Review of ASUS U3S6 USB 3.0/SATA 3 6Gbps PCIE Card

asus1
I’ve taken a look at a couple USB 3.0 PCIE card here at technogog. I’ve got another one today, but this one is quite a bit different. It’s the ASUS U3S6 PCIE card that actually uses a standard PCIE slot as opposed to the small X1 style. This card is also a combo card that has both USB 3.0 ports on it and SATA3 or 6Gbps SATA connections on it. According to ASUS, utilizing the PCIE X4 slot will maximize your bandwidth or speeds you’ll achieve with USB 3.0. let’s find out if that’s true or not…


The U3S6 Card comes in a nice shiny box, and the card comes in an anti-static bag.

asus1 asus2 asus3

Included with the card is a drive disc, manual and two SATA6 cables.

asus4 asus11

The card is black in color, and doesn’t look like much really. it has two USB 3.0 ports on the PCI slot side so you can access them and two SATA6 connection on the card itself.

asus5 asus6 asus7 asus8 asus9 asus10

Specifications:

ASUS U3S6 USB 3.0/SATA 3 (6Gbps) add on card
Product Code: UPCSF010600

Price: US$55.00

Future Transfer Technology
True SATA 6Gb/s Support
Unique PCIe x4 Bridge Chip for Ultra Performance
Supporting next-generation Serial ATA (SATA) storage interface, this motherboard delivers up to 6.0Gbps data transfer rates. Additionally, get enhanced scalability,faster data retrieval, double the bandwidth of current bus systems.

True USB 3.0 Support
Unique PCIe x4 Bridge Chip for Ultra Performance
Experience ultra-fast data transfers at 4.8Gbps with USB 3.0–the latest connectivity standard. Built to connect easily with next-generation components and

peripherals, USB 3.0 transfers data 10X faster and is also backward compatible with USB 2.0 components.

ASUS U3S6 x4 with Bridge
Maximum Bandwidth to Full Unleash USB 3.0 & SATA 6Gb/s Performance!

Features:
-True SATA 6Gb/s & USB 3.0: Native support PCIe Gen2 bandwidth
-Support Hot Plug function
-Support Native Command Queuing (NCQ)

Specifications:
-Internal Connectors: 2 x SATA 6Gb/s ports support of up to 2 SATA disk drives
-Internal Connectors:
-Backward compatible with SATA 3Gb/s and SATA 1.5Gb/s hard disk drives External Connectors: 2 x USB 3.0 ports
-External Connectors:
-Backward compatible with USB 2.0/1.1 interface Interface: PCI Express x4 interface

Interface:
-Compatible with PCI Express x4, x8, and x16 slots Configuration Supported: AHCI Mode
-Operating Systems Supported: Windows 7 / Vista / XP 32/64bit
-Form Factor: 122mm x 76mm


Installation is fairly easy, but since I’ve only got two large style PCIE slots on my motherboard I had to remove my second video card to run the tests.

asus12

Since this card boasts faster speeds using the X4 PCIE interface as opposed to the X1 PCIE slot, I figured I’d compare it to the one I reviewed not long ago, the Unitek PCIE USB3.0 card.

So I’ve got the USB3.0 2.5” HDD Enclosure, and the Kingston UBS2.0 64gb drive.

usb14 usb15

First up for testing is ATTO Disk Benchmark.

atto king usb3 kingston usb3

There’s not much of a difference at all is there…

usb3 enclosure usb3 25 enclosure

Here again there’s not much of a difference is there? So much for using a faster PCIE slot.

Here’s testing using SiSoft Sandra 2010 Portable Edition, we see something a bit different here though.

removable storage

According to this test the Unitek card is much faster than the Asus.

I’m not sure why the results differed so greatly with the Sandra test, I ran the test over again and got he same results though.

To me it’s not worth losing the X16 PCIE slot for a USB3.0 card when I’ve got X1 PCIE slots with nothing in them, especially since I can really see no difference in speeds.

