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The SuperSpeed USB 3.0 StarTech Model PEXUSB3S44V PCI-E Review

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Hey folks...

 

As my 5 year old system came with USB 2.0, and only could run at its fastest input/output speed of 480 Mb's per second, 10 times slower (published theoretical top speed) than USAP (USB 'scuzzy') or USB SuperSpeed USB 3.0 protocol (the latest and fastest version of the USB 3.0 to date), I decided to fill a PCI Express slot with the following desktop add-in card:

 

StarTech 4 Port Quad Bus PCI Express USB 3.0 Card with UASP (SuperSpeed)-LP4 + SATA Power

 

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Also purchased was a Western Digital MyBook 1230 4TB External Hard Drive that fully supports UASP (SuperSpeed USB 3.0)

 

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One of the great features of this card...and something that a User who wants to add USB 3.0 for the first time, or for expansion of existing USB 3.0 motherboard ports, is that this particular card (not all are configured as such...) has 4 ports that are true, isolated portals (each a separate BUS) from the other. They do not 'share' bandwidth with another port (most USB 3.0 cards are two channel/4 connection ports, that is...the total bandwidth is shared between 4  USB 3.0 connections over only two Busses, and the throughput speed is halved.  This card has 4 separate Busses, which allows 4 connected USB 3.0 enabled devices to run at the full 5.0 GBbps, independent of the other three!

 

Connection is easy, as you would think it would be. Found an open PCI-E slot and slipped it in.  Ran W7 Ultimate, dismissed the installation routine for generic drivers (very important!), installed the enhanced driver suite (there are many files that are added to your USB Registry), and after a successful installation message was put up...rebooted, and the rest is history.  My system is now SuperSpeed USAP 3.0 enabled.  

 

So...compared to USB 2.0, how much faster was a transfer rate between the new card, and the SuperSpeed-enabled MyBook 4TB external?  Well, I used the over 4 GB ORBX Global 1.30 zip file as the test subject.

 

USB 2.0 with a USB 2.0 MyBook:  It took 115 seconds from start, to end of transfer.

 

UASP (new SuperSpeed Protocol USB 3.0)  to a fully-compatible USAP MyBook: 27 seconds!

 

That equates to over 400 percent faster (or 4.2 times) than USB 2.0  in the real world.  They say 10 times...but of course that is theoretical and nobody ever achieves it. Put another way, that 8 hour back-up, would now only be 2 hours, and I know that I will achieve faster speeds after a burn-in and tune-up tweaks.

 

 

So...after doing my due on-line diligence on manufacturers of add-in desktop cards for SuperSpeed USB 3.0...and with a true independent running Quad Bus set-up...the above is what I chose to have shipped, and was pretty painless to have up and running in 15 minutes. I do recommend this add-on, if you don't have USB 3.0 SuperSpeed  ports at present, and would like the speed for read-write functions.  On my system, it should now only take less than 2 hours to back up what would have taken 8 hours or more, under USB 2.0.   If you do decide to look into this...make SURE you are receiving the above model number in the thread title...because this is the latest generation and updates, and there is a model circulating at Amazon, BestBuy, etc...that is still the older model, this exact card has replaced...and for the same money.  So...make sure you compare the above model, to what is being offered for sale.  One more feature...and very nice...this card has a power SATA power connection, which now gives all your 4 ports...the full power rating under the USB 3.0 protocol...and that means you can truly power (not starve for volage!) externals that do not have a power puck of their own, high end flash drives, USB monitors...any of it...)  The ports are powered, if you decide to connect this feature on the card, but you don't have to, to merely run flash drives, or such as a WD My Book with its own power supply. This feature gives you something that other USB Ports on your MB might not have as a feature.

 

Ok...back to the regularly scheduled program, and a lightning-speed system image from now on....and thank gawd for that!   USB 2.0 was useful, when the system was 500 GB's or less...not 2 TB's and adding another soon.... :rolleyes:  

 

Post Edit, I just rebooted, and dropped the same Global 1.30 file onto the new hard drive through the card interface at 18 seconds!   So...faster, as W7 gets used to the card in the Registry, lol.   Good stuff....happy to post!  Now at over 600 % faster than USB 2.0 

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Good story, thank you ! I will follow in your footsteps soon.

 

brdgs / Dick

=

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Good story, thank you ! I will follow in your footsteps soon.

 

brdgs / Dick

=

Yeah..I have now rebooted a couple of times just to be sure that the enhanced drivers are not corrupt and doing their thing. They are fine......I just transferred again...and it stayed at 18 seconds, or over 600 percent faster than USB 2.0  I guess that my system needed time to place the BIOS Shadow Cache in the right order, with the add-on.  I think that 600 times faster than USB 2.0 is fabulous performance...and am very glad that my 5 year old system can receive it! Multi-hour back-ups....was GETTING OLD!   B)  

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Good story, thank you ! I will follow in your footsteps soon.

 

brdgs / Dick

=

Hi Dick,  Man, do I recommend you do this.  The difference between SuperSpeed, and USB 2.0 is hours of back up, or hours cumulative of download and transfer time being saved!. 

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More info...

 

I found out that you need to keep your USB 2.0 devices off of the same bus as your USB 3.0...for if you do not, Windows will operate the entire bus at the lowest common denominator that is, USB 2.0 data transfer rates.....and not run each USB device at its fastest capable speed. So...even though the USB 3.0 ports will allow backward compatibility, don't use them for a USB 2.0 device, or your USB 3.0 devices that are also connected at the same time as any USB 2.0 devices,  will revert also, to USB 2.0 transfer speeds. This is where posters to the Internet have complained that they had not seen the SuperSpeed transfers in the 180 mbits/sec, but only 22-35 mbits/sec on their USB 3.0 capable drives and memory sticks.  They were mixing both specs on the same input bus....and that downgraded everything to USB 2.0 protocol....

 

Recap,  only USB 3.0 devices in any of your USB 3.0 ports, and USB 2.0 for only dedicated USB 2.0 ports. 

 

You are good to go...for each specification will now input/output at its best speed...

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