• We've upgraded our forums. Please post any issues/requests in this thread.

VLI Starts Sampling First 4-port USB 3.0 Host Controller

btarunr

Editor & Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
34,314
Likes
17,423
Location
Hyderabad, India
System Name Long shelf-life potato
Processor Intel Core i7-4770K
Motherboard ASUS Z97-A
Cooling Xigmatek Aegir CPU Cooler
Memory 16GB Kingston HyperX Beast DDR3-1866
Video Card(s) 2x GeForce GTX 970 SLI
Storage ADATA SU800 512GB
Display(s) Samsung U28D590D 28-inch 4K
Case Cooler Master CM690 Window
Audio Device(s) Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D PCIe
Power Supply Corsair HX850W
Mouse Razer Abyssus 2014
Keyboard Microsoft Sidewinder X4
Software Windows 10 Pro Creators Update

$immond$

New Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
394
Likes
22
Location
Edmonton
Processor AMD 1055t 2.8Ghz
Motherboard ZOTAC 890GXITX-A-E AM3 (Mini ITX)
Cooling Asus Stock cooler
Memory 8Gb DDR3 1600Mhz
Storage 120 Gb Pheonix Sandforce 2 / WD 640 Gb Sata 3
Case Thermalrock Eclipse
Power Supply 500 Watt OCZ (Modular)
Software Windows 7 64 Pro
#2
Finally a 4 port card, I thought it would have been a 4X or 16X PCI-e card? I guess I am wrong.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2004
Messages
1,561
Likes
207
Location
Poland,Slask
System Name HAL
Processor Core i5 2500K
Motherboard Asus P8P67 Pro Rev3.1
Cooling stock
Memory 2x4GB Kingston 1600Mhz Blu
Video Card(s) Asus 560Ti DirectCuII TOP
Storage Kingston 120 3K SSD,WD Black WD1502FAEX
Display(s) LG 1440x900
Case Chieftec Mesh Midi
Audio Device(s) onboard
Power Supply Corsair TX750V2
Software w8
#3
Didnt usb 2.0 just fill up the market instantly when it arrived ?