Yes there is the fact that it’s also SATA6 enabled as well, and I haven’t said anything about that just yet. Shortly after this review is up, another will follow of the new Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB SATA6 Hard Drive. In that review I’m using the ASUS PCIE card for my testing.


asus1 asus4 asus5 asus8

Conclusion:

I don’t know but personally I wouldn’t waste a full PCIE slot on this card. Sure it has SATA 3 ports on it, but there isn’t much out there that can even utilize it just yet. Is it worth it? I don’t think so really…

7

Pros:
+Combo card, USB 3.0 and SATA 3
+No additional power needed

Cons:
-Not much difference using X1 or X4 PCIE slots.
-Uses a standard PCIE slot

Grades:
Overall score-7-10
Design score-8-10
Performance score-7-10

This product was given to technogog for review by the company for review purposes only, and is not considered by us as payment for the review, we do not, and never will, accept payment from companies to review their products. To learn more about our review policy please visit this page HERE.

  • Tang

    There is a typo in your “PROS” list. You list the card as usb 3 and SATA THREE.

    Good article, wish you ahd done more speed comparisons and tests the SATA6 aspect as well tho

    • Fhdfh

      that’s no typo dude, SATA3 means SATA version 3 speed 6Gbps, SATA2 means SATA 3Gbps and so on..

      • KreAture

        NOW there is something utilizing it.
        New Sandforce series SSD’s deliver 550 Mbyte/s and bottleneck a SATA II easily.
        Too bad this card is insanely picky about what mainboards it works on. Mine runns only in x1 mode so it’s a total write-off. Others have more luck and blast away at over 550 Mbyte/s. Sigh…

  • Ant

    The author of this article is poorly educated on speed limitations. The only way you can see a difference between PCIE x1 and x4 is when you saturate the x1 speed cap. The article used nothing but slow drives which themselves are the limitations. It’s quite obvious there would be no visible difference in speed.

    PCIE x1 slots run at 1.0 spec, meaning they hit their limits at 250 MB/s (many SSDs already surpass this rate at sequential reads). With Asus using a PCIE 2.0 x4 slot, this limitation is raised to 2 GB/s.

    To the author: Try connecting a fast USB3.0 SSD to the Asus and Unitek cards, and I guarantee you will see a difference in speed.

  • Flint

    Well, as for ‘wasting’ an x16 slot, and that the author seems to feel this would have been better suited to being designed as a 1X card, I have to question if he understands anything about the bandwidth requirements of a USB 3/6Gb SATA *combo* card sitting in a PCIe slot. Put a couple of SSDs on those SATA ports, and then try to use a USB 3.0 port at the same time…

  • Me

    PCI-e x1… PCI-e x4 is still a bottleneck on this card if you were to stress all the USB 3.0 and SATA III ports to maximum. With PCI-e x1, you’d only be able to use one port at a time, lol.. 16gbps > 5gbps

  • vitoosu

    I have to agreed with comments about this test is really not valid comparison for this Asus U3S6 card. It is in a diffrent class compare to the USB 3.0 only adapter. If you only need USB 3.0 then it will not make any diffrent weather the card using a x4 or x1 PCIe. The NEC chipset used in all USB 3.0 adapter is only a x1 PCIe to 2 port USB 3.0.

  • Chuc Jean-paul N’guyen ngoc

    Already more than one month and a half has passed since the review, and the next one with the seagate hdd didn’t show up like you wrote it would?

  • http://www.technogog.com Kristofer Brozio

    Chuc: What are you talking about? The review of the Seagate went up the same day as this review did…

    http://www.technogog.com/review/review-of-seagate-2tb-barracuda-xt-sata6-desktop-hard-drive-st32000641as/

  • Archie Koenig

    This USB 3 SATA 6 PCIE x4 card has no separate power connector and I do not wish to burn up another mother board. Where is a PCIE x6 version w/ a power connector? Not made yet?, I’ll wait.

    Arch

  • http://www.greystonedatatech.com/index.html TanNguyen

    Dear author: If you used 2 SATA 3 ports at the time, then how speed of this card?
    PCIe x4 of this card plug in PCIe x4 2.0 slot running at 2.5GT/s or 5.0GT/s?
    The motherboard using for this test is 7P755H LE, this mortherboard supports PCIe 2.0 x16 (2.5 GT/s) is equivalent with PCIe 1.0 –> do this card only need PCIe 1.0 slot?

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