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Thread: Much slower USB 3.0 speeds in Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 7 ??




  1. #1
    G90814 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Much slower USB 3.0 speeds in Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 7 ??

    I have the ASRock x77 Pro3 Motherboard with latest firmware.

    I did a complete wipe/install of Windows 8.1 64bit recently, with all windows updates, and ASRock provided files, including the ASRock XFast USB Utility ver:3.02.31.

    I've installed the latest chipset drivers from Intel.

    My problem:

    USB 3.0 transfer speeds seem to be about 1/2 (or less) of what I could get with Windows 7 when transferring files to/from my external USB 3.0 HDD.

    Currently I can get about 50 MB/s transfer speeds when transferring large amounts of files. I could get 150+ when I was on Windows 7.

    Anyone else having this issue?
    Last edited by G90814; 03-25-2014 at 11:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Much slower USB 3.0 speeds in Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 7 ??

    There are a few potential reasons why your USB speeds are slower with Windows 8.1.

    I don't know if you noticed, but Intel does not provide a USB 3.0 driver for Windows 8 or 8.1, as it did for Win 7. Win 8 and 8.1 use a built in MS USB 3.0 driver, which might perform worse.

    Intel has a USB 3.0 support page, where you can find more information, and troubleshooting support:

    Support for the Intel® USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller Driver

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    G90814 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Much slower USB 3.0 speeds in Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 7 ??

    thanks, I've already seen that page by Intel, none of their recommended solutions work.

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    Default Re: Much slower USB 3.0 speeds in Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 7 ??

    So I tried this myself. This is an Intel X25-M SSD (SATA II) in a USB 3.0 enclosure, on my ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 board with Windows 8.1 (on the right), compared to the same SSD in the same enclosure on Windows 7 (on the left):

    Much slower USB 3.0 speeds in Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 7 ??-win8-1-ssd-usb3-0-comparison-jpg

    A bit of a difference there, or I should say... ya gotta be kidding me!?!?!

    I only ran the sequential test on Win 8.1, but the results are clearly night and day. The sequential results on Win 7 are close to the sequential specs for that older SATA II SSD. I don't recall if I had XFast USB installed at the time, I likely did, I don't on the Win 8.1 PC.

    So time to look into this some more, but it doesn't look good for Win 8.1.

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    G90814 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Much slower USB 3.0 speeds in Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 7 ??

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    A bit of a difference there, or I should say... ya gotta be kidding me!?!?!
    Thanks for doing that, I should do something similar, except I don't have Windows 7 running anymore... silly me I deleted my backup image once I had Win 8.1 up and running, I may just have to fire up Windows 7 again!

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    Default Re: Much slower USB 3.0 speeds in Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 7 ??

    Sure thing, thanks for inspiring me to test this. Just did it again, this time with the USB 3.0 enclosure's extra PSU connected, just in case. Also tried a different USB 3.0 port, which should be the ASMedia USB 3.0 chip this time:

    Much slower USB 3.0 speeds in Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 7 ??-ssd-intel-x25-usb3-0-win-8-1-mbs-ii-3-26-2014-png

    We can't expect great results for the high queue depth tests, since USB3.0 does not has AHCI/NCQ, but the sequential results really tell the story. A bit worse on the ASMedia USB 3.0 ports, which of course is using the MS USB 3.0 driver on Win 8.1.

    I'm not blaming ASRock for this, since we know what the board can do when using Win 7. Is this simply due to the difference in USB 3.0 driver?

    The Intel USB 3.0 troubleshooting info suggested checking that the port was being routed to the "ECHI controller instead of the xHCI controller". I did and it looks like it is using the xHCI controller. Isn't the ECHI controller the USB 2.0 controller? Configuring BIOS options like Intel suggests might change things, although our options are ambiguous, Legacy, etc settings. Worth a try but takes time to check.

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    G90814 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Much slower USB 3.0 speeds in Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 7 ??

    Yes I'd checked all the Intel suggestions, so I had hoped there might be an ASRock solution.

    Looks like the solution is Windows 7, but given that this is the only real issue, I'm ok with 8.1 for now.

    Hopefully they (Microsoft?) can fix this issue, if it's even on their radar.

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    Default Re: Much slower USB 3.0 speeds in Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 7 ??

    Well guess what, I installed XFast USB and ran a benchmark again on the same enclosure and SSD combination, and got this:

    Much slower USB 3.0 speeds in Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 7 ??-ssd-x25-usb3-0-win-8-1-xfast-mbs-3-26-2014-png

    Now I recall how XFast USB works, you must assign it to a USB port and device. The little configuration box appears and tells you to unplug and connect the device again. XFast USB might work on only one USB port at a time, since it changes to a different transfer protocol.

    So, Win 8.1 makes no difference, at least when using XFast USB, given the result I just had.

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