Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


USB 3 performance fixed?

  1. #1


    Denmark
    Posts : 224
    Windows 8.1 64bit Pro

    USB 3 performance fixed?


    Greetings.
    I have been away from Windows 8 for a long time, but now I'm about to reinstall my PC, and I might give Windows 8 another chance. One of my biggest issues with Windows 8 was the very poor USB 3 performance comparied to Windows 7 (same hardware). Does anybody know if this issue has been fixed?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    USA, Idaho
    Posts : 1,062
    Win 8, (VM win7, XP, Vista)


    Not sure what issue you were having. At present I have had no problems, but agree that doesn't mean you haven't. Once you have reinstalled (dual boot recommended) you might double check to see if you have the updated drivers for you install USB chips. . .Good luck.
    Last edited by Lee; 03 Apr 2013 at 08:03.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Redmond
    Posts : 651
    Windows 8.1 x64


    USB3 perf in Win8 generally comes down to the hardware and firmware of the controller. I have an HP laptop with a renesas (NEC) USB3 controller that had horrible performance until they (HP) released a firmware update a few months ago, which "fixed" the USB3 performance. I also find hardware with native USB3 in the motherboard chipset) versus an add-on controller, like the HP laptop I have has) generally perform better under Windows 8 as well. With the Intel Z77, I believe there's still some issues with the Intel EHCI controller under Windows 8.

    So, if you're having issues, knowing more about the hardware underneath would be helpful (if not the hardware in your profile), and what issues you are seeing specifically as well. If you're using that MSI board in your profile, make sure you're on BIOS release 10.8, and you use the Intel driver update utility to get the latest chipset drivers for your board:
    Intel® Driver Update Utility for Intel® Desktop Boards

    Other than that, we'd need more info to help.
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  4. #4


    Denmark
    Posts : 224
    Windows 8.1 64bit Pro


    It is the hardware in my profile, and I have had the same Intel drivers as last time I tried Windows 8.
    It looks to me like it has not changed yet. I remember that a tweaked set of Windows 7 drivers for USB3 gave the best results when I last tried, but still much slower than Windows 7.
    What is changed in win8 since this is so big a problem about USB3?

    What more info do you need?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Denmark
    Posts : 224
    Windows 8.1 64bit Pro


    One of the new features of Windows 8 is the built in XHCI host controller software and USB stack. While this brings some benefits like UASP support, there are some devices that currently don’t work with the Microsoft stack on the Intel USB 3.0 host controller. This can be fixed by forcing Windows to use the Intel USB 3.0 host controller drivers instead of the built in stack.
    *NOTE* These instructions are only for machines with an Intel eXtensible Host Controller. Look for the Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller under Universal Serial Bus controllers in Device Manager.
    [IMG]file:///E:/_wintemp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.png[/IMG]
    First, download the latest driver package from Intel. It’s currently at version 1.0.7.248 and can be downloaded from the following link:

    Once the download has finished, extract the .zip file to a known location.
    Now download these two .inf files which have been modified to allow the Intel driver to install on Windows 8:
    ·
    iusb3hub.inf
    ·
    iusb3xhc.inf
    We are going to replace the existing versions of these two files with the ones we just downloaded. Place the files in the following directory of the unzipped driver package and click yes when Windows warns that we are over writing a file with the same name:
    Intel(R)_USB_3.0_eXtensible_Host_Controller_Driver\Drivers\Win7\x64\
    This will update these two infs with the modified versions that will allow the Intel driver to install on Windows 8 when the Host Controller and USB hub drivers are updated.
    To install the Intel drivers in place of the in box XHCI stack, we’ll have to temporarily disable Driver Signing Enforcement. To do this press the Windows key + R and in the run box type:
    shutdown.exe /r /o /f /t 00
    Now make the following selections to boot into the Start Up Setting Screen
    Troubleshoot — Advanced options — Start Up Settings — Restart
    Then, when the machine restarts, select “Disable driver signature enforcement”. Your machine will start with Driver signing enforcement disabled until the next reboot.
    When the machine restarts, open Device Manager (win + r, devmgmt.msc). Double click on the entry for the Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller and select the Drivers tab. You should see that the driver provider is Microsoft.
    [IMG]file:///E:/_wintemp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.png[/IMG]
    Now click “Update Driver” and then select “Browse my computer for driver software”.
    Next choose “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer”.
    Next, select “Have Disk”.
    In the Window that pops up titled “Install From Disk” choose “Browse” and navigate to the location where we replace the original infs with the two modified .inf files we downloaded earlier. Select iusb3xhc.inf and click ok.
    Windows will warn that the driver is not signed and will require you to confirm the installation.
    Once the installation is complete, reboot the machine following the same procedure as above:
    shutdown.exe /r /o /f /t 00
    Now make the following selections to boot into the Start Up Setting Screen
    Troubleshoot — Advanced options — Start Up Settings — Restart
    When the machine starts, select “Disable driver signature enforcement”. Your machine will start with Driver signing enforcement disabled until the next reboot. Once logged in, open Device Manager (win + r “devmgmt.msc”) and locate the entry under Other devices for an Unknown device, to find the correct one, double click on the entry for the unknown device view the details tab. Make sure it has the VID_8086.
    [IMG]file:///E:/_wintemp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image003.png[/IMG]
    Once you have located the correct device right click on it and choose “Update Driver” Choose “Browse my computer”, Windows will ask you to identify the type of device, scroll down and select “Universal Serial Bus Devices”.
    Click next, choose “Have Disk”, “Browse” and select the modified iusb3hub.inf that we placed in the Intel(R)_USB_3.0_eXtensible_Host_Controller_Driver\Drivers\Win7\x64\ folder earlier and click ok.
    Again, Windows will warn about driver signing, when the install is finished, reboot your machine.
    When it restarts look at the driver tab for the Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller and the Intel(R) USB 3.0 Root Hub to confirm that you are now running the Intel drivers.
    To return to the built in Microsoft USB 3.0 driver stack, use the uninstall drivers button from the driver tab in device manager. When it’s finished, select the Action menu of Device Manager and “scan for hardware changes” Windows should find the Intel USB 3.0 host controller and re-install it using the built in Microsoft XHCI stack.
    Thanks to
    Ekko for his original work on this. Please comment below if you have any corrections or refinements. We’d also love to have comments mentioning the problems you were having, and whether the Intel stack solved them for you. Thanks!