I get this feeling all the tech is just designed to endlessly drain cash from us. I mean I remember the times when I was dreaming "oh when will I be able to watch a movie from a tiny flash memory". Ok it arrived but untill it did the industry shifted to HDTV/mkv and again its not very comfy to copy 10GB mkv over a pendrive with usb2.0. Here we go again usb 3.0 on its way to our homes to satisfy our HD needs. Im just wondering what will change untill this "standard" becomes a standard and it will loop again.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2008
Messages
742
Likes
134
Location
Auckland
System Name PBD
Processor Core i5 760 @ 4.0GHz
Motherboard Asus Maximus III Gene
Cooling Corsair H-50-1
Memory 4 x 4096mb G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 Cas7
Video Card(s) ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU TOP
Storage Crucial 256GB SSD (system) + 2x Samsung F3 1TB (storage) + 2x 2TB Raid-1 NAS (backup)
Display(s) Dell SP2309w 23" 2048x1152
Case Antec Max Fusion Remote
Power Supply Corsair AX750W
Software Win 7 Pro x64
#4
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
731
Likes
102
Processor Intel Core i5-3470 3.2 GHz Quad-core Ivy Bridge
Motherboard ASUS P8Z77-M Z77
Cooling ID-COOLING IS-50 TDP 130W
Memory Kingston HyperX Genesis 2x4 GB DDR3 @ 1866MHz 9-11-9-27-1T
Video Card(s) ZOTAC GeForce® GTX 1070 AMP Edition (ZT-P10700C-10P)
Storage WD SiliconEdge Blue 64 GB SSD, Kingston SSDNow! 240 GB SSD, WD RE4 1 TB HDD
Display(s) LN-T4065F FullHD LCD TV
Power Supply Raidmax RX-1000AE 1000W 80 Plus Gold
Mouse Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury FPS Gaming Mouse (Defective MOUSE3)
Keyboard Logitech K120
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
#5
VLI means VIA Labs Inc., basically VIA themselves.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2008
Messages
742
Likes
134
Location
Auckland
System Name PBD
Processor Core i5 760 @ 4.0GHz
Motherboard Asus Maximus III Gene
Cooling Corsair H-50-1
Memory 4 x 4096mb G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 Cas7
Video Card(s) ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU TOP
Storage Crucial 256GB SSD (system) + 2x Samsung F3 1TB (storage) + 2x 2TB Raid-1 NAS (backup)
Display(s) Dell SP2309w 23" 2048x1152
Case Antec Max Fusion Remote
Power Supply Corsair AX750W
Software Win 7 Pro x64
#6
Joined
Sep 15, 2004
Messages
1,561
Likes
207
Location
Poland,Slask
System Name HAL
Processor Core i5 2500K
Motherboard Asus P8P67 Pro Rev3.1
Cooling stock
Memory 2x4GB Kingston 1600Mhz Blu
Video Card(s) Asus 560Ti DirectCuII TOP
Storage Kingston 120 3K SSD,WD Black WD1502FAEX
Display(s) LG 1440x900
Case Chieftec Mesh Midi
Audio Device(s) onboard
Power Supply Corsair TX750V2
Software w8
#7
You can see the name on the chip itself also
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
1,952
Likes
943
Location
Formosa
System Name Overlord Mk MVI
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 1700 @ 3.85GHz
Motherboard Asus Prime X370-Pro
Cooling Corsair H110i
Memory 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200
Video Card(s) Galax GeForce GTX 1080 EXOC-SNPR
Storage 512GB Plextor M8PeG NVMe, 500GB Crucial MX200
Display(s) Asus PG27AQ
Case Corsair Carbide 400Q
Power Supply Corsair AX860i
Mouse Logitech G500s
Keyboard Roccat ISKU
Software Windows 10
Benchmark Scores https://valid.x86.fr/j1yypa
#8
It won't become a standard until it's built into chipsets and that my friends is a thing that's in the hands of Intel, as they're controlling that part of the xHCI spec and until Intel moves that to version 1.0, no chipsets will have integrated USB 3.0 support.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
1,257
Likes
603
Location
South Africa
System Name Firelance
Processor i5-3570K @ 4.6GHz / 1.19V
Motherboard Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H @ F16h mod BIOS
Cooling Corsair H105 + 4x Gentle Typhoon 1850
Memory 2x 8GB Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1600 CL9 @ CL7
Video Card(s) MSI GTX 1070 Armor OC @ 2000 core / 2300 mem
Storage 2x 256GB Samsung 840 Pro (RAID-0) + Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 (3TB)
Display(s) Dell U2713HM (25x14) + Acer P243W (19x12)
Case Fractal Design ARC XL
Audio Device(s) Logitech G930
Power Supply Seasonic M12-II Bronze Evo Edition 750W
Mouse Logitech G400
Keyboard Logitech G19
Software Windows 7 Professional x64 Service Pack 1
#9
It won't become a standard until it's built into chipsets and that my friends is a thing that's in the hands of Intel, as they're controlling that part of the xHCI spec and until Intel moves that to version 1.0, no chipsets will have integrated USB 3.0 support.
Light Peak offers 2x the bandwidth of USB3 (and possibly up to 20x). Given that, I'm going to wait until Intel decides which technology ends up in their chipsets, rather than buy something that might be useless in 6 months' time.

And I'm not too impressed with this card... 1 USB3 port == 1 PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot, so this 4-port card is never going to be able to supply enough bandwidth to the ports.

But that also brings up an interesting question... considering that most motherboards today supply 12+ USB2 ports, does that mean future boards will have to dedicate 12 PCI-e lanes to USB3? If that's the case then PCI-e could be obsolete if version 3 doesn't arrive soon.
 

DanTheBanjoman

Señor Moderator
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
10,488
Likes
1,331
#10
Light Peak offers 2x the bandwidth of USB3 (and possibly up to 20x). Given that, I'm going to wait until Intel decides which technology ends up in their chipsets, rather than buy something that might be useless in 6 months' time.

And I'm not too impressed with this card... 1 USB3 port == 1 PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot, so this 4-port card is never going to be able to supply enough bandwidth to the ports.

