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Thread: IO Level Up

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    IO Level Up

    First of all I will tell you what I did before getting to my main question

    I bought a new USB stick, wanted to get the Corsair Flash Voyager GTR, which got good reviews, and is one of the fastest USB 2.0 sticks on the market at the moment, but reading further at some comments, it seemed to have a problem concerning its durability, a lot of them refusing to work after some weeks. It seems to be a major problem, and Corsair knows about that. The 32GB which I wanted to buy is 80.

    Then I noticed that the USB 3.0 sticks are only slightly more expensive. So after long researches I checked out the Kingston Data Traveler Ultimate, which costs 100, is as fast as the Corsair in USB 2.0 mode, and of cause supports the faster USB 3.0. After reading again reviews about it, every site I read the reviews, gave it a golden or silver award, making it one of the best sticks on the market. So I bought it.

    As my 2 USB 3.0 connectors are only on the back of my PC tower which stands on the floor, I also bought a USB 3.0 extension cable, which I will then put on my desk.

    Here's a picture of the USB stick:


    I was also tired of buying all the time external HDD, I still have some many, and they are taking up some space on my desk. I then saw in a magazine that there was now a new HDD dockingstation from Icy Box (Raidsonic), which supports also USB 3.0. I have a dockingstation from Sharkoon already, which supports SATA, IDE and both 2.5" and 3.5" disks. Checking these out, I saw that they have a lot of stuff from Icy Box, and they had a quite nice HDD enclosure, a vrey new one, also being USB 3.0. It was only 40, so only slightly more expensive than the dockingstation. So I bought one like that too. I think it's nicer to be able to open the enclosure, put the "internal" disk in you need, than having multiple external disks. First of all, internal disks are still cheaper, you can buy whatever brand you like, and you just store them in a drawer and take them out when you need.

    Here's pictures of the Icy Box:


    But now comes my question (finally):

    I can enable IO Level Up on my motherboard, which enhances the speed of USB 3.0 and SATA III, although it reduces PCIe bandwidth from 16x to 8x. When I boot my PC, it shows me IO Level Up [disabled], and some sentence saying to hit the IO Level Up button to enable it. Don't know which button or key it means, so I don't know how to enable it. Do I find it in the BIOS? Does someone know how to enable the IO Level Up? Internet didn't get me any help.

  2. #2
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    I'm not sure what the "button" would be for this. However I will say that it is currently a useless feature unless you were using SSD (Solidstate HDDs). This is because no HDD can transfer data at even USB2 or SATAII speeds, let alone USB3 and SATAIII speeds. About the best you will get out of any HDD at the moment is about 150Mbps. The only drives that can currently exceed these speeds are the very expensive SSD soldstate drives just on the market, but you would find it hard to notice the difference via SATAIII even with then. Equally I doubt you would notice much difference between a USB flash drive at USB2 or USB3 speeds.

    Equally you won't notice any difference in graphics performance for general use by dropping the PCI-E to 8x by enabling this. However for games it might cause a performance drop.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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    You can clearly see in the tests they do on every site for this USB stick that USB 3.0 is about 3 times faster than using the same stick in USB 2.0 mode, so I think that there is a difference in the performance.

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    USB sticks are soldstate memory so yes, there will benefit if they are using fast enough ram.

    Above I was talking about the HDDs connected via external USB3 enclosure or internal SATAIII. Those won't see any transfer speed improvement because the limiting factor is the hdd mechanism speed itself. So at the moment I don't see any benefit in buying USB3 HDD enclosures.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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    I bought it because I wanted an enclosure that I can put on the desk and open to swap disks easily. And as the USB 3.0 version was only 10€ more expensive than the 2.0 one, I chose that one, that was the main reason.

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    It definitely looks like a useful enclosure. And if later you do get some faster SATAIII HDDs (once they exist) then you will be ready to use them.

    BTW, I thought you were getting rid of using external HDDs? Now that you have loads of 2TB drives internally?

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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    I thought that too, but already one disk is almost full with bigger sets. One is for use with uTorrent (sets that I always update), and another one is a backup of that. A 4th one is a backup now of my emulation PC, and the last one holds the system plus all the games, software, movies etc. It also holds now my PS3 games, I already have downloaded 60 games, which take over 500GB, so I already have an external backup of these games, don't want to download the whole lot again. And this disk I will use as external on the PS3 to launch the games.

    You know exactly how it is, the more space you have, the more you fill them with "useless" stuff

    I want at least to get rid of having several external disks lying around on my desk, so I thought that this enclosure would be the perfect solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Demon Cleaner View Post
    You know exactly how it is, the more space you have, the more you fill them with "useless" stuff
    Oh so true! You build a new setup with a lot more space. All free and looking huge in capacity. But then a few weeks later you wonder where it all went and are back to where you were before. It's the old "running out of HDD space" topic again!

    Have you considered building a second cheap PC with a lot of 2TB drives in it and use it like NAS storage to backup the main PC HDDs over gigabit ethernet? That would remove any external or destop drives/enclosures and the second PC could be hidden anywhere connected to the network. And it wouldn't need to be a very powerful PC. Just one with enough SATA ports. Even built in graphics would be find... You could even run it "headless" via remote access from the main PC. An older Intel 775 motherboard, an E5200 and 2GB ram would be perfect. Could built something like that for around 150 including case. Just the HDDs would add more to the price.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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    Already thought about that, but wouldn't I need f.ex. an expensive RAID card to make it at least a bit more secure?

    At the moment I only have one other PC, my emulation PC, which is connected to the network, as you know I do the file sharing between them. All the files I need I can access from there, so I don't actually need a NAS. And in my main PC I have 9 slots for 3.5" disks, so there is not really any need to buy another external case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harrison
    Above I was talking about the HDDs connected via external USB3 enclosure or internal SATAIII. Those won't see any transfer speed improvement because the limiting factor is the hdd mechanism speed itself. So at the moment I don't see any benefit in buying USB3 HDD enclosures.
    SATA II is faster than USB 2.0, and USB 3.0 is faster than USB 2.0, so there will actually be an increase of speed, perhaps not the full SATA II speed, but at least the full USB 3.0 speed, if I think correctly.

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    The USB3 or SATAIII interfaces might be faster, but they can only move the data as fast as the physical HDD mechanism will allow.

    USB3 for example has a maximum theoretical limit of 3.2 Gbps (400MB/s) but for example a Samsung F1 7200RPM HDD has a maximum transfer rate of about 116 MB/s, and an average sustained read speed of 94MB/s. But with overhead this reduces further to more like 70MB/s over USB3. Compared to the same drive on SATA it would achieve full 94MB/s sustained transfer speed.

    SATAIII and USB3 won't really come into their own for a while yet, when true SATAIII drives get released. I'm not sure how they can make the sustained transfer speed faster for spinning HDDs as the moving parts can only move so fast. However, for solidstate drives, they are already showing SATAIII advantages with over 300MB/s rates possible. SSD HDD's are a bit too limited in drive size at the moment, but I'm sure that will change fairly quickly.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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