Asus has introduced a USB4 PCIe add-in-card for the company's desktop motherboards, allowing users to add two USB4 ports to their systems. The card can be used to connect up to four devices and a display to each of its ports, and can even be used to charge laptops that support USB charging.

The Asus USB4 PCIe Gen4 Card is based on ASMedia's ASM4242 controller and supports two USB4 ports at 40 Gbps data rates, with up to 60W USB Power Delivery. The board also has two DisplayPort inputs to in order to route graphics through the card as well in order to make full use of the versatility offered by USB4 and the Type-C cable. Alternatively, one can connect the card to the motherboard TB3/TB4 header and use integrated GPU to handle displays connected using USB-C cables.

One of the main advantages that the ports of Asus USB4 PCIe Gen4 card have over USB4 ports found on some motherboards is that it supports 60W Quick Charge 4+ to devices, which enables to charge laptops or connect devices that demand more than 15W of power (but less than 60W).

There is a catch about the Asus USB4 PCIe Gen4 card though: it is only compatible with Asus motherboards and needs a motherboard with a Thunderbolt or USB4 header (which is mostly designed to use integrated GPU). The company says that many of its AM5 and Intel 700-based motherboards have an appropriate header, so the device can be used on most of its current-generation boards.

The card operates on a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface, providing 7.877 GB/s of bandwidth to the ASMedia controller.  The card also features a six-pin auxiliary PCIe connector to supply the additional power needed for the card's high-powered ports.

Asus has yet to reveal recommended price and availability date of its USB4 expansion card. Given that this is not the industry's first card of this kind, expect it to be competitively priced in comparison to existing Thunderbolt 3/4 expansion cards, which have been on the market for a while.

Source: Asus

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  • Skeptical123 - Wednesday, February 14, 2024 - link

    As far as I can tell the "MSI's USB4 PD100W" launched 8 months ago not "years ago". They are both based on the same controller so it's not surprising they are similar.

    The MSI card has one port that can provide 40 more watts of power, however the second port can only do 27W. The Asus card appears to have the same power budget which makes sense. Rather it is split evenly between the two ports. This allows both ports to provide 20v/3a which is a common spec. Note both cards require a power connector from the PSU.

    A big differentiator is the fact that the Asus card can use their special motherboard header to get DisplayPort lanes from the integrated GPU without having to connect extra DisplayPort cables to the card from the outside of the case.

    Another possible differentiator is the Asus card notes it supports daisy-chaining. The MSI product page for their card makes no mention of this feature anywhere. The feature does not appear to be a USB4 requirement so that appears to be a major differentiator. USB4 does support TB3 so maybe that’s how it works idk.
  • Hresna - Saturday, March 16, 2024 - link

    I’m confused what you gain with the internal headers… is there any functionality usable over just the PCIe lanes? If these motherboards have internal headers for TB4, why wouldn’t they just have made that a connector on the backplane if there’s already dedicated lanes for it. I don’t understand this product. [I’m not trying to knock it, but to encourage some kind person to perhaps explain it differently than the article did]

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