A-Byte USB/FireWire Controller ReviewFormer staff writer -
For testing this, I will be comparing transfer speeds on the card with the speeds of the onboard USB. I will also check to see if there is a limit of voltage that the card can supply. I will do this by running 4 high-draw USB devices plugged into the card at the same time. I do not have any Firewire devices, so I will be unable to test the Firewire aspect of this card.
2 x 1 GB Mushkin Redline
Windows XP Pro SP2
I couldn’t really find any software that would test the transfer speeds between devices and I used a Sandisk Cruzer Titanium 512Mb for initial testing. I tested the transfer rate between the two with a 250Mb file, using the built-in Windows drag and drop feature to accomplish this.
I was surprised by the closeness of the tests. I did not have a way to test the burst speeds, but I can safely assume that the burst speeds were nearly identical to the onboard speeds.
Next on the agenda was to test the unit with 4 high draw devices. For this, I chose the Logitech Orbit web camera, Razer Krait mouse, HP DeskJet 9800 Printer and a Coolit USB Beverage Chiller. I ran into no errors with any of these devices when they where all running from the same card, which was a bit of a surprise for me - I thought for sure that these devices would have caused an overload on the card.
Overall, I would say that this card is a solid performer. If you happen to come across one of these cards and you are looking for some extra USB ports, then scoop one of these up (assuming the price is right). From a company that I cannot find much information about, this is defiantly a solid performing card. For additional USB/Firewire ports, you do not need a fancy card - this is just a barebones card that does what it was designed to do, with no extra goodies (apart from the software). I know now that I will be keeping my eyes peeled for other products from A-Byte.
Easy to install
Minimal speed loss