EXCLUSIVE: USB3 is confirmed on Microserver G8

USB3-Logo

After today’s earlier leak regarding the specifications of of the upcoming HP Microserver G8 range, one question was asked.

“Does it have any USB 3.0 ports?”

The leaked specs only confirmed 7 USB ports, but did not specify if they were USB2 or USB3, or a mix of the two.

Now USB3 is very important in the Microserver realm. Many organisations would use these as a backup host, and then copy a backup off it to a USB disk. Home users can also use USB3 disks for relatively quick expansion of software RAID, or push USB disks through a hypervisor and present them to a VM, possibly for running a torrent storage drive rather than on the Machine-local RAID array.

The issue with USB 2.0 is transfer speed, namely that it lacks enough of it. To copy 3TB of backup archives to an external drive over USB2 can take 8-10 hours or more as you can only maintain around a 20-25MB/sec transfer rate. USB3 takes that to under 3 hours and can maintain well over 65MB/sec copy speeds.

So yes, after poking around the interwebs and receiving information from a trusted source familiar with the upcoming Microserver models, I can indeed confirm the following USB port configuration.

  • FRONT: Two USB 2.0 ports.
  • REAR: Four USB 3.0 ports.
  • INTERNAL: One USB 2.0 port.

The USB 3.0 ports will be provided by an NEC/Renesas chip, widely known for it’s compatibility with USB 3.0 devices. The Intel ‘Cougar Point’ C204 chipset in the Microserver G8 does not support USB 3.0, so it requires an add-on chip on the motherboard.

I can also confirm that the units will not be bootable from the USB 3.0 ports either. But we think when most people were only hoping for 2 USB 3.0 ports, to be getting four is a massive bonus. I’m sure lots of people out in the Microserver universe will be happy to know that USB 3.0 is definitely in.

4 comments for “EXCLUSIVE: USB3 is confirmed on Microserver G8

  1. Tim Dunkley
    June 4, 2013 at 12:09

    3Gb @ 20Mbit/s only takes 30mins & thats with a 50% overhead

    • Monsta
      June 4, 2013 at 12:40

      Meant to be 3TB. Edited original article.

  2. Michael Nitsche
    July 22, 2013 at 19:46

    Sure it has REALLY 4 USB 3.0 Ports on rear… ???
    Did you tested this with installed OS ?

    1) in original final Doku PDF from HP there’s only 2 Ports with USB 3.0
    2) only the 2 ports on the right side have the SS (SuperSpeed) Logo
    3) a NEC/ Renesas Chip can only handle 2 x USB 3.0 Ports
    When the G8 has really 4x USB 3.0 Ports it must have 2 of the NEC Chips onboard
    – Or – HP is using another Chipsset who can handle 4 Ports (like the VIA VL800)
    4) Some final Pictures of the Server Backside showing left 2 USB Ports with Black and not Blue Ports (Blue is the optical indicator for USB 3.0)

    • Monsta
      July 22, 2013 at 22:42

      The post was based on the Beta units that HP sent out and I had a number of leaks from beta testers. The beta units did indeed sport 2x front and 2x rear USB 3.0 ports.

      The final model lost the ports on the front, as beta/development units often has different physical specifications. That was also covered in later posts.

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