ASRock Delivers Front USB 3.0

Article Index
ASRock Delivers Front USB 3.0
Closer Look and Performance
USB 3.0 - Now Convenient


It has been a while since USB received a major speed and performance upgrade.  It was back in April of 2000 when USB 2.0 specifications were released and the computing world got really excited about the 60MB/sec capability of this upgraded interface.  It sure was a lot faster and better than the USB 1.1 specification of 1.5MB/sec.  In reality, the USB 2.0 interface can't sustain transfer speeds much greater that 35MB/sec - even from a fast USB flash drive.  As external storage becomes more popular and consumers demand external speeds that rival internal drive speeds, a new interface has been sorely needed.

eSATA was introduced and has gained a measure of popularity, but hasn't been adopted by manufacturers of storage products as much as the USB interface.  USB 3.0 was actually introduced in late 2008, but it wasn't until January 5, 2010 that certified USB 3.0 devices were made available to consumers.  This upgraded interface allows speeds of up to 600MB/sec - making it 10x as fast (theoretically) as USB 2.0.

Many new motherboards today come with a couple of rear USB 3.0 ports.  This is a great start as it allows you to plug in your super-fast flash drive - such as the SuperTalent Express Drive USB 3.0 into your motherboard and take full advantage of the bandwidth increase of the USB 3.0 specification.  The problem with this idea is that it's not convenient to reach behind your tower to plug in and unplug your flash drive, external storage device or other USB 3.0 capable hardware.  This is where ASRock steps in and shows that they aren't content to be just another name in motherboard manufacturers.



Currently, ASRock is offering a front USB 3.0 Panel with four of their new motherboards.  This allows you to quickly and easily install front USB 3.0 ports on your PC and bring the convenience and speed of the interface around to the front of your PC.


ASRock's current list of motherboards that support front USB 3.0 and come with a front USB 3.0 bracket are pictured in the image below.

 ASRock USB 3.0 Lineup


On the next page, we'll take a quick look at the bracket and show the performance that is now available on an external drive - by simply plugging in a USB cable.