    Is this still nessesary to get some performance on a Z77 chipset in Windows 8?
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  6. #6


    USA, Idaho
    Posts : 1,062
    Win 8, (VM win7, XP, Vista)


    Here is something that could be the problem. I was using two different types of USB 3 cables, and one of these cables my computer didn't like. It wasn't the OS that was the problem, but a specific cable. I had two USB 3 devices hooked up and one of the two just wouldn't work right. As you, I tried everything just couldn't figure it out then I played around with different cables to see if they could be causing the problem, and what do you know that was the problem. Hope this helps. . .Good Luck
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Denmark
    Posts : 224
    Windows 8.1 64bit Pro


    Here it is 3 USB3 sticks and 1 USB3 2,5" HDD that caused the problems. An USB-stick is not using any cable at all, so that is not the problem.
    I guess, that Win8 is still very poor in USB3 performance on same hardware as windows 7. Well, back to the basement with win8. Maybe some day they (MS or Intel, not sure who has made the error) will fix it, so I can use Windows 8.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Redmond
    Posts : 651
    Windows 8.1 x64


    Well, it's not poorer (I have many machines and machine types to contradict that), but it is definitely more fickle with supported hardware configurations. The odd part is that all (and I mean all) of the machines I've ever had issues with are either z77-based or using a Renesas (NEC) controller.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    I have been following the Windows 8 USB 3.0 discussion for a while. I have two ASUS boards. Z68 and Z77. Both boards work fine with the Windows 8 drivers. Someone in the ASUS forum had the same model Z68 board as me, but they could not get 3.0 speeds.

    So I am at a loss to try some commonalities among those folks having problems. Since Windows 8 uses the same .inf setup files for both the ASMedia USB 3.0 controller and the Intel controller, I have to believe it isn't Windows 8 that is the problem.

    If not Microsoft and their partners who are writing the USB 3.0 drivers, would it be the OEMs themselves. Since I have seen the same motherboard work and not, possibly something in the manufacturing process, or some other part of the process is involved. As you mention, the bios does seem to be fundamental to the situation. A bios that does not fully support the controllers will probably be one possible commonality.

    Are the users the problem? I have checked folks and they seem to have the same drivers installed as I. In recent experience, I realize the USB drivers also need a basic, Generic driver to work correctly. So could it be the basic drivers, chipset in regard to the Intel controller, are not being installed correctly.

    I have to believe the OEMs had tested the Windows 8 drivers on their systems, at least the new systems. Unless they know about the problem and are just keeping quiet, there must be another reason.

    I wish I could acquire a motherboard that was noted as not achieving the 3.0 speeds for testing, but I don't really see how that would be possible.

    Edit: I need to add that when I was running a small SSD as a cache for the larger hard drive with the Intel Smart Response Technology, my USB 3.0 speeds would start out fast, but drop to 2.0 speeds quickly. The model of SSD seemed to be the problem because replacing it with a faster (read and write) SSD cured the problem.
    Last edited by Saltgrass; 03 Apr 2013 at 16:21.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

USB 3 performance fixed?
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