Founded in 2003, SilverStone is an established leader in the IT field distinguishing itself through exceptional quality of their products and through their elegant and innovative design. Since 2003, SilverStone expanded its line of products offering customers a wide selection of products, from power supplies, fans and cooling solutions to cases and mounting systems for monitors and TV’s. All with a stylish look characteristic of SilverStone.
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Packaging and accessories
The ECU06 expansion card is packaged in a standard cardboard made box. The front side of the packaging has a dual color design with a profile photo of the expansion card on the right side. The name of the product is printed on the left part, while on the lower part a few features of the product are listed.
The back of the packaging has the complete technical specification of the expansion card. The lower part presents the features of the product, and each has a brief description on the lower part.
The expansion card is protected by a simple anti-static bag and a cardboard tray.
Dimension: 123mm (W) x 21mm (H) x 105mm (D)
USB 3.2 controller: ASMedia ASM3242
Host interface: Low profile – PCI Express Gen 3 x4 (32GT/s)
USB Ports: USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C port.
– Operating temperature range: 0 ~ 85 ºC
– Storage temperature range: -20 ~ +70 ºC
– Humidity range: 5 ~ 95% RH
Power requirement: PCI Express bus power
– SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps
– PCI Express Gen3 x4 lanes, transfer rate up to 32GT/s
– Compliant with PCI Express Base 3.1a specification.
– Compliant with eXtensible Host Controller Interface (xHCI) specification Revision 1.1
– Compliant with USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP) Revision 1.0
– Includes optional low profile slot cover for supporting low profile cases
The Silverstone ECU06 is a simple device that is useful to an extent. While many modern motherboards do offer the USB Type-C connector, a lot of them do not, especially those that are part of the budget. This expansion card aims to fix that and fix it forever with a simple installation procedure and no drivers or hassle involved.
The ECU06 uses what has to be one of the brightest single-color LEDs. As far as I can tell, it cannot be turned off or have its color changed. There’s nothing wrong with it but in some situations and systems, it can bother you.
The centerpiece of the ECU06 is the ASMedia controller, with the model number: ASM3242. This controller bridges the PCI Express interface to the USB 3.2 interface, with a speed of 20Gb/s.
The expansion card is equipped with multiple ceramic capacitors and a single solid polymer capacitor. This is a good sight as often times, this type of products (expansion cards with USB ports), are manufactured with the cheapest components available.
The only output port of this expansion card is a single USB type C port at the back. (Photo of the included small form factor rear bracket).
The following system was used to test the expansion card:
– Processor: Intel i9 9900K @ 5GHz
– Motherboard: ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X
– RAM: Neo Forza Faye DDR4 64GB 3600MHz
– GPU: MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X
– SSD: Crucial P2 500GB
– Mass Storage: Neo Forza NFP075 2TB
– CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Master Liquid 240
– PSU: Seasonic Prime TX-1000 Platinum
– Case: be quiet! Silent Base 802 White
The installation is easy, you just remove one of the PCIe covers and insert the ECU06, that’s it, no external connectors, no firmware to update, no drivers, it just works.
For testing, I am going to use a Silicon Power P34A80 1TB M.2 SSD installed inside the Silverstone MS12 SSD enclosure. This enclosure I’ve reviewed before and found out that not only cools the SSD installed inside but it performs great, thanks to its ASMedia controller which can deliver speeds upwards of 20GB/s.
In this case, the limitation will be down to one of these two devices, either the SSD enclosure or the expansion card, fortunately, both can deliver 20GB/s, however, the SSD used can do more.
CrystalDiskMark 8 – Read
CrystalDiskMark 8 – Complete Benchmark
The Silverstone ECU06 is a useful expansion card that offers a maximum transfer speed of 20gb/s. It’s easy to install and easy to use. However, it does have some limitations, mainly in terms of speed, as I’ve said, 2gb/s is as much as you will get. Why would you need such a device though? It’s simple, many motherboards do not yet have the USB Type-C connector, while a lot of external SSDs and HDDs do use the new connector and new interface.
In terms of pricing, the Silverstone ECU06 can be had right now for around 65USD which is not cheap for an expansion card. Especially since you can get something that promises to do the same thing for less. However, those models do not have the same build quality as the Silverstone ECU06. Thanks to the higher build quality and better components, this expansion card should work a long time, and as opposed to some unknown manufacturers, Silverstone will honor their warranty.
In conclusion, the Silverstone ECU06 is a useful product. The performance offered is good and that is thanks to the ASMedia ASM3242 controller. While many modern motherboards offer a USB Type-C connector, this expansion card is still relevant for those that either do not have one or have only one and you need more.
The plug-n play design is great and the driverless functionality is a welcomed feature, especially for beginners.
The only drawback of this expansion card is the price, at close to 70 USD. However, not all competing expansion cards, especially cheaper models will be able to deliver the same performance and use good quality components.