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Feb 25, 2015

ASUS Announces Major Collection of Hardware with USB 3.1

USB 3.0 is all well and good, but it was bound to be surpassed eventually. The world hasn't quite reached the stage of USB 4.0, but USB 3.1 is already here and active. Though apparently not well represented enough, according to ASUS.

If it thought that Universal Serial Bus 3.1 technology was already widespread, it would not have felt the need to specifically set up a “USB 3.1” product line for the whole world to see. Especially since any new and promising technology is invariably used as a means to raise the profile of product brands in the eyes of potential buyers. In any case, ASUS has come forward to introduce what it describes as “the world's fastest and first complete line-up of SuperSpeed+ USB 3.1 solutions.

The new lineup of USB 3.1 products
There are quite a few motherboards here, 12 in number to be exact, all of which have a USB 3.1 suffix at the end of their name. Many of them are based on the Intel X99 chipset compatible with Haswell-E Xeon and Core i7 central processing units. Most of the others are powered by the Z97 chipset, which is compatible with LGA 1150 chips. That leaves two models based on the B85 chipset, lacking in CPU overclocking support. In addition to motherboards, ASUS is selling a USB 3.1 Card with dual Type-A ports and a design compatible with PCI Express x4 and x8 slots, or even x16 slots if you're willing to, well, waste it on this instead of a graphics card.

There are cards with dual Type-A sockets or reversible Type-C. Alas, if you already have an ASUS X99 or Z97 mainboard, you might need to download a BIOS and driver update to make the cards work.

The benefits of USB 3.1 technology
In a nutshell, this interconnect generation allows for a maximum transfer speed of 10 Gbps as opposed to USB 3.0's 5 Gbps. It's not the tenfold increase that USB 3.0 brought over USB 2.0, but no one expected something like that before USB 4.0 anyway. So far, tests done by ASUS engineers in real-world data transfers have enabled read/write speeds of up to 854.6 / 863.9 MB/s.

ASUS Rampage V Extreme

ASUS X99 Deluxe

USB 3.1 Type-C card

USB 3.1 Type A card
Images credits to ASUS


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