Thursday, March 1st 2012

Windows 8 xHCI Driver Performance Tested

With Windows 8, Microsoft is integrating an eXtensible Host Controller Interface (xHCI) driver, which serves as a common driver for USB 3.0 host controllers. Expreview put this driver to test with a Renesas USB 3.0 controller, and compared its performance to when the controller is backed by Renesas' own driver (ver. 2.1.28.0). The controller is a μD720200F1 found on ASUS P8P67 Deluxe motherboard. The reviewer used Orico UE3 16GB USB 3.0 flash drive that uses SLC NAND flash memory.

The flash was put through four synthetic tests on a constant hardware setup, differences in performance were attributed to the drivers. Tests included HDTune, ATTO, AS SSD, and CrystalDiskMark. The xHCI driver provided by Microsoft trailed a tiny/insignificant notch behind the third-party driver provided by Renesas. In HDTune, the performance graph was smoother (fewer variations) with the Microsoft xHCI driver. In sequential speed tests, variation between the two drivers seldom exceeded 2%. The xHCI driver will ship with Windows 8, letting you run USB 3.0 host controllers and compatible devices right out of installation. The drivers pass through Microsoft's WHQL, although the update cycle of drivers provided by Microsoft is traditionally known to be slower, in some cases they have found to be more stable. Screenshots with "MS" markings (below) show results for the xHCI driver.
More results follow.


Source: Expreview
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13 Comments on Windows 8 xHCI Driver Performance Tested

#1
Mussels
Moderprator
win 7 really needs this driver. makes me sad when half the USB ports on a system i just built dont work in DOS/pre OS.
Posted on Reply
#2
wiak
yesterday i installed windows 8 customer preview using a Transcend Jetflash 700 16GB USB 3.0 stick on a USB 3.0 enabled port on a AMD A75 Chipset

guess what it worked! :respect:
Posted on Reply
#3
ironwolf
Would love to see a installation speed test of Win8 using a USB 3.0 thumbdrive on both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports.
Posted on Reply
#4
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
I'm willing to bet Microsoft will make a backport upgrade for Windows 7, like they did with the CPU scheduler.
Posted on Reply
#5
Prima.Vera
I see...numbers.

No comparison, no anything...
Posted on Reply
#6
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
by: Prima.Vera
I see...numbers.

No comparison, no anything...
Do the math yourself, the images are side by side. They're not incredible improvements, but it shows you how software has a big impact on how hardware gets driven.
Posted on Reply
#7
RejZoR
Sorry, but such small difference is within error mergin. I get such differences if OS decides to do some task right in the middle of the test under the hood and it will skew the results by this much.
I can get 2MB/s more by just tweaking stuff.
Posted on Reply
#8
Shinshin
Couldn't they wait for the benchmarks to finish? :confused:
Posted on Reply
#9
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: RejZoR
Sorry, but such small difference is within error mergin. I get such differences if OS decides to do some task right in the middle of the test under the hood and it will skew the results by this much.
I can get 2MB/s more by just tweaking stuff.
That's kind of the point of this review (Microsoft's common xHCI drivers being as good as hardware vendors' drivers).
Posted on Reply
#10
cadaveca
My name is Dave
What I'm interested in is the differences in installation time between DVD media, USB 2.0, and USB 3.0.
Posted on Reply
#11
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
by: cadaveca
What I'm interested in is the differences in installation time between DVD media, USB 2.0, and USB 3.0.
Me too. If performance can get squeezed out by using improved drivers it makes you wonder how much more performance you can squeeze of out USB 3.0. After all, USB 3.0 is still a rather new technology and doesn't have perfected drivers yet.
Posted on Reply
#12
TerryChen
My easy test

Please refer to attachment~
The MS performance better than Renesas performance under my platform.
But I know maybe resulting varies with different the system environment.
Posted on Reply
#13
TerryChen
Sorry, add my platform as below,

CPU : Intel Core i5 650
M/B : ASUS P7H55-M/USB3
Chipset : Intel H55
RAM : 4GB DDR3
Internal HDD : ST3500418AS 500G 3.5"
OS : Win8 Consumer Preview x64
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