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KwadGuy
Level 2
17 11 0 1
Message 1 of 14
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Getting a USB 3.1 gen 2 (10gbps) PCIe card to work at full speed on either a Z420 or Z440

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I have two Z series workstations I'm trying to use with a PCIe USB card that's rated for USB 3.1 gen 2 (10Gbps).

 

PCIe card: S1-PEX20189 (Iocrest package, based on ASMEDIA chipset). Running the latest ASMedia drivers (from 2016).

 

Z420: Rev 2 (Boot block 2013). E5-1650 v2. K600 video card. Bios settings at defaults.

Z440: E5-1650 v3, K620 video card. Bios settings at defaults.

 

Video card in each setup in slot 2.

 

I've tried slots 3-5 for the Z440 (x4,x8,x16). I've tried slots 3-4 for Z420 (x8,x8)

 

In every case, the card is recognized and drivers are assigned, but I am only getting USB 3.1 (gen 1, 5Gbps) performance (using an external USB NVMe drive in enclosure that has been benchmarked for USB 3.1 gen performance off a recent Macbook).

 

Are there any tricks here? Is this a card issue? If so, is there a card/chipset that is known to work for these systems and give USB 3.1 gen 2 performance?

 

 

13 REPLIES 13
DGroves
Level 11
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Message 2 of 14
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make sure the card is in a PCI-e 3.0 slot and not a pci-e 2.0 slot

 

the usb card has 2 usb ports, which one are your using?

 

the usb cable must also be the correct type, cheap or normal USB 3.0 cables will work, but not at the 3.1 speed

 

https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-USB-IF-Certified-Delivery/dp/B01L0F6AJI

 

last, the attached device must also support usb 3.1 (10 gbps)

 

even with all devices/cables at 3.1 spec the 10GBps speed is a max  possible speed not a guaranteed speed

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BambiBoomZ
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KwadGuy,

 

The advert states that the S1-PEX20189 "Fits x4 PCI-E slots", without specifying whether that means PCIe 2.0 or 3.0.  The other 3.1 G2 cards I've looked at state that they are compatible with 2.0 or 3.0. 

 

On the z420 and z440, the card would be best in Slot 4, if available, which is PCIe 3 x8. It would be possible to use it in the 2nd GPU position, Slot 5, which is PCIe 3 x16 also. In the z440,  the situation is the same, first choice Slot 4, second choice Slot 5, so the problem is not in the location.

 

As the card works, but has low performance, most likely the problem is that the PCIe slot used is not set to the maximum rate. Consider going into BIOS and ( I think) under Advanced > Slot Settings, reset the slot used to the maximum rate. Consider trying other slots set to the maximum rate, test the perofrmance, and that could add flexibility to the configuration possibilities.

 

Let us know what happens.

 

BambiBoomZ

 

 

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KwadGuy
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Howdy:

 

I've tried in both PCIe 2.0 and 3.0 slots, and x4, x8, and x16. It doesn't work at full speed in any of them.

 

I know the cable and drive are good to USB 3.1 gen 2 speeds, because I've used this drive and cable on a MacBook with USB 3.1 gen 2 and get the correct 10Gps speeds. 

 

I've also tried going to the BIOS and changing the speed for the various slot being used from "Auto" to the maximum available. That didn't make any difference.

 

It may be that this card is crap. I dunno.

 

If anyone has used this specific card successfully in a Z420 or Z440, chime in. Or if you have successfully used another brand card successfull (at gen 2 speeds) please chime in on that.

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BambiBoomZ
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Message 5 of 14
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KwadGuy,

 

The S1-PEX20189 may be the problem.  It appears to be a fairly early USB 3.1 Type C design of 2016, the year the specification was adopted.  A couple of users commented that they had discovered that it actually runs at x1, but that and x2  appear to be common; a  particular ASUS card-which had a x4 connection, actually ran at x2. A couple of users of the S1-PEX20189  mentioned that it worked only with some external accessories and not other, problems on Windows 10, and so on.

