A step into the Future - SuperSpeed+ USB 3.1 Test with ASUS USB 3.1

Introduction to USB 3.1

It has been 5 years since USB 3.0 was introduced and even before the technology has saturated the market, USB 3.1 has already been announced and is now available on the market. Thanks to its backward compatibility, USB 3.0 has been greatly adopted. We will also definitely see a huge adoption of USB 3.1 when the technology is readily available in the market. The Reason ?






  1. Increased speed
    • USB 3.1 operates at 10Gbps. It is more than 2 times faster than USB 3.0 which operates at 4.8Gbps.
  2. Backward compatibility
    • Because all USB standards are made backwards compatible, all devices that are based on USB 3.0 or USB 2.0 will still work on USB 3.1
  3. Reversible Type C USB 3.1 connector
    • The introduction of USB 3.1 also brought along a new connector. Famed as the Reversible USB connector, this unique connector will probably be available in all smartphones in the near future. Forget about getting the right side of the MicroUSB into its port. Type C USB 3.1 connection will work either way you plug it into the port.

A look at ASUS USB 3.1 Enclosure

To let enthusiasts have a feel of what it is like to be on the USB 3.1 bandwagon, ASUS has came out with a prototype device that is based on the SuperSpeed+ USB 3.0 standard. Of course, in order for us to test the speed of the new standard, we need a device that is significantly faster than the usual SSD. That is why, ASUS has included 2 x mSATA 250GB Samsung 840 Evo in the enclosure which runs on RAID 0. The USB 3.1 enclosure board was constructed by ASMedia, delivering the world's first pure USB 3.1 interface connection for users to experience. On a additional note, the actual case of the device is also made by LIAN LI, showing's LIAN LI's signature brushed aluminum material. 

Case made by LIAN LI

2 x 250GB mSATA SSDs

Samsung 840EVO in RAID 0

The ASUS USB 3.1 Enclosure requires an additional power source connected to it, powered by a USB cable connected to a 5V 2.0Amp source. Beside the power connector is a header for power switch, followed by indicator LEDs and lastly the actual Type C USB 3.1 connector. 


CrystalDiskMark 

Setup :
ASUS Maximus VI Gene Motherboard
USB 3.1 2-PORT PCI Express Expansion Card
Intel Core i7 4770K Processor 
8GB Avexir 1600MHz DDR3 RAM
Windows 8.1 64 bit



Based on the speeds shown from CrystalDiskMark, we can already see the potential of USB 3.1. It is the first time we can achieve such great speeds from an external connected device. Based on the highest speed shown, which is 772MB/s we can say that a USB 3.0 interface will be bottlenecked. 772MB/s equates to 6.176Gbps, which already over the 4.8Gbps throughput of USB 3.0. We are definitely amazed by what USB 3.1 brings us.

Conclusion


USB 3.1 is the interface of the future. For now, we can only wait and see more USB 3.1 devices that will be rolling out onto the market and more manufacturers equipping their machines with the interface. Who knows, we can probably see externally connected graphics card via USB 3.1 soon.


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