usb11 thumb1 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

Hey it’s Friday, I’m sure most of you are happy about that, but not me as we got hit with more snow overnight a few inches but enough to close the schools and since it’s below freezing the roads are all iced over under the snow. I’ve got an all wheel drive 2009 Subaru Forester but that doesn’t mean much when it comes to stopping, it doesn’t matter how many wheel drive you’ve got on ice… I’m sick of this snow already, I can’t wait for spring to get here.

Today for review I’ve got the Unitek 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card supplied by BrandoUSB. I took a look at one last week, it was a no-name or generic card and the speeds were decent, or at least they seemed that way as I didn’t have anything to compare it to. In this review today I’ll be comparing that no-name brand to the Unitek one I have today to see if there’s any difference between a name brand card and a generic one.


The packaging for the card is our favorite sealed plastic clamshells style:

usb1 thumb3 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card usb2 thumb1 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

Included with the card is a driver disc and a low-profile PCI bracket.

usb3 thumb1 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

The card is red in color if you didn’t notice. it’s look very similar to the card I reviewed the other day in fact.

usb4 thumb1 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card usb5 thumb2 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

It has the NEC Chipset on it, two USB3.0 ports and a molex power connection on the top edge.

usb6 thumb1 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card usb7 thumb1 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card usb8 thumb2 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

Specifications:

UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

PCI-Express USB 3.0 Host Controller Card boosts your USB 3.0 device performance to 5Gb/s and provide 900mA power for each port.

Price: US$45.00

Features:
-NEC UPD720200 chipset
-Compliant with PCI Express Base Specification 2.0
-PCIe 1x bus interface
-Compliant with USB 3.0 Super-Speed (5Gbps), USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (480Mbps), USB 1.1 Low-Speed (1.5Mbps)
-Compliant with xHCI Specification Revision 0.95
-Max. 900mA per port
-Bus Interface PCI-Express
-Support Window 7 (32-bit and 64-bit) / Vista / XP
-Dimension: 120 x 90 x 22mm (approx.)
-Weight: 50g

Package Contents:
-UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card
-Low Profile Bracket x1


So I’m comparing the Unitek to the no-name card I reviewed last week.

usb9 thumb2 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

The cards look very similar with some subtle differences between them. There are no LEDs on the Unitek card, not that you can see them anyway when the card is in your system.

usb10 thumb1 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card usb11 thumb2 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

Installation is easy, plug it into a free PCIE slot and then plug in the molex power connection, then of course install the drivers.

usb12 thumb1 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card usb13 thumb1 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

I ran a few tests on the cards using the same hardware like the Kingston 64GB USB drive, Seagate BlackArmor PS110 USB2.0 Drive and the USB3.0 2.5” HDD Enclosure.

usb14 thumb1 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card usb15 thumb1 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

Here’s testing using SiSoft Sandra 2010 Portable Edition Removable Storage Test:

sandra thumb Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

There’s obviously a difference between the cards as you can see here. The Unitek might look the same but it’s not.

The next set of tests is using ATTO Disk Benchmark.

First is the Seagate BlackArmor PS110 USB2.0 on the USB3.0 interface.

blackarmor1usb3 thumb Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card blackarmorusb3 thumb thumb Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

In this test the Unitek PCIE Card performs just a little bit better, but not much.

Here’s testing with the Kingston USB drive:

kingstonusb3 thumb Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card kingstonUSB3 thumb thumb Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

With this test the Unitek actually performs worse.. not sure why. I ran it again and got the same results each time.

and finally here’s the test using a USB3.0 2.5” HDD Enclosure:

usb325enclosure thumb Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card usb3hdd thumb thumb Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

The results are virtually the same really. So is there a difference between them? I’d say yes, but it’s not as much as you might expect.


usb1 thumb4 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card usb3 thumb2 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card usb4 thumb2 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card usb6 thumb2 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

Conclusion:

The Unitek PCIE USB3.0 card is a nice choice if you want to quickly and easily add USB3.0 to your system.

The card I reviewed last week has a price of $38, while the Unitek has a price of $45. Is it worth the extra $7? I think it is.

I still have two more PCIE USB3.0 cards to review, one from Gigabyte and one from Asus so we’ll see how they compare. Once I’ve got all of the review up I think I’ll do a side-by-side- comparison of them all to really see if there’s any differences.

10 thumb3 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

Pros:
+Easy install
+Decent speeds overall
+Small size and comes with low-profile bracket

Cons:
-None really

Grades:
Overall score 10 10 thumb1 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card
Design score 10 10 thumb1 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card
Performance score 10 10 thumb1 Review of UNITEK 2 Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

This product was given to TestFreaks for review by the company for review purposes only, and is not considered by us as payment for the review, we do not, and never will, accept payment from companies to review their products. To learn more about our review policy please visit this page HERE.