33 Haswell motherboard group test: 26x Z87, 4x H87 and 3x B85

ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, Intel and MSI duke it out


The USB issue: definitely there

Since we're discussing Haswell motherboards we can't neglect to mention the USB issue we reported on back in early March. The current 8 series chipsets, C1, has a bug in its integrated USB 3.0 controller. Connected USB 3.0 devices based on one or more controllers - it's unclear exactly which one - will briefly disconnect and reconnect when a PC wakes up from standby (S3).

This can pose a problem if you had a file open that's located on a USB 3.0 storage device, the software will tell you that the file cannot be found after your computer comes out of standby mode.

Intel sees the problem as annoying but not a deal-breaker, and we tend to agree. We're able to reproduce the problem, but can't really think of many scenarios in which it will be huge problem. All you have to do is to open the file again, that's it. No data will be lost due to this bug.

We tested 22 USB 3.0 memory sticks, USB 3.0 external hard disks and USB 3.0 external SSDs. 14 out of the 22 devices exhibited the issue described, and with 8 out of the 22 there was no temporary disconnection.

Adata S102 Pro Superior Series 32GB OK
Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth 32GB OK
Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth 64GB ERROR
Corsair Flash Voyager GT Short 32GB (USB 3.0) OK
Corsair Flash Voyager GT Speed 32GB OK
Corsair Flash Voyager Slider 32GB ERROR
Corsair Flash Voyager Slider 64GB ERROR
Freecom Hard Drive Quattro 3.0 1TB USB 3.0 OK
Icidu Rubber Drive 32GB (USB 3.0) ERROR
Icidu Slider Fast Flash Drive 32GB ERROR
Icidu Slider Fast Flash Drive 64GB ERROR
iomega Prestige 500GB USB 3.0 ERROR
Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 64GB ERROR
Philips USB Flash Drive Snow Edition 64GB OK
Sandisk Cruzer Extreme 32GB ERROR
takeMS MEM-Drive Easy III 64GB ERROR
Team TP1023 Rico 640GB USB 3.0 OK
Team X101 USB 3.0 32GB ERROR
Verbatim Store'n'Go V3 32GB ERROR
Verbatim Store'n'Go V3 64GB ERROR
WD My Passport Ultra 500GB USB 3.0 OK

If you want to be sure that you buy a motherboard without that issue, you will have to wait. Intel has indicated that, starting end July, a new version of the chipset, C2, will be supplied to the motherboard manufacturers. Then the motherboards have to be produced and shipped, and retailers will of course first sell their existing stock.

You can't tell by the exterior whether a board is C1 or C2. The manufacturers are also of the opinion that it's insignificant and we haven't heard any plans that it will be mentioned specifically on the box which version it is. Once you've bought a board, you can find out which one you have with CPU-Z. Under the tab Mainboard you can see the revision of the chipset. Revision 4 is C1, and the improved C2 stepping will be called revision 5.

Chipset revision 04 is C1 with USB 3.0 bug. Revision 05 is C2 without bug.

Also read these motherboard articles on Hardware.Info

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