Please note - this article has been updated on March 10 2010. Earlier results had shown poor performance, with the final production samples of the MSI Star USB 3.0 controller the picture changes completely to exceptional performance.
MSI Star USB 3.0 controller performance put to the test with a USB 3.0 SSD SuperSpeed USB aka USB 3.0
Two items that probably are on the wish list of many of the enthusiast end-users out there are the all new USB 3.0 and SATA 6G solutions. Problem is, we see a very slow adoption rate in the industry as big names like AMD and Intel still do not offer embedded support (motherboard chipset) for both new standards in their chipsets.
We do see a shift in the industry as clearly the high-end market is longing and yearning for USB 3.- and of course SATA 6G, to be able to pair them with the latest Solid Sate Disks. Other dream of the new technology due to potential increased performance of RAID solutions.
Then there's USB 3.0, which literally everybody would like to see supported as it offers 10x the speed over the outdated USB 2.0 controller. Motherboard manufacturers are jumping the gun right now, we see motherboards armed with NEC controllers offering SATA 6G and USB 3.0. However as an end user who recently migrated to a motherboard without such connectivity that is a bitter pill to swallow.
As such many manufacturers out there are going to release add-on card offering USB 3.0 (and SATA 6G combo's). Today our focus for this article will be USB 3.0 as we received two all new cards from MSI to test with. Next to that ADATA was kind enough to send in their latest USB 3.0 ready N002 SSD, this device is able to deliver up to very fast 200 MB/s and 170 MB/s sequential read/write performance.
Now typically with USB 2.0 you'd limit yourself to roughly 30MB/sec so it will be very interesting to see what MSI's latest add-on controllers have in store and what kind of performance they bring to the table opposed to that old interface.
Have a peek at our test kit and then head onwards to the next page where we'll talk a little more about the controllers, a photo-shoot and of course an in-depth performance session. Will USB 3.0 offer enough performance to even beat SATA2 ? Let's find out ...
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