With the introduction of USB 3.1 as the next generation in external storage connectivity, many vendors are gearing up solutions with the latest ASMedia controllers. One of these vendors is Vantec and as we are sure to see a plethora of enclosures in the near future, we first must start with the host device, the UGT-PC370A.
The PC370A is the model of the latest USB 3.1 PCIe add-on solution to come from Vantec. This solution features two Type-A USB 3.1 ports in a full height PCIe card. Like many products on the market, the Vantec solution can take power from the PCIe slot up to 500ma, while devices over the power limit of the slot will need to make use of the on-board 15 pin SATA power connection on the card. Operating system support includes Windows 7, 8 and 8.1, along with Linux Kernel 3.13 and above.
MSRP of the Vantec UGT-PC370A is listed at $34.99 with a one-year warranty.
Packaging for the PC370A includes an image of the card on the front with marketing information both to the right and left at the bottom.
Scope of delivery for the Vantec includes the card, driver disc, and installation guide.
Looking at the card, we find the ports are colored slightly lighter than we found with the Addonics solution, again we have the full height bracket installed.
The PCB of the Vantec solution carries both a SATA power and floppy power connection. At the bottom, we have a PCIe x4 connection that is sure to give the bandwidth needed and in the middle of all of it is the ASMedia 1142 controller.
Our first test to be completed was to test the performance of our onboard solution as a comparison. As you can see, in using the ADATA SE730, we reached 545 MB/s read and 458 MB/s write.
Switching over to the Vantec PCIe card, we netted nearly identical results with read at 546 MB/s and write at 458 MB/s.
The Vantec PC370A is a solid card for those that want to take the jump to USB 3.1 without upgrading their motherboard. The build quality seemed to be on par with expectations with a solid PCB as a base then adding on the latest ASMedia controller for the best in performance. We did have a few issues with the driver's disc that was included not launching, but that was quickly remedied by downloading the latest driver from the internet.
Performance was on par with previous solutions we have seen, again only being able to use the ADATA SE730 we haven't seen the true potential of USB 3.1 to this point. With that said, the Vantec solution was able to give us 545 MB/s read and 458 MB/s write, which is much quicker than anything we have seen from USB 3.0. As far as pricing is concerned, the Vantec PC370A carries an MSRP of $34.99 which puts it five dollars more expensive than the Addonics solution we tested, but five dollars cheaper than the ASUS solution.
|Quality including Design and Build||82%|
|Bundle and Packaging||78%|
|Value for Money||70%|
The Bottom Line: Vantec's UGT-PC370A is a good solution if you want a quick upgrade to USB 3.1, but if you look around, there are better products for less money on the market now.
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