Report: Asus, Gigabyte mull cheaper USB 3.0 mobos

Could USB 3.0-enabled motherboards soon wander into the lower echelons of the market? Yes, suggests DigiTimes. The site relays an Apple Daily story that says both Asus and Gigabyte are considering the addition of USB 3.0 connectivity to their "mid-range and entry-level motherboards."

Now, mobos with those shiny blue ports can already be had at pretty reasonable prices—just take Gigabyte’s GA-770TA-UD3, which delivers both USB 3.0 and 6Gbps Serial ATA for only $94.99 at Newegg. But with anything cheaper, especially something like this $55 ECS mobo, you’ll be lucky to get a decent number of old-fashioned USB 2.0 ports.

DigiTimes doesn’t really elaborate on the rumor, adding only that "industry sources" quoted by Apple Daily expect USB 3.0 motherboard shipments to reach past 20 million this year.

We’ve already seen hints of a possible race to the bottom for these motherboards. Last week, DigiTimes wrote that Intel intends to release a standalone USB 3.0 controller some time this year. This chip could end up competing against other USB 3.0 controllers from NEC, Via, and ASMedia, which might drive down prices. Perhaps that’s just what Asus and Gigabyte are waiting for.

Comments closed
    • thudo
    • 9 years ago

    How about releasing a mobo that is ALL USB3.0 and not some joke-hybrid with 8 USB2.0 ports and only 2 USB3.0 ports. Bahhh!! Give me all USB3.0 or give me max death!! @)_@)

      • emorgoch
      • 9 years ago

      Unfortunately, not going to happen until at least Q2 2011. All those USB 2.0 ports are coming off the south bridge. Adding USB 3.0 ports requires the use of secondary chips, which means using PCI-Express lanes off the south bridge. To replace all the USB 2.0 ports with 3.0 instead would require the use of 3 or 4 additional chips, driving up mobo costs, and using PCI-express lanes.

      Full USB 3.0 boards won’t come until Intel/AMD release updated south bridges that have native USB 3.0 ports, which isn’t expected until next year.

        • thudo
        • 9 years ago

        Yeah I figured as much. I cannot remember if this was the same adoption issue we had back in 2002-’03 when USB2.0 was slowly showing up on mobos replacing USB1.1? Its not a massive deal really having only 2ports except I was expecting to build a super-high end system this summer only to see that true USB3 ports won’t show for what now seems like a year from now. Grrrrrrrrrr.. Its almost like current USB3.0 mobo integration is akin to a hack job. Pah!!

    • Meadows
    • 9 years ago

    Manufacturers should stop rewriting the holy bible with USB 3 and SATA 3 references and find me a device that actually uses the thicker tubes.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 9 years ago

      Well, if you’ve got $40 and a spare hard drive, nobody is stopping you from making your own.

      The lack of USB 3.0 thumb drives that aren’t bat s*** crazy is irritating, though.

        • Meadows
        • 9 years ago

        What if one wants more choices than “hard drive or waste”?

      • GTVic
      • 9 years ago

      And doesn’t sacrifice PCIe bandwidth to deliver USB3 and SATA3. From what I’ve read, unless you have USB or SATA devices that can use these ports you are better off disabling these add-on devices in your BIOS.

    • Joerdgs
    • 9 years ago

    Now we just need cheap USB 3.0 external HDDs.

      • Jambe
      • 9 years ago

      Buffalo has the HD-HXU3 “Drivestation USB 3.0” which is selling for $130. I have one (and a USB 3.0 motherboard to use it on) and it’s great — I see 110 MB/s average. It’s not “cheap” as per USB 2.0 drives, but it’s not ludicrous.

        • Joerdgs
        • 9 years ago

        Still I’ve only seen 1TB or higher offerings that often exceed 100 euros here in the Netherlands. Guess I’ll have to wait.

      • continuum
      • 9 years ago

      I’m waiting for a nice quiet fan-cooled USB 3.0 external 3.5″ HDD enclosure to come out. Antec, where is my MX-1 replacement?

    • onlycodered
    • 9 years ago

    Just had to happen after I got a new motherboard, didn’t it? Oh well. Guess I’ll be buying a USB 3.0 PCI-E card.

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