USB 3.0 Speed can be accelerated using ASRock's XFast USB Utility

Posted by Paul Braren on Nov 21 2011 in
  • Motherboard
  • Storage
  • Virtualization
  • XFastUSBFeaturedImage

    I prefer to perform my own tests, rather than just trusting marketing hype, when determining which utilities and tools I'll consider for my backup and virtualization server.

    There's a lot of information about ASRock's XFast USB Utility out there, and I used the latest version 3.02.19 from ASRock, paired with the ASMedia USB driver, both found here.

    I decided to do my own tests, to see for myself, to determine:

    1) stability (will do overnight robocopy operations)

    2) speedup on Z68 versus add-on card
    a) running on Windows 7 x64 and ASRock Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3 motherboard USB 3.0 ports (ASMedia USB Controller)
    b) running on Windows 7 x64 and HighPoint RocketU 1144A (with 4 of the same ASMedia USB Controllers chips )

    3) speedup when running  on Windows 7 x64 Virtual Machine running under ESXi5.0, with passthru of the HighPoint RocketU 1144A (with identical ASMedia USB Controller chips)

    So I set out to test whether this ASRock XFast USB utility would work when a HighPoint (3rd party) PCI card was added, and the answer was yes, it sure does, and works well apparently.

    See also anandtech tests back in January 2011.

    See the speed up for yourself, particularly for small files, by viewing the screenshot and video below. I like ATTO Disk Benchmark since the results I get tend to correlate closely with actual file drag-and-drop file operations I sometimes test, using informal stopwatch testing.

    Nov 21 2011 Update:
    Testing inside a VM, and failed, forgot that of course the ASRock utility would check the system and see VMware Branded hardware and fail to allow the install, makes sense, so nevermind using this in a virtual machine then, oh well...

    Native Windows 7 x64 install and the XFast USB Utility, good boost in speed for small file sizes:


    Virtual Machine running Windows 7 x64 won't allow the XFast USB Utility to install,
    but the passthrough of HighPoint RU1144A PCI card works fine:


    Full video walk-thru of informal benchmarks, figured I'd record them just in case it went well