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Gigabyte has the POW-ERRR! Via USB.

Gigabyte has the POW-ERRR! Via USB.

Gigabyte's 1x-2x-3x-USBPOWER!-HOOOO! Click to embiggen.

Gigabyte has the power of Greyskull USB, as it recently demonstrated the usefulness of triple-AMP'd USB ports - both USB 2 and 3 - as well as specific pin-outs that will enable you to charge your phone, iPod or flash new iPad even while your PC is asleep.

The iPad is particularly tricky to power because it can draw more than the 500mA of power standard USB 2 ports provide - which means that even when plugged into a PC, when the iPad is switched on, it may not actually be charging.

With recent its motherboards (listed here) Gigabyte has increased the power of its USB ports three fold to over 9000! 1500mA for USB 2 and 2700mA for USB 3.

In addition, the special red USB pin-out for new boards provide the hyped-up power to the front USB ports of your case, and enable charging while the PC is off.

There are some limitations though; only three devices can be charged at once and for some phones the PC needs to be on while the initial connection is made, but will keep charging after it's been turned off. Gigabyte was also keen to point out that the quality of PSU and PC cabling makes a huge difference - while it's beefed up the copper traces between the 5V standby from the ATX socket and the USB ports on the board, the PSU's capacity to provide enough amps without dropping voltage is critical for this setup to work.

In addition, for those who want to use the front USB ports for higher powered devices, be wary that many cases use cheaper aluminium wiring, not copper, which has a higher resistance and causes voltage drops.

Gigabyte has the POW-ERRR! Via USB. Gigabyte has the POW-ERRR! In its USB.
Click to enlarge

Gigabyte told us it has also improved its motherboard design since the introduction of USB 3 on its boards late last year by including a single power fuse on each individual USB port, rather than one per pair as is more common. Apparently despite the 2x cost increase, this investment is absorbed by Gigabyte because it ultimately lowers RMA rates, and improves long term profitability.

Since its introduction three years ago, this strategy that has apparently suited the company very well as it stated to bit-tech that its RMA rate is "half the industry average" of a single-digit percentage (we're unable to be more accurate than that, unfortunately).

Gigabyte has the POW-ERRR! Via USB. Gigabyte has the POW-ERRR! In its USB.
Click to enlarge

More power to the people USB is ultimately a good thing - faster charging of peripherals is always useful, and not having to use a second connector to power a portable 2.5in hard disk is certainly preferable. The technology will be included in all future mainstream and upward motherboard releases - including the upcoming mini-ITX H55 motherboard, where the lack of internal storage and expansion slots should suit it perfectly in our opinion.

Do you care about high powered USB ports? Let us know in the forums.

25 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Elledan 28th April 2010, 12:03 Quote
It's nice to see USB catching up somewhat with Firewire in the available power department :)

Still not sure about having USB as some kind of universal charging connector, though.
wuyanxu 28th April 2010, 12:05 Quote
how does the shut-off power thing work? would PSU be still turned on?
capnPedro 28th April 2010, 12:10 Quote
Dumb dumb dumb. They're messing with the specs and it's only going to end in tears. You know Chinese knockoff manufacturers won't implement things properly and stuff's going to get burnt out.

The USB 3 spec should have just been designed with 2.5A as the maximum power it can supply. Then all these high draw appliances should either charge through a USB 3 port or flash a message saying it can't charge (i.e. for backwards compatability with USB 2) and have to be plugged in with a nice standardised barrel jack. We'd all upgrade to USB 3 sooner than the 2 bloody years it's going to take for rollout and everyone would be happy.

Stupid manufacturers each with proprietary versions of "standard" connectors.. ****ing arseholes... I need to go for a walk.
proxess 28th April 2010, 12:15 Quote
Why do you keep scratching things out writing awesome articles?
xalek 28th April 2010, 12:18 Quote
Errm... "With recent its motherboards" should read "With its recent motherboards"...
l3v1ck 28th April 2010, 12:56 Quote
With the boost in power that USB3 gives us, can we expect to see any 3.5" external drives that don't require a power brick any time soon? The current 2.5" USB powered ones are okay, but they just don't have the capacity I need.
rickysio 28th April 2010, 13:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elledan
It's nice to see USB catching up somewhat with Firewire in the available power department :)

Still not sure about having USB as some kind of universal charging connector, though.

