ASUS announced a new line-up of the company’s latest SuperSpeed+ USB 3.1 solutions. These USB 3.1 products include motherboards with USB 3.1 built-in and two ASUS PCIe USB 3.1 expansion cards featuring both USB Type-A and Type-C ports.
USB 3.1 is the new USB standard that delivers faster transfer speeds of 10Gbps while maintaining backwards compatibility with previous USB versions up to USB 2.0. This version of USB 3.1 is also referred to as USB 3.1 Gen 2 in some naming conventions. Closely related, but not directly connected are the two types of USB ports. The traditional version that everyone is familiar with is the Type-A connector, while the new Type-C connector attempts to correct some flaws with the Type-A. USB Type-C connectors can be found on the new Apple MacBook, which is the easiest reference point for most people.
Twelve of Asus’ motherboards will feature two Type-A USB 3.1 ports built-in, capable of achieving 10Gbps connectivity. The way to differentiate between normal Asus motherboards and Asus motherboards with USB 3.1 built-in, is to check for the “/USB 3.1” suffix added to the back of the model number. The complete list of motherboards that has USB 3.1 integrated can be viewed here. Not only that, two USB 3.1 expansion cards are also part of the line-up and it will be available in two models – one with dual Type-A sockets and another with the reversible Type-C USB 3.1 port.
Not only that, there is a package that bundles the USB 3.1 Type-A expansion card (Dual) with the motherboard. These bundle packages applies to the Rampage V Extreme and X99-Deluxe motherboards with a “/U3.1” suffix at the back of the model number. In addition, all USB 3.1 solutions from Asus includes the Asus USB 3.1 Boost Utility, capable of achieving sequential read/write speeds of up to 854.6/863.9 Mbps.
Readers should take note that most of the Asus X99 and Z97 chipset-based motherboards are compatible with the USB 3.1 expansion cards, although they will need a BIOS update. Not all the motherboards have received an update yet, but the release of firmware updates should be done by the end of next month.