 

While I don't trust user reviews particularly, as the users that have problems must be several magnitudes more likely to complain, but these cards in general do seem to present problems. I wonder if there can be some level of conflict between the onboard and add-on USB controller?

 

If you're considering trying an laternate card, consider looking into the HP USB 3.1 Type C add-on card:

 

HP SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Gen 2 PCIe x1 Card (P1N75AA)

 

http://www8.hp.com/emea_africa/en/products/oas/product-detail.html?oid=8742935

 

However, the description states, "The HP SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Gen 2 PCIe x1 Card is compatible with HP ProDesk 600 G2 MTW, HP ProDesk 600 G2 SFF, HP EilteDesk 800 G2 TWR and HP EliteDesk 800 G2 SFF", so whether it will work in a z420 or z440 is not certain.

 

Several reviews I've read menton that the cards with a single Type C port work better than those with multiple ports, and from reviews plus being sold out all over, consider the current ASUS USB 3.1 Type C:

 

https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboard-Accessories/USB_31_TYPEC_CARD

 

BambiBoomZ

 

z620_2 > Xeon E5-1680 v2 (8C@4.3GHz) / 64GB / GTX 1070 Ti / HP Z Turbo Drive M.2 256GB + Samsung 970 EVO 500GB M.2 NVMe + HGST 7K6000 4TB > Windows 7 Prof'l 64

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KwadGuy
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Thanks...I may try one of those Asus cards...

 

Almost all of the 3.1 cards out there seem to be based on ASMedia chips. 

 

There are three generations of this chip:

 

ASM 1142

ASM 2142

ASM 3142

 

I wonder if there are any differences in those in terms of compatibility or actually getting 10gbps performance in the Z420/z440? 

Or maybe, as you suggest, the 1 port cards are better...

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KwadGuy
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A followup to my previous issues...

 

I got a PCIe USB 3.1 (gen 2) card based on the ASMedia 2142 chipset, and it works fine at 10Gbps (PCIe v3 x8 slot).

 

The card I got is this, although I am sure others will work. This card is advertised as using the ASMedia 3142 chipset, but the reality is it uses the 2142 chipset. Typical bait and switch from no name China sellers. Still, the card seems to work fine.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/U3102A-PCI-EX2-to-USB3-1-Expansion-Adapter-Card-High-Speed-ASM3142-Chip-for...

 

Model U3102a. 

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DGroves
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please keep in mind that the z420/440  has pci-e 2.0  and 3.0 slots 

 

the pci bus speed is important, because these usb 3.0/3.1 cards will only reach usb 3.1 (gen 2) speeds on a pcie 3.0 bus

 

the system can only xfer data across it's pcie 2.0 bus at half the speed of the 3.0 bus

 

so while these usb 3.0/3.1 cards will work in the z420/z440, the actual data speed will be halved when using a 2.0 slot

 

also, if you use both ports on the card at the same time in either system (z420/z440) it will slow down both ports on the card as the bandwidth is shared between both ports

 

for most people the above speed limitations isn't a real issue, as they rarely use both ports at the same time, or have two high bandwidth devices  attached to the card (like a HD and a USB to Video adapter) so the  usb 3.0/3.1 cards  card will work fine for most people's needs just keep in mind that if used in a pci-e 2.0 based system the speeds will be lower than most sellers advertise since they base their speed claims on a pci-e 3.0 based system

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KwadGuy
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Acutally, the Z420 has several PCIe 3 slots which can run a PCIe 3.1 gen 2 card at full speed, as I noted above:

PCIe slots in the Z420PCIe slots in the Z420

Using the USB 3.1 gen 2 card I referenced above in the PCIe 3 x8 slot, I was able to benchmark an external NVMe drive in an external USB 3.1 gen 2 Sabrent case as follows:


Capture2.PNG

 

Clearly, those are full USB 3.1 gen 2 speeds.

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DGroves
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Message 10 of 14
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thanks for the benchmark,.... i edited my post to make clear that using a 2.0 slot on a system will result in slower card performance. i posted it because the original request header/poster was having speed issues and this is one of the most common reasions why 

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