USB 3.1 puts the pedal to the metal in early speed tests

usb 3 1 puts pedal metal early speed tests usb30port
USB is the most popular connection standard around, but it’s not alone. In recent years alternatives like Thunderbolt have started to gain traction, as well. To head this threat off the USB Implementers Forum is pushing a revision to USB, appropriately known by the public as USB 3.1, which aims to shore up a few of the standard’s weaknesses.

The revision adds a new type of connector, called USB Type-C, which is smaller than the current standard USB connector (called USB Type-A) and is reversible. The goal is to make the port easier to use and more suitable to small devices. While a typical USB jack isn’t huge, it’s looking increasingly large next to laptops that are just fifteen millimeters thin (or thinner).

Related: The USB 3.1 standard is an answer to Thunderbolt

USB 3.1 can also carry up to 100 watts, which means quicker charge times for devices and the ability to power more significant peripherals. In fact, the standard is powerful enough to charge most laptops, which may result in a move away from dedicated power adapters.

Data speeds are the real highlight, however. USB 3.1 can hit up to 10 gigabits per second, which puts it on par with Thunderbolt (but not Thunderbolt 2). The claimed performance has finally been tested in the real world by Anandtech, which had the chance to look at a 3.1 controller on an MSI motherboard.

The results show performance which, in the best-case scenario, is up to 70 percent better than USB 3.0, with maximum read/write speeds approaching 700 megabits per second, more than enough to handle the quickest USB solid state drives.

Related: Samsung T1 portable SSD review

Predictably, the best results come in large file writes or reads, where the increased throughput of the standard has a chance to stretch its legs. The new revision also obliterates USB 2.0, of course, which is over ten times slower in most tests.

It’s clear that USB 3.1 has managed a significant increase over 3.0. What’s less clear is whether it’s too little, too late. While these figures are impressive, they don’t beat Thunderbolt, never mind its even quicker big brother. Still, USB remains the most common standard, and like all previous versions 3.1 will be backwards compatible. That alone will probably be enough to help it gain traction.

Product Review

AKG's signature studio sound goes straight to your head with these stunning cans

With gorgeous looks and great sound, AKG’s N700NC are a formidable entry into the wireless noise-canceling headphone race. We put them to the test to see if they can beat out the absolute best in the business.

Don't take your provider's word for it. Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.
Emerging Tech

Alphabet’s ‘Wing’ delivery drones are on their way to Europe

Google-parent Alphabet is taking its "Wing" drone delivery project to Helsinki in Finland. The move follows 18 months of trials in Australia, and gives the team the chance to test its technology in a harsh winter climate.

Is your PC slow? Here's how to restore Windows 10 to factory settings

Computers rarely work as well after they accumulate files and misconfigure settings. Thankfully, with this guide, you'll be able to restore your PC to its original state by learning how to factory reset Windows.

The Titan RTX graphics card is nearly here. Here's what you need to know

The Nvidia Titan RTX is arguably the most powerful consumer graphics card ever made, even if it's not really aimed at consumers. It bridges the 2080 Ti and RTX Quadro cards with boat loads of power.

Looking for an Apple MacBook below $900? Woot has you covered

If you're looking for a great deal on an Apple MacBook, then Amazon's Woot may just have what you have been seeking. It has Macbooks available for only $810 with Intel M3 CPUs, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSDs.

Leak reveals that Nvidia’s RTX 2060 gaming chipsets will be headed to laptops

The latest leaks of Nvidia's upcoming RTX 2060 have given performance benchmarks and further detail about the future chipset and its capabilities, while a RTX 2060 Max-Q variant has also been discovered for thin and light gaming machines.

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.

New rumors say the Pixelbook 2 could show up at CES 2019

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.

You could spend $1,000 on an iPhone, or buy one of these awesome laptops instead

Finding a decent laptop is easy, but finding one under $1,000 is a bit tricky. Luckily, we've taken some of the guesswork out of picking out a budget laptop. Here are some of our favorites, the best laptops under $1,000.

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.

Here’s how to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…

Supermicro investigation: no spy chips found on our motherboards

Supermicro announced the results of an investigation into the controversy surrounding its motherboards. The investigation was launched in response to reports that alleged the motherboards were compromised with malicious hardware.