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MSI adds USB 3.1 to 12 motherboards

MicroStar International (MSI) on Friday said that it is adding USB 3.1 technology to 12 of its mainboards based on various core-logic sets and designed for different microprocessors. While all new USB 3.1-enabled motherboards from MSI will support 10Gb/s transfer rates, only two of them will sport reversible USB 3.1 type-C connector.

MSI uses the Asmedia ASM1352R controller, which utilizes two PCI Express 2.0 lanes with up to 10Gb/s transfer rate, to enable USB 3.1 ports on its motherboards. Since no core-logic currently supports USB 3.1 natively, manufacturers of mainboards have to use external chips from various designers to build platforms with the new interconnection technology. Unlike other makers of mainboards, MSI installed USB 3.1 receptacles and controllers directly on its motherboards, which is a very cost-effective way to enable the technology.


MSI’s mainboards featuring USB 3.1 type-A connectors are all marked with appropriate logotypes. At present the family of USB 3.1-supporting platforms from MSI looks as follows:

  • Intel Z97: Z97A Gaming 9 ACK, Z97A Gaming 7, Z97A Gaming 6 (supports USB 3.1 type-C connector);
  • Intel X99: X99A Gaming 9 ACK, X99A Gaming 7, X99A Xpower AC, X99A Mpower, X99A SLI Krait Edition, X99A SLI Plus X99A Raider;
  • AMD: 990FXA Gaming and 970A SLI Krait Edition.

Check out KitGuru’s hands-on preview of MSI’s implementation of USB 3.1 HERE.


For an unknown reason, MSI decided to install the all-new reversible USB 3.1 type-C receptacle only on its Z97A Gaming 6 mainboard. All other motherboards in MSI’s lineup of USB 3.1-enabled platforms use traditional type-A ports. The decision not to use USB type-C is regrettable. Google believes that many smartphones and even netbooks will feature USB type-C receptacles in the near future, which will catalyze makers of memory sticks and other peripherals to release loads of products with appropriate connectors.


The family of USB 3.1-supporting mainboards from MSI is the industry’s most comprehensive lineup of platforms featuring the new interconnection technology, which contains motherboards for different processors, including Intel’s chips in LGA1150 and LGA2011-3 form-factors as well as AMD’s processors in AM3+ form-factors.

Prices of MSI’s USB 3.1-supporting platforms are unknown, but do not expect huge increases compared to existing solutions.

Discuss on our Facebook page, HERE.

KitGuru Says: It is nice to see that MSI offers twelve USB 3.1-supporting mainboards. Unfortunately, the company decided not to use the new USB type-C port. Moreover, it is evident that the company currently considers USB 3.1 as a solution for high-end market, which is why it decided not to install new controllers on motherboards for mainstream market. Since other manufacturers of platforms do the same, it will take some time before USB 3.1 becomes a mainstream tech.

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