive USB 3.0 or USB 2.0?

The interface itself needs to support the spec as there are additional interconnects that deliver the additional bandwidth and power delivery capabilities of USB 3.0, otherwise the drive will drop down to USB 2.0 performance.

RE: Not bad, not great
By blowfish on 2/4/2010 12:21:21 AM , Rating: 2
just use an eSATA card, the type that also has a molex to eSATA power connector, so you can do away with the brick. I just got one for $2:99 shipped and it works a treat. And if you want to be completely minimalist, no need for an enclosure for your external drive either.

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