We have seen a lot of gimmicky external hard drives over the years. Some companies have made their external drives able to handle being dropped, while others have made them in crazy colors with lights all over the place. But the one thing they have all had in common is that they were slow as molasses. The great savior to USB 2.0's slow speed was supposed to be eSATA, but the interface and technology never caught on like the industry hoped. eSATA could have been a worthwhile successor to USB 2.0 for storage devices, but USB, like the name implies, is universal and has even broken through to the consumer electronics market. With the high adaption rate, USB has been a huge success and that pretty much meant that eSATA never had a prayer for anything outside of the enthusiast market.
SuperSpeed USB brings a whole host of improvements to the universal serial bus standard. The most prominent has to be higher transfer rates, now up to 4.8 Gbps and full duplex communication. Most users will just think of USB 3.0 simply as being a speed increase, which is fine. Later this month we will have a full report on USB 3.0 and include all of the products available and all of the differences between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0.
A few weeks ago GIGABYTE and ASUS launched their revised P55 motherboards that included SuperSpeed USB and SATA 6Gbps. Ever since then we have been looking to source our first USB 3.0 enclosure. Several companies have TweakTown at the top of their list to send products to, but so far we have only received the Buffalo DriveStation HD-HXU3. One manufacturer did tell us that a key component is in very short supply and that is why there has been such a long delay. Luckily for us GIGABYTE had an extra SuperSpeed DriveStation on hand that they purchased in Japan and sent it over for a full workout on the new GIGABYTE P55A-UD4. A big thinks goes out to the GIGABYTE crew for thinking of TweakTown!