You don't have to be sure - the industry has already decided for you.
Elledan 28th April 2010, 13:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio
You don't have to be sure - the industry has already decided for you.

I meant more from a practical standpoint. Look at the iPad requiring a non-standard 'USB' port for charging as an example. Devices like that depend on non-standard implementations of USB host ports. Combined with announcements like the one referred to in this topic, it makes me fear that USB may soon stop to be the 'universal serial bus' it once was.

Of course, the iPad and such suck for not being able to trickle-charge from standard USB ports.
GoodBytes 28th April 2010, 13:54 Quote
Best article ever! :D
nicae 28th April 2010, 14:33 Quote
I wonder if the power of greyskull on these USB ports is more likely to burn an improperly removed pendrive.
As far as I'm concerned, more power to the people is never good. :P
tad2008 28th April 2010, 15:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
how does the shut-off power thing work? would PSU be still turned on?

All the time the PC is plugged in to the mains and has power going to it the PSU it technically always on. When you press the power button on your case this creates a connection on your motherboard that tells it to power up.
wuyanxu 28th April 2010, 16:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tad2008
All the time the PC is plugged in to the mains and has power going to it the PSU it technically always on. When you press the power button on your case this creates a connection on your motherboard that tells it to power up.
cheers, lol.

but im asking since if you have 2 USB3 devices connected each drawing 2.7A of power, that's way over the 5Vstb current spec on most power supplies. that means the PSU will has to be fully operational for 5v rail to be able to deliver power.

i agree with most comments here, out of spec hardware should not exist. especially considering USB 2.0 shouldn't provide 500mA on plugging in, the hardware has to ask for it, otherwise it's only 150mA.
thehippoz 28th April 2010, 17:07 Quote
that's just the standby voltage though.. would mean you can't use wake on usb devices

edit- well actually you could.. the devices won't be pulling much of anything at idle
PingCrosby 28th April 2010, 17:55 Quote
Is the USB next door to the the USA?
Azayles 28th April 2010, 18:00 Quote
Years ago I started a computer project which saw a mini-ITX board, screen, keyboard and trackpad mouse squeezed into an aluminium flight case. I designed the USB ports so that power was supplied directly from a separate PSU, therefore allowing several amps of current to power things like custom computer interfaces etc. I could also programatically switch off power to certain ports, as well as keep the power live when the rest of the computer was shut down.
This idea from Gigabyte is pretty much the same (more power, and power present when machine switched off) so it's not really a new idea at all. I'm sure there's been countless people before me that've wired a higher current power source directly to their USB ports for charging and powering things.
MSHunter 28th April 2010, 18:32 Quote
^+1 rep for pro modding
TWeaK 28th April 2010, 20:33 Quote
More pics that can enlarge pleasethankyou!!

Gigabyte are definitely my mobo manufacturer of choice atm.
eternum 28th April 2010, 20:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PingCrosby
Is the USB next door to the the USA?

I lol'd - I shouldn't have, but I did!
FreQ 29th April 2010, 00:45 Quote
Quote:
Gigabyte has increased the power of its USB ports three fold to over 9000!

What 9000!?! :D
Yslen 29th April 2010, 03:27 Quote
Ah the references. I feel at home here.
Mr T 29th April 2010, 12:57 Quote
On a side note how many GFX cards are in that motherboard?
Cyberpower-UK 29th April 2010, 14:17 Quote
Nice to see GigaByte Unleash The Power of their USB ports.
Cupboard 29th April 2010, 18:09 Quote
Standards exist for a reason...

if things need more power, use two sockets or something else for charging, it isn't hard.

Ports that stay on with the computer off on the other hand, very useful.
Bindibadgi 30th April 2010, 03:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr T
On a side note how many GFX cards are in that motherboard?

That's £2000 worth of quadfire.
Farfalho 3rd May 2010, 13:50 Quote
Now you can die happily, in an article you have made reference to 3 different things. You had to do it, didn't you?

The over 9000 part got me by surprise =P

Well, let's see if the others manufacturers catch up on this, if so then we can power our car someday xD

Seriously though, it had to be because of the iPad nonsense... I already charge my phone via usb when I want to and it's all I need.
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