MSI recently launched its Z790 MAX motherboards which come with its latest USB4 Add-In-Card which offers impressive transfer speeds.
MSI’s USB4 Add-In-Card Offers Surprisingly Fast Transfer Speeds, Exceeds Thunderbolt 4 Performance
The USB4 standard was introduced in 2019 and is compatible with USB3, TB3, & TB4 specifications. The interface is seen commonly on the I/O ports of various PC Motherboards, laptops, and devices such as handheld gaming PCs, portable storage devices, etc. Another usability of USB4 comes with AIC or add-in cards. These cards can be equipped to your PC on a PCIe connector to offer extra IO connectivity.
MSI decided to ship its latest USB4 AIC based on the ASMedia ASM424X controller series with its Z790 MAX series motherboards. The AIC isn’t sold separately and ships with the MSI MPG Z790 CARBON MAX WIFI which is a $479.99 US product so quite high-end based on the pricing alone.
The USB4 Add-In-Card offers two USB 4.0 Type-C ports, two DP 1.4 ports, offers up to 40 Gbps transfer speeds, & even supports 100W power charging. It comes with a single 6-pin auxiliary power power for the 100WPD. The card features a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface and it should also be mentioned that Thunderbolt 4 supports a 3.0 x4 interface.
‘In performance tests, the MSI PD100W USB4 AIC was tested on the MSI MPG Z790 Carbon MAX WIFI motherboard with a Samsung 980 M.2 SSD running inside an external enclosure using the ASM2464PD and delivered up to 3745 MB/s transfer reads over the same USB4 Add-In-Card.
The card also delivered some widely exceptional results in Benchlife’s testing which you can check out here. They were also able to crack over 3700 MB/s transfer speeds (~29 Gbps) which is a lot faster than the peak 3000 MB/s or so (~24 Gbps) you can achieve with Thunderbolt 4 interfaces.
MSI USB4 Add-In-Card Performance Benchmarks (Image Source: Benchlife):
Now there are several USB4 enclosures out in the market at the moment but not a whole lot of expansion cards. MSI was the first to unveil and offer a USB4 AIC with its Z790 motherboard and we hope to see it available as a standalone option too as many PCs that lack USB4 functionality can take advantage of these.