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USB-C and USB 4.0?

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Tank Geek

May 17, 2012
I am curious about USB 4.0. This article says it will be rolling out on laptops in at the latest, 2021. I have heard nothing about this. And in fact I have a newer laptop that has no 4.0 ports.

Any thoughts?

USB 4 is already available on higher series motherboards and mobile devices. Many mini PCs have it for some time already.
The main problem is that most motherboards have it "combined" with Thunderbolt 4. While TB4 works at full speed, USB4 often uses only half of the maximum transfer. AMD-based mobile computers and mini PCs have it usually at full speed.
If I'm right, then so far there is only one USB4 SSD in stores - ADATA SE920. I had a hard time finding a motherboard/PC that supports max speed on this SSD. Many, even the most expensive motherboards support 20Gbps (so the same as USB 3.2 g2 x2). NUC and motherboards based on Intel chipsets with TB4 support, run USB4 on TB4 ports at a lowered maximum write (~3.2GB/s instead of ~3.7-3.8GB/s). This is also assuming that USB4 is specified for 40Gbps. AMD motherboards or mini PCs run it at up to 3.8GB/s both ways.

Since the first USB 4 devices were released in the last few months, then barely anyone wanted to include this standard in earlier computers. Even if the chipset or external controllers were supporting USB4, then ports were not installed on motherboards. On laptops, there are fewer PCIe lanes, so manufacturers faster use them for multiple other devices, than a single USB4. Sometimes there is one full-speed USB4 port with DP functionality and the second one, which is for charging and works as a lower-speed USB-C. Usually, it's 2x USB 3.2 Gen2 x1/x2 with DP and charging support.
Yeah... been out for quite a while now, at least for desktops. It'll make its way to more laptops. Mine (an hp omen from 2022) has 3.2 Gen2 (10 gbps), so not even 2x2.
New Intel laptops at least have Thunderbolt 4, so can use USB4 devices and will at least make 20Gbps. AMD laptops usually don't have TB and have limited USB speed on most (if not all) ports to 5/10Gbps.

I mentioned it in some other posts, but so far, the fastest USB4 ports (and 2 of them) I found on the Minisforum EM680 mini PC. It's 80x80x43mm, Ryzen 6800u (so not even the latest one) mini PC, and they still could install 2x USB4 at full speed - the tested speed with ADATA SE920 SSD was 3.8GB/s read and 3.7GB/s write. Good luck finding a laptop with USB4 at a reasonable price.

Another thing is that to run storage at full speed, it's required to set some options manually in the devices manager (caching and some more). If you simply connect it to the USB port, then the bandwidth is ~2.5GB/s read and ~300MB/s write. For most users, I can't see any advantage over USB 3.2 2x2, which works without any manual settings at 2/2 GB/s. This is just my experience with the only available USB4 SSD. I hope other brands will fix it as I can't imagine manually changing options in the devices manager each time I connect a mobile storage.