Although the SuperSpeed 3.0 standard brought file transfer speeds to an impressive level, there are those who still want more from their external storage devices, so ASRock developed a nifty little software utility which is able to speed up USB 3.0 as well as USB 2.0 drives, dubbed XFast.The tool comes bundled together with a wide series of ASRock motherboards and is compatible with almost all of the boards that the company ships at the moment, including some low-power Atom, Brazos and VIA platforms.
Once installed, the Turbo mode has to be activated in order to unlock higher USB transfer rates.
According to the OCWorkbench website, which did a quick test of the technology using a Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 external storage drive and an ASRock H67M-GE/HT board with an EtronTech USB 3.0 controller, the XFast tool can speed up USB 3.0 by a considerable amount.
For example, the SiSoft Sandra 2011 Disk Performance benchmark showed that, once the Turbo mode is activated, Kingston's drive can reach a transfer speed of 241MB/s, compared to the 148MB/s recorded previously.
Other tests have confirmed these findings, PCMark vantage getting a 4000 point boost in the enclosed HDD benchmark.
Although OCWorkbench didn't test USB 2.0 performance with XFast enabled, ASRock states that the tool can increase the speed of devices connected using such ports by nearly 400%.
The motherboard maker's website contains some benchmarks that show the boost, in each of these tests ATTO Disk Benchmark showing a tremendous speed increase.
The highest improvement is achieved when 4K reads are involved, the XFast Turbo-enabled motherboard reaching 40665 KB/s while the non-XFast board is limited at 8192 KB/s.
No details regarding the inner workings of the application works were provided by ASRock.
The XFast tool is available for download from ASRock's website, the company also providing a list with the compatible motherboards.