Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
on March 11, 2016
For those without USB3.0 built into your motherboard's chipset, you have three (3) choices for 3rd party USB3.0 chips: Renesas/NEC, Asmedia, and VIA. I've had poor experiences with Renesas and Asmedia, which is the reason I chose this card (VIA VL805) in the hopes it would be better. Unfortunately its compatibility, performance, and driver quality turned out to be roughly the same as the other two chipmakers, which is to say, not good.
- Works with 80-90% of USB3.0 devices
- Auxiliary power is nice, and internal header connected and functioned without issue
- Somewhat inexpensive (compared to gambling at the boat)
- It didn't cause my PC to burst into flames
- Rear plate has two tangs which protrude downward and need to be physically straightened (either with a vice or a pair of pliers) in order for the card to sit flush and allow full insertion in the vast majority of systems
- Doesn't work with about 10-20% of USB3.0 devices (Disclosure: small sample size)
- When it does work, speeds are inconsistent and poor (generally falling below 50MB/s with large sustained transfers)
- Driver quality (latest v4.90a, Win7-64) is exceptionally bad -- During card use, my system experienced 100% CPU usage on 1 core (i5 2500k), and an overall slowdown of the storage subsystem
Performance: D- (technically faster than actual USB2.0 speeds, but not by much)
Device Compatibility: D-
Product Design: F (requiring physical modification is unacceptable)
Driver Quality: F
OVERALL VALUE: F
My general impression is that the drivers are likely to blame for the performance problems (note their general negative impact on the whole system), and possibly some of the device incompatibilities as well. In the end, the overall negative impression was such that I decided I didn't fully trust the integrity of any data transferred via this card, and at that point it was of no use to me.
Note: The fact that this card is so highly reviewed makes me want to question every rating on Amazon. Are people really setting the bar that low? Do they not know what it's performance should be, or notice its negative impact on their system? Maybe I should've tried some of the older driver revisions.