But that also brings up an interesting question... considering that most motherboards today supply 12+ USB2 ports, does that mean future boards will have to dedicate 12 PCI-e lanes to USB3? If that's the case then PCI-e could be obsolete if version 3 doesn't arrive soon.
USB3 is backwards compatible, so it's very unlikely that it'll disappear anytime soon. As for the bandwidth, you won't get 100% of the bandwidth anyway, and you won't use all ports at full bandwidth at the same time. If you do so, you should not be using USB in the first place.
 

btarunr

Editor & Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
34,314
Likes
17,423
Location
Hyderabad, India
System Name Long shelf-life potato
Processor Intel Core i7-4770K
Motherboard ASUS Z97-A
Cooling Xigmatek Aegir CPU Cooler
Memory 16GB Kingston HyperX Beast DDR3-1866
Video Card(s) 2x GeForce GTX 970 SLI
Storage ADATA SU800 512GB
Display(s) Samsung U28D590D 28-inch 4K
Case Cooler Master CM690 Window
Audio Device(s) Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D PCIe
Power Supply Corsair HX850W
Mouse Razer Abyssus 2014
Keyboard Microsoft Sidewinder X4
Software Windows 10 Pro Creators Update
#11
The reason Intel isn't going to adopt USB 3.0 any time soon is because of DMI. Future processors, especially Sandy Bridge LGA1155 successor continue to use DMI as the connection to the PCH.

DMI is physically a PCI-Express 1.1 x4 link with a different link-layer software protocol than PCI-E. Its bandwidth is 1 GB/s per direction, 2 GB/s total. When you take into account protocol overhead, the actual bandwidth available to the system is lower.

So you can imagine why Intel can't choke the PCH with too many bandwidth-heavy things. Sure the PCH has its own 8-lane PCI-E hub, but even with those ports, Intel expects motherboard vendors to use for lightweight onboard devices such as legacy IDE controllers (PCI-E x1 lets IDE controllers have fewer pins), GbE controllers, 1394, and so on. Most PCI-E x1 cards these days such as sound cards and don't even use 20% of PCI-E 1.1 x1 bandwidth. Now if they had a 6-port SATA 3 Gb/s (forget 6 Gb/s for a moment) RAID controller and a USB 3.0 controller, it would be totally crippled with the chipset bus. Instead, if it just let them use 3rd party USB 3.0 controllers, it can conveniently cover up lack of performance and features (number of ports) to the fact that they just have 2 ports per controller, cost a few dollars to add to your design, and could be bottlenecked by the x1 Gen2 interface (500 MB/s /direction for two 480 MB/s ports), and in the process cover up its own deficiencies with chipset bus features.

AMD on the other hand, expanded its chipset bus with 8-series chipsets. The new A-Link III is a PCI-Express 2.0 x4 physical link, which gives it 2 GB/s per direction, 4 GB/s total. So the 6-port SATA 6 Gb/s controller won't be starved of bandwidth, especially in heavyweight RAID modes.
 

newtekie1

Semi-Retired Folder
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
24,274
Likes
10,359
Location
Indiana, USA
Processor Intel Core i7 4790K@4.6GHz
Motherboard AsRock Z97 Extreme6
Cooling Corsair H100i
Memory 32GB Corsair DDR3-1866 9-10-9-27
Video Card(s) ASUS GTX960 STRIX @ 1500/1900
Storage 480GB Crucial MX200 + 2TB Seagate Solid State Hybrid Drive with 128GB OCZ Synapse SSD Cache
Display(s) QNIX QX2710 1440p@120Hz
Case Corsair 650D Black
Audio Device(s) Onboard is good enough for me
Power Supply Corsair HX850
Software Windows 10 Pro x64
#12
Finally a 4 port card, I thought it would have been a 4X or 16X PCI-e card? I guess I am wrong.
Actually, you are pretty correct, assuming you actually want to use more than 1 port at a time.

The controller is PCI-E 2.0, so 500MB/s Full-Duplex, while each port is 400MB/s Full-Dublex. So one port can be used at full speed at a time, so having 4 over 2 is really only a matter of convenience if you have more than 2 USB 3.0 devices, so you don't have to keep swapping them. If you are using a PCI-E 1.0/1.1 port, and it is possible, then the situation is even worse, as even a single USB 3.0 port would saturate the slot.

With that being the case, I'm sure that it would be pretty easy for card makers to just use the old 2-port controller, and rig up 4 or even 8 ports pretty easily and cheaply, thanks to the easy expandability of the USB standard.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2005
Messages
362
Likes
18
Location
Saskatoon, SK
Processor FX-8150
Motherboard Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3
Cooling Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme lapped & shimmed
Memory Patriot Viper Extreme 8GB DDR3-1866 9-11-9-27 1.65V
Video Card(s) MSI 6950 2GB Twin Frozr II @ 6970 875/1375
Storage Crucial M4 0309 64GB
Display(s) Dell U2410
Case Corsair 650D
Audio Device(s) onboard
Power Supply Corsair AX750
Software Windows [8] Developer Preview
#13
Actually, you are pretty correct, assuming you actually want to use more than 1 port at a time.

