It goes without saying that PC technology moves at a furious pace; woe to the enthusiast who languidly sits around without an upgrade path planned out. The USB 3.0 specification is one of a host of new technologies that enthusiasts cannot afford not to invest in; its sheer performance over USB 2.0 is unquestioned. Unfortunately, for enthusiasts with old(er) systems, upgrading to the world of USB 3.0 can be an expensive proposition… until SilverStone introduced its new SST-EC03B USB 3.0 PCI Express card, that is.
The test system used in this review is a prime example of the audience that the SST-EC03B was intended for: highly capable, powerful systems built just before the advent of USB 3.0. The EVGA E760 Classified motherboard is still considered a respectable gaming platform, albeit a little on the old side and lacking USB 3.0 capability. The SST-EC03B breathes new life into this system, increasing data transferring performance without the need of having to invest in a major (and costly) system overhaul.
There’s a lot to like about the SST-EC03B too. Its ease of installation was a snap and the 3.5″ black brushed aluminum bracket will appeal to everyone. It’s also affordable, a mere pittance compared to replacing major PC components. Drawbacks were few: I’d like to see a bracket for SFF enclosures included, as well as a 4-pin Molex cable extender to prevent a dedicated daisy chain from the power supply from being used. And while the cost of the SST-EC03B would likely increase, including a 5.25″ transfer bracket wouldn’t hurt either.
However, in the end, the SilverStone SST-EC03B is a fantastic product that does exactly what it promises without a lot of fuss. Its ease of use coupled with an attractive price point makes the SST-EC03B a must have peripheral for any enthusiast wanting to extend the capabilities of their system. Offered in either black (SST-EC03B) or silver (SST-EC03S), this USB 3.0 adapter includes a 1-year warranty from SilverStone and can be had for $32.50 USD at Amazon.
Legit Bottom Line: Enthusiasts looking to take advantage of USB 3.0 without shelling out hundreds for a new desktop will find the SilverStone SST-EC03B a perfect complement to their existing systems!