Not everyone is lucky enough to have a brand new motherboard with integrated USB 3.0 ports; yet, many want to take advantage of the theoretical tenfold increase in speed the new copper interface has to offer. For this burgeoning market many manufacturers have started to offer small add-on cards which can upgrade an existing rig to USB 3.0.
Sadly, not all of these add-on cards are created equal as there seems to be two separate and distinct types: PCI Express x1 and PCI Express x4. The latter seem to be the better choice if the ASUS U3S6 is any indication. This particular board packs in not only two USB 3.0 ports, but also a pair of SATA 6GB/s ports. It’s a killer combination with one caveat – the U3S6 isn’t an optimal solution unless your existing motherboard is on the extremely short ASUS approved motherboard list. If you disable the SATA 6, the USB 3.0 ports will most definitely work, and you can expect speed up to 245MB/s with a USB 3.0 SSD. For under $30, it’s a price that is hard to beat.