I recently purchased a PCI Express x1 USB 3.0 controller card (containing the NEC USB 3.0 controller) with the intent of using a USB 3.0 external hard drive with my Linux box. I installed the card in an empty PCIe slot on my motherboard, connected the card to a power cable, strung a USB 3.0 cable between one of the new ports and my external HDD, and connected the HDD to a wall socket for power. Booting the system, the drive works 100% as intended, with the one exception of throughput: rather than using SuperSpeed 4.8 Gbps connectivity, it seems to be falling back to High Speed 480 Mbps USB 2.0-style throughput. Disk Utility shows it as a 480 Mbps device, and running a couple Disk Utility and dd benchmarks confirms that the drive fails to exceed ~40 MB/s (the approximate limit of USB 2.0), despite it being an SSD capable of far more than that.
When I connect my USB 3.0 HDD,
dmesg shows this:
[ 3923.280018] usb 3-2: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 6
where I would expect to find this:
[ 3923.280018] usb 3-2: new SuperSpeed USB device using xhci_hcd and address 6
My system was running on kernel 2.6.35-25-generic at the time. Then, I stumbled upon this forum thread by an individual who found that a bug, which was present in kernels prior to 2.6.37-rc5, could be the culprit for this type of problem. Consequently, I installed the 2.6.37-generic mainline Ubuntu kernel to determine if the problem would go away. It didn't, so I tried 2.6.38-rc3-generic, and even the 2.6.38 nightly from 2010.02.01, to no avail.
In short, I'm trying to determine why, with USB 3.0 support in the kernel, my USB 3.0 drive fails to run at full SuperSpeed throughput.
See the comments under this question for additional details.
Output that might be relevant to the problem (when booting from 2.6.38-rc3):
Relevant lines from
[ 19.589491] xhci_hcd 0000:03:00.0: PCI INT A -> GSI 17 (level, low) -> IRQ 17 [ 19.589512] xhci_hcd 0000:03:00.0: setting latency timer to 64 [ 19.589516] xhci_hcd 0000:03:00.0: xHCI Host Controller [ 19.589623] xhci_hcd 0000:03:00.0: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 12 [ 19.650492] xhci_hcd 0000:03:00.0: irq 17, io mem 0xf8100000 [ 19.650556] xhci_hcd 0000:03:00.0: irq 47 for MSI/MSI-X [ 19.650560] xhci_hcd 0000:03:00.0: irq 48 for MSI/MSI-X [ 19.650563] xhci_hcd 0000:03:00.0: irq 49 for MSI/MSI-X [ 19.653946] xHCI xhci_add_endpoint called for root hub [ 19.653948] xHCI xhci_check_bandwidth called for root hub
Relevant section of
sudo lspci -v:
03:00.0 USB Controller: NEC Corporation uPD720200 USB 3.0 Host Controller (rev 03) (prog-if 30) Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 17 Memory at f8100000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=8K] Capabilities:  Power Management version 3 Capabilities:  MSI: Enable- Count=1/8 Maskable- 64bit+ Capabilities:  MSI-X: Enable+ Count=8 Masked- Capabilities: [a0] Express Endpoint, MSI 00 Capabilities:  Advanced Error Reporting Capabilities:  Device Serial Number ff-ff-ff-ff-ff-ff-ff-ff Capabilities:  #18 Kernel driver in use: xhci_hcd Kernel modules: xhci-hcd
Relevant section of
sudo lsusb -v:
Bus 012 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub Device Descriptor: bLength 18 bDescriptorType 1 bcdUSB 3.00 bDeviceClass 9 Hub bDeviceSubClass 0 Unused bDeviceProtocol 3 bMaxPacketSize0 9 idVendor 0x1d6b Linux Foundation idProduct 0x0003 3.0 root hub bcdDevice 2.06 iManufacturer 3 Linux 2.6.38-020638rc3-generic xhci_hcd iProduct 2 xHCI Host Controller iSerial 1 0000:03:00.0 bNumConfigurations 1 Configuration Descriptor: bLength 9 bDescriptorType 2 wTotalLength 25 bNumInterfaces 1 bConfigurationValue 1 iConfiguration 0 bmAttributes 0xe0 Self Powered Remote Wakeup MaxPower 0mA Interface Descriptor: bLength 9 bDescriptorType 4 bInterfaceNumber 0 bAlternateSetting 0 bNumEndpoints 1 bInterfaceClass 9 Hub bInterfaceSubClass 0 Unused bInterfaceProtocol 0 Full speed (or root) hub iInterface 0 Endpoint Descriptor: bLength 7 bDescriptorType 5 bEndpointAddress 0x81 EP 1 IN bmAttributes 3 Transfer Type Interrupt Synch Type None Usage Type Data wMaxPacketSize 0x0004 1x 4 bytes bInterval 12 Hub Descriptor: bLength 9 bDescriptorType 41 nNbrPorts 4 wHubCharacteristic 0x0009 Per-port power switching Per-port overcurrent protection TT think time 8 FS bits bPwrOn2PwrGood 10 * 2 milli seconds bHubContrCurrent 0 milli Ampere DeviceRemovable 0x00 PortPwrCtrlMask 0xff Hub Port Status: Port 1: 0000.0100 power Port 2: 0000.0100 power Port 3: 0000.0100 power Port 4: 0000.0100 power Device Status: 0x0003 Self Powered Remote Wakeup Enabled
Bus 012 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub Bus 011 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub Bus 010 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub Bus 009 Device 003: ID 04d9:0702 Holtek Semiconductor, Inc. Bus 009 Device 002: ID 046d:c068 Logitech, Inc. G500 Laser Mouse Bus 009 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub Bus 008 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub Bus 007 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub Bus 006 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub Bus 003 Device 006: ID 174c:5106 ASMedia Technology Inc. Bus 003 Device 004: ID 0bda:0151 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. Mass Storage Device (Multicard Reader) Bus 003 Device 002: ID 058f:6366 Alcor Micro Corp. Multi Flash Reader Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub Bus 002 Device 006: ID 1687:0163 Kingmax Digital Inc. Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub Bus 001 Device 002: ID 046d:081b Logitech, Inc. Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub