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GIGABYTE P55A- Motherboards with USB 3.0 and 6G-SATA 3 On board


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#1
quattrofx

quattrofx

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Hi Folks,

As you can see from my Sig., I own one Gigabyte P55A-UD3 (Bios F11) Motherboard with USB 3.0 and 6G-SATA3 Controller on Board. If you wont to use it, it must be activated in Bios. But if you read your Manual carefully, it says that if you activate it, your Graphics Card will work only with 8 lanes on PCI-e 2.0 16x Graphics slot! It´s a little beat scaring and I decided to study it carefully. First of all, found an Article about:

Gigabyte P55A-UD6 and UD7 (NEC PD720200)
http://www.tomshardw...200,2682-3.html

http://www.tomshardw...hte-240524.html

Read this articles carefully, I don’t wont to bore you with details. Owners of these two boards (UD6 & UD7) don’t need to worry about less performance, because the Motherboard switch the PCI-e 2.0 scaling automatically.
While the UD6 motherboard implements USB 3.0 through the NEC controller, you have to activate the BIOS's turbo switch to get full performance. Otherwise, the system will assign all PCI Express 2.0 connectivity to the graphics card. This implementation provides only 113 MB/s of bandwidth and the least I/O performance.
Gigabyte's second submission, the P55A-UD7, offers a more flexible implementation. The PCI Express 2.0 design is routed through a PLX switch, which works similarly to Ethernet switching. Available bandwidth gets dynamically allocated to devices that need the throughput. The result is maximum performance of 168 MB/s.

But what’s about us -UD3, -UD4 and –UD5 owners? Do we need to worry about less performance if we wont to use USB 3.0 and 6G-SATA 3?
I found an answer here:

http://www.techpower..._Scaling/1.html

Very impressive article about PCI-Express Scaling with a lot of detailed tests!
I was reassured with the fact that a loose of 1 -2% of performance is not such a big deal!

Soooo I decided to buy and test this Hardware:

1. QuickStore portable USB3.0 external case
http://www.sharkoon....?q=en/node/1245

2. SATA QuickPort Duo USB 3.0
http://www.alternate....productDetails

3. HYBRID HDD Seagate's Momentus XT 500GB
http://www.anandtech...good-hybrid-hdd

4. HDD 1TB SAMSUNG SpinPoint F1 DT (HD103SJ)
http://www.computerw..._hard_drive_yet

USB 3.0 TESTS

First of all I have successfully installed Modbin patched LaCie USB 3.0 driver for NEC µPD720200 controller on my iHack. By the way, fast 90% of all USB 3.0 controllers using NEC µPD720200 chip, rest 10% goes to GDA, VIA and other manufacturer and I don’t know if they are supported under OS-X 10.6. so be careful on buying!

Very useful topics:
http://www.insanelym...howtopic=236209

http://www.insanelym...howtopic=224256

All the read & write Tests I was made under Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit and Snow 10.6.5 64bit with both Hard disks separately, new formatted and empty. For a better understanding, under Windows 7 a have installed “MacDrive” program to be able to read & write HFS+ format and under Snow Leopard I am using Paragon NTFS 64Bit.

1.TEST

Under Windows 7 tested 4 Internal SATA HDD with the “HD Tune Pro” program first.
Segate Momentus XT settled in Sata QuickPort Duo USB 3.0 connected to USB 3.0 port on motherboard (blue one)
and here are the results:
Attached File  Test_C.jpg   1.53MB   50 downloads
Attached File  Test_D.png   171.27KB   24 downloads
Attached File  Test_E.png   168.45KB   18 downloads
Attached File  Test_H.png   169.93KB   22 downloads

But as you can see the last test with MomentusXT was not finished till the end because of I/O Error!
After several tests with different HDDs I came to conclusion that this program "HD Tune Pro" does not communicate properly with SATA QuickPort Duo USB 3.0 docking station.
So I decided to make some "amateur" tests by myself:

1. Copy DVD directory with .VOB files 4,3GB from internal SATA to MomentusXT in Sata QuickPort Duo USB 3.0:
MAX Speed: 149MB/s
MIN Speed: 78MB/s
Average Speed: 113MB/s

2. Copy 640MB Directory with .jpeg photos from internal SATA to MomentusXT in Sata QuickPort Duo USB 3.0:
MAX Speed: 54,7MB/s
MIN Speed: 47,3MB/s
Aver. Speed: 52MB/s

3. Copy 650MB Directory with .wav audio files from internal SATA to MomentusXT in Sata QuickPort Duo USB 3.0:
MAX Speed: 48,7MB/s
MIN Speed: 43,2MB/s
Aver. Speed: 45,9MB/s

1a. Copy DVD directory with .VOB files 4,3GB from internal SATA to MomentusXT in QuickStore portable USB 3.0:
MAX Speed: 132,8MB/s
MIN Speed: 38,1MB/s
Aver. Speed: 85,5MB/s

2a. Copy 640MB Directory with .jpeg photos from internal SATA to MomentusXT in QuickStore portable USB 3.0:
MAX Speed: 24,1MB/s
MIN Speed: 17,3MB/s
Aver. Speed: 21MB/s

3a. Copy 650MB Directory with .wav audio files from internal SATA to MomentusXT in QuickStore portable USB 3.0:
MAX Speed: 21,4MB/s
MIN Speed: 18,2MB/s
Aver. Speed: 19,8MB/s

On the end the HD Tune Pro Test from MomentusXT settled in QuickStore portable USB 3.0 :

Attached File  MomentusXT.png   69.01KB   20 downloads


2. Snow Leopard TESTS

Under Snow Leopard 10.6.5 64Bit I used "AJA System Test" program witch didn´t have any problem with USB 3.0
controller at all!

1.Test
Segate Momentus XT settled in Sata QuickPort Duo USB 3.0 connected to USB 3.0 port on motherboard (blue one):
Attached File  MomentusXT_Dockingstation.png   318.89KB   69 downloads

2. Test
Segate Momentus XT built in Sata QuickStore Portable USB 3.0 connected to USB 3.0 port on motherboard (blue one):
Attached File  MomentusXT_ExtCase_1GB.png   397.84KB   53 downloads

3. Test
Samsung 1TB SpinPoint settled in Sata QuickPort Duo USB 3.0 connected to USB 3.0 port on motherboard (blue one):
Attached File  1TB_Dockingstation.png   319.39KB   38 downloads

4. Test
Samsung 1TB SpinPoint connected to Internal P55 SATA:
Attached File  1TB_InternSATA.png   324.12KB   42 downloads
Attached File  1TB_InternSATA_1GB.png   77.8KB   38 downloads

5. Test
Samsung HD 502IJ 500GB Windows 7 Installed (NTFS formated) and connected to Internal P55 SATA:
Attached File  500GB_InternSATA.png   47.4KB   34 downloads

In between all this tests I was monitoring my GTX 285 with OpenGL and Geekbanch... See "Tests Part II"!

As you can see from this tests, the QuickStore portable USB 3.0 external case has a 3x pure performance in comparation to SATA QuickPort Duo USB 3.0 docking station on both Systems.

The same is with MomentusXT comparing to 1TB Samsung! I was disappointed till now, but with hope connected on 6G SATA 3 should give better performance. If you are looking for infos about hybrid HDD on Wikipedia, you will read this:
"Seagate launched the Momentus XT solid state hybrid drive. It adds a new feature they call Adaptive Memory which is said to remove the OS, driver, and software dependency previously required to take advantage of the integrated Flash memory. The SSD portion of this new drive is also now a larger 4 GB, compared to 256 MB in the past. Benchmark results conducted and published by Seagate of the Momentus XT place the 7200 RPM hybrid drive's performance firmly between high-end 10,000 RPM drives and solid-state drives on a number of tasks, such as system boot time and application launch speed. For example, according to these benchmarks, system boot time using this hybrid drive is approximately 41% faster than the same task using a non-hybrid 7200 RPM drive, while a "best-in-class" solid-state drive performs approximately 44% faster than a standard 7200 RPM drive on the same test.“

And so we come to the last Chapter:


6G SATA 3 TESTS

My Gigabyte board use Marvell 9128 chipset and for now we don’t have full support
under Snow leopard, so I decided to test it under Windows 7 first.
I found this article very useful:

http://benchmarkrevi...i...3&Itemid=38

As I mentioned on the beginning, we must enable GSATA 3 in BIOS to be able to use it:
Sett GSATA 3 Controller as Enabled, GSATA Mode as AHCI and USB3.0/GSATA on AUTO.

As soon as I connected my MomentusXT on GSATA Marvell controller on board my PC doesn´t boot anymore!
I couldn´t even open BIOS Settings! With Samsung 1TB the same thing! I am not sure if my SATA3 cable maybe
couse this problem, but I didn´t have any other by the hand, so I decided to break the SATA 3 test and concentrate
on HYBRID HDD Futures! Connected MomentusXT on INTEL P55 AHCI Controller to be able to make some tests, and disabled 6GSATA 3 in BIOS again! Booting in WIndows 7 takes some moments and after successfully installed HDD
ready for some tests...
According to different reports in www you are profiting from Hybrid only if you use it as OS base HDD, so I decided to
clone my Win7HDD. Cloning to MomentusXT took 7 hours!!!
In the meantime I slipped into the new day! After a couple of coffees made some HDD booting order in BIOS to be able to boot from my "NEW" HDD MomentusXT OS win7 System!
Of course I did not booted only one time! It was at least 5 times! Every time I noticed a little increase in booting time! But after 4. time not any more. You will notice the speed after several days using always the same programs.
In my case goes something wrong:
After 3 times booting I couldn´t open BIOS settings again! This time I can boot in Windows, but cannot go to BIOS!
Because of that I took my Hybrid HDD out of myPC and brought to the supplier for further Failure free tests...

I am waiting for results....

Cheers
QuattroFX

#2
quattrofx

quattrofx

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USB 3.0 TESTS Part II

After detailed tests I came to conclusion that my statement in first part:
"In between all this tests I was monitoring my GTX 285 with OpenGL and Geekbanch
and didn’t noticed any decrease in performance..." does not mach the truth!

Only in case you have your BIOS settings for SATA3/Turbo3.0 sett to AUTO your Graphics Card will run with full 16 Lanes (the system will assign all PCI Express 2.0 connectivity to the graphics card), and USB 3.0 will go only to maximum of 113MB!
And here are my test results for TurboSwitch set to AUTO:

Test 1. Samsung 1TB SpinPoint settled in Sata QuickPort Duo USB 3.0 connected to USB 3.0 port on motherboard (blue one)
Attached File  1TB_Auto_3.0.png   279.64KB   74 downloads

Test 2. Segate Momentus XT settled in Sata QuickPort Duo USB 3.0 connected to USB 3.0 port on motherboard (blue one)
Attached File  Momentus_Auto_3.0.png   258.18KB   59 downloads

All the Snow Leopard AJA TESTS in first PART was made with TurboSwitch set to TURBO USB 3.0 in BIOS!
That means the system will assign full PCI Express 2.0 connectivity to USB 3.0 and your Gra-Card will become
only 8 lanes! The Graphics performance will decrease rapidly!
And here are the Test results:

Attached File  OpenGL_3.0.png   263.57KB   46 downloads

Attached File  Cinebench_Turbo_3.0.png   273.92KB   53 downloads

As you can see that is a little beat more than 1-2% decrease of Performance!

I must apologize for this inconvenience, I was very busy at work and did not concentrate on this Tests at home properly.
This tests showing that the -UD3 (-UD4 and –UD5) have the same USB 3.0/SATA3 performance as -UD6, and you
must decide between USB3.0 or Gra-Card full PERFORMANCE! You cannot get Both!
Any way, I choose Gra-Card performance (sett BIOS to AUTO), because USB 3.0 is still 3 x faster as USB 2.0 with the half of performance!

One very important notice:
You cannot boot from USB 3.0 External device in Chameleon boot manager(Netkas Efi 10.6), but I don´t know is it
AHCI (XHCI) controller or Chameleon problem? Let´s see what the "Guru´s" saying about that?

Cheers
QuattroFX





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