The controller is PCI-E 2.0, so 500MB/s Full-Duplex, while each port is 400MB/s Full-Dublex. So one port can be used at full speed at a time, so having 4 over 2 is really only a matter of convenience if you have more than 2 USB 3.0 devices, so you don't have to keep swapping them. If you are using a PCI-E 1.0/1.1 port, and it is possible, then the situation is even worse, as even a single USB 3.0 port would saturate the slot.

With that being the case, I'm sure that it would be pretty easy for card makers to just use the old 2-port controller, and rig up 4 or even 8 ports pretty easily and cheaply, thanks to the easy expandability of the USB standard.
Agreed, I wish someone would just hurry up and make a 12-port USB 3.0 to PCI-E x4 chip and throw it on some motherboards, let's face it, you only ever use max USB bandwidth on 1 or maybe 2 ports at once (and then probably only if you're transferring between 2 USB hard drives). Then I don't have to worry about which USB port I'm plugging my device into.
 

newtekie1

Semi-Retired Folder
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
24,274
Likes
10,359
Location
Indiana, USA
Processor Intel Core i7 4790K@4.6GHz
Motherboard AsRock Z97 Extreme6
Cooling Corsair H100i
Memory 32GB Corsair DDR3-1866 9-10-9-27
Video Card(s) ASUS GTX960 STRIX @ 1500/1900
Storage 480GB Crucial MX200 + 2TB Seagate Solid State Hybrid Drive with 128GB OCZ Synapse SSD Cache
Display(s) QNIX QX2710 1440p@120Hz
Case Corsair 650D Black
Audio Device(s) Onboard is good enough for me
Power Supply Corsair HX850
Software Windows 10 Pro x64
#14
Agreed, I wish someone would just hurry up and make a 12-port USB 3.0 to PCI-E x4 chip and throw it on some motherboards, let's face it, you only ever use max USB bandwidth on 1 or maybe 2 ports at once (and then probably only if you're transferring between 2 USB hard drives). Then I don't have to worry about which USB port I'm plugging my device into.
The thing is, VIA already has the VL810, which converts one USB 3.0 port into four.

So with a three chip setup, you can have one cheaper 2-port USB3.0 controller, and two VL810 chips, and have 8 useable ports. I don't know how costly a set-up like this would be, but I think it would be sweet for a motherboard maker to do it. So, 6 ports in the back of the board, and two internal headers from the front of the case(or just 8 ports on the back of the board).
 

HillBeast

New Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
407
Likes
27
Location
New Zealand
System Name Kuja
Processor Intel Core i7 930
Motherboard Gigabyte X58A-UD3R
Cooling Corsair H50 HB.o Special Edition with Koolance CHC-122 NB Block
Memory OCZ Extreme Edition 4GB Dual Channel
Video Card(s) Sapphire Radeon 5870 Vapor-X Rev. 2
Storage 2x 1TB WD Green in RAID
Display(s) BenQ V2400W
Case Lian Li PC-A17 HB.o Special Edition
Audio Device(s) Onboard Realtek 889A
Power Supply Gigabyte Odin Pro 800W
Software Windows 7 Professional
Benchmark Scores 93632 sysPoints in sysTest '09 47 FPS in Star Tales Benchmark
#15
Finally. Now USB3.0 cards are worth getting.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
766
Likes
414
Processor Intel Core i3-4370
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-H97-D3H
Cooling Zalman CNPS9500 AT
Memory 16GB Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1600
Video Card(s) Gigabyte GV-N75TOC-2GI GeForce GTX 750 Ti WindForce
Storage Crucial MX100 256GB SSD
Display(s) Acer G245HQ 23.6" LCD
Case Fractal Design Define R4 Black Pearl
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC1150
Power Supply Corsair CX600M
Mouse Logitech M500
Keyboard Lenovo KB1021 USB
Software Windows 10 Professional x64
#16
I'm waiting for some benchmark results of NEC's versus VIA's USB 3.0 chip.