USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps on Motherboards in 2010

Both ASUS and Gigabyte are taking USB 3.0 and 6Gbps SATA seriously. Gigabyte uses two modifiers to indicate when a board supports USB3 or 6Gbps SATA:

If the product name has a "USB3" in it, then it will support USB 3.0 via NEC's controller. It's the best we can get until we get integrated chipset support. If you want USB 3.0 and6Gbps SATA you need to look for the "A" in the model name:

The "A" denotes support for both next-gen standards. Unfortunately there are no H5x boards with an "A" just yet:

The cheapest you can get an "A" board from Gigabyte is approximately $140 - $150 for a P55A-UD3. If you just want USB 3.0 the entry price is closer to $120. MSI takes a different approach to the situation and doesn't believe that USB 3/SATA 6Gbps need to be on every motherboard and thus reserves the feature combo for high end boards only. Personally I believe two devices are about to change that.

First is OCZ's USB 3.0 external SSD:

This little thing is basically an Indilinx MLC SSD with a SATA-to-USB 3.0 controller. You can expect to see tons of clones in the coming months. Not to mention the first wave of USB 3.0 thumbdrives.

NEC's USB 3.0 controller

Next is Marvell's 6Gbps SSD controller, which is used in the Micron/Crucial ReadSSD C300:

The combination of the two I believe will make USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps important far sooner than they would otherwise be.

NVIDIA - Fermi Up and Running, Tegra 2 ASUS and MSI Show AMD 8-series Motherboards


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  • Herrterror - Tuesday, January 12, 2010 - link

    Man, PC case designers are really waiting for that stopped clock to be right again.

    This is why I buy exclusively from Lian Li. I want something that looks like an adult owns it. How many buyers today really care what's under the hood, rather than how it looks? Judging from the popularity of Apple products, a diminishing amount. But I guess WOW players pay the bills, so...
  • DrApop - Sunday, January 10, 2010 - link

    Unless you are a major gamer, who needs these huge ATX cases these days. Manufacturers need to take a hint from the growth of lap/netbook...smaller is better.

    The Mac Mini is beautiful, the regular mac is all in one (No huge box on the floor), Dell has the Zino.

    Newegg has cr@p for small cases - we hardly use CD/DVD drives anymore let alone a floppy disk drive. Why do have the mini/small cases have two external drive openings.....looks stupid!

    Give me a nice 8x8x3 (or smaller) case with a SINGLE slot for a DVD/Blueray drive (I don't need any freakin floppy drive!). Perhaps an external power supply or internal at 200-250 watts. A nice board with an AMD or Intel dual/triple core, 2 gigs mem, 250-500 gig drive and I would be happy (as long as the board does not cost 2x what a micro board costs!!!!!!)

    Give me a small, nice looking case! That is what the vast majority of users actually need...and would actually purchase.

    Do I really need a 3 foot tall case with 5 external bays, a 600 watt power supply, 8 fans, lights all flashing, ready to take off into space?
  • Mr Perfect - Monday, January 11, 2010 - link

    Silverstone released a new Mitx case from the Sugo line at CES, but have only seen one SFF site mention it so far.">

    It fits a 5970, so it's only a matter of time before some Mitx fans cram a high end game rig in there. :) I'm looking into this myself.
  • Calin - Monday, January 11, 2010 - link

    Gaming and overclocked rigs will use whatever cooling you an throw to them.
    You could also imagine someone wanting to have both and DVD-RW and a BluRay unit, and two hard drives. This makes a normal ATX case necessary (most mATX cases would be very cramped, have inferiour airflow, be hard to work into in most cases, might not fit big, tower-like coolers and so on.
  • FlyTexas - Monday, January 11, 2010 - link

    There are a few cases (no pun intended) when you need that multibay, lights, ready for lift off case...

    1. Gaming rigs that have big long video cards installed and need lots of room for cooling the highest end OCed CPUs.

    2. Servers with lots of hard drives in them.
  • Totally - Sunday, January 10, 2010 - link

    [quote]The demo also used NVIDIA's sterescopic 3D technology - 3D Vision. We're hearing that the rumors of a March release are accurate, but despite the delay Fermi is supposed to be very competitive (at least 20% faster than 5870?). The GeForce GTX 265 and 275 will stick around for the first half of the year as Fermi isn't expected to reach such low price/high volume at the start of its life.[/quote]

    GTX 265?
  • spacedude - Sunday, January 10, 2010 - link

    did you guys get a chance to talk to any of the mobo manufactures about the foxconn socket problems??????????? Reply
  • filotti - Sunday, January 10, 2010 - link

    What's the deal with the dell tablet and all the secrecy surrounding it? Reply
  • Zool - Sunday, January 10, 2010 - link

    "We're hearing that the rumors of a March release are accurate, but despite the delay Fermi is supposed to be very competitive (at least 20% faster than 5870?"

    That 20% is quite pessimistic. For nvidia just 20% faster for 40% (also at those die areas the defects doesnt increase lineary) more transistors would be worse than gt200. And we doesnt even take into acount power draw and heat of the gt300. Second time to make the same mistake is quite stupid i think.
  • Mr Perfect - Monday, January 11, 2010 - link

    Unfortunately, all 40% of the new die isn't for graphics. A fair bit of it's going to be for the GPGPU stuff. They're not making the same mistake twice, just seeing if they can make a new one. ;) Reply

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