ONE OF THE claims Gigabyte makes in the press release with regards to its new USAP USB 3.0 drivers is that the new drivers will boost the performance of USB 2.0 storage devices as well. We thought we’d put this to the test to see how much of a difference it really makes.
There are of course a couple of limitations involved, for one, you need a Gigabyte motherboard with a Renesas/NEC USB 3.0 host controller and secondly you need to install the latest drivers from Gigabyte. We used an external USB 2.0 hard drive for our quick test and plugged it in to the USB 2.0 ports connected to the P55 chipset, as well as the Renesas USB 3.0 host controller ports.
We didn’t expect to see much of a difference in terms of performance, but we were pleasantly surprised. A simple file copy test from an internal SATA drive of a 550MB file took 20.9 seconds using the USB 2.0 ports while it took 17.7 seconds using the USB 3.0 ports. Maybe not a huge performance increase, but if you copy a lot of data, then it all adds up.
For some more accurate testing we fired up CrystalDiskMark 3.0 and with a 1GB test size and five iterations. As you can see from the screenshots below, the most significant performance increase was in the sequential read and write tests. The read performance increased by about 7.5 percent, not a huge increase once again, but the write performance saw a boost of over 21 percent which is fairly impressive considering that we’re just using a different set of drivers here.
As a free upgrade it’s definitely worthwhile and it goes to show that keeping your drivers up to date has some merit. We also tested with a USB thumb drive and saw some performance improvements here as well, although not quite as high as with the external drive. If you use external hard drives for regular backups of large files, then this could potentially save you a lot of time, but getting a USB 3.0 drive would of course be a lot faster.S|A
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