Asus has announced the world’s first dual USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C front panel which provides access to the fastest external transfer rates available. USB 3.1 Type-C operates at a maximum rated speed of 10 Gb/s compared to USB 3.0’s 5 Gb/s. However, to access this bandwidth, your motherboard requires a SATA Express port found on many of the mid-high end z97, or z170 motherboards.
The installation process is extremely simple and involves 3 easy steps. Firstly, feed the UPD panel into your preferred 5.25-inch drive bay and tighten the bundled screws. Next, connect the SATA Express cable to your PC’s motherboard before attaching two Molex power to the front bay. Alternatively, it’s possible to physically remove the PCB and install the card in a PCI-E expansion slot.
There are other advantages to USB 3.1 Type-C such as reversible connectors, tidy cabling and charging power up to 100W. However, to take advantage of this additional power, the device being charged has to support the Power Delivery 2.0 standard. While USB 3.1 is becoming more prevalent, the majority of cases do not support it and this device would be the best method to access 10 Gb/s transfer speeds. The unit has some flexibility as it can be installed in an expansion slot which helps cases without any front bays.